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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Jekka's HerbFest Speakers & Demonstrators

In alphabetical order

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'. 

Saturday - Sunday

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.


Charles Dowding

Charles Dowding has brought the virtues of no dig to a worldwide audience and his methods are used by huge numbers of gardeners, who rejoice in the simplicity and the time saved. He has written ten books with two more in the pipeline, and offers online courses in no dig and growing vegetables, through his website.


Kate Durr

TV presenter, award-winning garden designer and former creative director of Highgrove’s hugely popular festivals. Kate will be the compère in Candide‘s Gardening Corner for Jekka's HerbFest, bringing her infectious enthusiasm and fascination for all things food and plants. She is a passionate proponent of gardening for better physical, social and mental health.

Friday - Saturday - Sunday

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

Romy Gill is a British/Indian chef, food writer, author and broadcaster. Romy is one of the chefs on the new series of Ready Steady Cook on BBC One and is writing her next book The Himalyan Trail - Kashmir to Leh. Published by Hardie Grant, out in April 2022. She was the owner and head chef at Romy’s Kitchen in our local town, Thornbury and, in 2016, she was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours list.


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.


To be annouced

Simon Mills, MA FCPP FNIMH

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 is 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. Simon now works as Herbal Strategist at Pukka Herbs.


Sally Nex

Sally Nex is a gardener and garden writer based in Somerset. She has been developing sustainable, low-carbon and eco-friendly gardening methods since 2013, and has written two books and many articles about this, and about veg growing more generally. She writes for The Garden (the RHS journal), BBC Gardeners’ World magazine and Telegraph Gardening. Sally also teaches online and via email mentoring, and give talks to gardening clubs across the south of England.


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.

Saturday - Sunday

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.

Friday - Saturday

Naomi Slade

Naomi Slade is a leading writer, award-winning show garden designer and gardening consultant. A regular magazine and radio contributor, she has a column in Garden News and her six books to date include the acclaimed Plant Lover’s Guide to Snowdrops, An Orchard Odyssey and Hydrangeas; Lilies is out in May. With a background in biology and a keen interest in the environment, Naomi’s extensive collection of apple trees and boutique apple juice enterprise is a celebration of flavour, heritage and sustainability.


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 an ward winning 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 and her next book Attracting Garden Pollinators comes out next spring.

Friday - Saturday - Sunday

Tamsin 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

Food at Jekka's HerbFest

Folk House Cafe

Visit their website

Music at Jekka's HerbFest

Road Not Taken & Galette

6 O'clock Gin

6 O’clock Gin is a range of strikingly-smooth artisan gins, handcrafted in small batches, using traditional skills and only the best natural ingredients. They are a craft gin brand owned and operated by the family-run, artisan spirit company, Bramley & Gage, based in Thornbury on the outskirts of Bristol. The name was inspired by their long-held family tradition of indulging in a G&T at 6 o’clock; a custom still enjoyed at the distillery and shared by gin-lovers all over the world.

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Dr. Gelato

Bringing gourmet gelato to the UK using only the best organic fresh ingredients for a punchy taste and silky texture. Making only small batches designed to pique your curiosity and capture your imagination. All flavours change seasonally alongside experimental flavour explosions from the lab that you won’t find anywhere else. Gluten free, dairy free, low fat and vegan options.

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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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Honey's Cider

A family run business who proudly make a scrumptious full bodied craft cider using classic Somerset apple varieties and traditional techniques. Honey’s Cider love every part of their cider making process from pressing the apples in the autumn to drinking and selling it in the spring. When it comes to Somerset Cider they are the real deal, using only the best heritage varieties of West Country apples and wild yeasts to produce exceptional quality cider on their farm just outside Bath, Somerset.

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National Institute of Medical Herbalists

First established in 1864, the National Institute of Medical Herbalists is the largest body of western herbal practitioners in the UK, whose vision is a world where herbal medicine is a recognised and respected healthcare option for all. They, and their members, are committed to creating a better, healthier future for everyone. Feel better– see a herbalist

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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.

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Gardeners Questions

West of England Herb Group

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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 - 4:30pm

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