Food for thought: annual Faversham Food Festival to whet your taste-buds

August 31, 2016

Foodies are in for a treat next week, as the annual Faversham Food Festival returns to the Market Town of Kings from 16 – 18 September.

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Celebrating the best of locally-produced food and drink, the festival, this year the festival also includes the Ale Trail, a new venture inviting you to explore the beers and pubs of Faversham. Amongst a rich plethora of tempting events, the market will be offering food tastings, demonstrations and talks; St Mary’s church will host stalls and tea and cake; live jazz in the Abbey Physic Community Garden, followed by a Teddy Bear’s Picnic; local MP Helen Whateley will be presenting the festival’s Food Hero Award during a dinner at the Phoenix Tavern; champagne-tasting at the Creek Hotel; and a Gala Dinner at the Red Sails Restaurant. You can also vote for your favourite sausage on the Sausage Trail.

Details about all these and more can be found on the festival’s website here, or you can download the brochure here;  between 16-18 September, there’ll be something to really get your teeth into…

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Hop to the first Hop Fest Fringe this weekend

August 30, 2016

This year, for the first time, Faversham’s Arden Theatre will be bursting with stand-up comedy, spoken word, poetry, theatre and more in the first Hop Fest Fringe.

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Better Together: at the Hop Fest Fringe

From 2 – 4 September, alongside the annual Hop Festival, the Arden will froth with creative life, including ancillary events such as ‘Prose at the Purifier’ bringing theatre and poetry to the Purifier Building. Family-friendly events include ‘The Little Girl Who Was Sold With The Pears’ as a double-bill with ‘Baby,’ a dance-theatre performance using pop music to explore the joys of pregnancy and motherhood.

‘Better Together’ uses slapstick, acrobatics and physical comedy as it asks how you become best friends with someone, while ‘Water-Watcher’ weaves folk, fable, alchemy and ancient rites through spoken word as it investigates the north Kent coast.

hopfestfringe-logoFind out more about all these events here; tickets are a mere snip at £5 each, and the Hop Fest Fringe runs from Friday 2 to Sunday 3 September. Toi toi toi to the first Fringe Fest!


Faversham in the Great War

April 16, 2015

Explore the story of Faversham during the First World War on this website here, including historic photographs and postcards from the period. 

Or for a wider perspective, follow This Day in World War One on Twitter for tweeted events as they happened.

Fascinating stuff…


All about that place II: Art and Soul, Faversham’s artistic community 

April 3, 2015

Our second guest blogpost for the ‘Keep It In Kent’ website focuses on Faversham as a place of inspiration for its own vibrant artistic community, and takes in several collaborative exhibitions currently taking place.

Read the feature online here.


Are Faversham residents stressed ?

March 26, 2015

A report in the Canterbury Times indicates that, according to a recent survey, experts have found Swale residents to be ‘anxious, depressed and temperamental.’

A team of psychologists has ranked 380 council areas according to how around 400,000 people assessed their key personality traits, and found residents of the Swale and Maidstone districts display high levels of neuroticism, although Faversham residents also rank highly in being conscientious.

oare_2If this is true, we need to do more to remind ourselves of the plentiful leisure opportunities Faversham affords – the Recreation ground, Oare Nature Reserve, Faversham Pools which has recently won a refurbishment grant of £150,000 – as well as its art galleries, cafés and restaurants, the Royal Cinema, the Arden Theatre, and its coastal proximity. Seasalter and Whitstable are but a step away, rural areas for walking and cycling including the Saxon Shore coastal trail; and every so often the town bursts into vigorous life with one festival or another – the Hat Festival, the Hop Festival, the vintage Transport Vehicle Weekend. For a town that’s supposed to be depressed, you can usually find it celebrating something!

Whilst the pace of life can often be frantic in the Digital Age, let’s also remember that you can find plenty to enjoy in Faversham. There are areas that give residents cause for concern, certainly; congestion around Abbey Street, the unpredictability of travelling by South East trains, the need for more buses – but there’s much to enjoy too.

Read the story online here.


Hold onto your hats! Hat Festival set to return

March 22, 2015

It’s all happening with head-gear next month, as preparations are underway for the second Faversham Hat Festival.

Following the successful inaugural hat festival last Easter, which featured a parade in West Street led by the town crier, a lady stilt-walker and a wandering minstrel, the festival is set to return next month and promises to be bigger and better when it bursts into life on Saturday 4 April to set Faversham’s street thronging.

Hat Shop posterThe brain-child of Rachel, proprietor of the Hat Shop along West Street, this year the event will see the parade from West Street to the Alexander Centre kicking off a day of lively events including live music, all coming to a head in the magnificent Assembly Rooms at 7.30pm with a Hatter’s Dance featuring live jazz from the KD Jazz and Dance Orchestra and cocktails by Kent-based liquers-makers, MightyFineThings.

