One of the hottest food events of the year, Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire combines the off-beat fun of the modern British music festival (woodland walks, feasts around the campfire, wild swimming, and, of course, a top-notch music line-up) with seriously good food: join one of the long table banquets to enjoy fine wines and bespoke menus from Yotam Ottolenghi, Nuno Mendes and Thomasina Miers. Why not sit in one of the festival’s beautifully decorated field restaurant tents – try Italian delights from Café Murano, a British feast from The Pig or a seasonal menu of Portland crab, sirloin of beef with beetroot and chard and a summer pudding in the Petersham Nurseries tent. Some of the country’s top chefs will also be hosting chefs’ tables – indulge in Japanese flavours from Hamish Brown, a product-led menu from Robin Gill and farm-to-table dishes from Tommy Banks. With appearances from many other restaurants – including Patty & Bun, Kricket and Bao – this festival is a one-stop trip around some of Britain’s finest restaurants.
Alongside the International Festival and the Fringe, Edinburgh Food Festival is definitely one to attend this year. With street food stalls, a chef’s theatre (catch 2016 MasterChef winner Jane Devonshire and Scott Davies from The Three Chimneys in action), restaurant tents and a vintage cider tent, there’s something on offer for everyone. A kids’ cookery school should keep the little ones happy while grown-ups can dive into a chilli eating competition if they’re feeling brave.
This summer sees cheeses and chillies celebrated across the UK over five different weekends. We’ll be homing in on the Swindon gathering early this month to try pungent local cheeses (and learn more about them from a local expert). If you fancy something spicier, sample a few chillies then cool your insides with quenching ales from local Downton microbrewery (all part of an accompanying beer festival).
The New Forest town of Lymington is holding its first seafood festival this month. Expect a weekend of pop-up restaurants, food stalls and demonstration kitchens celebrating all things fishy! Spend a day indulging in lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, hand-dived scallops or seaweed seasoning – and catching cookery demos from Luke Matthews, Matthew Tomkinson and Anglo’s Mark Jarvis. What’s more, the festival is not for profit, and is partnering with the charity BLUE to seed and cultivate oysters across local waters.
For the fifth year in a row, chef Mark Hix is championing Dorset’s best food and drink producers with street food, live demonstrations and a signature supper club. Meet producers including chocolate makers Chococo, the Cornish Sea Salt Company and Nigel Bloxham’s Crab House. Then sign up for a Crab and Mackerel supper club on the Saturday night, hosted by Hix himself. If that doesn’t reel you in, there will also be an all-star line up of chefs doing live cookery demonstrations and talks, including Richard Bertinet, Angela Hartnett and Rose Prince.
A star-studded line up, with the likes of The Cribs and Ella Eyre sharing the spotlight with Jamie Oliver, Nathan Outlaw and Gizzi Erskine, this Cotswolds festival caters as well for music lovers as it does for food lovers. Well-loved street food trucks will be there to offer sustenance after dancing the night away – try Le Bun’s French-American burger twists, Made of Dough’s top-notch pizzas and Breddos Tacos’ baja fish – or head to the NEFF Big Kitchen where award-winning chefs Neil Rankin and Robin Gill will demonstrate what they can do in the kitchen. Masterclasses, an RAU vegetable patch and a vintage funfair will also be part of the fun.
Anyone who read our Ribble Valley feature will want to make a beeline for Clitheroe Food Festival to meet some of Lancashire’s finest food and drink producers in one place.
This family-friendly festival celebrates the best of the county’s food and drink producers, and the chefs who cook with it. Last year’s artisan producers included Park Farm Shop, Shirleys Pies, street food from The Real Thai Pie Company and Cunliffe Hog Roast and this year’s line-up is likely to be even bigger and better.
The best part of a festival is the beer, the food and of course the music. But, more often than not, one of these aspects takes centre stage. Not at the London Craft Beer Festival. The event was first held back in 2013 and focuses on the ‘all in’ ticket. Tickets range from £35 to £150, and for that you get unlimited beer, music, and a festival ‘zine. There’ll be over 40 breweries showcasing their best beers including Bristol based Left Handed Giant and East London Pressure Drop. If you need some food after all those pints, grab a bite to eat from Morito, Radio Alice and Gunpowder who will all be having pop ups at the event.
Fancy immersing yourself in the fun of the River Cottage farm? Well, head down at the end of August for a weekend of music, masterclasses and a whole lot of food. There’ll be cookery masterclasses, pop up restaurants as well as street food and some local ciders of course. Expect to see River Cottage founder Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall around the farm as well as forager John Wright and Bake Off’s Chetna Makan. If you need a break from all the food, there’ll be yoga classes and a load of dancing. Grab your wellies and get ready for a weekend of fun.