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Britain's best summer food festivals

Britain's best summer food festivals

by Great British Chefs 17 July 2015

Food festivals are wonderful things, offering an excellent alternative to summer fêtes for those with more culinary inclinations. There are festivals of all varieties being held across the UK this summer, and this list details just some of the celebrations taking place around the country.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

When the sun is shining, we all just want to get out and enjoy the beautiful British outdoors, not be stuck in a kitchen or a crowded restaurant. However, this shouldn’t mean you miss out on some fantastic food during the summer months. With food stalls and quality produce for sale, food festivals can be just the place to take the whole family along and have yourselves a feast with a difference.

Essex Festival of Food and Drink - 18-19 July

A weekend celebrating the area’s local heroes - both human and edible - this Baintree-based festival boasts chef demonstrations from John Torode and James Martin along with street food, produce stalls, children’s cooking classes and wine and beer tasting sessions. With an emphasis on small, local producers of artisan produce it will no doubt be difficult to resist bringing a few samples home - for research purposes, of course. Tickets can be bought at the gate, costing £9 for adults and less for concessions.

Whitstable Oyster Festival - 25-31 July

Don’t let the name fool you - while Whitstable is famed for its native oysters, the festival has its roots in ancient fishing traditions, meaning it is held during breeding season. While Whitstable oysters themselves might be inedible during this time, festival goers by no means go hungry with a plentiful supply of rock oysters available along with the dozens of bars, food stalls and street food stands lining the harbour. With camping, outdoor screenings and numerous free music and arts events taking place across the town, there is no better place to get out and about this summer.

Summer Beer and Food Festival - 1 August

Edinburgh's Summer Beer and Food Festival is exactly that, celebrating both Scottish produce and locally brewed beer with food pairing suggestions available to help you pick from the dizzying selection of brews available. Taking place at Stewart Brewing in Loanhead, food (and guest craft beer) comes from local heroes such as Luca's ice cream, I.J. Mellis artisan cheese and chef Tom Kitchin. Tickets cost £10, including two glasses of collaboration beer on arrival - under 16s go free.

Rock oysters
The Whitstable Oyster Festival is actually held during the native oyster's off season - but there are still plenty of rock oysters to be had, along with other food and entertainment
Tom Kitchin
Edinburgh-born chef Tom Kitchin helped develop a special craft brew to go with his dishes at the Summer Beer and Food Festival

Clitheroe Food Festival - 8 August

The Clitheroe Food Festival, a celebration of all things Lancashire, describes itself as ‘a street buffet of food and drink’. With producers from all over the county represented in the line up of stalls, visitors can enjoy samples, demonstrations and talks from the surrounding area’s leading experts - think Goosnargh poultry and Real Lancashire black pudding. Access to the market is free, while tickets for the numerous talks, demonstrations and cooking workshops for children vary in price and can be purchased online.

Flavour Fest - 14-16 August

This August Flavour Fest once again takes over Plymouth city centre, marking the south west’s largest food festival. Visitors can sample quality items from over 120 local producers, ranging from artisan cheese to baked goods and cider, and enjoy demonstration events from local chefs and celebrities including Phil Vickery and Peter Gorton. Flavour Fest is free to attend.

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival - 15-16 August

Leave your tic tacs at home and embrace the heady flavour of garlic, as Newchurch celebrates some of its fine locally grown produce. Food and beer tents provide high quality, locally produced refreshments, while a large marquee caters specifically to the superb range of garlic products available. Along with the usual garlic oils and chutneys there are some more unusual items to be had, from garlic beer to ice cream and fudge infused with the flavour of garlic. Cooking demonstrations, music and a range of family entertainment will be on offer. Tickets cost £9.50 for adults or £9.50 for families, available at the festival gates.

BBC Good Food Festival - 29-31 August

Set in the stunning grounds of Hampton Court, the Good Food Festival is host to a wide range of live entertainment, from live music and performances to interviews, talks and demonstrations from a number of popular chefs including Lawrence Keogh and Michel Roux Jr. If an artisan picnic sounds like more your cup of tea then you’re in luck, as a wide range of street food and artisan produce will be available to buy - just don’t forget your blanket! With the festival coinciding with the August bank holiday weekend there’s no excuse not to get down to Hampton Court and join in the fun. Entry to the festival itself is free, but tickets must be purchased for the palace grounds.

 
 
 

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