The Foodie Travel Guide> Blog> Summer Food and Drink Festivals
Here’s your definitive guide to the best food and drink festivals taking place in August 2019.
Take your taste buds on a delicious day out by visiting one of these summer food and drink festivals. We’ve cherry-picked the best events taking place this July and August from family-friendly food festivals with great music to beer drinking, meat eating and wine tasting days out.
You’ll be spoilt for choice over the August Bank Holiday weekend with food festivals and events at Hampton Court Palace, River Cottage in Devon, Alex James’ farm in the Cotswolds and Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex. So don’t spend it catching up on box-sets, venture out and discover #GreatTastingBritain.
The Big Feastival
Kingham, Gloucestershire (23rd – 25th August)
Presented by Alex James, The Big Feastival is a unique weekend celebration of music, food and fun for all the family. The food festival is held over the August Bank Holiday weekend and is set on Alex’s idyllic Cotswolds farm. There’s a big music line-up including Jess Glyne, who will take centre stage on Saturday, Elbow, Lewis Capaldi and Jack Savoretti. Top name celebrity chefs making an appearance this year are Raymond Blanc, Prue Leith, Gennaro Contaldo and Mark Hix. Love cheese? Don’t miss the Cheese Hub – an all-day cocktail bar with music and a fantastic selection of Alex’s artisan cheese.
The Wilderness Festival
Cornbury, Oxfordshire (1st – 4th August)
A hip and happening family music, arts and culture festival with a big appetite and a packed programme of events. Expect field restaurants from the likes of Petersham Nurseries Cafe and Angela Harnett’s Café Murano; long table banquets; The Chef’s Table restaurant featuring hugely respected chefs of the moment such as such as Neil Borthwick and Dan Smith (who last year opened The Fordwich Arms in Kent), and food stalls galore. In between all the action, try paddleboard yoga, go for a wild swim or relax outdoors in the lakeside spa where you can enjoy a wood-fired hot tub with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.
BBC CountryFile Live Show at Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire (1st – 4th August)
Now in its fourth year, BBC CountryFile Live goes from strength to strength attracting visitors from all over the country. Held in the grounds of the magnificent Blenheim Palace, this is a fantastic day out for all the family. Meet the animals from Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, cycle through the grounds, picnic on the village green while listening to a brass band or have a pint at the Craven Arms.
Food events include cooking demonstrations from chef, Brian Turner, and his celebrity friends (this year’s line-up includes Ben Tish, Jack Sturgess and Rebecca Boast from The Raymond Blanc Cookery School). Plus, there’s a British charcuterie tent, the National Trust FarmYard Cookery Theatre where Gill Meller, Melissa Hemsley and Martha Collison will be taking to the stage. Don’t leave your dog at home. This is one of the most dog-friendly festivals in the country.
Foodie Travel Guide Tip: This year, CountryFile Live will be making its show debut at Castle Howard in Yorkshire from 15-18 August.
Foodies Festival Oxford
South Park, Oxford, (24th- 26th August)
Held in Oxford’s South Parks, this food and drinks festival is one of the popular things to do in Oxford over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Last year’s line-up included appearances from Great British Bake Off Winner 2017, Sophie Faldo; local author and celebrity chef, Sophie Grigson, and restaurateur and chef, Giancarlo Caldesi, owner of La Cucina Caldesi cookery school in London is also taking part.
Find: Best Places to Stay in Oxford
Discover: More Things to do in Oxford
The Great British Beer Festival
Olympia, London (6th-8th August)
Organised by CAMRA, the Great British Beer Festival is the ultimate beer tasting event for real ale and craft beer lovers across the country. The drinks festival, now in its 42nd year, will host over 1,000 real ales, craft beers, ciders and perries. Don’t like beer? Don’t worry, there’s also street food, music and entertainment. Last year, Fuller’s Brewery in Chiswick and Thornbridge Brewery in Bakewell both hosted festival bars. This year it’s the return of names such as Adnams Brewery in Southwold, Bedlam Brewery and the iconic Harvey’s Brewery.
The Great British Food Festival
Chiswick House, London (12th-14th July)
The Great British Food Festival is returning to West London in mid July. Chiswick House and Gardens will host an array of artisan producers, food and drink stalls and festival bars. Mini food events include cheese-offs, artisan talks and demos from former Great British Bake Off contestants – Jane Beedle and Howard Middleton. With live music and a packed programme of events for kids, this is a summer day out for all the family.
