Looking for food festivals to visit in October? Here’s our round-up of the best food festivals taking place this month, from an oyster festival in Cornwall to Scottish porridge championships. Check out all of October’s foodie events, here…
Turkey-cooking dominates December, lamb takes centre stage in April and, over recent years, goat has taken over October. As the annual month-long celebration of goat meat returns, there’ll be pop-up events in London, Newcastle and Cornwall.
For three weeks, three chefs will be taking up residency at London’s Carousel to show how they cook the meat. Try Oaxacan influenced dishes from TJ Steele, chef owner of Claro in Brooklyn, a Spanish feast from Melbourne’s Jesse Gerner, and a farm-to-table approach from Hendrik Dierendonck.
Throughout October, cabrito.co.uk/goatober
Listen to our podcast with Cabrito founder here
London Restaurant Festival
This month-long festival highlights London’s thriving restaurant scene. There are two parts to the event – one being the special festival menus that many of London’s most exciting restaurants will be offering in conjunction with bookatable.com. The other is a wide range of restaurant experiences (think restaurant-hopping tours or film screenings).
1 – 31 October, londonrestaurantfestival.com
Falmouth Oyster Festival
Whether you’re a newbie or a know-it-all when it comes to seafood, head to Falmouth Oyster Festival and you won’t be disappointed by the seafood on offer. Meet top chefs from the area (including Ben and Jasmine Martin of Daaku, Penryn), enjoy a full programme of live music, including the annual Grand Oyster Draw and Parade, or crack and slurp as fast as you can in the shucking competition.
9 – 13 October, falmouthoysterfestival.co.uk
The Golden Spurtle
A porridge-making championship in the Cairngorms? We’re in! This annual festival, now in its 26th year, attracts oat-lovers from around the world to the village of Carrbridge this month. Participants will compete for the title of champion porridge-maker and there are strict rules: porridge can only be made from untreated oatmeal, water and salt.
Expect bagpipes, local produce (including some of the region’s finest whiskies), and plenty of opportunities 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 sticky toffee, or panna cotta?).
12 October, goldenspurtle.com
Wells Food Festival
England’s smallest city will be celebrating Somerset’s finest produce in a big way during this family-friendly, one-day festival. Graze your way around the artisan market, trying sourdough bread from Lievito Bakery and fresh pasta from Bristol-based Little Hollows Pasta, or grab dim sum from Ah-Ma’s in the street food section.
Other activities include the Charlie Bigham Discovery Zone where waste management will be the focus, and the results of the food photography competition will be shown in the town hall.
13 October, wellsfoodfestival.co.uk
If you’re an Italophile you’ll want to put this British celebration of Italy’s food and drink in your diary. A three-day festival at London’s Royal Horticultural Halls, it pairs chef demos (Matteo Riganelli, Emilia Strazzanti and Danilo Cortellini among this year’s line-up) with a chance to buy direct from a range of Italian producers; try olive oils made in Palermo and grappa produced 30 minutes from Udine.
18 – 20 October, welcome-italia.co.uk
Dartmouth Food Festival
If you want to track down some of the South West’s finest produce, Dartmouth Food Festival isn’t a bad place to start. From small-batch peanut butter made by Freda’s Peanut Butter to Salcombe’s hand distilled gins, it is a showcase of some of the region’s best ingredients, and finest restaurants.
As well as the exhibitors, the not-for-profit festival will see Pipers Farm running bacon curing and smoking demonstrations, while Matthew Shribman and Martin Caraher will be discussing how to protect the planet and your purse.
18 – 20 October, dartmouthfoodfestival.com
Norfolk Restaurant Week
Head to Norfolk at the end of the month for this celebration of local restaurants. Over 12 days, restaurants across the county will be offering special lunch and dinner deals; head to The Hoste in Burnham Market for a seasonal menu, or The Three Horseshoes in Warham for hearty home-cooked pies.
A festival within a festival, Norwich will be hosting its own restaurant week at the same time, offering special deals such as two courses for £12 at St Andrews Brew House and three courses for £23 at modern bistro and wine bar, Bishop’s Dining Room.
28 – 8 November, norfolkrestaurantweek.co.uk