8 reasons to get your spice on at the Portsmouth Chilli and Gin Festival

Portsmouth, UK

Want some spice? This’ll suffice!

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It’s the spiciest time of the year! Says Hannah Bridgett.


It’s time again for the Portsmouth Chilli and Gin Festival! Boasting a fab list of vendors and some brilliant live music, the festival has returned for another brill event. As the UK’s only Chilli and Gin festival, they’ve strived to make each year bigger and better than the last, and 2024 is no different. Whether you’re a spice lover or not, this festival is bound to make your first weekend of May one to remember.  

Man Vs Chili

Are you a self-certified Chilli eater? Are you that mate that repeats the phrase “Spicy food doesn’t bother me, I love it!”? Can you prove it? On both days, there is a Chilli Eating Competition at 3pm (2pm on the Sunday) with no pre-registration required. Arrive at one of their ‘hot pods’ and battle other chilli aficionados for the win. Claim those ultimate bragging rights!

Hungry? Let’s curb that appetite

Of course, a Chilli and Gin festival wouldn’t be complete without some spicy chilli. Visit some of the amazing stalls selling all kinds of chilli sauces and flavours for you to bring the festival home with you. If chilli isn’t tickling your fancy, you can always saunter over to some of the other options available. They have a global selection of cuisine, including Turkish, Greek, and Mexican, as well as the firm favourites such as a hog roast, burgers, and ice cream.

Get your drink on!

Didn’t think they forgot about the gin, did you? There is an amazing range of craft gin for sampling and purchase, which are bound to have you leaving with a bottle....or two. Don’t fancy gin? Head on over to the fully stocked bar for a range of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. Maybe you’ll even give a chilli shot a go!

Can you become a Cocktail Master?  

For just £10 each, you could join a spectacular workshop the festival has to offer. Not only do you get to learn how to make two tasty cocktails of your choice, but you’ll also get to drink them afterwards. Talk about a win! Make sure to show off your new-found knowledge at future parties.

Wanting more to do? Look no further

How can you be bored of all this chilli and gin goodness? Well, if you’re wanting a break try one of the activities that aren’t chilli or gin related. Make a show of your strength by taking part in axe throwing or get involved in a game of Giant Jenga.

Music Galore

What else could they possibly fit into this packed weekend festivity? Well, your ears are in for a treat just as much as your tastebuds! On the Saturday, enjoy a great selection of artists, both individual and cover groups, that’ll bring you right back to the 90s and 00s to get your boogie on. Fancy some proper live bands and indie classics? Sunday brings you the music of indie and live bands all day. And of course, both days kick off the event with a House DJ to make sure the tunes are banging all day long.

How to get there

    

Train: Nearest stations are Cosham (2.2 miles) and Havant (2.9 miles)

Bus: Routes No.7 and No.20 stop at the entrance to the venue (No.20 doesn’t run on Sundays)

Parking: Limited spaces available at £3.50 per vehicle.

Where to eat

    

At the event, naturally! Even if chilli isn’t on the menu for you that day, there are plenty of independent vendors, so you won’t have to venture anywhere else!

Accessibility

    

The event is fully wheelchair friendly, and service dogs are welcome.

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