The Best Food-Focused Festivals Across The UK This Summer
Pub In The Park, Various locations
Tom Kerridge’s annual food festival is back on the road this year – with double the amount of dates. Each of the eight 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 across the weekend. Every event will celebrate the very best food the country has to offer, combined with great live music, chef demonstrations, top quality shopping and family-friendly festivities. Music across the festivals will include Kaiser Chiefs, Gabrielle, Basement Jaxx, Jake Bugg and David Grey.
Marlow (17th-19th May), Leeds (31st May-2nd June), Knutsford (7th-9th June) Bath (21st-23rd June), Warwick (5th-7th July) Tunbridge Wells (12th-14th July), Chiswick (6th-9th September) and St Albans (13th-15th September).
Daylesford Summer Festival
Daylesford’s Summer Festival has become a yearly highlight in the Cotswolds. This year the one-day event’s theme is ‘Summer of Love’: expect classic Daylesford activities with a touch of 60s carefree colour and fun. Now in its tenth year, the Daylesford Summer Festival sees the organic farm come to life with stalls, workshops, debates, crafts, dog show, singing, dancing and, of course, an array of delicious food. There will also be cookery school demos with Alexandra Dudley and Antonina Parker, block printing with Molly Mahon and a ‘flowers in your hair’ workshop with Willow Crossley.
Daylesford near Kingham, Gloucestershire, GL56 0YG; 8th June
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 Kym’s, Lina Stores, DJ BBQ, Trishna and Chotto Matte. The Residence presents the opportunity to experience Wolfgat chef Kobus van der Merwe’s critically acclaimed cooking without taking the 12-hour trip to the remote fishing village of Paternoster on South Africa's Western Cape and enduring the three-month waiting list. Merwe and his entire team will be flying over especially for the occasion.
Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NR; 19th-23rd June
Smoked & Uncut
Put on by the team behind The Pig in Brockenhurst, this one-day festival has expanded across three of the group’s 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. When it comes to music, The Vaccines, Kaiser Chiefs and Sister Sledge will top the bills across the three events.
Bath, Somerset (15th June), Brockenhurst, New Forest (6th July) and Lyndhurst, New Forest (27th July)
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; 30th August-1st September
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; 24th-25th August
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 Daniel Clifford, Raymond Blanc, Tom Brown, Prue Leith, Andi Oliver, Candice Brown and DJ BBQ, while Rudimental, Jess Glynne, Elbow and The Zutons will headline the main stage. Supperclub 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; 23rd-25th August
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; 28th-29th September
Yes, this is more a music festival than a food festival (one look at the line-up confirms this – hello Robyn, Tom Odell and Bombay Bicycle Club) but we can't get over the culinary offerings, which have always been outstanding at Wilderness. This year food vendors will include Patty & Bun, Temper, Cornerstone’s Tom Brown, The French House’s Neil Borthwick and Sabor’s Nieves Barragan, while the weekend’s feasting table hosts will be Angela Hartnett, James Knappet, Yosi Elad and Petersham Nurseries. Book them now – they always sell out (as do the wood-fired hot-tub sessions. Don’t forget your bathing suit).
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, OX7 3DG; 2nd-5th August
The Good Life Experience
The Good Life Experience returns for its sixth year with what the team’s describing as its biggest party yet. The yearly event, from co-founder Cerys Matthews, is an annual celebration of art that incorporates axe throwing, foraging, campfire cooking sessions with world class chefs, daily feasts, mass sing-a-longs, over 40 expert craftspeople, beer served by experts, talks by explorers, abseiling, a free 1930s fairground, tree climbing, poetry and literature. Caught by the River, The Idler and The Dylan Thomas Mobile Bookshop will be there, along with a whole host of brilliant brands in the Market Place. This family-friendly event takes place in the historic and setting of the Hawarden Estate against the backdrop of two castles: it’s the ideal way to see out summer.
Hawarden, Wales, CH5 3FB; 12th-15th September
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