Jekka's HerbFest 2021

A celebration in the growing & use of herbs

with expert talks, gardening workshops and cookery demonstrations

Jekka's HerbFest

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What's on

Jekka's HerbFest Speakers & Demonstrators

In alphabetical order

Matthew Biggs

Matthew Biggs, is a gardener, writer and broadcaster, best known as panellist on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’. A prolific author, he has written many books on gardening and associated subjects including,  ‘Allotment Days’ ‘Matthew Biggs’ Complete Book of Vegetables’ and ‘Incredible Edibles’. He has a passion for plants and their histories, has his own Heritage Apple Orchard and fills his vegetable plot with rare, unusual and heritage varieties.

Chris Colins

Head of Organic Horticulture at Garden Organic and formerly BBC Blue Peter Gardener and Head Gardener at Westminster Abbey. In 2007, Chris was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh medal for his services to horticulture and he was part of the team that won a silver medal at Chelsea in 2010, with 'The Garden That Kids Really Want'. 

Mark Diacono

Mark is lucky enough to spend most of his time eating, growing, writing and talking about food. He has written ten books, including his new book, Sour, published in 2019. A Year at Otter Farm and A Taste of the Unexpected both won Food Book of the Year. Known for growing everything from Szechuan pepper to pecans to Asian pears, Mark's refreshing approach to growing and eating has done much to inspire a new generation to grow some of what they eat.

Josh Eggleton

Josh runs the acclaimed Pony and Trap in Chew Magna, one of few pubs in Britain to hold a Michelin star, where he serves up modern British food with an emphasis on sustainability and artisanship. A leader in the Bristol Food scene running the Eat Drink Bristol Fashion and most recently masterminded the Channel 4 series called The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes.

Romy Gill MBE

Romy is a British/Indian chef, food writer, and broadcaster. She was the owner and head chef at Romy’s Kitchen. In 2016 she was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours list. Romy is joining the new series of Ready Steady Cook on BBC One and has previously appeared on Celebrity MasterChef, The Hairy Bikers’ Comfort Food, James Martin’s Saturday Morning and much more! Romy released her debut cookbook ZAIKA – Vegan recipes from India, in September 2019.

To be annouced

Rob Howell

Rob Howell is the head chef at Root, a veg-centric restaurant in Bristol's Wapping Wharf owned by chef Josh Eggleton. Previously head chef at Josh's Michelin-starred pub The Pony & Trap, he helped set up Root in 2017 and now runs it with his wife Megan Oakley covering front of house. Root is a Bib Gourmand restaurant in the 2020 MICHELIN Guide and 2nd on the Sunday Times list of the 30 best places for great food on a budget.

Tim Jones

Tim ‘no-dig’ Jones has been in charge of the Pony & Trap Garden since 2016. He is responsible for growing a range of top quality produce for the Michelin star restaurant. According to Josh, he is without doubt the most exuberant chap at the Pony & Trap.

Simon Mills, MA FCPP

Simon has been a herbal practitioner in Exeter since 1977. He is an acclaimed international speaker on a range of topics, including herbal and traditional medicines, and natural approaches to modern health problems and author of standard textbooks in the subject. He is a Cambridge medical sciences graduate and has been at the forefront of the development of herbal, complementary and integrated medicine.

Alexandra Noble

Alexandra specialises in the creation of outstanding high-end residential gardens and landscapes. Her practice has most recently won RHS People’s Choice Award for the Health and Wellbeing Garden at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018 and founder Alexandra was named as one of Pro Landscaper’s 30 Under 30; The Next Generation - an accolade which recognises the horticulture industry’s top young professionals.

Nathan Outlaw

Widely seen as a master of fish cookery, Nathan is owner of the self-titled Restaurant Nathan Outlaw  (2 Michelin stars) and the less formal Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen (1 Michelin star) in Port Isaac, Cornwall.  Having achieved many accolades throughout his career, Waitrose & Partners Good Food Guide scored Restaurant Nathan Outlaw a rare ten out of ten in 2019 and 2020. Nathan has appeared on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef, the Professionals and has published 5 books; the latest being ‘Restaurant Nathan Outlaw’, a collection of seafood recipes and editorial about all that goes into running his 2 Michelin starred restaurant.

