Founding patrons announced for Dorset Food and Arts Festival
Opening the Dorset Food and Arts Festival for the sixth year will be celebrity chef extraordinaire Lesley Waters. Lesley is just one of our patrons that include Annabel Elliot, Lesley Waters, Simon Conibear, Wakely Cox and Fanny Charles.
Annabel Elliot is a highly-respected Dorset interior designer and antiques dealer. Annabel consulted on the interior style throughout The Duchess of Cornwall Inn in Queen Mother Square.
Celebrity chef Lesley Waters needs no introduction and has been a regular fixture at the festival with her fantastic food demonstrations. Lesley lives and works in Dorset and runs the Lesley Waters Cookery School in Halstock.
Simon Conibear has led The Duchy of Cornwall’s ambitious masterplan for Poundbury for the last 22 years and has been an essential player in the Dorset Food and Arts Festival. Earlier this year he retired as Dorchester Estate Director.
Puddletown farmer Wakely Cox is a pillar of the Dorset farming community, taking part in many committees and promotional activities.
Fanny Charles was one of the co-founders of the festival in 2012. She was Editor of the Blackmore Vale Magazine at the time and Nik Ralph, then chairman of Dorset Farmers Markets, came to see her to talk about what they could do about Dorset’s food and drink producers being excluded from the Olympic celebrations at Weymouth.
Fanny suggested that an event at Poundbury might attract visitors. She approached Simon Conibear, then Estate Director of the Duchy of Cornwall, who was happy to get involved.
So, with the Duchy’s support, and the active involvement of Dorset Farmers Market, Hall & Woodhouse and Waitrose, and lots of generous sponsorship, the first festival took place over the middle weekend.
It was so successful that it’s continued every year and Fanny is very proud and happy to be involved for this sixth annual Dorset Food and Arts Festival.