Guides

The UK & Ireland's top 15 food festivals for 2018

Taste London

13th - 17th June, Regent’s Park, London
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Taste is the world’s best restaurant festival, held in over 20 cities around the globe, bringing with it an impressive pack of chefs and a lineup of incredible restaurants! Last time this event took place in London, Tobacco Dock hosted many fabulous street food traders, including three that can be found on Feast It: Motu Indian Kitchen, The Cheese Truck and Bubbledogs. Meander through the hundreds of artisan food and drink stalls, sampling wines, cheeses, charcuterie and more. You can also get involved with different activities, including endless tastings and baking and barista masterclasses.

Taste London

Meatopia

31st August - 2nd September 2018, Tobacco Dock, London
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Their strapline, ‘eat, sleep, meat, repeat’, does a pretty good job of summarising this three day London festival. The event originated in New York, but was brought to the UK by Richard H. Turner, one of the country’s best butchers and chefs. This ‘glorious city of meat’ will be held at London’s Tobacco Dock and is a carnivore carnival of high quality and ethically sourced meat. Everything is cooked over charcoal and wood, possibly making this one of the most succulent smelling festivals in the world.

Meatopia

Whitstable Oyster Festival

21st - 23rd July, Whitstable
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The best event this summer for the mollusc mad, the Whitstable Oyster Festival has been going, in some form, since the Norman times, so its steeped in history and tradition. The two day festival begins with The Landing of the Oysters, which is the first catch of the season. There’s loads of music, fancy dress parades, an oyster eating competition and a muddy tug of war. Explore tastes from around the world at the food fair, eat freshly caught local seafood on the beach at the Lobster Shack and sit out in the sun on the deck of the Hotel Continental, soaking up the atmosphere whilst sipping on a Whitstable Bay beer. As well as lots of music, there will be a spectacular fireworks finale on the beach.

Whitstable Oyster Festival

The Big Cheese Festival

3rd March 2018, Hove Lawns, Brighton
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A melting pot of the UK’s finest artisan cheeses and world-renowned cheesemakers, this is the ultimate summer’s day out for the turophile in you. Located right next to the sea in Brighton, there will be a large food court with hundreds of different cheeses to sample, as well as stringy mozzarella sticks, raclette melted onto charcuterie, bubbling fondues and halloumi fries. Enjoy wine and port pairings, homemade chutney and cheesy kitchen utensils to feed your addiction. All this will be accompanied by craft beers and wine, live stand up comedy, local bands, DJs and guest chefs. Please try to ‘curd’ your enthusiasm… sorry.

The Big Cheese Festival

London Coffee Festival

12th - 15th April, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London
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Set in the vibrant heart of East London, this is an event that every coffee lover and trader should diarise and it’s the official launch event of UK Coffee Week! The brewery venue will host over 250 stalls dedicated to artisan coffee and spectacular gourmet food, and visitors can get stuck into tastings and watch demonstrations by incredible baristas. Sign up to crafty caffeine workshops, sip on outstanding espresso martinis, gorge on some of London’s best street food, listen to live music and DJs and wander around various art exhibitions.

London Coffee Festival

Great Dorset Chilli Festival

28th - 29th July 2018, St Giles House, Dorset
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The Great Dorset Chilli Festival is perfect for heating up your British summer. It’s a celebration of the chilli, ideal for enthusiasts, general foodies and families alike. There will be tons of stalls selling chilli products, spicy cooking and growing demonstrations, plenty of artisan traders (including local ice cream to cool your burning tongue), hot street food, local beer and lots of music and dancing. The pièce de résistance is the best chilli sauce competition and the chilli eating competition… are you tough enough?

Dorset Chilli Festival

Craft Beer Rising

22nd - 24th February, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London
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Calling all craft beer enthusiasts… this is the biggest festival of it’s kind in the UK! There will be mouth watering food like gourmet hot dogs, charcuterie, barbecued meats and posh sausage rolls (all the stuff that goes really well with a brew), and of course, lots and lots of beer and cider. The musical lineup is also pretty great, with Daddy G and Krafty Kuts appearing among the headliners.

Craft Beer Rising

Pommery Dorset Seafood Festival

14th - 15th July, Weymouth Harbour, Dorset
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You’ll be happy to know that entry to the UK’s largest seafood festival doesn’t cost a thing! With over 100 stalls serving fresh local seafood, and the fabulous Pommery as the official champagne partner, this is a really delicious day out for those who love the seafood and fizz combo. Enjoy cooking demonstrations from top chefs in front of a beautiful backdrop of the quaint town and ocean beyond. The festival raises funds for The Fishermen’s Mission, which supports local fishermen and their families.

