Want some ideas on where to go on holiday in August? We've selected our pick of destinations for a food lover's break this summer: English seaside holidays in Kent, canalside dining in Amsterdam and Utrecht, and fresh lobster on Maine's Atlantic coast. This is just a small selection of our UK, European and global travel guides, click here for more inspiration, or check out our pick of the best UK culinary escapes for 2022 and Europe's top food trips for 2022. We also have our pick of destinations to visit in June and July.


English seaside nostalgia in Margate

Stay in the UK this summer and enjoy a nostalgic trip to this iconic coastal town. Join tourists and locals alike in the queue for Peter’s Fish Factory for boxes of fish and chips to take to the sandy beach. For seafood in a low-key setting, head to minimal-waste restaurant Angela’s for plump Whitstable rock oysters, mussels with cider and garlic and whole roasted plaice and thornback ray with brown butter sauce.

When you’ve filled yourself on seafood, Margate's eco spa Haeckels is a chic place to unwind between meals, offering algae plump facials and a hut for sea bathing. Or take a bracing dip in the retro lido or Walpole tidal pool a little further along the coast. Reward yourself with Lulu's gelato or a refreshing local ale at one of the harbour-front bars and microbreweries, Little Swift, Xylo Brewing Ltd and The Two Halves.

Come evening, book an early supper at Sargasso, perched on the iconic pier Harbour Arm, and ask for a window or an outdoor seat to swoon over landmark views, from the harbour to the higgledy-piggledy old town and seaside-kitsch Dreamland sign, while the sun sets over the sandy bay. The menu rotates between the likes of lobster spaghetti and Catalan salt cod salad with a glass of wine from Europe’s boutique vineyards. After dinner, duck into cosy wine bar Sète and make your way through the eclectic, revolving wine list that puts the spotlight on female winemakers, Eastern European vineyards and Kentish growers. If you're staying over, one of Margate’s iconic seafront buildings opposite Turner Contemporary gallery, Fort Road Hotel, has been restored to its former life as a hotel. Breakfast is a real treat, with bacon sarnies offering a satisfying crunch courtesy of hot baguettes from Oast Bakery down the road (that also bakes divine cinnamon buns). Doubles from £140, check availability at fortroadhotel.com or booking.com.

Margate beach sand and sea with buildings in the background

Experience a food festival in Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim is Norway's third-largest city, although it's still small enough to explore on foot. Head to the centre between 3-5 August and you'll find it brimming with foragers, baristas, local producers and beer-brewing experts for Matriket Midt. Get stuck in and try dishes from the 200 food stands, learn about traditional Norwegian fare and expand your culinary horizons with modern creations. It's a fantastic way to get to know this gastronomic country, which is home to 14 Michelin-starred restaurants. Be inspired and take a class in cooking, baking, foraging or pickling.

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Outside the festival dates, Trondheim is still a must-visit. Wander across the pretty 'Bridge of Happiness,' admire the colourful buildings and find a coffee shop in Bakklandet, one of Trondheim's prettiest cobbled neighbourhoods. Be sure to order a cardamom bun for pure Norwegian joy.

Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and fjords, chefs use local ingredients to showcase Norway's bounty and make exceptional food that's worth writing home about. While high-end dining is definitely something to experience if you have the budget, you can find equally good food in most of Trondheim's restaurants. To drink, make sure you head to the world-famous Britannia Bar for cocktails made using foraged ingredients, such as meadowsweet.

There are direct flights from London and Manchester using Norwegian, or you can book your journey via upnorway.com.

Trondheim River

Visit a whisky festival in Finland

If you visit the peaceful village of Isokyrö in late August, you'll find a crowd of floral-crown wearing festival goers, sipping on whisky cocktails and singing along to cool Finnish music. Just a few hours train ride from Helsinki, perched on the banks of the Kyrö river is the Kyrö distillery. Once a year, they throw an epic party called Kyröfest which showcases the spirits they make using one of the most commonly eaten ingredients in Finland: rye.

