Over the past 20 or so years, musical festivals have taken the world by storm with niche and unique outdoor events popping up all over the UK and further afield. However, while festivals are great, food festivals can be an even better and more enjoyable experience as they involve a little bit of everything.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best food festivals of 2019 for you to get your teeth stuck into it. From Wales to Scotland, there’s a delectable food festival out there for everyone, no matter what your tastes are.
English Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kerridge, is bringing back Pub in the Park which will be returning to various locations around the country in 2019 from months May to September. This lovely, family-friendly festival is kicking off in Higginson Park in Marlow and finishing in Verulamium Park in St Albans.
This year’s music headliners include Razorlight, Jake Bugg, Kaiser Chiefs, Clean Bandit and Will Young. Besides, these musical talents will play alongside a stellar food line-up, insightful chef demonstrations, immersive masterclasses and much more for all the family. Tickets start at from £30 (£20 for children) and are available at pubintheparkuk.com.
Located in the stunning Cotswolds, The Big Feastival is taking place on 24-26 August 2019. This ultimate feel-good festival will feature music from artists such as Jess Glynne, Elbow and Rudimental.
When it comes to fine food, you won’t be disappointed – there will be demonstrations from top dogs in the food industry such as Candice Brown, Raymond Blanc OBE, and Daniel Clifford. Plus lots of new artisan food products to try and great to shop for fine food gifts. Check out the website to see a guide to last year’s festival to get a feel for what to expect at uk.thebigfeastival.com. Ludlow Spring Festival
What could be more impressive than a food festival set on the grounds of a beautiful castle? Not much! Set in the grounds of the gorgeous Ludlow Castle, Ludlow’s food festival is very unique.
The 2019 Spring Festival will happen place on 11-12 May, with this year’s focus being on beer, bread, bangers & classic cars. There is something for everyone! Brewers from some of the biggest breweries in the local region will be there with tasters and information, including Hobsons, Corvedale, Brecon Brewery, Wye Valley and Ludlow Brewery.
Not only will those who attend get the chance to sample the beers, but there will also be insights into their back-story and hints and tips of what makes the perfect beer. Likely to be one of the most beautiful places you’ve enjoyed a pint and a banger, you can find out more at foodfestival.co.uk.
Created by superstar chef, Mark Hix, Food Rocks, located in Lyme Regis will see the best food and drink producers from around Dorset and the surrounding areas come together on 7-8 September in 2019. It's never too early to start looking for some ideas for Christmas - this is a perfect occasion to try some new artisan products to include in your luxury Christmas hampers this year!
The focus stage will showcase a diverse mix of interactive cookery demonstrations, talks and food tastings, as well as a line up featuring Mitch Tonks, Angela Harnett and Steven Lamb. You can find out more about this rockin’ food festival at hixrestaurants.co.uk.
Celebrating its 20th-anniversary last year, Abergavenny Food Festival is back in 2019 on 21-22 September. This staple on the summer food festival calendar is possibly one of the more high-brow festivals in the UK.
This unique and unusual event is known for bringing together chefs and food, but also businesses, journalists, farmers and food producers. This takes place in the beautiful Welsh countryside where attendees enjoy talks, demonstrations and, of course, lots of tasty food. Find out all there is to know - and more - about this great festival at abergavennyfoodfestival.com.
The unique Snape Maltings in Suffolk is home to the famous Aldeburgh Music festival in addition to the infamous Food and Drink festival which is highly regarded as one of the best foodie festivals in the country.
Next September it’s returning for its 14th year on 28-29 of the month, offering those who attend the opportunity to experience all of Suffolk’s best food and drink under one compact roof.
This festival is excellent and features a large indoor market, a selection of food stalls, exciting masterclasses, mini food events and engaging talks from well-known chefs. Those attending this year’s festival will see a line-up that includes Chetna Makan, Tommi Miers, Dan Doherty, Melissa Hemsley and Maunika Gowardhan.
If you’re in the area, this is one not to be missed, so head to aldeburghfoodanddrink.co.uk to find out more.
If you love the oyster season and all things fishy, this is the festival for you. Falmouth Oyster Festival takes place on 10-13 October, and attendees will enjoy a jam-packed programme of cookery demonstrations, excellent live music and, of course, freshly shucked oysters – yum!
There will be cookery demonstrations by leading local chefs, fresh oysters, delicious seafood, and beautiful wine and local ale to enjoy. There is something for all the family with children’s shell painting and entertainment tailored to them.
There will also be sea shanties, a bright town parade, excellent live music, an oyster shucking competition, a Falmouth Working Boat race and many marquees brimming with Cornish delights.
It’s guaranteed to be a fun day out for all the family, and you can find out more at falmouthoysterfestival.co.uk.
On 19-23 June 2019, the Taste of London food festival will be in London – it’s the foodie event of the summer! It is without a doubt, the premier London food festival. Held in Regent’s Park, attendees can sample new street food, discover new food and drink, shop at the onsite market and learn from the experts through different food demos.
Cocktail and cookery masterclasses will be running all week. 2019’s the theme is ‘Wild in the City’ which involves exploring concepts of sustainability and championing craftsmanship in the culinary arts. The perfect place shop if you want to buy new unique edible gifts.
There will be notable appearances, the most famous from South African restaurant Wolfgat, crowned Restaurant of the Year at The World Restaurant Awards in 2019. Tickets start at £13 and are available from london.tastefestivals.com.
If you’re going to be in Dublin between 21 and 23 June, you might want to think about spending the summer solstice at one of the best food festivals in Ireland. Dublin’s hidden gem, Ballinlough Castle, is a three-day event that brings a fantastic culinary line-up from some of the best local innovative and gourmet food and drink producers in Ireland.
Day tickets start at €70, and a weekend ticket comes in at €189.50. These and more information are available from ticketbooth.com.
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Seán Farrell – Founder, Chateau Rouge