List of The Best South West Food Festivals

WordItOut-word-cloud-790703We all love a good foodie fest, and the region covered by our print directories here in the south and west of England has plenty to choose from!

We’ve put together this guide of great gastronomic events to whet your appetite.

 

1. The Great Bath Feast

The Great Bath Feast

The Great Bath Feast by Angel Ganev, CC BY 2.0, Flickr.com

Not surprisingly, this wonderful annual food festival won the 2015 Bath Life Award for event of the year.

Held throughout the month of October, it’s an autumnal taste sensation that’s best summed up in the words on the Great Bath Feast website:

“The Great Bath Feast is a melting pot of wonderful flavours and lively personalities; of cakes and ale; of great gourmets and warm gastro pubs; of buns and cook books; of gastro gadgets and wine and food matching… a month long Food Festival where all of the participants are keen to share their enthusiasm for fine food and drink with you.”

Indeed the Feast draws celebrities galore, as well as plenty of home-grown talent.

Keep an eye on the website for details of what’s on when at the next Great Bath Feast!

2. Bristol Food Connections

Bristol, home of Bristol Food Connections

Bristol Streets by Robert Heiligers CC BY-ND 2.0 Flickr.com

Bristol Food Connections is a giant celebration of food that encompasses the whole city between May 1 and 9, reflecting the metropole’s vibrant and diverse food culture.

In collaboration with the BBC, Bristol City Council, Bristol University and other Bristol institutions the festival aims to educate and build on Bristol’s pioneering attitude to food. The ethos is to make events affordable, to encourage participation, to learn and have fun.

Producer markets, a huge food trail, debates, good food walks, cookery classes and demos are just some of the usual events held across Bristol.

For full details visit the Bristol Food Connections website.

3. The Somerset Food and Drink Fest

Somerset Cider and Cheese

Somerset cider and cheese by Betsy Weber, CC BY 2.0 Flickr.com

Held in the Showering Pavilion at the Royal Bath and West Showground over a weekend in mid-October each year, The Somerset Food and Drink Fest showcases the delectable produce of Somerset County and surrounds, including the county’s renowned cheese and cider.

Besides the local food, there’s plenty to see and learn from local chefs and finalists from national contests such as Master Chef and the Great British Bake Off.

Cider makers, brewers, cheese producers, winemakers, butchers, bakers, chocolate makers – they are all there to tempt the taste buds. When you’ve eaten your fill and loaded up with goodies to take home, you can pop in the admire the Somerset Art Fair which takes place simultaneously in the Mendip Hall at the Showgrounds.

For the full menu of what’s in store see The Somerset Food and Drink Festival website.

4. Chippenham Food & Drink Festival

Fruit and Vegetable Assortment

By Olearys CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There’s a lot to pack into one day in Chippenham on a Sunday in mid-July when the Food & Drink Festival fills the streets with fun, excitement and delicious fare.

It’s a young festival – started in 2014 to showcase the best local produce and the people who grow, rear and harvest it.

It provides a tasty family day out with live music, cooking demonstrations and activities centred on the picturesque and historic centre of town, spilling through the High Street and Market Place.

To find out more go to VisitWiltshire

5. Dartington Food Fair

Devonshire Cream

Devonshire Cream by Didriks, CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.com

The Dartington Food Fair celebrates the best quality local food and drink available in South Devon. It is held over two days towards the end of May each year in a rather unique social enterprise venue known as The Shops at Dartington, near Totnes.

Visitors flock to sample the wares of some of the region’s finest food producers, enjoy live music, a cider bar, browse local craft stands and participate in demonstrations and competitions galore.

For full details about the Food Fair, visit the website

6. Burnham on Sea Food and Drink Festival

Burnham-on-Sea front

Burnham-on-Sea by Michael Warren, CC-BY-2.0 Flickr.com

The Burnham on Sea Food & Drink festival is a one-day extravaganza, held in late May and again in October, spanning five indoor venues and a very large outdoor market, in the Somerset seaside town. The festival is full of local stall holders all with a great story to tell and even better products to taste.