National Geographic Traveller Food Festival
Islington Business Design Centre, London (20-21 July)
The inaugural National Geographic Traveller Food Festival takes place this July with a stellar line-up of celebrity chefs. Raymond Blanc, John Torode, Andi Oliver and Gennaro Contaldo will all be taking part. With the emphasis on world food, you can immerse yourself in different cuisines by taking a masterclass, listening to a talk or visiting the exhibition stands. With tourist boards attending from countries such as Greece and Thailand, you can kick-start plans for your next foodie holiday.
Hampton Court Palace Food Festival
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey (24th-26th August)
Food lovers and history buffs flock to the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace over the August Bank Holiday weekend for a tasting extravaganza. This year’s chef line-up at the food and drink festival includes appearances from big name chefs such as Michel Roux Jr, Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussein, and Chris Bavin. Enjoy a glass of fizz at the pop-up Prosecco bar, shop for artisan food products including stalls from the Isle of Wight Garlic Farm, Thatcher’s Cider and Riverford Organics.
Tobacco Dock, London (30 August-1 September)
Taking place at the end of August in London’s Tobacco Dock is Meatopia. This food festival is all about high-quality, ethically sourced meat, cooked over ethically sourced wood and charcoal by some of the world’s best top chefs. Each day, an impressive line-up of 25 chefs from restaurants such as Hawksmoor, Sabor and The Mash Inn, create a unique dish and cook it right in front of you. Eat as many dishes as you like using “Meatbucks”. For drinks, wash it down with a pint of Frontier from Fuller’s Brewery in Chiswick.
The London Brunch Fest
The Truman Brewery, London (31st Aug – 1st September)
Back for its second year, Brunch Fest is the place to drink coffee and munch on your favourite brunch food. Expect avo toast, fruit-filled smoothies, eggs galore and sizzling sausages. With a resident DJ, you can chill out to the sound of cool vibes as you sip cocktails.
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Maldon Smoke and Fire Festival
Essex (16-18 August)
The UK’s biggest BBQ festival is dedicated to slow cooking and is sure to be a hit with lovers of the American-style barbecue. Teams from across the UK and Europe will compete to win the title of pitmaster, while festival attendees can feast on their 24-hour smoking efforts. You get cooking competitions, tips on BBQ techniques and demos from the experts. This family-friendly charity fundraiser also includes live music and a Friday night launch party with long table BBQ banquet.
Brogdale Cider Festival
Faversham, Kent, 24th & 25th August
As a venue for a food and drinks festival, Brogdale Farm in Kent is pretty special. Its vast orchards house the nation’s fruit collection and the world’s largest collection of fruit trees. The setting is perfect for a summer cider festival where you can taste over 60 different varieties. If you’re staying in nearby Whitstable for the August Bank Holiday weekend, why not pop over for some cider appreciation?
Find: Best Places to Stay in Whitstable
Discover: More Things to do in Whitstable
Photo: Julia Claxton
RidgeFest at Ridgeview Wine Estate
Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling, Sussex (24th August)
Ridgeview Wine Estate in Ditchling produces outstanding English sparkling wine. On Saturday 24th August, it will be hosting its second Ridgefest with live music, street food, wine tasting, a cocktail bar and silent disco. Set amongst the vines and with panoramic views of the beautiful Sussex countryside and South Downs, this is a wonderful day out for wine lovers. Sip a complimentary glass of sparkling wine on arrival before taking a tour of Ridgeview vineyard and winery.
Find: Best Places to Stay in Sussex
Discover: Things to do in Brighton
Dartmouth Crab Festival
Plymouth, Devon (15th September)
Dartmouth’s annual August Crab Festival is taking a well-deserved break this year. However, Mitch Tonks’ seafood festival is crawling along the coast to Plymouth where it will take place on 15 September. Plymouth’s fishing quarter, home to Mitch Tonk’s Rockfish eatery, will play host to live music, entertainment and food stalls selling delicious crab dishes and seafood creations.
Can’t make it? Put a date in your diary now to visit the Dartmouth Food Festival in October, one of Britain’s best food and drink festivals.
River Cottage Festival
Axminster, Devon (24th & 25th August)
Hugh and his team know how to put on a show that will appeal to the whole family. This year’s River Cottage Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend, promises music, masterclasses and a range of different experiences including foraging walks and star gazing. Foodies can take a class in wood-fired meat, wild cocktails or try your hand at ‘happy gut’ mezze.
