The Best Food-Focused Festivals Across The UK This Summer

If you’re the type of person who loves to sniff out the food options at an event way before you get there, then a festival that combines entertainment with top-notch fare might just be for you. From cookery demonstrations to Michelin-starred feasts, chef meet-and-greets to must-try street food trucks, here are the eight best British festivals that combine fun and flavour….

Pub in the Park

Tom Kerridge’s 2017 annual food festival was so popular that this year he’s decided to take it on the road. Each of the four weekends will play host to Tom’s two Michelin-starred pubs, The Hand & Flowers and The Coach, plus a selection of other top UK restaurants and Michelin-starred chefs, who will be serving their most popular dishes. Music across the festival will include Razorlight, Will Young, Texas, Jamie Cullum and Melanie C. Expect cookery demonstrations, an artisan food and drink market and bars aplenty.

Marlow (17th-20th May), Bath (8th-10th June), Tunbridge Wells (6th-8th July), Knutsford (7th-9th September)


Taste of London

This London mainstay offers guests the chance to dine in some of the world’s most exclusive kitchens, all in one spot. Like a restaurant, Taste sessions are divided into lunch and dinner services. A session lasts four hours, which gives guests time to enjoy their pick of restaurant dishes, which this year will include food from Magnus Nilsson, Nicklas Ekstedt, Jackson Boxer, Pip Lacey and Neil Rankin. A VIP Garden & Lounge, craft beer House of Hops section and hands-on masterclasses will also be on site.

Regent’s Park, London NW1 4NR; 13th-17th June


Smoked & Uncut

Put on by the team behind The Pig in Brockenhurst, this one-day festival has expanded across the team’s four restaurants in the south-east. Michelin-starred Angela Hartnett and some of her chef friends will be hosting long table, family-style three-course feasts in The Field Kitchen pop-up, while chef Mark Hix will be paying homage to the British love of a classic Indian takeaway with his Ruby Murray House. The omnipresent Razorlight and Paul Carrack will top the bill when it comes to music.

Brockenhurst, New Forest (16th June), Pensford, Somerset (30th June), Lyndhurst, New Forest (14th July), Honiton, Devon (28th July)


Wilderness Festival

Yes, this is more a music festival than a food festival (one look at the line-up confirms this – hello Nile Rogers & Chic, Bastille, Groove Armada and Jon Hopkins) but the culinary offerings have always been outstanding at Wilderness. This year street-food vendors will include Bao, Smokestak, Som Saa and Ottolenghi, while the weekend’s feasting table hosts will be Café Murano, Berber & Q and Petersham Nurseries. Book ‘em now – they always sell out.

Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire OX7 3DG; 2nd-5th August


Big Feastival

Blur bassist and cheesemonger Alex James’s annual festival is arguably one of the best at getting the balance between food and music bang on. Aside from the Alex James Cheese Hub, chefs in attendance will include Raymond Blanc, Marco Pierre White, Pierre Koffman, Tommy Banks, Gizzi Erskine, and DJ BBQ, while Craig David, Basement Jaxx, Paloma Faith and Clean Bandit will headline the main stage. Tables sessions are yet to be announced but bearing in mind that Mark Hix was the star chef last year, we’re expecting big things.

Kingham, Oxfordshire OX7 6UJ; 24th-26th August


River Cottage Festival

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ makes the perfect backdrop for its annual food festival. The weekend promises a jam-packed programme of music, masterclasses and, of course, food. Guests can opt to dine in the farmhouse (where many of Hugh’s shows are filmed) where head chef Andy Tyrrell will serve a different menu each day. Elsewhere, the festival fire pit will focus on a range of barbecue options. This is another great weekender for children – family yoga, monster-making masterclasses and pottery workshops are all on the cards.

River Cottage, Axminster EX13 8TB; 25th-26th August



A highlight in our calendar, Meatopia brings together the very best barbecue chefs for a full-on weekend of smoking, grilling and charring. Each day, 25 different cooks will set London’s Tobacco Dock ablaze with food, drink and music as the meat masters showcase both technique and dishes – ‘meatbucks’ will be on hand for visitors to sample the goods. Chef names are yet to be announced, so watch this space.

Tobacco Dock, London E1W 2SF; 31st August-2nd September


Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival

This celebration of Suffolk’s thriving food and drink scene takes place in the beautiful setting of Snape Maltings, next to the River Alde and close to the Suffolk coast. Here, over 100 local producers gather to sell their produce including raw milk, organic vegetables, sourdough bread, award-winning beer and spirits from Adnams, cyder from Aspall and delicious street food. One for true foodies.

Snape Maltings, Suffolk IP17 1SP; 29th-30th September


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