Great Kent Chilli Festival comes to Hole Park

The Great Kent Chilli Festival

The Great Kent Chilli Festival will be held for the first time on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July 2018 at Hole Park Gardens, near Cranbrook in Kent. 

The organisers have lined up a hot weekend of chillies, with stalls selling chilli sauces, chilli jams and chutneys, and chilli plants.  There will be cooking demonstrations; talks on growing chillies; artisan food producers; music; international street food; a chilli cook-off and of course chilli-eating competitions.

“Our Chilli Festivals are great fun”, said organiser Miles Halton from SureFire Events.  “They appeal to everyone from chilli enthusiasts to food lovers and families.  We already hold a successful Chilli Festival in Dorset but this is our first event in Kent so we are hoping everyone will come along to Hole Park and join in the fun. This may be a food festival but there will also be live music all day to listen to whilst sipping a local pint of ale or cider to calm the tingling taste buds.

“For our younger visitors there will be plenty of milder food for the gentler palette and, of course, some bouncy castles (for older AND younger children), an inflatable slide, a mini-carousel, coconut shy (yay!), and face painting.”


On Sunday, there will be the chilli-con-carne cook-off between 10 pre-registered teams run by the UK Chilli Cook-off Association.  The teams will battle it out for the Kent title and a place at the national finals. The contestants have 4 hours to cook a gallon of chilli-con-carne from scratch, which is then put before a panel of judges and a public vote. The winning team goes on to cook in the UK Finals. The UK winner at the end of the summer qualifies to compete in the World Food Championships in Alabama!  The entry fee is £10 per team (teams can be made up of any number of people). First prize is £150, second prize £75 and third prize £25!  Register at


Those who dare can take part in a chilli eating competition at 4.00pm on both days. Ten rounds of increasingly hot chillies for the competitors and plenty of hilarity for the spectators. 


The public get a chance to judge the chilli sauce competition! The stall holders will be invited to enter their sauces for a blind tasting test by festival visitors.


The Great Kent Chilli Festival will be held at the well-known Hole Park near Cranbrook. The stunning gardens were voted Visit Kent’s Garden of the Year in 2016, and entry to the 16 acre garden is included in the chilli festival ticket.

Dates: Saturday 30 and Sunday 1 July 2018

Times: 10.00 – 17.00

Venue: Hole Park, Rolvenden, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 4JA

Tickets are available in advance from the website or on the day at the gate.  Adult advance tickets £5.90, on the gate £7.50. Children advance tickets (11-15) £2.50 and £3.00 on the gate. Family Ticket in advance (2 adults, 3 children) £14.50 and £18.00 on the gate.  10 and under free.


Free parking.