Why Food Festivals Are Even Better Than Music Festivals

Why Food Festivals Are Even Better Than Music Festivals

Missed out on Glastonbury? Didn't score tickets to Wireless? Don't worry, this year food festivals are where it's at...

Who needs a cramped tent, muddy field and potential trench foot at a music festival when instead you can sip on craft beers, feast on lobster rolls and hotdogs from hot hipster chefs and spam yout friend's Instagram feeds with endless shots of #foodporn. Yep, this year forget the music festival, it's all about the food festival. Here's our roundup of the best in the UK. Prepare to get hungry...

The Aldebrugh Food Festival

When?

26th-27th of September 

Where?

In the instagrammble surroundings of the Snape Maltings, right next to the River Alde and close to the Suffolk coast. The original buildings where cereal grain was converted into malt are now used as a restaurant, gift shop and concert hall but come festival time the entire grounds are taken over with food stalls. 

What will get our tastebuds tingling? 

This year the festival is celebrating 10 years and with over 90 food and drinks producers from Suffolk you will not go hungry. There is a big focus on new and young producers and the festival aims to encourage people to buy local by highligting the connection between food and farming. We had a sneak preview (read feast) of the festival and trust us you are in for the ultimate foodie treat. We're still dreaming of the fruit cream ices from Alder Tree Ltd, juicy burgers from Kenton Hall Estate (the beef is both reared and butchered on the estate) and the addictive bean-to-bar chocolate from the village's Pump St Bakery. Their sourdough bread is pretty darn moreish too. But what we love most of all about Aldeburgh is the producers' passion and knowledge for the food they create. Fen Farm Dairy showed us that raw milk and cheese doesn't have to be scary, and after a tour of Aspall Cyder we finally got rid of our student memories of warm sickly pints. Instead, we realised that just like wine, cyder (yep it's spelled this way too) is actually something to be slowly sipped and appreciated. They still press, ferment, blend and bottle their cyder on site in Suffok just like their founder did over 300 years ago, think of it like the drinks equivalent of the slow food movement. 

Jimmy's Sausage And Beer Festival

When? 

25th-26th of July 

Where? 

On Jamie Oliver's best mate, Jimmy Doherty's pig farm in Ipswich. 

What will get our tastebuds tingling? 

Sausages and beer obvs. There's also plenty of veggie options and a cocktail bar if you don't eat meat or drink beer. Plus there's cookery demonstrations, live music and huge focus on entertainment fot kids. 

In addition to plenty of sausages and beer (obvs) there are cookery demonstrations, live music and lots of kids entertainment too. 

 

The Great Cornish Food Festival 

When? 

25th-27th of September

Where? 

Truro, the capital of Cornwall

What will get our tastebuds tingling?

Dedicated 100% to Cornish food and drink, you can expect over 60 exhibitors and 40 chefs and food experts rustling up moreish dishes. It's also a great opportunity to discover new talent (hello Deli Farm Charcuterie) alongisde more established names like Rodda’s Cornish Dairy (clotted cream addiction anyone?)  And there's courses too including how to fillet a fish (seriously harder than it looks,) chocolatiering and cocktail shaking. 

 

The Great Dorset Chilli Festival 

When? 

1st-2nd of August 

Where? 

The Earl of Shaftesbury hands over St Giles Park to chilli enthusiasts for the weekend. 

What will get our tastebuds tingling? 

Or in this case burning. It's like a chilli lover's dream with chilli growing talks, a cayenne condiment section and a huge pepper plant sale. There's also a chilli-con-carne cookoff, a whole host of spicy street food and local beers to cool down. 

The Isle Of Wight Garlic Festival

When? 

15th-16th of August

Where? 

On Benedict Cumberbatch's favourite island. Seriously check this out. 

What will get our tastebuds tingling? 

From garlic ice-cream to garlic fudge and garlic beer, this is seriously a vampire's nightmare. If you're bored of just crushing garlic for a stir-fry then head to Rachel Khoo's cookery demonstration for more exciting uses. There's plenty for non-garlic fans too with cream teas, a funfair and a giant beer tent. 

The Manchester Food And Drinks Festival 

When?

10-21st of September

Where?

You'll find the festival hub in Albert Square but this festival aims to transform as much of the city centre and surrounding Mancunian areas into a foodie paradise

What will get our tastebuds tingling?

Thomasina Miers, founder of the yummy Mexican restaurant group, Wahaca, and author of Chilli Notes, heads up a mini tequila and chilli celebration, the Biospheric Foundation are creating an urban mushroom farm and naturally there's plenty of streetfood stalls and tasting sessions too. 

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