One of two Foodies Festivals taking place this season (the other is at Truman Brewery in London) the Edinburgh version runs from 25 to 27 November. A long line-up of guest chefs will be demonstrating techniques and ingredients (don’t overdo it in the Champagne Ski Bar if you want to make the most of their advice) while an artisan Christmas market, with over 150 producers, means culinary stocking fillers are all sewn up. And, with a street food courtyard to graze your way through between events, there’s no danger of going hungry. If you do have extra room, make your way to the pudding hall for all manner of desserts and puddings.
25 – 27 November, foodiesfestival.com
Didcot Food Festival
Bake Off star Christine Wallace has organised this three-day festival in her hometown so expect plenty of local food producers as well as baking tips. Christine has rallied her Bake Off friends (including Richard Burr, Beca Lyne-Perkis, Kimberley Wilson, Glen Cosby and Ali Imdad) to pull together a top-notch programme of baking demos, as well as various Masterchef – The Professionals experts too.
While the festival will have its own food market and stalls, it’s been designed to tie in with a wider Christmas market in the town, so combine a trip to both and you’ll soon have those stockings filled.
25 – 27 November, didcotfoodfestival.com
New Forest Food and Drink Festival
Not a region to do things by halves, the New Forest is dedicating a whole week to celebrating the region’s food and drink. Taking place at various venues within the Forest, events range from a six-course tasting menu focused on local autumnal produce at Chewton Glen Hotel to a seafood and fizz lunch by the Beaulieu River at the Master Builder’s Hotel.
It wouldn’t be a properly English festival without a spot of afternoon tea and thankfully the Beaulieu Hotel has stepped up to the task, organising a fancy dress Mad Hatters’ tea party for children as part of the festivities (expect strawberries and cream, homemade marshmallow mushrooms and a trip to ‘jelly wonderland’). Elsewhere the programme includes foraging trips, craft ale menu pairings and cheese tastings, all with a New Forest slant.
October 31 – November 6 thenewforest.co.uk
Hay on Wye Winter Weekend
Lovers of literature and food rejoice: from 25 to 27 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.
25 – 27 November hayfestival.com
Jersey has long been known for its rich dairy produce, fine beef and, of course its potatoes, but now the island’s chefs are starting to win recognition too. Celebrating their skills, this annual festival offers visitors the chance to try special menus from the chefs of the Channel Islands’ and mainland Britain’s best-loved restaurants as well as local producer visits and field-to-fork experiences (look out for the Faulkner’s Fisheries tour to see how fresh lobster is delivered fresh to The Atlantic Hotel’s kitchens in just ten minutes).
The Atlantic Hotel’s chef, Mark Jordan, will be putting on fine dining events at the property’s Michelin starred Ocean Restaurant, or join a lobster and Jersey beef burger event at Mark Jordan at the Beach.
3 – 6 November, theatlantichotel.com
You may also like…
Best British Isles weekend breaks: Jersey
Edinburgh, Scotland: 10 best places to eat and drink in 2016
The New Forest by bike: a foodie cycling break
The Pig hotel, New Forest: quick review and best risotto recipe