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Hot stuff as Benington’s annual chilli festival returns this weekend

Benington Chilli Festival. Picture: Sharon Struckman.

Benington Chilli Festival. Picture: Sharon Struckman.


Worship the pepper at an annual food festival taking place in Hertfordshire this weekend.

Benington Chilli Festival. Picture: Sharon Struckman.Benington Chilli Festival. Picture: Sharon Struckman.

The Benington Chilli Festival returns for three days of bank holiday food and fun that is right off the Scoville scale.

Started in 2006, the festival is a hugely popular family event attracting thousands of visitors over the weekend to Benington Lordship Gardens, three miles east of Stevenage.

Running from Saturday, August 25 to Bank Holiday Monday, August 27, the red-hot 2018 festival offers a chance to buy chilli plants, products and sample foods from around the world.

More than 60 pitches of the nation’s best known independent chilli traders will be selling everything and anything you can make with chillies – chutneys, sauces, pickles, seeds, cheese and chocolate.

Visitors can choose from Mexican burritos and tacos, Thai, Cajun, Greek and Lebanese fayre, wood oven pizza, spicy sausages, vegan and vegetarian dishes and much more.

A wide range of refreshments will be on offer to help you cool down, including cold beers and ice creams.

And for hard core chilli enthusiasts, there’s the world famous chilli eating competition.

If you think you’re hard enough, sign up on the day for the ultimate fiery challenge.

Held each day at 4pm, the contest is limited to 12 brave participants, on a first come, first served basis.

Entertainment this year includes acrobatics and comedy from Felicity Footloose, and music from Abba Chique, who will be belting out a fabulous retro soundtrack.

There will be face painting and sand art for children.

The festival is open from 10am to 5pm each day.

Admission costs £8.50 adults, and £2.50 children under 16. It is free for under-12s.

There is free parking provided in the fields directly behind the gardens. No dogs allowed.

• For more details, visit

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