With September approaching at alarming speed, it’s time to start planning your autumnal weekends around your next festival. But not just any festival, a food festival.
Can you think of anything better than a weekend of good food and charming company in an idyllic British locale? Neither can we, which is why a foodie festival is on our to-do list this autumn.
Below, we’ve curated a list of our favourite food festivals happening in the UK over the next couple of months, from a taste of Highland whisky in Scotland to all the crab you can handle in the Isles of Scilly.
Taste of Scilly, England
Dates: September 1 to 30, 2019
Where: Isles of Scilly
Head south to England’s answer to a sub-tropical paradise this September for the annual Taste of Scilly festival. Chocked full with local produce, the best way to experience the festival – and the five Scilly isles – is to book onto the Island Hopping Supper Safaris where diners feast on a different course on a different island throughout the evening. Elsewhere on the islands, explore the Scillonian produce markets, pop-up crab shacks, lobster feasts along with distillery tours and gin school at the new Spirit Scilly Distillery.
To find out more, head to visitislesofscilly.com
Abergavenny Food Festival, Wales
Dates: September 21 to 22, 2019
For 20 years, the town of Abergavenny in south Wales has been hosting an annual food festival, now hosting about 30,000 visitors each year. Designed to challenge and promote new ideas in the food industry some of the events over the weekend include tasting workshops, masterclasses, four different foraging walks and chef demonstrations from the likes of Zoe Adjonyoh and Josh Eggleton. Sustainability is also at the forefront of this festival with zero waste masterclasses, vegan BBQ demonstration and talks on the future of farming.
To find out more, visit abergavennyfoodfestival.com
Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, England
Dates: September 28 to 29, 2019
Where: Hillfarm Family Meadow in Suffolk
In its 14th year, the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival sees over 100 Suffolk producers take part in this two day event – part of a wider food-related fringe programme in the area. Kid-friendly, the festival will include a family meadow, along with masterclasses from visiting chefs, drinking experiences including beer and food matching, the history of gin and cocktail making classes. Elsewhere on the farm you’ll find the ‘Wild Suffolk’ area with field-to-table classes, a guide to game meat and even a wild butter making competition.
To find out more, visit aldeburghfoodanddrink.co.uk
Scottish Wild Food Festival, Scotland
Date: September 14, 2019
Where: Cardross Estate, Port of Menteith
Set in the surroundings of the Cardross Estate in the Port of Menteith, the Scottish Wild Food Festival will be held for the first time this September. A celebration of wild food feasts and plenty of opportunities to try your hand at foraging, the festival will include wild walks, plant folklore and long table dinners for everyone from novices to long-term foragers. Events include a ‘Wild Food and Chocolate Pairing Challenge’, ‘Jam & Curd demonstration’, ‘Wild Woman Circle’ and a ‘Fungi Walk and Cooking Demonstration’.
To find out more, visit foragingfortnight.co.uk/scottish-wild-food-festival
1000 mouths, England
Dates: October 4 to 6, 2019
Where: Nancarrow Farm, four miles north of Truro.
As the name suggests, 1000 Mouths festival in Cornwall hosts 1,000 guests over its three-day festival. Hosted by Nancarrow Farm, which is marking its 20th anniversary this year as an organic farm, 1000 Mouths is a celebration of sustainable farming with street food stalls, nose to tail feasts, talks, tastings and dire pit demonstrations with guest chefs from London and Cornwall.
To find out more, visit nancarrowfarm.co.uk/1000-mouths-2019
Dornoch Whisky Festival, Scotland
Dates: October 25 to 28, 2019
Where: Dornoch, an hour north of Inverness.
Head north this autumn to Links House in the Scottish Highlands to experience the Dornoch Whisky Festival. While there will be plenty of events happening in the seaside town of Dornoch that weekend, a stay at Links House will allow you to experience three unique culinary events, including two fine dining whisky dinners and a Sunday BBQ brunch.
Outside the hotel, the festival itself has been designed to show the best of the Highlands with masterclasses, blind whisky and gin tasting and tasting local malts.
Prices start from £1190 single occupancy, £1590 double-occupancy, or twin share £890 per person, for a three-night stay, two whisky dinners and two tickets to the whisky festival giving guests access to the entire festival events. (+44 (0)1862 810279, linkshousedornoch.com)
For more information on the Dornoch Whisky Festival, visit dornochwhiskyfestival.com
Food Rocks, England
Dates: September 7 to 8, 2019
Where: Lyme Regis in Dorset
The brainchild of Mark Hix of Hix Restaurants, Food Rocks is a festival aimed at promoting the produce of Lyme Regis, the chef’s hometown. Bringing together top chefs and exhibitors, you’ll find interactive cooking demonstrations on the main stage along with a number of talks and tastings. Supper clubs are also hosted over the weekend and all money raised is donated to the RNLI and the Fishermen’s Mission.
To find out more, visit hixrestaurants.co.uk/
Stranraer Oyster Festival, Scotland
Dates: September 13 to 15, 2019
Where: Stranraer, Loch Ryan
The town of Stranraer, on the banks of Loch Ryan, is home to Scotland’s only wild, native oyster fishery hidden beneath the Loch – so it’s only fitting it hosts an annual oyster festival. Entering its third year, the 2019 festival will run from September 13 to 15 marking the start of the native oyster season. Expect live music, street food and even fireworks on the first night of the festival along with plenty of chef demonstrations, an artisan market and, of course, plenty of oyster tasting across the weekend. If you’re up for it, there’s even an oyster eating competition on the Sunday.
To find out more, visit stranraeroysterfestival.com