Festivals are great, but food festivals are better. There’s nothing wrong with planning a meal this far in advance…This is our pick of the best food festivals to book for 2019.
Pub in the Park
Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park will be returning to different spots around the country in 2019 from May – September, kicking off in Higgison Park in Marlow and finishing in Verulamium Park in St Albans. This year music headliners include Jake Bugg, Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight, Clean Bandit and Will Young, alongside a stellar food line-up, chef demonstrations, masterclasses and much more. Tickets from £30, £20 for children
Big Feastival, 24-26 August
Get in there early and grab yourself some tickets for The Big Feastival 2019, the ultimate feel-good festival located in the Cotswolds. Jess Glynne, Elbow and Rudimental are set to headline on the music front alongside top names from the food world such as Raymond Blanc OBE, Candice Brown and Daniel Clifford. Check out our guide to last year’s festival to get a feel for the vibes.
Ludlow Spring Festival, 11-12 May
Set in the grounds of the imposing Ludlow Castle, Ludlow’s food festivals are truly unique. Their 2019 Spring Festival will take place on 11-12 May, with the focus on ‘beer, bread, bangers & classic cars’. Brewers from some of the biggest names in the region will be in attendance, including Hobsons, Corvedale, Brecon Brewery, Wye Valley and Ludlow Brewery. Not only will visitors get the chance to sample the beers, you’ll also hear the story behind them: the hints, tips and tricks of the perfect brew. Likely to be the grandest place you’ve enjoyed a pint.
Food Rocks, 7-8 September
Curated by superstar chef Mark Hix, Food Rocks in Lyme Regis will see the best food and drink producers from around Dorset come together for another year in 2019. The main stage will showcase a diverse mix of interactive cookery demonstrations, talks and tastings, with a line up featuring Mitch Tonks, Angela Harnett and Steven Lamb.
Abergavenny Food Festival, 21-22 September
Abergavenny Food Festival, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, is a staple on the summer festival calendar. Perhaps the more high-brow festival on our list, it’s known for bringing together chefs, food businesses, journalists, farmers and food producers who flock to the Welsh town to enjoy talks, demonstrations and, of course, lots of delicious food. From tutored tastings, demos from top chefs, tours and forages as well as big parties, there’s something to tickle everyone’s taste buds.
Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, 28-29 September
Snape Maltings in Suffolk is home to the famous Aldeburgh Music festival, but also the Food & Drink festival which is widely regarded as one of the best in the country. Next September it’s returning for its 14th year, giving guests the opportunity to experience all of Suffolk’s best food and drink under one roof, with a large indoor market, food stalls, masterclasses, events and talks from renowned chefs – this year the line-up features Tommi Miers, Dan Doherty, Melissa Hemsley, Chetna Makan and Maunika Gowardhan. One to put in the diary.
Falmouth Oyster Festival, 10-13 October
Kick off oyster season in style with a visit to , where visitors can enjoy a packed programme of cookery demonstrations, live music and, of course, freshly shucked oysters. Expect cookery demonstrations by leading local chefs, oysters, seafood, wine and local ale to sample, children’s shell painting and entertainment. There are also sea shanties, a town parade, live music, an oyster shucking competition, a Falmouth Working Boat race and marquees brimming with Cornish produce.
Fork to Fork, 16 June
Bringing together some of the UK’s most talented chefs, Fork to Fork festival was set up in 2015 to raise money for an Open Air classroom project to teach children how to succeed in work and life. Expect to wash down delicious meals with some of London’s finest craft beer, artisan wines and spirits. Find out more at
Taste Of London, 19-23 June
Taste of London has established itself as the foodie event of the summer. Held in Regent’s Park, visitors can try exciting street food, discover new products, shop till your heart’s content and learn from the experts. Cocktail and cookery masterclasses will keep you busy, while the Taste Theatre is an absolute must, where you can get hands-on with your culinary heroes. This year the theme is ‘Wild in the City’, exploring concepts of sustainability and championing craftsmanship in food, with an appearance from South African restaurant , crowned Restaurant of the Year at The World Restaurant Awards 2019, alongside Brigadiers, Indian Accent and many more. A wonderful summer’s day out – let’s just hope the weather man plays game… Tickets from £13
Body&Soul, 21-23 June
Spend the longest day of the year at a food festival in an Irish castle, and thank us later… Dublin’s hidden gem, Ballinlough Castle, will host the three-day event to bring a fantastic culinary line-up from some of the best local innovative gourmet producers – and just to top it off, it will all be paired with champagne. The 2018 line-up included festival favourites, My Goodness, The Market Kitchen, , , and getting involved in the celebrations. Spend your Summer Solstice weekend in style… Day tickets start at €70 and weekend for €189.50, available to purchase from
Smoked & Uncut, 21-23 June
The annual Smoked & Uncut festival is more glamour than grunge, and you can expect a line-up of handpicked classic and contemporary artists as well as home-made street food, local ales and plenty of cocktails. The glamorous foodie’s festival is famed for its large family-style pop-up restaurant Feasts which see some of the country’s best chefs cook up a storm for sold-out communal Feasting tables. The 2019 music line-up includes The Noisettes, Razorlight and Rae Morris, who will be performing across three locations: Brockenhurst, Bath and New Forest, with the foodie line-up yet to be announced.
