CROWDS of heat seekers enjoyed a day out with a difference this weekend as the annual Holker Chilli Fest got underway.
The two-day event saw those with a love of fiery food flock to Holker Hall and Gardens on Saturday and Sunday to sample some of the hottest, chilli-inspired dishes on the planet.
The event also saw 20 competitors put their taste buds to the test in a daring chilli eating contest with only the bravest making it through to the final rounds.
Heather Creasey, Holker Hall manager, said even the weather had been warm for the popular festival.
“Chilli Fest was an out and out success with lots of people arriving in search of food with a kick.
“It was fantastic to welcome so many people to Holker. The atmosphere was excellent with chilli-inspired dishes and products and a whole schedule of fun, family entertainment.”
While many visitors enjoyed browsing more than 40 stalls in the chilli market, others sat back to enjoy food in the September sunshine.
Meanwhile families enjoyed a fun chilli trail through the gardens for youngsters.
Then, at 4pm on each of the afternoons began the ultimate test for taste buds – the 2019 Holker chilli eating competition.
Competitors made it through eight gruelling rounds of chilli eating, climbing far up the scorching Scoville Scale – the official measure of potency.
Heather added: “The chilli eating contest really is a tough test, even for those who love the heat.
“It drew a big crowd in The Courtyard and the atmosphere was fantastic, rounding off what has been an excellent weekend all round.”