Dorset Seafood Festival

Junipalooza

9th - 10th June, Tobacco Dock, London
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Created by Gin Foundry, this show has reached the corners of the globe and will be appearing in both Melbourne and London in 2018. Conveniently scheduled for World Gin Day, Junipalooza is taking place at Tobacco Dock, with the three rooms in its vaults managed by Fever-Tree, Caorunn and G’Vine. Ticket holders to this ‘world of gin’ will be able to sample every single gin for free, neat or with a premium tonic. The show has a lineup of over 50 distillers, which means over 100 gins to try and buy! When you enter Junipalooza, you’ll be given a show guide, a tasting glass and some water… and then you’re free to enter a juniper-induced frenzy of g&ts.

Junipalooza

The Big Feastival

24th - 26th August, Alex James’ Farm, The Cotswolds
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This festival is an absolute must for foodie families, from tree climbing in the fields and teepee making, to activities in the Little Dudes Den, there is so much to do. Enjoy the vintage funfair, take part in arts and crafts in the Lifestyle Village and sip on champagne in the Veuve Clicquot VIP lounge. The food festivities are also plentiful, and include feasts and banquets, cookery schools, knife skills lessons, a market, a fire pit and a cheese hub. There’ll be lots of street food traders, many of which you can book on Feast It, like Le Swine, Sub Cult and Patty & Bun. The big musical headliners will be announced soon, but last year they included Olly Murs, Madness and Congo Natty, so we expect great things!

The Big Feastival

Porthleven Food Festival

20th - 22nd April 2018, Harbour Head, Porthleven
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This charming Cornish foodie festival is a lovely way to spend your St. George’s Day weekend. As well as a family field, there is a chef’s theatre with cooking demonstrations, music on various stages, a literary tent and absolutely masses of food and drink! Expect delicious Cornish fare from small local businesses, lots of seafood and plenty of global flavours, including one of Feast It’s Middle Eastern traders, Murray May’s. Once you’ve emerged from your food coma, fuel yourself with brilliant beers, gins and wine and head to one of the after dark parties to dance the night away.

Porthleven Food Festival

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival

18th - 19th August, Fighting Cocks Crossroad, Isle of Wight
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‘Eat, drink, stink’ is their motto and garlic is their game. With a pretty stunning setting right in the middle of the Isle of Wight, this two day show will have over 300 trade stands with lots of the local garlicky businesses having been in attendance for over 30 years. Check out quality local catering, arts and crafts, and plenty of food. There will be cookery demonstrations, local produce for sale, live music, children’s areas, archery and a big funfair. Look out for the Garlic Princess, she’ll be the one wearing a crown made out of garlic bulbs…

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival

The Big Grill

16th -19th August, Herbert Park, Dublin
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The first of its kind in Ireland, The Big Grill is the place this summer for tasting succulent meaty delicacies from across the globe, and exploring the art of cooking meat with smoke and fire. Wash it all down and cool the meat sweats with cold craft beers, ciders and delicious gins. Dublin’s biggest BBQ will host renowned chefs and butchers for cooking demonstrations and workshops, as well as a BBQ cook-off, a chilli eating challenge and great live music and DJ sets.

The Big Grill Festival

Green Heart Vegan Festival

22nd - 24th June 2018, Cwm Twrch, South Wales
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Run by Green Heart Events, this music festival in South Wales holds all things to do with the environment and veganism at its core. Their full bar stocks only vegan alcohol and all the delicious burgers, hot dogs and other food is vegan too. Listen to brilliant music on two stages, get involved in talks and workshops and even learn to play the didgeridoo! There’s a children’s area for little ones and plenty of room for camping so you can make a weekend of it.

Green Hearts Vegan Festival

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

3rd - 7th May 2018, various locations throughout the region
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The Spirit of Speyside is the ultimate celebration of Scottish heritage, and of course, whisky. Visitors can take embark on numerous distillery tours and tastings around Speyside, as well as steak and whisky dinners, masterclasses, ceilidh’s, breakfasts, afternoon teas, and plenty of whisky flavoured foods. Whether you like your tipple floral, fruity, malty, smoky or spicy, this is the perfect occasion for all whisky lovers. Tickets for each event can be bought on the festival’s website, and they’re selling out pretty fast!

Speyside Whisky Festival

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