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The heat will be on for Eastnor Castle this weekend as they prepare for the arrival of the world’s hottest chilli, ready for the infamous Chilli Eating Competition at their 6th annual Chilli Festival.

Running from Sunday 30th April to Monday 1st May, the Eastnor Chilli Festival is a celebration of all things chilli and visitors can expect to see the Castle Courtyard transformed into a Chilli Marketplace selling a huge range of chilli products such as chocolate, bread, cake, vodka and chutney as well as grow-your-own chilli plants. Visitors can also enjoy cookery demonstrations from local chefs, music and entertainment. Now in its 6th year, this popular event will include over 60 stalls and something to entertain all ages including music from the Roving Crows who are playing both days. There will also be a number of specialist hot food suppliers selling authentic Asian curries and spicy foods.

A huge highlight of both days is the Chilli Eating Competition which is facilitated by Bristol based, Clifton Chilli Club. The competition sees contestants attempt to eat a wide range of chillies which gradually increase in heat until they are unable to carry on any further. In their arsenal of chillies this year is the world’s hottest chilli; the Carolina Reaper, which measures an average of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Put into context, a Jalapeno chilli measures 3,000 – 6,000 SHU. Contestants rarely reach the Carolina Reaper but if two or more that get to that level then a huge chilli nicknamed 'The Intimidator' is used and the first person to consume and show a clear mouth is the winner.

David Littlewood, General Manager at Eastnor Castle said “We look forward to the Chilli Festival every year and the Chilli Eating Competition is a huge highlight both for us and for the crowd on the Valley Lawn. We can’t wait to see whether any contestants will be able to reach the Carolina Reaper this year. As always, we’ll make sure we supply the contestants with plenty of milk to help cool their mouths down once they are knocked out of the competition”

Tickets for the Eastnor Chilli Festival are available to purchase online from Pre-booking is highly recommended as tickets are limited and Eastnor Castle are unable to guarantee there will be any available on the day. Tickets are priced at £11.00 for adults, £7.00 for children and £30.00 for families (2 adults and 3 children). Gates are open from 11.00am until 5.30pm both days.