THIS weekend sees the the start of Hampshire's annual month-long feast of food events.

Hampshire Food Festival, organised by Rownhams-based Hampshire Fare, begins on Saturday and run throughout July

Now in its eighteenth year, this award-winning festival promises more than 60 tempting events for food lovers.

Tracy Nash, from Hampshire Fare explains: “The festival is a chance to meet the talented producers responsible for some of our county’s top food and drink products. There is something for all ages, tastes and budgets so have a look on the Hampshire Fare website and plan your July around the flavours of our fabulous county!”

Events include cookery masterclasses; vineyard, distillery and brewery tours; pop-up dinners; festival menus; markets and tasting events and farm visits.

The first day of the festival will include a Pork Pie and Cider Festival at Ringwood's Crow Farm Shop and a pop-up fresh fish restaurant run by JS Fresh Fish at Southampton's Shamrock Quay.

On Sunday there's a "Celebration of Hampshire" at The King’s Head in Hursley complete with barbecue, artisan market and wines from Berry Bros & Rudd and the Cabinet Rooms, in Winchester, is running a Red Snappers masterclass on how to make the gin and tomato juice cocktail.

Next week (July 3-4 and 5) there will be chances to visit Lyburn Farm, near Landford, for a tractor and trailer ride around the farm before sitting down to a cheese supper.

Hampshire-based Masterchef winner Jane Devonshire,who has cooked with the likes of Michel Roux and Marcus Wareing, has teamed up with The Chestnut Horse at Easton, near Winchester, to create a seven-course tasting menu showcasing Hampshire’s produce which she will be serving up on Thursday of next week (July 5)). the evening will also raise money for the Ark cancer charity.

Hampshire's other Masterchef winner, Shelina Permalloo, will be hosting A Mauritian Summer Soiree with to showcase the best of modern Mauritian street food at the studio of kitchen designers, The Myers Touch, in Winchester, on July 7.

Southampton first Cocktail Week (July 16-22) at various venue around the city, the Curdridge Show (Jul 14) and the Vineyards Hampshire Wine Festival (July 22), which is at Raimes Vineyard at Tichborne this year, are among the other events coming under the food festival umbrella.

The festival is sponsored by the county's own mineral water firm Hildon, based at Broughton.

Details of all events and offers can be found on the Hampshire Fare website.