I'm quite lucky that I live in a county which is able to host events like these.
The Great Dorset Chilli Festival in Wimborne St Giles is an annual event where you can taste and buy all things chilli! It is based in the grounds of St Giles House which has been home to the Earls of Shaftesbury since the 15th Century. The house and park are listed on the English Heritage's Register of Historic Houses, Parks and Gardens.
We attended the festival last year and couldn't wait to go again this year. We pre-booked our tickets online (for £5.50 instead of the £7 on the door price) and persuaded our friends, Carly and Paul to come along too. The event is cash only as it's held in the grounds of St Giles house and last year we made the mistake of not bringing enough cash. This year though we were fully prepared!
There are hundreds of stalls selling not only chillis but jams, chutneys, ice creams and cider. I'm not overly keen on hot spicy things but hubby is, it's always great fun watching him try the sauces - sometimes he needs a ice cream after!
Our favourite exhibitor is The Garlic Farm which is based on the Isle of Wight. I love their Garlic Mayo and Oak Smoked Garlic. I always stock up when I can as it's quite expensive to cross over the water to the Isle of Wight from Lymington.
As well as all the exhibits, there is also a lot of entertainment. This year there was an artist doing caricatures and a Mexican band which reminds me of the Doritos advert!
There is also a chilli eating competition which you can sign up for online and chilli tasting sessions where you can taste different chilli sauces and vote for your favourite.
If you're able to attend next year, it's well worth a visit!