• News & reviews

This summer’s best food festivals

  • 01.08.2017

Wilderness 
3–6 August
It’s the gastronome’s Glastonbury, where food is as much the headliner as the music. Here, on the stunning Cornbury Estate, Grace Jones takes the stage and Yotam Ottolenghi serves a banquet in a circus tent. Swim in the lake before breakfast at Berber & Q, then forage in the forest with Hunter Gather Cook. Hear debates at the Forum while tucking into take-out from restaurants like Bao, Kricket and Frenchie… And then go dancing.
Where: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
wildernessfestival.com

River Cottage Festival 
26–27 August
Head to the River Cottage farm over the summer bank holiday, where Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is hosting a jam-packed programme of live music, street food, foraging, yoga and plenty to keep the young ones entertained. There will be cookery masterclasses, and farmhouse feasts prepared by the River Cottage chefs. Come for the day or stay for the weekend – you may not want to leave at all.
Where: Axminster, Devon
rivercottage.net/festival

Food Rocks Festival
19 & 20 August
For five years, renowned chef Mark Hix has held this food festival in his home town of Lyme Regis, as a way of supporting the local community and charities that are close to his heart. Join cooking demos led by Angela Hartnett, Richard Bertinet and more, sample the wares of local traders, such as Black Cow Cheese and Purbeck ice cream, and don’t miss out on Saturday night’s Crab & Mackerel supperclub, hosted by Mark himself.
Where: Lyme Regis, Dorset
hixrestaurants.co.uk

The Big Feastival 
25–27 August
There’s a killer line-up at Alex James’ annual bank holiday knees-up in the Cotswolds this year, with demos from Olia Hercules and Gennaro Contaldo, plus live music from Olly Murs and Madness. Top street-food traders, from Breddos Tacos to Bubbledogs, will be on hand to refuel partygoers. Our top tip for obliterating your weekend hangover? A bacon butty from Le Swine, which is made with thick-cut rashers and served in a milk-and-onion bun – it’s sure to soothe your sore head and leave you ready for another day of festival frolics.
Where: Kingham, the Cotswolds
uk.thebigfeastival.com

Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival 
23 & 24 September
Suffolk is packed with brilliant British food producers, and the best of them will come together for this charming festival in the pretty village of Snape Maltings. As well as delicious local produce (don’t miss the flaky, buttery bear claws from Pump Street Bakery), there’ll be demos from top chefs including Jordan Bourke and Tim Siadatan. The idyllic setting on the banks of the River Alde makes this a fitting place to soak up every last bit of late summer sun – preferably while sipping a cold glass of Suffolk cider.
Where: Snape Maltings, Suffolk
aldeburghfoodanddrink.co.uk

Raymond Blanc Festival Of Music
3 & 4 October
He’s known for his fancy French fare, but Raymond Blanc has also hosted a fabulous classical music, opera and jazz festival at his Oxfordshire restaurant and estate, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, for the past 25 years. The event includes music from acoustic singer Jack Savoretti and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a torch-lit walk to the restaurant for an opulent feast created by Raymond Blanc and his team, including a selection of wines from the cellar.
Where: Oxfordshire
belmond.com/lemanoir

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