UK Summers are known for their killer line up of music festivals, from muddy Glastonbury to rock-slash-indie-slash-pop-punk Reading and Leads, to full-on-metal festival Download. But what if you’re more ‘foodie’ than ‘roadie’? Well, you’re in luck! The UK is also home to many a Food Festival, too, with big names like Jamie Oliver and Alex James hosting. Read on for our pick of the UK’s best food festivals!
Foodies Festival 3rd-5th July 2015
Looking for a food festival a little closer to the capital? Look no further than the Foodies Festival, which takes place in Alexandra Palace, London at beginning of July. Celebrating its 10th year, the Foodies Festival presents Michelin-star and celebrity chefs, artisan producers and a wide selection of street food (because who doesn’t love street food?), and with a Wine and Champagne Theatre with experts Neil Philips and Charlie Metcalfe to toast the festival’s decade, it’s bound to be a good’un.
Foodies Festival also takes place in other locations in the UK. Check http://www.foodiesfestival.com/ for more information.
Dorset Seafood Festival 11th-12th July 2015
If you’re more into the sea side of food, then look no further than the Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival. Taking place around Weymouth’s picturesque Old Harbour, the festival focuses on the journey of the seafood in a ‘Sea to Plate’ theme, and includes a pop-up restaurant, Hive Beach Café, live cooking demonstrations, and face painting and crabbing for the children. Free to attend, the festival aims to enrich public understanding of fishermen, sustainable fishing, and the impact fishing has on the environment.
The Big Festival 28th-30th August 2015
Back for its fifth year, The Big Feastival takes place on Blur’s Alex James’ Cotswold farm, who co-hosts the event with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Joined by a whole host of chefs, including Michelin master Raymond Blanc, as well as The Fabulous Baker Brothers Tom and Henry Herbert, who will feature in The AEG Big Kitchen. Health food pioneers, including Deliciously Ella and Honestly Healthy’s Natasha Corrett, will also appear across the weekend.
But it’s not just chefs – there’s music from Paloma Faith, Sophie Ellis Bexter, Dizzie Rascal’s only UK festival appearance this year, and more! Plus, if you’re looking to bring the kids along, Feastival also offers plenty of family-friendly activities, including CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher, an appearance from Peppa Pig, and is home to the Big Top, a voyage of discovery for the festival’s younger visitors.
Also boasting lifestyle markets, a funfair and, of course, food and drink markets, there’ll be plenty to see, do and eat at the Big Feastival!
Tickets on sale now at: http://www.jamieoliver.com/thebigfeastival
Abergavenny Food Festival 18th-20th September
Welsh Abergavenny Food Festival is focused not just on delicious UK food: winner of the 2013 Monmouthshire Business Award for Environmental and Sustainability Excellence, the festival seeks to boost tourism and business in the area, making it environmentally and community conscious! Another long running festival, Abergavenny has been running since 1999 and has since become the biggest and best-loved Welsh food festival, showcasing craft, diversity and culture from across the country. Exhibiting over 200 of the finest food and drink producers, the festival welcomes Tom Kerridge, one of the UK’s best-loved cooks, on Friday, and health food guru sisters Hemsley + Hemsley on Sunday, both offering masterclass sessions!
On the other side of the UK, toeing the Suffolk coastline, lives the Aldeburgh Food Festival. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary this September, the family-friendly festival offers under 12s free, as well as a whole range of free activities and hands-on cooking workshops for the little ones (so they can get an early start on making dinner!). There’s hands-on cooking workshops for the adults, too, in the festival’s popular pop-up bakery, as well as masterclasses from visiting chefs, and local food and drink, including award-winning beer from Adnams, cyder from Aspall, and home-grown produce from local producers. Featuring chefs such as Leith-trained Olia Hercules and 2014 Great British Bake Off finalist Luis Troyano, Aldeburgh’s a safe bet for the East Coast!