August has arrived! This glorious summer month brings with it the promise of sun, sea, sand … as well as the fabulous food and drink that forms an integral part of any wine lover’s holiday. Yes, Winerist readers, we know you well! We appreciate that it can be hard to know where to begin when indulging your love for all things foodie, so to get you started we’ve picked eight of the very best food and drinks events taking place all around the globe this month. From garlic fudge to truffle hunting, we guarantee that there’s something for everyone, and more than one experience that will broaden your horizons in ways you never imagined! (Yes, I’m still talking about the garlic fudge).
Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
18th & 19th August 2018
Fighting Cocks Crossroads, Sandown, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Now that I’ve caught your attention with the aforementioned garlic fudge, it seems appropriate to begin with the Isle of Wight Garlic Festival! This two-day festival celebrates everything that’s great about our favourite bulb, with ‘Britain’s most pungent garlic’, produced on the Isle of Wight by the award-winning Garlic Farm (the clue’s in the name) at the heart of the event.
If that all sounds a little too … well, garlicky, let me reassure you that there’s so much more on offer. Visitors can sample some of the very best produce that the Isle has to offer, including meat, vegetables, wine, and cider, alongside a funfair, cooking demonstrations, falconry, and – wait for it – a Sunday evening appearance by none other than legendary West Country singing sensations, The Wurzels. Yes, really! This really is fantastic foodie fun for all the family in the stunning surroundings of the beautiful Isle of Wight.
There’s also garlic ice cream. Just so you know.
The Boston Seafood Festival
5th August 2018
On the historic Boston Fish Pier, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Okay, so on the face of things, the Boston Fish Pier may not necessarily sound like the most glamorous of locations to visit if you’re Stateside this summer. However, head down on Sunday August 5th and you’ll have a wonderful day experiencing the best that New England seafood has to offer. Seafood is the region’s oldest industry (if you’ve ever tried Maine lobster, you’ll know exactly why it’s prospered for so long) and this day celebrates everything that’s great about one of New England’s most important natural resources.
The proceedings are truly All-American, featuring events such as a lobster bake, a fish cutting contest and even something entitled ‘Battle of the Shuckers’ which promises ‘rockstar status’ should you prove yourself to be the best Shucker in the state of Massachusetts! I’ll speculate no more on that.
As you’d expect, all this excitement takes place alongside a plethora of insanely good seafood – lobster, crab and oysters are all on the menu and there’s truly no better place in the world to try them.
Canberra Truffle Festival
Various activities throughout the month
Canberra Region, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
If you’re planning a trip to the Land Down Under this August, make sure you pay a visit to Australia’s capital city and the surrounding areas to participate in the Canberra Truffle Festival. The Festival runs from June through to August and celebrates not only the area’s famous truffles, but the whole region and the unique food and dining experiences that can be enjoyed in Australia’s winter months.
Choose from a programme of wonderful gourmet events, from following the truffle hounds on their quest to unearth the perfect truffle in the brilliantly titled L’Air Du Wombat Truffle Hunt, to an opulent 10 Course Truffle Degustation Lunch in the heart of Canberra courtesy of Aussie chef Thomas Heinrich. Heinrich has compiled an intoxicating ten-course menu combining Australian, Japanese, Greek, Italian and Filipino influences, supported of course by an extensive selection of international wines! Visit the website for the full programme.
The Edinburgh Festival & Festival Fringe
3rd – 27th August 2018
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
The iconic Edinburgh Festival & Festival Fringe takes place in the heart of Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful cities in the world and a thriving hotspot for arts and entertainment throughout the month of August, with people flocking from all over the world to take part in a month of seriousness, silliness and everything in between!
However, arts aside, there are also numerous food and drink events running at the festivals this month that can provide a welcome break from the comedy tents. Some of our favourites include getting adventurous on the Edinburgh Gin Safari, where you discover that ‘of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, Edinburgh is the best’ – or in true Scottish fashion, heading over to A Dram is Worth a Thousand Words for a unique three-dram tasting courtesy of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
Details of these events and many, many more can be found online.
