Foodie things to do in June 2016: the best food events and festivals

Check out our round-up of the best UK food festivals and events in June 2016, from a gin festival in London to fun on the farm at Open Farm Sunday

Shrewsbury Food Festival


Artisan producers from Shropshire and beyond will descend upon Shrewsbury’s riverside Quarry Park at the end of the month. Stock up on sticky puddings from Burtree Puddings, artisan breads from Hedonist Bakery and meringue tarts from Flower and White. Or graze your way around a run of street food stalls, from Buddha Belly’s Thai street food to Press De Cuba’s traditional cubanos sandwiches or Bare Bones’ wood-fired pizzas. Veggies will love Wil’s Smokehouse’ smoked vegetarian food and Nature’s Kitchen’s vegan sweet treats. Local drinks producers will be represented by the likes of Gun Dog Gin, Ludlow Brewing Company and Three Tuns Brewery. And entertainment ranges from English and Welsh chefs going head-to-head on a demonstration stage, taking part in pudding tastings or just picking a patch of grass and enjoying a picnic, listening to live music and soaking up the festival vibe.

25 – 26 June, Shrewsbury


Junipalooza Gin Festival, London

Not sure how to celebrate World Gin Day, on 11 June? Make your way to London’s Tobacco Dock and you can join in this festival to all things juniper-laced. Tastings-wise, small batch UK distillers (from Martin Miller’s and Conker Spirits to Cornwall’s Tarquin and Northern Ireland’s Shortcross) will join producers from Europe and beyond (look out for Germany’s Monkey 47, Sweden’s Hernö and Canada’s Long Table). If it’s knowhow you’re after, polish your gin knowledge with one of the festival’s masterclasses (What is Old Tom? What does it take to set up a distillery?). Or just kick back with a gin-based cocktail – coffee-laced G&Ts, negronis and French 75s will all be on offer. Street food will be on offer, too, from Mrs Jefferson’s mac ‘n’ cheese and Hot Chick’s chicken wings to Point & Flat’s slow-cooked brisket.

11 – 12 June, London


Royal Bath and West Show, Shepton Mallet

This iconic agricultural show has been getting increasingly foodie every year and 2016 sees it launching a new food and drink area showcasing the region’s artisan producers (look out for Little Jack Horner’s handmade sausage rolls, Rose Cottage Pantry’s pies and Narna’s chocolates. Setting itself apart from more food market-based events, this one offers the chance to watch the judging of the British Cheese Awards and The British Cider Championships – two food categories the West Country has a lot to boast about. And there will, of course, be plenty of cider, ale and agricultural fun in true farm-to-table style.

1 – 4 June, Somerset


Open Farm Sunday, nationwide

Hundreds of farms across the UK are set to open their gates to the public on the first Sunday of the month for this annual celebration of the links between farming and food. This, the festival’s 10th year, sees a range of activities on offer, all promising a chance to really get behind the scenes and see how our food is grown, from country walks to trailer rides and milking demos. Check out the website to find an event near you; we’re looking forward to finding out how Our Cow Molly Dairy Farm make their ice cream in Sheffield, walking through the fields of barley that Dorset’s Field Barn Farm grow for Jordans Cereals and discovering what M&S include in their salads at Hainey’s Farm in Cambridgeshire.

5 June, across the UK


Fork to Fork, Kensal Rise

Returning for the second time this summer, Fork to Fork is a food festival with a difference: it aims not just to make our stomachs feel good but to raise funds for the Open Air Classroom project, a local educational initiative with edible gardening at its heart. Set up by Wahaca co-founder, Thomasina Miers, and Caravan co-founder, Laura Harper-Hinton, it’s slightly more glamorous than that suggests. Jose Pizarro, Tom Aikens and Yotam Ottolenghi have been roped in to help out with the day’s talks, tastings and demos. A well-crafted bar, live music and kids’ zone are included in the plans while food stalls will include pop-up versions of some of London’s best restaurants, including Kitty Fisher’s, River Café, Snaps & Rye, Granger & Co and Moro.

11 June, London


Koka residency at Carousel

2014’s best restaurant in Sweden, Koka, gained a Michelin star this year, and now Londoners can get a taste of what all the fuss is about. The chefs have hopped over from Gothenburg to London for a two-week residency at Carousel, where they will be using UK-foraged ingredients in their contemporary West Swedish cooking.

Kick off with a Goteborg Goose (Grey Goose vodka, Campari, elderflower tonic and cordial) on the secluded terrace outside. Take your seat at one of the wooden communal dining tables and await a seamless succession of elegant dishes. A beautiful bowl of chopped asparagus with smoked cod’s roe and pretty purple wild garlic flowers is washed down with a savoury shot of yellow pea and lovage broth. Next up are pieces of raw mackerel with a pickled mussels puree topped with dried seaweed, followed by sweet and crunchy charred white asparagus with tangy goat’s curd and the crunch of toasted buckwheat. A main course of juicy pork belly is sweetened with a puree of beetroot and Koka’s unique blackcurrant mustard (it’s worth going for this alone). The locally foraged theme continues through to the dessert, this time with blueberries taking centre stage – semi-dried and soaked in Scandinavian spirit Akavit, and sprinkled fresh atop a chewy ground almond and fennel seed cookie.

Catch the Koka residency until 18 June, or the Sushi Sho residency from half-Japanese, half-Swedish Carl Ishizaki. His hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Stockholm only has twelve seats, so the Carousel residency (28 June – 9 July) is a great opportunity to taste his Michelin starred Japanese cooking.