Sunday , June 4 2023

10 of the best spring and summer food festivals in the UK for 2022

Taste Liverpool. Drink Bordeaux, Merseyside

Over the jubilee weekend, Liverpool will be celebrating the local food scene and French wine. Three streets – Hope Street, Bold Street and Castle Street – are hosting immersive food experiences, with takeovers by chefs and producers, cookery demonstrations, cultural activities and festival menus in restaurants. Concurrently, the city is hosting the UK outpost of the Bordeaux wine festival, whose flagship event is a wine experience at the town hall, with six tastings, masterclasses and DJs.
2-5 June, some free events, wine experience from £18,

Normandy food tour, south-east England

Normandy Food Tour
Photograph: Mathilde Boclet

The Normans are invading again this May bank holiday weekend, but this time they come in peace – and bearing gifts. A free food tour calling at Hastings, Windsor, Norwich and Canterbury will showcase food, drink and music from the region. French chefs will demonstrate how to cook classic dishes, from escalope à la Normande (with cream and cider) to teurgoule rice pudding. Visitors can sign up for tasting masterclasses, including cider, calvados, cheese (camembert, neufchâtel and mimolette) and cakes and biscuits (madeleines, caramel de pommes dieppois). Food trucks will sell seafood, burgers with camembert and Normandy cheesecake, while live music comes courtesy of the Carpanorama music bus.
29 April (Hastings), 30 April (Windsor), 1 May (Norwich) and 2 May (Canterbury), free,

Food Forever, Kew, London

Giant wooden troll at Kew Gardens for the Forever Food festival
Giant wooden troll at Kew Gardens for the Forever Food festival

Kew Gardens’ summer season is focusing on the fragile future of food, exploring the impact our eating habits have on the world. A new trail of food-related art installations runds around the garden, from giant wooden trolls highlighting food waste to a mirrored work referencing the danger of monocultures. Immersive exhibits include a cornfield labyrinth and a fantasy feast. After-hours events in June and July feature film screenings, food tastings, live performances and talks from food innovators, scientists and chefs. The Pavilion restaurant, which has views of the pagoda and temperate house, will also stay open late.
Weekends from 21 May to 18 September, included with entry to gardens. After-hours events on 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 June and 1, 2 July, from £15,

Locally Sauced festival, West Sussex

Locally Sourced. The Custom Spirit Co. They are a local distillery creating personalised flavoured rum and are running the Rum School.

This festival in Haywards Heath aims to promote sustainable Sussex produce, from food and drink to fashion. A culinary hub will sell street food such as wagyu burgers; there’ll also be a pop-up Egyptian restaurant; fish, baking and Italian cookery demos; and an artisan market selling treats including cannoli. The bars will stock local beers, wines, ciders and gin, plus boozy cocktail sorbets. The lifestyle area will have independent homeware and clothes shops – complete with personal shoppers – and a kids’ zone with baby facilities, soft play and craft workshops. Up-and-coming local bands are playing during the day, with Toploader headlining on Sunday night.
23-24 July, adult £19.50, child £8.50

Festival of Fire, Pembrokeshire

Festival of Fire in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, Wales

This sizzling street food festival on Milford Haven’s Waterfront will focus on fire cookery. During the day, stalls will be serving flame-grilled steaks, Afghan wraps, barbecued prawns and toasted marshmallows. The head chef at Dulse, the restaurant at the new Tŷ hotel, will be demonstrating fiery dishes, and the Freedom Brewery will be quenching thirsts. In the evening, there will be a “fire spectacular” with live performances, flaming sculptures and an immersive fire garden. This is the first of Milford Waterfront’s spring/summer festivals; future events include a beer festival in May, another street food festival in August and a fish festival (date TBC).
29 April-1 May, daytime free (booking required), evening £5,

Shropshire Party at the Quarry Park

Shropshire Party at the Quarry Park

This drinks festival in Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park celebrates local breweries and small-batch producers, with about 20 pop-up bars pouring beer, cider, wine, gin, Pimm’s, cocktails and liqueurs. To soak up the booze, there will be another 20 or so globally influenced food stalls, from paella to pierogi and African-Caribbean to Indian street food. Food and drink aside, entertainment will include a live music stage with local bands, a silent disco, a comedy tent and a studio teaching belly dancing, hula hooping and line dancing.
20-21 May, from £12.50 (child £10),

Picnic Social, Lincolnshire

Picnic Social, Lincolnshire Lincoln’s Norman castle
Lincoln Castle

Lincoln’s Norman castle is the atmospheric setting for a free summer gathering this July and August, celebrating “food, culture and community”. Visitors will be able to picnic in the grounds after stocking up at stalls selling bread, cheese, charcuterie, cakes and street food, plus beer and spirits. At weekends, the castle gates will be open until 11pm, with DJs spinning a summer soundtrack. Dogs are welcome on 23 and 24 July, and visitors can book a ticket for the castle’s medieval wall walk on 29 July (£10.50), for evening views across the city.
23 July to 7 August, free entry,

Heaton Park food festival, Manchester

A new playground area in Heaton Park.
A new playground area in Heaton Park. Photograph: Mark Waugh/Alamy

The team behind the award-winning North Leeds food festival is launching a new event in Manchester this summer. The Heaton Park food festival will be a two-day extravaganza with international street food, eight independent bars (including a champagne bar), a live cookery theatre and a market with more than 80 local producers. The eclectic music lineup includes singer-songwriters, choirs and bands, from jazz, soul and swing to indie and pop. There is also an entertainment arena with magicians and comedians, lots of kids’ activities, a fun fair and a wellbeing area.
20 and 21 August, from £4.95 (child £2.95),

Great British food festival, East Yorkshire

Burton Constable Hall.
Burton Constable Hall. Photograph: Andy Medcalf/Alamy

The Great British food festival has a new venue for 2022: Burton Constable, an Elizabethan country house near Hull. As well as street food, market traders, bars and chef demos, there will be some unusual features. The challenge stage will host Man v Food-style contests – sausage-scoffing or chilli-chomping, say – and a Cake Off. There’ll also be a barbecue stage, kids’ cooking classes and foraging walks around the grounds. A different live act will perform on the hour, and for children there’ll be a mini zoo, bouncy castle, circus skills workshops and wacky races.
14 and 15 May, from £10.80, other venues throughout the summer,

Foodies festival, England and Scotland

MasterChef 2021 champion Tom Rhodes at the Foodies Festival
MasterChef 2021 champion Tom Rhodes at the Foodies Festival

The UK’s biggest touring food festival has four new locations this year – Maidstone, Exeter, Norwich and Glasgow – taking the total to 12. A Foodies festival is the place to see TV food stars, with appearances from MasterChef champs and Bake Off winners, as well as Michelin-starred chefs such as Atul Kochhar. There’ll be Ready Steady Chef cooking contests, celebrity signings in the Cook Bookshop, a baking theatre, cocktail-making masterclasses, a street food avenue, a feasting tent, a shopping village and more. Performers will include Natalie Imbruglia, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Scouting for Girls.
Dates from 30 April to 18 September, from £18 (child from £6),

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