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 coolest food festivals to head to in 2018.
Pub in the Park: On Tour
Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park is back for 2018, but this year it’s going on tour to bring wonderful food, drink and music to different spots around the country. Showcasing world-famous chefs, pubs and restaurants as well as a stellar music line-up, it’s no wonder that last year’s event sold out in less than 24 hours! Dust off your dancing shoes for Jamie Cullum, Razorlight, Gabrielle Aplin, Will Young, KT Tunstall and more – the best way to burn off all the delicious food on offer. Pub in the Park will be hitting Marlow from 17-20 May, Bath from 8-10 June, Tunbridge Wells from 6-8 July and Knutsford from 7-9 September.
Carnaby Street Eat, 11 August
Carnaby Street and the adjoining Kingly Street have enjoyed a food renaissance as of late, and they’re celebrating by hosting a huge street food festival this summer to showcase the diversity of global cuisines on offer in the West End. Food stalls and trucks will be serving exclusive taster dishes at a snip of their usual price so it’s well worth putting in your diary – even if just to be able to eat food from Claw, Pastaio, Jinjuu and Brindisa all at the same time… Bring your friends and fill up the communal al fresco picnic tables for a fabulous London summer day out. Free entry.
Big Feastival, 24 – 26 August
Grab your bags and head down to the Cotswolds with the whole family this August bank holiday to experience the ultimate feel-good festival with a combination of top class food and a smashing line up of live music. This year’s line up is better than ever, with Basement Jaxx, Craig David, Paloma Faith, James Arthur, Sugarhill Gang & Furious Five among others, as well as food from Mark Hix, Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc. Our top tip: make sure you bag a ticket to the for the ultimate festival fuel. Find out what to expect from the festival here. Day tickets from £64,
Meatopia 31 August – 2 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. Tickets start from £21.20,
Ludlow Food Festival, 7-9 September
Ludlow Food Festival is unique, set in the grounds of the imposing Ludlow Castle and combining a fusion of international flavours. The UK’s original Food Festival returns this September for its 24th instalment, with special guests including Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers, Saturday Kitchen regular Brad Carter and multi-award-winning food writer Rachel Roddy. Not only is Ludlow particularly special thanks to the staggering 40 hours-worth of demonstrations and tastings across the weekend, but also because of the food trails which weave through the castle’s grounds. Where else can you discover Britain’s finest produce in such a remarkable setting?
Food Rocks, 8 – 9 September
Curated by superstar chef Mark Hix for the sixth year running, Food Rocks in Lyme Regis will see the best food and drink producers from around Dorset come together, as well as live demonstrations from top chefs (Michael Caines and Mitch Tonks to name a few) and one-off supper clubs. Make sure you secure your spot to the Glenarm Estate Beef supper club on Friday 7 September, hosted by Hix himself who will serve up a five-course rustic feast. Yum! Entry is free, supper clubs are £45 per person.
Abergavenny Food Festival
Now in its 20th edition, Abergavenny Food Festival is a staple on the summer festival calendar – and this year even more so! 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. Tickets from £9, .
Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival, 29 – 30 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. Now in its 13th year, head to Aldeburgh in September 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 including Dan Doherty, Thomasina Miers and Melissa Hemsley. One to put in the diary. £8 day entry, tickets on sale from 2 July.
Falmouth Oyster Festival, 11 – 14 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.
Now Ended (See you in 2019!):
Fork to Fork
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. The current restaurant line-up includes Michelin-starred Club Gascon and Pied à Terre, Granger & Co, Kitty Fisher’s, Ottolenghi, The River Cafe and more. Find out more at
Taste Of London, 13 – 17 June
Taste of London has established itself as the foodie event to head to this summer. Head to Regent’s Park to try exciting street food, discover new products, shop to 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. A wonderful summer’s day out – let’s just hope the weather man plays game… Tickets from £13,
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. This year’s line-up is better than ever, with 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 €199, available to purchase from
Smoked & Uncut
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, it’s 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. This year sees Angela Hartnett and Mark Hix take over the kitchen, before dancing it off with Razorlight, The Noisettes, and Paul Carrack among other big-name artists. The festival will hit 4 locations this year: Brockenhurst, Bath, Lime Wood, and Devon.
Sign up to our Newsletter