Wednesday, 23 August 2017

West Dean Chilli Fiesta

Chilli Fiesta is almost without doubt my favourite weekend of the year. I look forward to the next one from the moment the last one finishes. West Dean's Chilli Fiesta has been going on for twenty-something years, each year getting bigger and better.

I've been camping at Chilli Fiesta with my friends and family for the last few years and it really ups the weekend game. The calm low-maintenance campsite provides relief from the bustling festival and you can wander back and forth between the two at your leisure. 

West Dean house itself is a 19th century flint manor house. Inside is usually closed during the festival but circle around the perimeter to get a sense of its scale - it's one of the largest flint buildings in the country which, if you're an architecture drop-out like me, may be something worth gawking at.

The Community Samba Drummers were a highlight of the daily music at the main stage. Is there anything more joyful than banging a drum? 

Even if you're not camping, you can stay on site until all the music has ended. The main stage is much better during the evening and it's much easier to dance without the sun beating down highlighting your every wiggle. When the main stage closes there is music in the bar - this year an amazing brother and sister duo Paulo and Giulia played. They were incredible. 

Don't overlook the gardens - you could easily spend half a day wandering around the grounds. The kitchen garden is filled with original glass houses packed with exotic, eclectic plants - and of course, chillies!

There are so many incredible local food stands to eat during the day and even more from which to buy sauces, chocolates, beers, fudge, oils, dressings - all of course with a chilli kick (watch out for the 'hot' labels - they really mean it).

Oh my goodness guys, you have to go. See you next year?



1 comment

  1. Since Saturday I decided to take my training for the next few weeks into my own hands as the current training and nutrition style was a little too much. I have 15 weeks to go, so not feeling the need to be so drained so far out.
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