“Everyone had a lot of fun last year, so we are going to do it again this year!” enthuses Rachel, as I caught up with her in her wonderfully bijou shop, artfully arrayed with all manner of vintage head-gear that enthusiasts will love; her shop feels less like a retail space and more like a gallery exhibition, such is the care and loving detail which has gone into its presentation. “We’re encouraging everyone to come out in a hat and join us in the West Street Hat Parade, leaving here at 11 o’clock sharp.  The parade will walk up to the Alexander Centre main  and be greeted by The Fleur Singers singing hats songs on-stage –  they were wonderful last year, so do come and hear them sing! Then the competitions judging will begin.” Prizes will be donated by a selection of local businesses, and will include whacky criteria such as ‘Best Hatted Dog,’ ‘Best Innovative Fantastical Hat’ and (very topically) ‘Best Magna Carta 800 Hat!’

Prior to the festival, there will be hat-making workshops in schools as well as an all-day free drop-in hat making workshop for children in the Guildhall on Good Friday, led by a qualified teacher and artist from 10am – 3pm.

HatFestival KDJazzRachel’s passion for the festival is infectious, and it’s easy to see why; it’s very much a community event, bringing together local business, artists and musicians, with plenty of activities for young children and families at its heart. “I started the festival last year, shortly after opening the shop – boy, it was hard work! But it was a fantastic event, really well supported by the local community, and I’m hoping even more people will come this year.”

“Come on, everyone,” Rachel says as she flourishes her own stylish head-piece, eyes alight with enthusiasm, “this is a community event, created by the community for the community; come and join us in wearing your hat – bought or handmade, we don’t mind! – and have fun!”

For more information contact Rachel at The Hat Shop, West Street, Faversham, email:rtc.rachel@yahoo.co.uk, or tel: 01795 227071; you can also follow The Hat Shop on Twitter.


All About That Place: celebrating Faversham

March 11, 2015

We’re pleased to say that the first in a series of guest posts for Keep It In Kent has been published recently.

‘All About That Place’ introduces the ‘stronghold by the clear stream,’ and over the series will be exploring aspects of the history, community, heritage, arts and leisure opportunities afforded by the Market Town of Kings.

Read the first post here.


Window trail: calling all Faversham businesses!

March 2, 2015

If you run a shop in Faversham, how do you fancy being part of a window-trail around the town, something to engage children and adults, local residents and visitors alike, and help encourage them into your shop ?

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The Cat’s whiskers…

Window-trails are simple to do, and highly effective in raising awareness of your premises. All you need to do is place an object somewhere in your window display – a teddy-bear, a model car or boat, for example – at an arranged date, and then encourage children and visitors to the town to hunt through the town to spot them. Talking with one shop-owner in Faversham at the weekend, they were remarking how easy it can be for your store-front to become invisible through familiarity – everyone knows you are there, but they are so accustomed to it that they stop seeing it as they pass by.

So, let’s re-invigorate the retail life of the town for a week, by all putting an object in our windows, and then we’ll advertise a ‘Faversham Window Trail’ through our various social media platforms,  which will enthuse shoppers, visitors and residents to wander around the town in a bid to identify all the objects – and, hopefully, over your thresholds.

If you’re interested in taking part, get in touch via Twitter or drop us an e-mail; how about an Easter-themed trail at the end of the month ? It could be eggs-actly what local retail needs…


#Favershamhour tweet-up: Weds 7.30pm

February 2, 2015

It strikes me that it’s high time for a dedicated Tweet-up for Faversham and the surrounding environs, and therefore propose we should hold one on Wednesdays between 7.30-8.30pm.

For anyone for whom a Tweet-up is new territory, it’s very simple – at an appointed hour, we all come onto Twitter to promote local events, opportunities, news stories and anything we think might be of interest to the local community, using the hashtag #Favershamhour. It’s a useful way for business to network and to promote current offers, for people to talk about what’s coming up and more; you can stay for as long or as short a time as you like, so needn’t feel you have to be glued to Twitter for the duration. Participants then click on the hashtag to see all the tweets talking about the same topic.

twitter_in_useOther Tweet-ups such as #kenthour and #createinkent are currently proving very popular and successful as a means of spreading the word.

All you need to do is start your tweet with #Favershamhour and let us know what to look out for; everything from festival events to car-boot sales, missing pets, Deal of the Week at the local market, forthcoming gigs at the local pub – whatever you’d like to share!

See you all on Twitter this Wednesday…


National Libraries Day: Sat 7 Feb

January 31, 2015

There are plenty of activities going on at Faversham Library next weekend, as it participates in National Libraries Day on Saturday 7 February.

All across the nation, libraries will be the focus of events as we’re all urged to show our support for our local library by going along and taking part in a range of activities ranging from readings to stories, games and quizzes.

IMG_2334Faversham Library, a little haven of tranquility, will be hosting story-time for young children, quizzes for all ages and encouraging you to share your favourite books between 10am-12pm on the day. The library itself offers internet facilities as well as a rich range of reading stock for children, teenagers and adults alike.

The Digital Age may offer a wealth of information and speed, but there’s no substitute for the hands-on experience, particularly for young children, of exploring the endless landscape of literature afforded by a library’s shelves. With libraries fast becoming a dwindling service as the years progress, make sure you show your support for Faversham’s next week.


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