North East Chilli Fest

Today was the first day of the North East Chilli Festival at Seaton Delaval Hall. Paul and I agree that we need to visit Seaton Delaval Hall again in the near future, possibly a destination for cycling.

We operated a very strict policy at the festival to avoid buying everything and being rich in only chilli based items. We did a full tour of all of the taster bowls, upon deciding the highlights over a glass of Pimms we purchased. The photo shows our swag, the best of the best in our opinion. Having said that, there wasn’t a bad chilli among them, some were simply too hot for my poor taste buds to handle. I prefer a depth of taste over heat. 

Britt and Paul Recommend…

The Chilli Pepper Company’s Chilli Honey – Sweet runny honey with a warmth that grows gradually. I think this will be going on my morning crumpet, I think it would also do well with roasting carrots.

The Cherry Tree’s Hot Chilli and Carrot Chutney – I’m eating this right now, with some cheese, on an oatcake. I’m also betting it’ll be very nice on some good burgers.

A bit Chilli!’s Serano Smokey Chutney – A lovely smokey chutney, as the name suggests. Probably another that will go well on a burger or with sausages actually, yes sausages. Or bacon.

Holly and the Ivy’s Scotch Bonnet Preserve – A little hotter than the rest, not having chunks of veg to spread the flavour, this preserve features some chilli seeds which give you some bursts of heat, still quite sweet though. Yum.

Chillilicious’s Red Pepper Chilli Chutney – I know I keep saying this but it will go well on a burger. Also I think this would be great for dipping things into, like carrot sticks and celery. Oh, just dress a full salad with it and stick some lamb beside it, cooked with chillies.

Chillilicious’s Chilli & Coriander Oatcakes – Remember that oatcake I was having the chilli and carrot chutney off of with cheese? Well this is that oatcake. That makes it the best oatcake I have ever had. Ever.

Fresh chillies, I forget where we got these from, but I’m sure you’ll see them if you go along tomorrow. Also there are some chilli chocolates in there which we picked up from the man who does the fudge… opposite them we also picked up a “Relight My Fire” chocolate bar from a lovely stall selling very quirky chocolates.

That green thing behind all those jars, that’s a chilli plant. I don’t have a good track record with caring from plants but was reliably informed by Simone of mmm Newcastle that they prefer to be mostly left alone anyway. We put it in the same bag as the fresh red chillies, I like to think that will give it some aspirations, a clue as to what it’s meant to be. If we get even small chillies I will be quite pleased.

On our final pass, towards closing time we noticed that Pet Lamb Patisserie had also been there earlier in the day, looks like they sold out pretty quick. I must say that if you ever get a chance to try a Pet Lamb cake you really should, hopefully they’ll be there tomorrow.

So with all of these chilli products now in the house I feel inspired, I’m going to attempt to make some chilli cupcakes, or possibly chilli muffins, depending on ingredients. Paul is going to make some lamb burgers. We’re off to get some lamb mince to have with all of this chilli.

If you get the chance do get yourself down to the festival tomorrow, it’s on from 10am until 4pm and has wonderful Wylam Beer to keep you refreshed, a haystack for the kids to jump about on and more chilli than you can shake a stick at.


  1. i found it to be a very expensive disappointment.
    lots of the taster bowls had nothing left to taste them with, several caterers had sold out, and this was only half way through the day! most of the items for sale were grossly over priced, massive queues for everything,particularly the catering, poor manners and a general lack of courtesy by most people, led to me wishing i hadnt bothered. and i love chillies, me!

  2. Hi Simon,

    Shame it didn't work out for you – I agree about the queues as it was very busy, and a few items were expensive (but not moreso than you expect at craft/food markets), but I didn't experience anything of the poor manners of which you speak – everyone seemed pretty friendly to me and seemed to be having a good time.

    I might bring my own box of crackers though next time 🙂


  3. We kept our pricing exactly the same as we would for a farmers market. In fact we offered 50% discount on all purchases to anyone wearing a NUFC item!

  4. Thanks for the lovely review on our chutney and oatcakes – we enjoyed being part of the event. To be honest i felt the event was an absolute bargain for it's ticket price! There were so many traders and LOADS of entertainment over the weekend. For a first time event it was fantastic and the organisers worked so hard you have no idea and against all the odds of the weather too.

    I wouldn't suspect any traders would raise their prices as they want you to love their products and the to purchase more. If a customer then went online and the prices were lower they would not want to buy anymore as they'd feel cheated. I think you'll find many of them, like ourselves, had special multiple discount offers and such just for the visitors the festival that weekend. Most of these traders will also make their products themselves which creates a much more luxurious item but they simply cannot match the mass produced item prices that main stream brands sell in superstores.

    We cannot wait until the next North East Chilli Festival and would strongly recommend this event to chilli lovers and non-chilli lovers alike for a fantastic family day out.

    Stacey @Chillilicious

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