November is a quiet month for food and drink events, sandwiched between a bumper crop of autumn culinary festivals and the gluttonous festive season. But if you know where to look there are still plenty of gastronomic fairs worth making a beeline for this month – and, being low season, you’ll find some great accompanying deals at local hotels if you decide to make a weekend of it.
Clovelly Herring Festival
This annual Devon jamboree may not be the biggest food festival in the southwest but it’s one of the most heartfelt. Taking place on 15 November Clovelly Herring Festival it’s designed to promote the ‘silver darlings’ that have been fished from the village for hundreds of years (at one time 9,000 herring could be landed in a single catch), and to encourage sustainable fishing more generally. Local produce, music and crafts will all be represented but if it’s the herring you’re after you won’t be disappointed. Seafood and other local produce stalls will lead a path to the water’s edge, where the village’s remaining herring fishermen will be sharing their knowledge – and seafood cooking recipes.
Lincolnshire Food and Gift Fair
Touching down on Lincolnshire Showground at the very end of the month (28 & 29 November), this event (pictured above) is one for ultra-organised Christmas shoppers. Everything at the Lincolnshire Food & Gift Fair has a festive theme, from the 200 food producer and craft stalls to cookery demos and cocktail masterclasses; stock up on chutneys to accompany a seasonal cheeseboard, taste test pork pies for a Boxing Day lunch or Christmas puddings for the big day itself, learn how to craft the ultimate Christmas Eve tipple or just stock up on food-related stocking fillers.
Food From Fife: St Andrews Food & Drink Festival
The fourth Food From Fife: St Andrews Food & Drink Festival embraces the whole town in a culinary whirl throughout the month of November, as one of the closing events of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. Chefs from six key restaurants are involved, from Martin Hollis at the Old Course Hotel and Alan Matthew of The Fairmont to Geoff Smeddle of The Peat Inn, each offering skills workshops, cooking demos or gastronomic dinners. Tours of Fife’s farmers’ market and tutored whisky tastings are also part of the celebrations and a dedicated festival website will launch nearer the time.
Hay on Wye Winter Food Festival
Lovers of literature and food rejoice: from 27 to 29 November the small Welsh town of Hay plays host to a mini version of its annual summer gathering, with a Winter Weekend of book talks and readings. Not only are some of those events set to include some of our favourite food writers but, on the Saturday, an accompanying day-long food festival takes place in the town’s market square, with over 40 local food producers setting up stall.
BBC Good Food Cakes and Bakes Show 2015
If you’re passing Olympia between 13 and 15 November you’ll probably catch more than a whiff of icing sugar as Good Food’s specialist baking fair sprinkles west London with traces of cake mixture. Whether you’re a GBBO superfan or a baking beginner, this is the show to catch if you want to pick up new skills, take your baking to a higher level or simply get to grips with avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom. Masterclasses, workshops and demos (including those hosted by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood) are part of the package, as are stalls selling all the latest baking gear.
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