Portimão Sardine Festival
1st – 5th August 2018
Algarve, Zona Ribeirinha de Portimão, Portimão, Portugal
Now in its’ 24th year, the Portimão Sardine Festival proudly proclaims itself as the most famous annual sardine festival on the Algarve coast! And there you were not even knowing that there was one famous sardine festival, let alone enough to invite competition …
Anyway, this event is in fact really quite fabulous. The sardine has been an integral part of Portugese culture and tradition for centuries, with this tasty little fish enjoyed up and down the coast by visitors and locals alike (Winerist Top Sardine Cooking Tip: grill over a charcoal fire and serve with traditional Portuguese bread. Delicious!)
Over the course of 5 days, the Algarve celebrates the sensational sardine with a blend of gastronomy, live music and entertainment. Restaurants throw open their doors all along the seafront to serve fishy treats to passers-by, whilst there is live music by the sea every evening. It’s charming, atmospheric and an absolute must-do for any seafood lover.
Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival
22nd – 26th August 2018
Los Angeles, California, USA
The Los Angeles Food and Wine festival is every bit as glamorous and gourmet as you’d expect from the city that’s home to the iconic Hollywood Hills, a whole pack of superstar celebrities and some of the most five-star food and wine experiences to be found in the whole of the United States.
This five-day epicurean extravaganza showcases the absolute best of California’s food and drink culture in high style, taking over the city in the pursuit of all things gastronomical. As one of the most prolific wine producing regions in the world, this really is the ultimate foodie festival destination. Think power lunches with celebrity chefs, a Saturday night block party with craft beer, home-grown wine and DJs – and our favourite event, the Lexus Grand Tasting, where attendees have the opportunity to sample over 200 wines from some of the most prestigious wineries around the world.
Barossa Gourmet Weekend
31st August – 2nd September 2018
Barossa Valley, Southern Australia
South Australia is one of Australia’s oldest and finest wine regions, producing some absolutely sensational wines in world-famous vineyards – if you’ve not sampled a Barossa Shiraz, you’ve not lived!
The Barossa Gourmet weekend takes place just as our friends Down Under begin to move into springtime and celebrates this season of growth and renewal with 32 events which showcase authentic regional produce alongside a stunning selection of world-class wines. Think secret tastings, intimate lunches and creative cooking classes which are designed to let visitors enjoy the very best that this glorious Australian region has to offer.
We recommend the Gourmet Trail, which features seven events across the region at some well-known vineyards including Gibson Wines, Kellermeister and Murray Street Vineyards. Visitors are transported by bus to enjoy a stunning mix of wine, food and music in classic Australian convivial style. There’s no better way to escape the impending English autumn!
The Notting Hill Carnival
25th – 27th August
Notting Hill, London, United Kingdom
No calendar of August events would be truly complete without a nod to perhaps the most iconic festival in the whole of the UK, and beyond – the Notting Hill carnival.
For one weekend every year since 1959, the attractive, affluent Royal Borough of Kensingon and Chelsea in Central London has been transformed into a truly breathtaking whirlwind of carnival, complete with some of the most delicious street food that you’re likely to find … well, anywhere. The Carnival is free to attend and is an incredible celebration of Caribbean culture that engulfs the London streets with parades, performances, parties, and a whole lot of glitter!
The Grand Finale on Monday 27th August is the highlight of the event – there are all kinds of scrumptious treats and drinks on offer (the Caribbean theme means that rum of all varieties is flowing!) as well as a magnificent parade that’s utterly unforgettable and will have you dancing to the rhythm of steel drums all the way home.
Are you a fan of food festivals? See our top picks for food & drinks festivals in the UK this summer! We think travelling through food and drink is the best way to do it… Have a browse of our tours here.