Meatopia, 30 August-1 September
Situated in London’s Tobacco Dock, Meatopia is not for the faint-hearted or small stomached. Each day, 25 chefs will create and cook a unique dish in front of your eyes for you to try! Pay using the Festival’s currency, Meatbucks, to experience the meaty madness. The perfect excuse to eat, drink and dance the weekend away.
River Cottage Food Fair, 25-26 May and River Cottage Festival, 25-26 August
The iconic River Cottage are putting on two separate foodie festivals this year, both of which take place at River Cottage HQ, the idyllic 100-acre Axminster organic farm on the Dorset and Devon border. The River Cottage Food Fair, running across the late May bank holiday weekend, will feature takes from the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi, Chetna Makan and Thom Hunt, alongside craft workshops, live music, wild food tours and artisan food stalls.
The August festival is a similar premise, with two days of cooking masterclasses, street food, demonstrations, live music, yoga and sit-down meals. The full line-up has yet to be announced, but so far names include Steven Lamb, Steph McGovern, Satish Kuar… and of course, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’ himself. Watch this space…
Surrey Food Festival, 27-28 April
Head to the pretty Old Deer Park in Richmond this April for a weekend of food, music…and sunshine, if you’re lucky. There’ll be cooking demonstrations and masterclasses, chocolate tastings, cocktail workshops and food stalls aplenty, with live bands playing all day long.
London Brunch Fest, 31 August-1 September
Avo-on-toast brigade, this one’s for you: the first ever festival dedicated to the capital’s most loved brunch dishes. Here you can brunch till your heart is content, sampling some of London’s most popular dishes alongside tea, coffee, Bloody Marys and prosecco. There will also be panel discussions, demonstrations and hands-on workshops from company founders and industry leaders, DJ sets to keep things lively.
The Food Fest, 1-2 June
Held in the picturesque seeing of Lullingstone Castle, The Food Fest will be showcasing the best of Kent’s foodie offering, from local farmer markets, breweries, vineyards and local producers. Alongside this there will be plenty of activities for children, including a vintage funfair, giant garden games, cake decorating and street art lessons, so it’s perfect for families. The event is supporting two charities: Children in Action and Ellenor.
Paisley Food and Drink Festival, 26-27 April
Plant-based foodies will be well catered for at the Paisley Food and Drink Festival, which has an all new veggie/vegan zone this year. Matt Pritchard, host of the BBC’s first vegan cookery show Dirty Vegan will be in residence, alongside Masterchef The Professionals winner Gary MacLean. Visitors can also enjoy gin tasting, Scottish ale sampling, and food from over 40 Scottish street vendors and traders, selling everything from haggis to vegan fish and chips.
Althorp Food Festival, 1 July-31 August
The award-winning Althorp Food and Drink Festival returns with an even more enticing offering. This year it runs alongside a new exhibition at Althorp House, the , which showcases hand-picked works and artefacts portraying the Spencer family’s healthy obsession with four-legged friends of all sorts. The food festival itself boasts 100 diverse food and drink stands, as well as the chance to watch world-renowned chefs including Jean-Christophe Novelli and Ken Hom OBE cooking up a storm during their live demonstrations. New for 2019, guests can now also gain a unique opportunity to learn from the headlining chefs with 90-minute cooking masterclasses.
Marylebone Food Festival, 24-28 April
For four days this April, over 40 restaurants in Marylebone will be putting on special events, supper clubs, menus, workshops and offers as part of the Marylebone Food Festival, returning for its second year. On the events front, highlights include a vegan supper club at The Gate, an Italian seafood and champagne supper at Fucina, a pisco sour masterclass at Pachamama, chocolate and wine tasting at Philglas & Swiggot, a gin mixology class at The Pickled Hen and a pasta making class at Carousel London. If you fancy dining with a group of strangers, try The London from Scratch dinner, where Chef Michelle Francis will be opening up her Marylebone apartment to 16 lucky guests for an evening of good food and conviviality.
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