Jekka's HerbFest 2023

A celebration in the growing & use of herbs

with expert talks, gardening workshops and cookery demonstrations

Jekka's HerbFest 2023

Buy Tickets

What's on

See the 2021 Highlights

More speakers and demonstrators being announced shortly!

Jekka's HerbFest Speakers & Demonstrators

In alphabetical order

Arit Anderson

Arit Anderson is a garden and landscaper designer, writer, podcaster and TV presenter. She is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute, Trustee for the National Garden Scheme, RHS Ambassador for the Environment and Community, and co-founder of the Sustainable Landscape Foundation. 

Working as presenter for Gardeners World and writing for national publications has enabled Arit to publicise issues about the future of gardening in an ever-changing climate, and promote solutions to the wider public.


Bee McGovern

Bee is passionate about sharing her knowledge and encouraging reconnection with nature at all levels. Bee is a Medical Herbalist and Botanist with over 15 years clinical experience. Education and empowerment are key to her work and alongside her successful clinical practice she runs herb walks and workshops, including experience days at her own medicinal herb garden in Whitchurch.

Nature is her teacher, friend and healer.


Charles Dowding

Charles has made no dig popular and widely used. He develops and explains other time and labour saving methods of gardening, high yielding and nature friendly. Including quick ways of growing and picking salad leaves, multi-sowing vegetables to grow in clumps, making and using compost.

Charles' mission is to encourage as many people as possible to grow their own. Gardening with the no dig method is beneficial for a healthy mind and body, and protects soil life. Carbon is trapped in the ground so there is a general benefit too.


Chris Collins

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 has also worked overseas in both Cameroon and Japan. 


Jean Vernon

Jean is an award-winning writer with a passion for wildlife, pollinators and especially bumblebees and solitary bees. Jean is on a mission to demystify, unravel and explain the intricate balance of nature in your garden and to introduce you to the familiar and unfamiliar bees and pollinators that exist in the garden habitat. Jean will be taking her popular garden-bee tours around the Herbetum during HerbFest. She will be signing copies of her best selling book – The Secret Lives of Garden Bees and her new book Attracting Garden Pollinators.

Friday - Saturday - Sunday

Josh Eggleton

Josh Eggleton is co-owner and chef patron of award-winning The Pony & Trap, which is currently undergoing an exciting refurbishment to return as The Pony Chew Valley. In May of 2021 he opened his new restaurant The Pony North Street, a modern British Bistro in Bedminster, Bristol.

For three consecutive years Josh celebrated his passion for
South West food with his appearances on the BBC’s Great British Menu where he won the regional stage. Josh appears on Channel 4’s The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes, a social project aiming to change how dementia is viewed, which aired in June 2019.


Kate Durr

TV presenter, award-winning garden designer and former creative director of Highgrove’s hugely popular festivals. Kate will be the compère in Jekka'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

Lucy Bellamy

Lucy Bellamy is the former editor of Gardens Illustrated magazine, the ‘Vogue magazine' of the gardening press, and a writer for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, RHS The Garden and Gardeners’ World magazines.  She has written two books, Brilliant and Wild, how to make a garden from scratch in a year, which won Practical Book of the Year and Grow 5, simple seasonal ideas for small outdoor spaces with just five plants.

She lives in Bristol and has a small city garden. 


Mark Diacano

Mark is an award winning food and garden writer, known for growing and cooking everything from Szechuan pepper to asparagus to Korean mint. Twice winner of Food Book of The Year and Garden Book of the Year, Mark has inspired a new generation of people to grow some of what they eat. He has written and photographed 13 books. Mark was also involved with River Cottage in the early days, appearing in the TV series and writing three of the River Cottage Handbook series. His latest book, SPICE/a cook’s companion, was published in 2022.


Matt Biggs

Matthew Biggs is a Kew trained gardener writer and broadcaster, well known for his regular appearances on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Gardeners Question Time’.  Author of sixteen books on horticulture and related subjects, he been a professional gardener for over forty years and has travelled globally to study plants. His interest in their medicinal uses began with his award winning student thesis ‘One person’s drug is another’s poison’. 


Mike Palmer

Mike Palmer is a professional gardener and garden designer with over 25 years’ experience in the horticultural industry.  He is the producer, editor and presenter of the popular Mic The Gardener - Gardening Podcast and is also the chair of the Garden Media Guild.  He has a very popular Instagram account, @mike_thegardener, where he gives regular virtual tours of his beautiful Bournemouth garden and interviews gardening personalities, plantsmen and women, authors, designers and many others.


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

Nick Wray

Nick Wray is a professional horticulturist who has worked at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden for over thirty years. As curator at the garden he is responsible for curating the Botanic Garden’s plant collections and promoting them as an educational and conservation resource.

He has many interests in plants, particularly the flora of South Africa, where he has spent years studying plants in the wild and leading tours to this biodiverse part of the world. He has been South African plant consultant to the Eden Project and a presenter of BBC Gardeners’ World. A member of the RHS Herb Advisory Group, he has judged at many RHS shows including Chelsea. In 2016 he was awarded the RHS Associate of Honour and became a fellow of the Linnaean Society of London.  


