WHATEVER the weather, things will be hotting up at Walton Hall on May 16 and 17.

The grounds of the estate will be playing host to Chilli Fest when around 30 stalls will be showcasing and selling some of the hottest chillies in the world like bhut jolokias, cultivated in Bangladesh and India, and scorpions from Trinidad.

Some of the exhibitors are coming from as far as Holland.

So expect visitors to come in armed only with bravado and come out gasping for water .

Organiser Alexander Mustang said: "There will be something there for everybody from people who like blow-your-brains-out extreme heat down to those who are just curious about chilli.

"What people will be spoilt for is the variety of chilli products that will be on display. It is almost like a museum of chilli in that respect.

"We will have everything from Carolina reapers, which are the hottest chillies in the world, all the way down to jalapenos."

Londoner Alexander has hosted 16 festivals across the country this year and admitted the fiery spirit of the event does strange things to people.

The 45-year-old added: "This is not like your normal event where people just go and have a great time.

"People will come from near and far just to suffer pain for that day or two. They will put themselves through hell.

"It becomes a competition of who can take the heat. I saw one guy. He was probably about 21 and he was suffering.

"I took him to one side and gave him a glass of milk and said: ‘Calm down, that’s enough now for you’ and five minutes later he was back on it again.

"Why do it? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the challenge but they love it.

"Some people think they can start at the top and work their way down.

"But that’s not the right way of going about it. It’s like walking into a fire and then looking for a bucket of water."

Visitors can also expect everything from chilli cheese and chilli chocolate to chilli mojitos and chilli beers at the bar.

Alexander said: "You can even get chilli cakes now and we’ve got a special master chef Aunty Jee who is going to make these long stuffed chilli peppers. They are about 18 inches long.

"You’re only limited by your own imagination. When the chilli scene started it was all about chilli sauces and it’s slowly evolved.

"Now we’ve even got a guy who specialises in chilli art – water paintings of chillies. Believe it or not that is his livelihood."

- Chilli Fest is at Walton Hall on May 16 and 17 between 10am and 5.30pm. Admission is free but a parking charge of £3.50 applies.