Find: Best Places to Stay in Devon
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Bristol, Somerset (2nd – 4th August)
Valley Fest is a small, family-friendly festival that celebrates organic food, sustainability and provenance. It’s held on a working farm in the Somerset countryside overlooking a beautiful lake in Chew Magna. Listen to great music (with highlights this year from Tom Odell, Basement Jaxx and Razorlight), take your kids to the Aardman model making workshop and tour the community farm. Food lovers will love the luxury feasts prepared by chefs such as Michelin-starred chef, Josh Eggleton from The Pony & Trap.
The Riverford Field Kitchen and Yeo Valley Canteen in Blagdon, two of Britain’s best farm restaurants will be cooking up festival brunches.
Find: Best Places to Stay in Somerset
Discover: Things to do in Somerset
Ludlow’s Magnalonga Walk
Ludlow, Shropshire (11th August)
Magnalonga is an annual mouthwatering walk for foodies in the beautiful Shropshire countryside. It’s held as part of the early programme of activities leading up to Ludlow Food Festival in September. The walk is inspired by the annual Magnalonga walk which takes place each April in the Italian wine region of Valpolicella. There are stops along the walk where you can taste some of Shropshire’s finest food and drink.
Find: Best Places to Stay in Shropshire
Discover: More Things to do in Shropshire
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival
Newchurch, The Isle of Wight (17th & 18th August)
The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival is the Island’s biggest summer show. With food, music, a funfair, entertainment, animals and all-things garlicky, it’s a wonderful day out for all the family.
Find: Best Places to Stay Isle of Wight
Discover: Things to do on the Isle of Wight
Nottingham Food and Drink Festival
Wollaton Park, Nottingham (10-11 August)
Have a tasty day out at Nottingham food and drink festival. Drink a pint in the real ale marquee, have a seafood feast in the Fruits de Mer restaurant or take a free wine tasting class from the Notts and Derby Wine School. Celebrity chefs making an appearance include Sean Wilson, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Johnny Pusztai and Eva Humphries.
Thornbridge Peakender Beer Festival
Bakewell, Peak District (16th-18th August)
Beer explorers can spend the weekend chilling out and tasting beer at this annual beer festival in the Peak District. Organised by the Thornbridge Brewery in Bakewell, it’s your chance to drink beers from some of the country’s best breweries all accompanied by delicious food.
Yum! Festival of Food and Drink
The Rose Bowl and Queen’s Gardens, Hull, (9-10 August)
This food and drinks festival in Hull celebrates both the city and the region’s artisan producers. Watch cookery demonstrations and taste local craft beer, ice cream and street food. Entertain the kids with cookery workshops, cupcake decorating and face painting. With street food stalls, music and a bar, Yum! is a fun way to enjoy the city.
Cardigan River & Food Festival
Cardigan, Pembrokeshire, Wales (17 August)
Cardigan’s River & Food Festival has grown to attract thousands of people to the town every year. Now in its twenty-first year, the ethos of this one-day food and drink festival remains the same – to celebrate the quality and diversity of the superb local independent food producers that abound in Wales. Taste award-winning cheeses and Welsh specialities, and watch cooking demonstrations. The programme of river events includes skiff races and RNLI demonstrations.
Find: Best Places to Stay in Wales
Discover: Things to do in North Wales
Bowhouse Food Weekend
Anstruther, Fife, Scotland (10-11 August)
Bowhouse is an innovative foodie space and destination on the Balcaskie Estate in Fife. It holds regular food weekends throughout the summer. If you’re visiting St Andrews or the local area, pop in over 10-11 August and shop for fantastic local produce. Choose your pick of seasonal vegetables, shellfish, meat from artisan butchers, craft drinks and sweet treats. It’s an opportunity to see, discuss, taste and buy food and drink made in the East Neuk of Fife and beyond.
Photo: Foodies Festival
Foodies Festival Edinburgh
Inverleith Park, Edinburgh, Scotland (2nd-4th August)
Watch MasterChef Finalist 2019, Jilly McCord, cook live in The Chefs’ Theatre at the Foodies Festival in Edinburgh over the weekend of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th August. Take part in chilli-eating competitions and food challenges. With street-food stalls and music from headline act The Hoosiers and 50 emerging bands, it’s a mouth-watering day out for all the family.
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The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.