Press Release: Public nominate Chilli Fiesta a Hospitality Hero 2016 dates announced

West Dean's highly popular Chilli Fiesta has been crowned Hospitality Hero in The Celebration of Sussex Life Awards which commends local businesses who care about the countryside and the future of the region. The awards highlight, showcase and champion the outstanding food, drink and hospitality industries in Sussex. The companies featured in the awards were nominated by the public and ranged from local producers and suppliers to small farming businesses, restaurants, chefs, pubs and hoteliers. Chilli Fiesta is a family-friendly annual summer festival that attracts visitors who come to enjoy a full programme of live music, food and entertainment. Many people camp for the weekend in the spectacular grounds of the Estate in the heart of the South Downs National Park.

"West Dean Gardens' Chilli Fiesta has gone from strength to strength since its humble beginnings in 1995," says Sam Moore, Public Events Manager. "It is fantastic to be nominated and win this prestigious award in its 20th anniversary year, which attracted a record-breaking 25,000 visitors. It is a fitting tribute to the amazing teamwork involved in staging an event of this size."

Dates for Chilli Fiesta 2016 have now been announced (5, 6 and 7 August 10.30am - 11pm, Sunday 9pm). In celebration of the award West Dean Gardens has released a special offer camping tickets only available until 31 October. Book online now at

The Awards were made by a handpicked panel of high-profile judges who all live and work in Sussex. The awards were presented at a special event at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Thursday 1 October. West Dean Gardens beat off stiff competition in their category with the nominees including Lord March, Goodwood Estate and Melanie McAlpine, Fishers Farm Park.

The judging panel said they were looking for quality over quantity, focusing on good comments from the public rather than simply the number of votes.


Notes to editors

  • West Dean Gardens is part of the Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust, also comprising West Dean College, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • For group bookings for 10 or more please call +44 (0)1243 818221.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • Any journalist interested in visiting the gardens, attending a course or an event for news or review purposes should contact the Media Relations Team.
  • West Dean College and Gardens are situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and six miles south of Midhurst.

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Media Contact Information

For further information and high-resolution digital images, please contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Relations Officer, +44 (0)1243 818301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