Richard Rickitt

Richard Rickitt is co-editor of BeeCraft, the UK's best-selling beekeeping magazine. Richard has been keeping bees for more than twenty years and, as well as his own bees, keeps hives for a number of commercial and private clients. He is beekeeper at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, and teaches beekeeping courses around the UK. He frequently speaks on the subject here, abroad, and on radio and TV, making him one of the UK's best-known beekeepers. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject and is author of the forthcoming book Beekeeping for Gardeners (Bloomsbury).

Saturday - Sunday

Rob Howell

Chef and author Rob Howell has been gaining attention for his vegetable led cooking since opening Root in 2017, soon after being awarded a Michelin Bib-Gourmand. The restaurant is housed in shipping containers in Bristol’s Wapping Wharf. With a second site in Somerset that opened at the end of 2022. 

Rob works with fantastic local ingredients to create simple, honest and produce-driven food. He ensures that Root’s food offering stays unwaveringly fresh, sustainable and, ultimately, delicious.


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.


Sarah Eberle

Sarah Eberle is one of the UK’s foremost landscape and garden designers. She is both a Chartered Landscape Architect and a Fellow of the Landscape Institute (FLI). Sarah has won over 19 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Her Chelsea Flower Show gardens won 'Best in Show' in 2007 and 2017, she has won six Hampton Court Gold medals and in 2022 she was made an RHS Iconic Horticultural Hero.


Simon Mills

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.



Jekka McVicar VMH

Jekka in the press

Organisations, Food & Artisan Stalls


Folk House

Visit their website

Health and wellbeing zone at Jekka's HerbFest

National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Read more


Phil King & friends

Listen online

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.

Visit their website

Cameler Spice Co

Camelēr Spice Co have a mission to propel authentically inspired spice blends into the 21st Century. Milling and blending in-house, our spices are formulated with 100% green energy. Halle and Myles started the business in 2021 with their 100% natural range, curated for health, convenience and multipurpose use. Camelēr creates dynamic award winning spice blends and carefully considered recipes with purpose and respect; for our heritage, our bodies, and the planet.

Visit their website

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.

Visit their website

Honey's Cider

Shorkk is a small, socially minded business based in Bristol with roots in Scotland and Lebanon run by Miranda and Philippe el Khazen. We are about putting premium, ethically traded Lebanese products in UK kitchen cupboards connecting with people, who like us, care about what they cook with, and where it comes from.

Visit their website


Seilich is a unique and award winning natural skincare company. Their products are natural in the truest sense of the word; their ingredients having grown-up freely in a pure and wild place. They are based on powerful Scottish botanicals, handpicked from our wildflower meadow in the Lothians of Scotland. As well as being the source of ingredients, the meadows provide sanctuary for a variety of pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and beetles.

Visit their website


Shorkk is a small, socially minded business based in Bristol with roots in Scotland and Lebanon run by Miranda and Philippe el Khazen. We are about putting premium, ethically traded Lebanese products in UK kitchen cupboards connecting with people, who like us, care about what they cook with, and where it comes from.

visit their website

South Gloucestershire Beekeepers Association

The local branch of the British Beekeepers Association, a charity whose aims are “to further and promote the craft of beekeeping and advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment”.

Want to learn more about what goes on in a hive, or find out how to get into beekeeping? SGBKA members will be on hand to explain this and much more. There will be a range of local honey, direct from the beekeepers, to taste and buy. Come and look at the observation hive, see the bees in action, can you spot the Queen?

visit their website

The Coffee Lada

Mike and Helen provide a barista coffee service from a unique Lada Niva 4x4 car in and around the Cotswolds. They source sustainable coffee roasted locally from the wonderful NONI's coffee roasters and use organic unhomogenised milk from their local dairy for flavour and quality.

Each espresso is prepared with barista skills to create balanced rewarding brews.

Visit their website

The Village Pottery

Jen creates individually hand-thrown ceramics for home and restaurants, designed to be used for many years to come. Jen makes pieces that hope to blend into the fabric of your day making little moments that bit more enjoyable.Working with a natural material which can endlessly be recycled until fired means she can create and develop ideas freely before deciding on the final pieces helping to reduce waste further along the making process. This is especially the case when designing for restaurants who want something little different.

Visit their website

Partners & Sponsors

Supported by


Visit their website

Supported by

NFU Mutual Thornbury

Visit their website

Supported by

Steel Landscaping Co.

Visit their website

Partnered with

Gardens Illustrated

Visit their website

Proudly supporting

St Mungo's - Putting Down Roots

Visit their website

Get involved

Jekka's HerbFest 2023 sponsorship, media, stall and speaker enquiries

Enquire now

Jekka's HerbFest 2023

Jekka's HerbFest 2023 is being hosted at Jekka's Herb Farm in South Gloucestershire

Friday 30th June - Saturday 1st July from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

Get directions