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

Check out our round-up of the best UK food festivals and events in October 2016, from oysters in Devon to porridge in the Scottish Highlands for the best local producers and street food

Dartmouth Food Festival

A feast of regional food and drink, demos, workshops and food and drink stalls are part of the line-up at this year’s Dartmouth Food Festival, which takes place in the Devon estuary town this month. Mitch Tonks is set to head up a range of chef-led cooking demonstrations, with other star turns in the shape of Mark Hix, Romy Gill and Matt Tebbutt.


If you fancy learning how to crack crab, fillet a fish or make use of a whole carcass, this is the place to pick up some tips. Join the opening night feast, attend a Prosecco tasting or sign up for a drinks seminar with expert Suzy Atkins. Or, if you just want to sip the hard stuff, there will be pop-up bars from Sharpham Wines and Salcombe Distilleries. Or shop stalls from the likes of Black Cow Milk Vodka, The Taco Shack and British Cassis.

21 – 23 October, dartmouthfoodfestival.com

London Restaurant Festival

October just got a bit more exciting for London foodies thanks to the London Restaurant Festival. A celebration of eating out across the city, the festival brings together over 200 restaurants and, in partnership with them, offers diners the chance to enjoy special menus, chef-hosted lunches and restaurant-hopping tours.

Bespoke menus are on offer at restaurants as diverse at The Cinnamon Club, Tredwell’s and Yauatcha. If you find it hard to choose just one place to eat, however, join a restaurant-hopping tour. These are themed around tapas, cicchetti and sushi. Or you could hop on a red Routemaster bus for the Veuve Clicquot Gourmet Odyssey gastronomic road trip, which stops off for a different course at The Manor, Noble Rot and Morito Hackney. 

Still not sated? Then sign up for the Ultimate Gastronomic Weekend. A special package this includes meals and wine tastings at three top restaurants, a lunch hosted by Michel Roux, lots of Veuve Clicquot champagne, an overnight stay at the Andaz hotel and a VIP tour of Fortnum & Mason.

Only time for one event? London’s Longest Lunch promises to be a memorable experience, with wine producers from across the world stepping in as sommeliers and three courses of food from both Richard Corrigan and Tomos Parry.

Throughout October, londonrestaurantfestival.com

Wells Food Festival

England’s smallest city will be celebrating Somerset’s finest produce in this family-friendly one-day festival. Spruce up your sommelier skills at Wraxall Wines’ wine tasting event, or learn how to cure your own meat with Somerset Charcuterie. Graze your way around the Artisan Market with its local cheese, cider and and artisan chocolate stalls.

Other activities include an Eat The Landscape photography exhibition and a Food For Thought area that will host activities focused on sustainability and waste.

9 October, wellsfoodfestival.co.uk

The Golden Spurtle

A porridge-making championship in the Cairngorms? We’re in! This annual festival in the village of Carrbridge attracts oat-lovers from around the world, each of them competing for the title of champion porridge-maker. Expect bagpipes, local produce (including some of the region’s finest whiskies), and plenty of opportunity for taste-testing. And, if you can’t make it to Carrbridge but your daily breakfast could do with upping its game, take a look at some of the exotic porridge recipes on the championship’s website (anyone for whisky, cinnamon and apple, or banana brulée?)

8 October, goldenspurtle.com


A celebration of Herefordshire’s ancient apple orchards, Harvestime takes place in and around the village of Much Marcle. Details of this year’s event have still to be confirmed but expect local farms, orchards, cider mills and barns to open their doors to visitors; walk, cycle, drive or hop on a tractor-powered trailer between them and enjoy the autumn countryside at its rosiest.

Many of the participating venues will be selling apples and apple-related produce (cider and perry among it) as well as serving ploughman’s lunches, sausage baps and apple teas.

8 & 9 October, bigapple.org.uk

Falmouth Oyster Festival

As Cornwall’s traditional oyster-dredging season gets underway there’s little reason to hold back if you’re a fan of the briny molluscs. Head to Falmouth and you can learn how to shuck the things, cook them, sing sea shanties about them or simply toast them with local crafts beers, wine and even tea.

You don’t have to be a seafood lover to enjoy the festival, though. This year’s event is remaining true to its roots and market stalls will be offering a vast range of produce from across Cornwall, from pasties to preserves.

13-16 October, falmouthoysterfestival.co.uk


Hamper Llangollen

Llangollen’s annual food festival sets up stall again this month offering visitors a range of cookery classes, talks and workshops. It’s the local producers’ market that tends to draw the biggest crowds though.

Our top picks? Chilli Cow ice cream will be unveiling their new honey and lavender variety at this year’s event, while old favourites include Llangollen Brewery’s craft beers and Orchard Pigs pies.

15 & 16 October, llangollenfoodfestival.com

Veg Fest

Vegetarians and vegans will descend on London’s Olympia, for this annual gathering of dairy- and meat-free foodies. 14 years since launching in Bristol, Vegfest is now nationwide with events in Brighton and Glasgow as well as Bristol and London.

Veg fans can enjoy a day of cookery demos, juicing workshops and nutritional talks alongside the chance to shop from over 200 stalls – everything from Pana Chocolate and Happy Maki Sushi to The Big Fat Vegan Bakery and Planet Organic. Try vegan hot dogs, Caribbean stews, fresh Pad Thai, vegan draught beers and fresh juices.

22 – 23 October, vegfest.co.uk

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