There are baking workshops, top chefs demonstrating ideas, and plenty of food and drink to sample and buy to the tune of some busking style entertainment. Of course, being Somerset, the event has to include some tractors, farm animals and a bit of welly-wanging.

For the latest dates and full programme of events see www.burnhamonseafoodfestival.org

7. Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival

Macaroons at Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival

Macaroons at the Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival, by Kathryn Yengel, CC BY-ND 2.0 Flickr.com

The Cheltenham Food & Drink Festival is a stunning celebration of the best cuisine in the Cotswolds and surrounding regions, held over three days in June each year.

Join celebrity chefs and local chefs and sample the wares of more than 200 fine food and drink exhibitors. Sup speciality real ales, fine wines, and champagne and watch chefs demonstrating their culinary skills in the beautiful surroundings of Montpellier Gardens.

There’s live music and street theatre too, along with all the fun of the fair.

Find out more on the Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival website.

8. Somerset Cheese, Cider and Moosic Fest

Nether Stowey, home to Somerset Cheese, Cider and Moosic Festival

Lime Street, Nether Stowey, by Stephen McKay CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

You can make a whole weekend of it at the rather wild and wacky Somerset Cheese, Cider & Moosic Fest in Nether Stowey in June.

There’s camping available at Cricketer Farm for this family friendly feast of Somerset specialities and live music. The main day is the Saturday, when the cider flows, the cheese is chomped and the music rocks the village along with fun and traditional games until midnight. It’s all about hog roast, cheesy balls, ScrumPies and the like. On the Sunday morning there is a well-stocked farmer’s market where local produce, crafts and artisan food is served up and snapped up!

For the full story visit the Somerset Cheese, Cider and Moosic Fest website.

9. The Big Feastival (Cotswolds)

Cotswold Cheese

Cotswold cheese by Dan Taylor CC-BY-2.0 Flickr.com

Eat with a beat at the massive Big Feastival, a weekend celebration of music, food and family fun presented each August by famous foodie Jamie Oliver and Blur guitarist/turned cheesemaker,  Alex James.

The venue for this delectable event is Alex’s idyllic Cotswolds farm near Kingham in Oxfordshire, which is turned into a camping/glamping village for the weekend, with a music stage, stands and demo kitchens galore. The cream of UK celebrity chefs and loads of local producers provide a monumental menu of first class food. For the kids there are games, arts and crafts and a vintage funfair.

Tickets sell like hot cakes, so click here to find out how to get some for the next Feastival.

10. Salisbury Food and Drink Festival & Market Day

Salisbury Market

Salisbury Market by Peter CC-BY-2.0 Flickr.com

Usually held in late September each year, the Salisbury Food and Drink Fest features a line up of celebrity chefs, mixologists, herbalists and all sorts of gurus of edible fare, along with a beer tent and live music.

Events such as cocktail workshops, food foraging expeditions, wine tastings and of course demonstration kitchens fill a jam-packed programme.

Most of the restaurants and cafes in Salisbury offer tasty discounts to co-incide with the festival.

The feast ends with a marvellous market day where dozens of stalls groan under the weight of luscious local and regional produce.

Click here to discover what’s in store at the next Salisbury Food and Drink Festival.

11. Calne Food and Drink Fest

Started in 2010, the Calne Food and Drink Festival has grown year on year and is now well-established as a showcase for the region’s local specialities.

The Festival, held in early September, includes a food market, street stalls, tastings, talks, and cooking demonstrations, not to mention a mini beer festival presented by local pub, the White Hart, in the Town Hall. Admission to all the events, which take place throughout the Calne town centre, is free.

Visit the Calne Food and Drink Festival website.

12. The Forest Showcase

This annual extravaganza celebrating the delights of the produce of the Forest of Dean and surrounding areas of Gloucester has definitely hit on the recipe for success!

Held in early October, The Forest Showcase serves up not only stunning food, but also real ale and wine, interesting talks, parent and child cookery classes, top chef demos, arts and crafts, and kid’s activities galore – all topped off with excellent live music.

The venue is the grounds of the Speech House Hotel, a former 17th Century hunting lodge set in the heart of the Royal Forest of Dean.

Click here for the full Forest Showcase festival story.

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