Barbara Segall

Leading garden and plant writer on herbs, fruits and vegetables. Herbs are among the plants Barabara would have on her desert island, so it is only natural that they feature regularly in her work, including in four books on herbs: The Herb Garden Month by Month, The Ultimate Herb Gardener, The Herb Garden Workbook and A Handful of Herbs.

Jo Thompson

Listed by House and Garden magazine as one of the country’s top ten garden designers, she has been the recipient of four Gold and five Silver Gilt medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and in 2017 she won the People’s Choice award at the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Jo’s exquisite planting technique has led her to be considered one of the UK’s leading plantswomen.

Jean Vernon

Jean is a freelance garden writer. She writes about wildlife for the RHS Journal – The Garden and is a contributor to the gardening section of The Daily Telegraph. She has written many articles on bees, wild bees and the needs and diversity of garden bees. Passionate about nature and the environment since a youngster, her first book - The Secret Lives of Garden bees was published March 2020.

Tasmin Westhorpe

With over 25 years’ in the horticultural industry, Tamsin Westhorpe is an experienced horticultural journalist, including editing The English Garden magazine for six years, gardener, RHS Chelsea Flower Show Judge, co-Chair of The Garden Media Guild and lecturer. Tamsin is also the voice behind two new Candide Podcasts.


Jekka McVicar VMH

Organisations, Food & Artisan Stalls

Bath Soft Cheeses

Award-winning organic cheese made by hand at Park Farm, Kelston near Bath with milk from their own cows. Including the historic Bath Soft Cheese, Wyfe of Bath, the Merry Wyfe and the 2014 World Champion Bath Blue Cheese.They take a traditional approach both to how they raise and graze their small herd of 160 mainly Holstein Friesian cows and to their artisan, handmade, hands-on cheese-making. They are entirely organic and are registered with Organic Farmers and Growers.

Visit their website

To be annouced

Gilbert & Swayne

Master chocolatier, Jane Swayne, specialises in creating delicious chocolates with fresh herbs, spices & fresh fruit purees. 

Gilbert & Swayne was created by Jane Swayne in 2013 and is based in a converted barn, overlooking Glastonbury Tor, in the village of Baltonsborough, Somerset. Winner of numerous Great Taste Awards & chosen as one of 10 of the best artisans in the land by Olive Food magazine.

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National Institute of Medical Herbalists

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists is the largest body of traditional western herbal practitioners in the UK. Their vision is a world where herbal medicine is a recognised and respected healthcare option for all, and they liaise with the Department of Health, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and policy makers to ensure their voice is heard where it matters.

Visit their website

Wild Sage + Co

Wild Sage and Co is a family run business nestled in the valleys of the river Wye. From their countryside cottage, they create cold processed soaps, skin loving balms and all natural skin care. They also grow a lot of the herbs that make their way into their products in the garden. Their products are based on their own home made remedies, tried and tested throughout the years on family and friends.

Visit their website

Village Pottery

Jen’s passion for pottery and creating with her hands shines through every piece she makes. Since studying at Cardiff, Jen has nurtured her love for hand-crafted objects and believes the story of the maker is in each piece created, giving it a soul and the ability to bring joy in their everyday use. Developing over the years, Jen has grown The Village Pottery into an established business that now offers lessons, personalised commissions and bespoke tableware designs for Michelin star restaurants.

Visit their website

West of England Herb Group

Visit their website

Press enquiries

We are very excited to be hosting our first ever Jekka's HerbFest. For further information about Jekka’s HerbFest or images of Jekka’s, the Herb Farm and Jekka’s Herbetum please contact with your requirements.


Jekka's HerbFest is being hosted at Jekka's Herb Farm in South Gloucestershire,

Friday 2nd July - Sunday 4th July
10:00am - 4:00pm

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