Musicians playing their instruments in the grounds of Fulham Palace

Chillifest 2020 is the best fun you can have while crying

Sprinkle a little spice into your life at this year’s hottest outdoor event as the borough’s annual Chillifest returns for a socially-distanced summer fiesta at Fulham Palace.

With live music from seven-piece Latin jazz group Banda Bomba, chilli tasting and displays, the al fresco event next month is set to be a sizzling day out for all the family.

A selection of chillies on display with hand-written information labels
Fifty different varieties of chillies will be on show

Featuring up to 50 different varieties of chillies on show, ranging from the mild no-heat Trinidad Perfume chilli pepper, through to habanero and Scotch Bonnet varieties to the extreme Ghost chillies, the event is a treat for all tastebuds.

Kicking off at noon on Sunday 13 September in the grounds of Fulham Palace in Bishop’s Avenue, the event will involve a brave display team tasting the varieties on show, before visitors have chance to try out the spicy peppers for themselves.

Chillifest 2020 organiser Theo Antipas explains: “There will be a whole range of chillies, some with interesting names like ‘Bleeding Kraken Scorpion’.

“Some unusual ones include the ‘space chilli’, which got its name because Chinese scientists sent the parent chilli up to space to see what it would do to the plant’s DNA, and found they grow bigger and faster than other chillies.

“Chillifest is the best fun you can have while crying!”

Fulham Horticultural Society

This year’s event is a must-visit in the horticultural calendar as Chillifest joins forces with the Fulham Horticultural Society for a display of its members’ prized produce, as well as featuring a heaviest veg competition, which would normally be staged at nearby allotments.

Band playing in the background with a woman displaying her chillies on a table in the foreground
Chillifest 2020 kicks off at noon on Sunday 13 September in the grounds of Fulham Palace in Bishop’s Avenue

With nine categories including heaviest tomato, onion, cabbage, pumpkin, carrot and potato, the contest will be an unmissable spectacle.

Green-fingered locals will also battle it out for the title of longest runner bean and tallest sunflower, as well as the much-contested biggest marrow category, as growers wheel their enormous veggies to the competition by wheelbarrow.

The FHS will also be fielding displays from its top growers, with some of the fresh vegetables and flowers available to buy, as an alternative to its usual autumn show.

FHS chairman Eddie Robinson says: “The planned event for September 13 in the Fulham Palace gardens provides us with a wonderful opportunity to display our vegetables and flowers now that our Annual Show is not taking place owing to lockdown restrictions.

“There will be no formal judging this year, so this provides an opportunity for our top growers to show an interesting and unusual display of produce. We look forward to a good turnout.”

For more information about the Fulham Horticultural Society visit their website.

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