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Eat your way around this summer's best festivals for foodies

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Hayley Spencer
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If you're not feeling the pull of this year's major music festivals, their foodie rivals might just be the thing to whet your appetite.

There's a growing number of festivals dedicated to serving you the finest food. And we're not just talking street food stalls - from long-table banquets to workshops hosted by world-class chefs and wellness talks aimed at transforming your attitude to eating, there's a wealth of foodie activities to enjoy at this summer's weekenders.

Click through the gallery for our pick of Britain's 10 best festivals to chow down at in the coming months.

  • Wilderness, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire

    Few festivals can match Wilderness in terms of its opportunities for feasting. Long-table banquets hosted by some of world's most famous chefs are one of its biggest draws. This year Raymond Blanc, Virgilio Martinez and Skye Gyngell will take turns to headline, laying on a five-course dinner and four-course lunch each. You can also book in at Moro, Hix and Petersham Nurseries' pop-up restaurants, or see what takes your fancy at the more casual Dining Hall, which is full of cherry-picked London eateries.

    When you're full to the brim, you can try activities like fly fishing, boating or wild swimming in the festival's idyllic lake, or simply sit back and soak in sets from the likes of Robert Plant or The Flaming Lips.

    4 - 7th August, general tickets are £164 plus booking fee.

    WildernessFestival.com

  • The Good Life Experience, Hawarden, Flintshire

    Now in its third year, this family-friendly Welsh fest is all about good clean fun - mucking in and meeting new people while throwing yourself into the wholesome lineup of book and music events, outdoor activities and of course, great, wholesome grub.

    The likes of Wahaca's Thomasina Miers, restauranteur Bill Granger and the (fabulous) Baker Brothers will all be there to cook up a storm, plus there's camp fire cooking masterclasses, butchery displays and top-notch vendors catering to every food vice, with craft beer on tap, Allpress coffee ready to kick-start your day and a farm shop and smokehouse on site.

    16 - 18th September, tickets from £69

    thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk

  • Flow Festival, Helsinki

    Fancy something a little further afield? Flow Festival - which is set around a gigantic pressurized balloon - has been lauded for seamlessly mixing in top-notch grub with its impressive art installations and eclectic music lineup.

    Eat your way around the 30 carefully selected eateries which promise to serve up a crowd-pleasing mix of cuisines with an emphasis on local, organic and sustainably produced ingredients. To wash it all down there's champagne and craft beer served at their own specialist bars. 

    This year's vendors will be announced later this Spring. Though the music bill is already out, including must-see sets from Jamie XX, Massive Attack and Four Tet.

    12-14th September, €175 for the full three days though you can opt for one or two day packages

    flowfestival.com

  • Big Feastival, Cotswolds

    Big Feastival is the brainchild of Jamie Oliver and artisan cheese-maker Alex James, aka Blur's guitarist. The pair hold their foodie fest on Alex's idyllic Cotswolds farm, and with a weekend-long lineup of feasts, banquets, demos from top chefs and wellness workshops, you're sure to leave well and truly satisfied - and with some new cooking tricks up your sleeve.

    This year's lineup includes GBBO's Nadiya Hussain, Madeleine Shaw and Tom Kerridge to name a few. As for the music, Tinie Tempah, Kaiser Chiefs and Mark Ronson top the bill. And if you have little ones in tow, Reggie N Bollie and the Little Dudes' Den will keep them entertained.

    26 - 28th August, adult camping tickets are £174.50. Non-camping and day tickets are also available

    thebigfeastival.com

  • Festival No. 6, Portmeirion

    There's nothing quite like this unique, boutique festival set in the stunning Italiante town of Portmeirion. You can spend the weekend staying in a castle or a cottage, and there's even a luxury on-site spa. As well as its great line-up of arts and music, it takes food very seriously.

    Grab a sumptuous bite or a real ale on the go at the up-market street food village, or for full on feasting you can book in at the Portmeirion hotel or Castell Brasserie. We highly recommend you spend a night at long-table banquet; Dinner At Clough’s, which is hosted by Michelin star chefs - this year's line-up is soon to be announced. Oh, and in case you want to pick up some store cupboard essentials to take home (well, why not?), there's even a Welsh produce market. Festivals don't get much dreamier for food-lovers than this.

    1 - 4th September, tickets from £185

    festivalnumber6.com

  • Taste of London, Regent's Park, London

    Now in its 12th year, Taste of London is a haven for foodies. This year, you can catch top chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Monica Galetti, Nathan Outlaw and Bruno Loubet cooking live, sampling the very best grub from London's hottest new restaurants and old favourites - including Hook and Duck and Waffle, plus there's craft beer and whiskey workshops, or the Whole Foods Market Kitchen if you prefer a back to basics approach. And if you've still got time to kill, then be sure to kick back at  Mr Foggs colonial themed safari camp, while sampling a world-class cocktail.

    15 - 19th June, tickets from £16

    london.tastefestivals.com

  • On Blackheath, London

    Festivals don't come much more civilised than On Blackheath - it's even sponsored by John Lewis - and it has a menu to match. While Belle and Sebastian, Hot Chip and Soak will take to the stage, the food lineup includes a two-course banquet hosted by a top chef, cooking masterclasses at the Chef's Stage and a stellar mix of the very best street food from around the world. Last year Le Bun and Voodoo Ray's hosted stalls. You definitely won't leave hungry, or thirsty, for that matter - the bars will serve up the very best Meantime IPA and delicious cocktails.

    10 -11th September, weekend tickets are £70.20

    onblackheath.com

  • Leeds Indie Food, Leeds

    Leeds is fast becoming a rival for London's independent eateries and street food scene, and there's no better way to get familiar than at Leeds Indie Food. With 130 events across two weeks, there's dinners, cocktail parties, pop-ups, tours and tastings which showcase the most mouth-watering eateries and coolest venues across the city.  We recommend a visit to Munro House to see the Women | Art | Food Exhibition which is running throughout the festival, and celebrates the city's kick-ass female foodies and artists.

    12 - 30th May, ticket prices vary, festival passports for discounts across the event are £10

    leedsindiefood.co.uk

  • Citadel, Victoria Park, London

    New fest on the block, Citadel, is back for a second year to bring the finest culture, music, art and grub to East London's Victoria Park.

    Icelandic post-rock trio Sigur Ros are headlining, there's theatre, comedy and even a sports day, and on the feasting front Stephen Harris of Michelin-starred pub The Sportsman will host a hearty four-course long table banquet. Seeing as the festival is on a Sunday, it would be rude not to book a seat. If you want to grab a bite on the go there's a mouthwatering lineup of London's finest to choose from - we're talking Mr Bao, Voodoo Ray's and Smokestak to name just a few.

    17th July, tickets from £54.45

    citadelfestival.com

  • Ludlow Food Festival, Shropshire

    Ludlow has been dubbed the UK's second gourmet capital, and if that’s not enough to draw you to its food fest then the stunning backdrop of Ludlow Castle should be. With a three-day schedule of tastings, talks, and masterclasses and 160 stalls, you can sample, shop and scratch up on your culinary skills to your hearts content.

    Get to know the quaint town and its food better with one of the food trails. Choose from butchers, bakers or brewers, tasting the best real ale, sausages or bread and voting for the best as you go.

    9 - 11th September, tickets from £8

    foodfestival.co.uk

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