Life

These are the best foodie events and festivals in the UK this year

Posted by
Lauren Geall
Published
Wimbledon Food Festival

With a brunch festival arriving in London at the end of August and the annual oyster festival heading to Stranraer in September, these are all the foodie events you need to prepare for over the coming months. 

It’s surprising the August Bank Holiday hasn’t been renamed Food Festival Bank Holiday when you take a look at all the events going on this weekend.

With the sun set to shine and three long days of freedom ahead of us, there’s no better time to sample an array of tasty treats with friends and family. The capital will be jam-packed with foodie events and festivals over the next three or four days, but if you want to escape the city, there’s events such as the River Cottage Festival in Devon and The Big Feastival in The Cotswolds to tickle your tastebuds too. 

Living in the UK means we’ve got access to a whole range of flavours and cuisines right at our fingertips – whether that’s the English classics such as sea food or homegrown veg or international treats from gyoza to paella. And what better way to take advantage of this than to attend some of the UK’s biggest and best foodie events and festivals across the country? Perhaps you’ll find a new favourite food, or find something you didn’t even know existed.

You may also like

August bank holiday weekend: best free things to do in London

From Scotland to Sussex, here’s our pick of the events you need to attend across the UK in 2019. 

South West

River Cottage Festival, Axminster, 24-25 August

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage festival is more than just a food festival – it’s a treat for all the family.

Alongside the food and drink on offer, there’s music, speakers and the all-important classes, which cover subjects from geology to foraging. You can even take part in a masterclass with world-class chefs and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be there to sign books – what’s not to love? 

Food Rocks, Lyme Regis, 7-8 September 

There’s a lot to love about Food Rocks

The two day event, which boasts some of the best food, suppliers and producers from across Dorset and the South West, was started by restaurant owner Mark Hix to celebrate the food of his hometown, Lyme Regis. On top of that, the festival donates all the funds raised to the RNLI and the Fishermen’s Mission – so you can stuff your face with the knowledge that your appetite is doing the world some good.

Flavours on offer include local meats and seafood, as well as ales, gins and fudge from across the South-West. 

Falmouth Oyster Festival, Falmouth, 10-13 October 

Held every October to mark the start of the oyster dredging season, the Falmouth Oyster Festival boasts four days of feasting, cooking demos, live music, food and craft stalls.

And it’s not oyster exclusive – you can enjoy a whole host of Cornish food produce, including locally-produced beers and ales alongside freshly-caught seafood. 

Take a trip to the seaside and indulge in the best of what Cornwall has to offer. 

Exeter Food and Drink Trail, All Year Round

Exeter’s Food and Drink Trail, launched in 2018, gives foodies a map of all the best restaurants, shops and experiences to explore around the city. 

With a load of new experiences added for summer 2019, including Italian cooking classes with TV chef Valentina Harris, a trip to Exeter should definitely be on your summer itinerary - and when you’re done taking in everything the city has to offer, why not take a trip down to the River Exe Cafe, a floating restaurant in the middle of the River Exe Estuary. 

The Midlands

The Big Feastival, The Cotswolds, 23-25 August

If you’re looking for the family-friendly event of the summer, The Big Feastival is probably your best pick. 

Hosted on the farm of Blur bassist Alex James, there’s plenty to do: think everything from live music acts to chef demonstrations and child-friendly activities.

In terms of the food, there are pop-up restaurants (The Cheese Bar sounds incredible) as well as street food stalls and a fresh food market. 

London

Treats Club Dessert Bar Donut and Soft Serve Pop-Up, Old Street, 12 August - 7 September

Satisfy your inner sweet tooth with this irresistible looking selection of donuts and soft serve ice cream coming to Old Street Roundabout for one month this summer. 

With all items coming in at under £6, this pop-up by Treats Club Dessert Bar is looking pretty good right now. 

Open Table’s LDN195 Pop-Up, Marylebone, 22 - 24 August

OpenTable Goan Curry
Open Table's LDN195 Carousel Pop-up

According to recent research by OpenTable, 55% of London diners would like to see less familiar cuisines receive greater recognition - and that’s what this new pop-up aims to do. 

Bringing a six-course menu to London’s Carousel restaurant, LDN 195 will feature cuisines from the likes of Armenia and Goa alongside wine and hand-crafted cocktails. Take your tastebuds on a journey this bank holiday weekend and try something new. 

Wimbledon Park Food Festival, Wimbledon, 24 - 26 August

Wimbledon Park Food Festival
Wimbledon Park Food Festival

Looking to sample a delicious selection of treats including artisan bread and pastries, crêpes and fudge this weekend? Look no further than the Wimbledon Park Food Festival. 

Home to over 45 stalls offering a wide selection of regional food and drink, the festival will play host to a line-up including MasterChef Champions Angellica Bell and Dhruv Baker, demonstrations from Leighs Cookery School and a group of experts who will be on hand to answer any food-related questions you might have. 

Chinese Food Festival, London Bridge, 30 August - 1 September

The Chinese Food Festival is returning to London Bridge at the end of August to celebrate it’s 5th anniversary, and you’ll definitely want to go.

Besides the fact that it’s completely free to enter, the festival showcases food from some of the best Asian restaurants in the city including Four Season’s luxury restaurant, Mei Ume. 

Meatopia, Tobacco Dock, 30 August - 1 September

Vegans and vegetarians, look away now – Meatopia is a meat-lovers festival (if you hadn’t guessed already). 

Host to high quality, ethically sourced meat cooked by some of the world’s leading chefs, the festival is one long smoky weekend which is set to please the carnivores among us. 

From burgers to steaks, this festival is sure to give you something to get your teeth into. 

London Brunch Festival, Brick Lane, 31 August - 1 September

Only in London would you find an entire festival dedicated to that most sacred of meals – brunch. 

If you don’t fancy Meatopia (they’re both on the same weekend at the end of August) head down to Brick Lane to sample London’s Brunch Fest, home to some of the finest brunch-related offerings. Expect pancakes, eggs and lots of avocado – the most instagramable festival in London is coming to town. 

Taste of London, Tobacco Dock, 21-24 November

The follow-up to Taste of London’s big summer festival in Regent’s Park, the November event at Tobacco Dock is the winter follow-up to this incredibly popular festival. Featuring pop-up versions of many of London’s most popular restaurants, take your tastebuds on a journey around the city as you sample bites from across the world. 

There’s also a whole line-up of world-class chefs and a bunch of artisan food producers taking to the festival’s floor. 

Wales

Abergavenny Food Festival, Abergavenny, 21-22 September

Every year around 30,000 visitors flock to the small Welsh town of Abergavenny to sample the delights of the famous Abergavenny Food Festival.

Alongside some of the great British produce on offer, you can also attend cookery classes to learn how to cook the dishes you’ve tried at home, or attend a masterclass with world famous chefs – previous guests include Jamie Oliver and Monica Galetti. 

The North

Manchester Food and Drink Festival, Manchester, 26 September - 7 October

2019 will mark the 22nd year of this annual food and drink festival, which spreads across Manchester’s city centre and celebrates the best food and drink which Manchester has to offer. 

The festival’s hub, based in the city’s Cathedral Gardens, is home to a whole host of live experiences and events, including banquets, supper clubs and food parties. 

Scotland

Stranraer Oyster Festival, Stranraer, 13-15 September

Back for its third year, Stranraer Oyster Festival is a celebration held to mark the start of the native oyster harvesting season, and gives locals and visitors alike the chance to experience some of Scotland’s finest produce.

With the chance to taste oysters from one of the last wild, native oyster beds in Scotland, this is a great experience for any seafood lover. 

Image: Provided by Paddington Central