The warmer weather seems safely upon us, which means Festival Season has kicked off! Food, drinks and festival are three words that a few years ago may not have solicited the most positive of adjectives, but nowadays even music festivals have brilliant gastronomic offerings – we the public seem to be a more discerning bunch… Now there are a plethora of amazing food and drinks festivals that are cropping up all over the country in the next few months, and we are VERY excited. Read on for our selection of the ones worth visiting. Think artisanal produce, informative talks and demos, food & wine pairings, and craft beers, all soundtracked to live music and set in charming gardens and parks. Time to get jolly…
Taste of London, Regent’s Park, June 13th-17th
Join chefs from London’s best restaurants, including Barrafina, Sorella and Bao, offering taster size dishes cooked live. There will be over 200 people from the food and drink industry showcasing top quality produce, giving masterclasses and demos! Brands like Laurent Perrier and Tanqueray will be present to offer great drinks too. Celebrity Cruises are unveiling their new onboard menus, inspired by locations such as Tuscany, which Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer of The Wine Show will be pairing wines with. Come to taste, learn and enjoy!
https://london.tastefestivals.com/. From £17.
BBC Good Food Show (Birmingham), 14th-17th June
BBC Good Food has organised for many talented chefs and cooking TV stars to talk food. Listen to Mary Berry, James Martin, Michel Roux Jr and many others share their tips and passion for great produce and cooking. Make sure to take some time to discover artisanal produce in the BBC Good Food Champions area.
Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival, Montpellier Gardens, 15th-17th June
Perhaps most famous for its literature festival or horses, Cheltenham this year is home to a brilliant food and drink festival held in the gorgeous Montpellier Gardens. Set to a soundtrack of folk, jazz and classical music, immerse yourself fully in this glorious 3-day celebration of the best food and drink. There are over 140 different local and international treats on the market stalls, demonstrations, talks and street food vendors for you to enjoy. Amelia Singer of the Wine Show and Oz Clarke will be there to educate and surprise you!
https://garden-events.com/. From £4.
Manchester Eats, Heaton Park, 7th & 8th July
Indulge and explore a huge variety of cuisines and beautiful treats in the spectacular grade-II listed grounds at Heaton Park. Don’t just eat your way to contentment – try the best craft ales on offer and expand your gin knowledge at this comprehensive festival. Don’t miss the stunning gardens and prosecco tent!
http://www.manchestereats.co.uk/info/. From £7.50, children free.
Dorset Wine Festival with Oz Clarke, Cranbourne, 7th & 8th July
Head to Cranborne in Dorset and enter the charming gardens of 10 Castle Street. English and Bio Dynamic wines are the focus of the event this year – it’s a cracking way to learn more about these areas of wine! Sample award-winning sparkling wine and over 80-100 other fantastic wines from all over the globe. Learn about great pairings and listen to talks from experts including Oz Clarke. They’ve got some great suppliers and producers, such as Les Caves de Pyrène involved. Not to be missed for all you curious wine lovers!
Knebworth House Food Festival, 21st & 22nd July
The beautiful Knebworth House, with its 250-acre deer park, is this year home to the Great British Food Festival. Try a wide variety of world street food, learn about foraging, get to know artisan producers, and watch stars of the Great British Bake Off create delicious sweet things, and hear their practised secrets! Get involved yourself by entering (or sampling…) the ‘Cake Off’, the Festival’s very own baking competition, with over 500 cakes in the running. If you enter, you get free entry to the whole event…
https://greatbritishfoodfestival.com/knebworth/. From £22.50.
Hampshire Wine Festival, Raimes Vineyards, 22nd July, 2-4pm
Raimes Sparkling Wines has organised a day of tastings at their vineyards opposite National Trust Hinton Ampner House! Over twelve sparkling and still wines will be on offer, alongside some great regional produce. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet winemakers, take part in workshops such as ‘Behind the Bubbles’ (a comparison of sparkling wine styles from around the world) and of course to try some fantastic local wines.
Great British Beer Festival, Olympia London, 7th Aug-11th Aug
If you’re a lover of beer, cider, perry and wine then head down to Olympia in London in August. There will nearly a thousand (!) real ales from microbreweries across Britain, and some British favourites too. Limited edition brews will be especially showcased here alongside hundreds of bottled beers from around the country and beyond! The vibe is relaxed – like your local. Expect pub quizzes, crisps and some family fun, with great street food and live music for you to enjoy with a glass of the fizzy stuff.
https://www.gbbf.org.uk. From £11.
MEATOPIA, Tobacco Docks, London 31st Aug-2nd Sept; The Open Gate Brewery, Dublin 6th-8th July
Meatopia returns to London and Dublin this summer! A famous US-export brought to the UK by chef Richard H Turner, the festival celebrates all that is great about high-quality, ethically-sourced meat cooked over ethically-sourced wood and charcoal. Some of the world’s leading chefs, from brilliant London restaurants including Som Saa, Berber & Q and Ottolenghi will be here, cooking samples of their delicious food for you to try.
https://meatopia.co.uk/. From £23.85.
Looking for a beer experience all year round? Why not go on a brewery tour? Here‘s our round up of the UK’s best!