From cheese to chocolate and asparagus to apples, it seems the nation has embraced the celebration of good food.
Thanks to the resurgent interest in local and British produce, there has never been a better time to get out and sample some of the fabulous food that is produced in the UK. Up and down the country, a wealth of food festivals are promoting everything from regionally produced foodstuffs, through to one off gourmet ingredients.
If you’d like to get a taste for some great British food, here’s a roundup of some food festivals around the country during the next couple of months.
The 2011 Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink
Taking place from 29th April – 1st May in the courtyard of Exeter Castle. All sorts of exciting stuff, including a chance to see top chefs such as Michael Caines of Abode restaurant. Adult tickets are £7 for a day or £15 for the weekend.
Real Street Food Festival
Taking place from 29th April – 2nd May in the Southbank Centre, London and brings together the new generation of exciting street food vendors.
The Dales Festival of Food and Drink
Taking place from 30th April – 2nd May in Leyburn, in the heart of Wensleydale, North Yorkshire. 2011 sees the festival celebrating its 10th birthday and it will feature over 80 food exhibitors, food farming demonstrations, a cookery theatre and a real ale section. Adult tickets are £8 for one day, or £12 for three days.
Real Food Festival
Taking place 5th – 8th May at Earls Court, London The Real Food Festival is a highlight of the food festival calendar, bringing together a wide range of food producers and chefs, it is the place to find out the all the latest developments in the world of food and drink. Adult tickets are £13.50 in advance or £20 on the door.
Bath Coffee Festival
Taking place 21st – 22nd May on Bath recreation ground. A celebration of all things coffee, with Barista demonstrations, music and more. Admission is free and 50% of any profits from the event will go to The Bath Rugby Community Foundation.
West Wales Food Festival
Taking place 14th – 15th May at the National Botanic Garden, Carmarthenshire, Wales, the festival will have everything from chef demonstrations to information on grow your own, beekeeping and wild food. Adult tickets are £8.50. Usual gardens admission prices apply.
Sheffield Food Festival
Taking place Sheffield city centre, South Yorkshire. There will be cooking demonstrations, a grow your own zone and markets for Italian and local farmers produce, plus loads of other scrumptious options. Open to all.
Taste of Edinburgh
Taking place 1st – 3rd July at The Meadows, Edinburgh. A weekend of fine dining to bring together the best of Scotland’s culinary greats. Adult tickets from £12 in advance.
There are a couple of great British Food Festivals taking place in October.
From Friday 1st October the Manchester Food Festival will be in full swing for 11 days, with a wide range of activities and events taking place throughout the city. The festival will be launched with an authentic German Oktoberfest in Albert Square.
One festival highlight is The Manchester Chilli Lovers Fair, which will bring some of the UK’s finest chilli purveyors to Manchester for a truly spicy celebration. Chocoholics though, should aim for the Manchester Chocolate Festival, which is taking place on one day only, Saturday October 2nd to showcase some of the UK’s top chocolatiers – there will apparently be plenty of samples to try out…
During the festival, hundreds of restaurants, cafes and bars will have special offers available, one of which is City Cafe a critically acclaimed restaurant with a warm, inviting atmosphere, which has several special offers available during the festival period.
The East Midlands Food and Drink Festival will be taking place on the 2nd and 3rd October at Brooksby Hall near Melton Mowbray. There will be a wide range of activities for all the family, including a Food and Fun Zone, wine tastings, book signings, talks and of course, lots of food and drink, making it a great day out for the whole family.