Started by a group of four friends, Kyrö is proud to be doing things differently and so they should, they've won awards for their whiskey, gin and liqueurs. Every drink is designed to capture quintessential Finnish moments, like their gin which conjures up feelings of standing barefoot in a misty meadow after a sauna – yes, really! That'll be the local wild botanicals, including birch leaves and meadowsweet.

At the festival, be sure to order a refreshing Kyrö long drink, their take on a Finnish favourite made with gin, ginger, fizzy water and fresh mint. Or a pink gin and tonic, blended with fresh red berries and rhubarb from Finnish forests. End the night with a smoky hibiscus cocktail with their intense woodsmoke whiskey. There's food stalls for lining your stomach – think bao buns, fried rice and burgers, as well as a flower crown station and plenty of bars for you to grab a refill.

Direct flights to Helsinki start from London start around £330. Buses are available from the nearest train station, 30 minutes away.

Kyrofest 22

Alfresco canalside dining in The Netherlands

Temperatures remain pleasant in northern Europe in August, making its pretty canal-based cities ideal for the height of summer. In Amsterdam, tables spill out onto every terrace, patio and pavement. Linger over the chef’s tasting menu at Daalder or mooch down Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk, both long foodie streets with sustainable shops, organic delis and a farmers’ market on the Haarlemmerplein each Wednesday. Visit vegan-friendly salad bar SLA for a green pea and mint falafel bowl, or hop aboard the free ferry to the Noord for lunch at Pllek, a beach bar housed in an old shipping container with panoramic views of the IJ river.

Vibrant and ethnically diverse, the Oost (East) area of Amsterdam is home to leafy Oosterpark, the Dappermarkt street market – pick up inexpensive Surinamese, Moroccan and Turkish specialties – and countless cafés and restaurants. Relax over plant-to-plate dishes in the herb garden of De Kas, Amsterdam’s answer to Petersham Nurseries. Stay at Hotel Casa and bag a spot at the rooftop bar for a local Brouwerij ’t IJ craft beer.

Take the train through the lush green countryside to Utrecht. This compact little city is one of the oldest in the Netherlands, built along two tree-lined canals. The canal-side buildings that once served as warehouses now house cafés, bars, boutique shops and tiny restaurants, many set up by creative graduates from the university, who sit out on every terrace, patio or pavement in summer. Perched above the canal, Talud9, is a coffee spot that morphs into a wine bar in the evenings, while the terrace of old-school Café Springhaver is a great venue for people watching over a portion of creamy bitterballen and local ales. Blauw specialises in spectacular Indonesian rijsttafel (rice tables), an array of 15-20 ramekins filled with satay skewers, fragrant coconut vegetables, sweet soy pork and more.

Utrecht: Best Restaurants and Places to Drink in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Lobster on Maine’s Atlantic coast

Maine’s coast is dotted with charming towns that live up to a tourist’s American dream, strung together by coastal roads with uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean. From Boston, head up to Kennebunkport with its placid dock, iconic colonial weatherboard houses (some on stilts) and lobster restaurants. Further up in Portland, the Old Port's red-brick houses are home to cosy coffee shops and superb seafood restaurants, including the must-visit institution Eventide Oyster Co. Tuck into platters of oysters, crab claws and lobster rolls on the waterfront with preppy locals before mooching along the Eastern Promenade Trail.


Drive further up the coast, stopping at family-run McLoons Lobster Shack for lobster rolls with Atlantic views, before celebrating the crustacean in all its glory at Maine Lobster Festival at Rockland Harbor Park. Fresh hot Maine lobster and corn on the cob in pools of butter is served alongside the likes of lobster rolls, lobster mac ’n’ cheese and even lobster wontons. Pair with local wines and craft beers then explore the festival for seafood cooking competitions, vibrant parades and live folk and jazz music.

A fisherman holding a lobster in Maine by the sea


Alex Crossley Portrait
Alex CrossleyDigital Editor

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