Food festivals in July

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th June 2013
The summer is upon us!... …isn’t it? With recent reports that rainy summers will be here to stay for another decade, we could probably all do with a bit of cheering up, and what better way than venturing out to get soaking wet at some food festivals? July boasts some corkers up and down the country and we have listed the pick of the bunch; so don’t pull on your wellies or pack your glamping gear without checking here first.   Not content with a day, a weekend, or even a week, the Hampshire Food Festival has set aside the entire month of July to showcase its wares!  With many events taking place across the county including farm tours, chocolate and jam-making workshops, butchery master classes, brewery and vineyard tours and an amateur chef’s competition among many other things, this year’s festival promises to be another great success. We move to Wales for Sunday 7th July when the Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival takes place at Aberaeron on the west coast of Wales. Big name Welsh chefs like Stephen Terry, Gareth Johns and Michelin-starred Hywel Jones will be doing demos along with live music and lots of fresh seafod; what more could you want? Chilli Fest UK is hosting two festivals in July: one in Shoreham, West Sussex on 13th July and one in Wincanton, South Somerset on 20th July; both will involve live music, hot food and, of course, chilli eating contests! Also taking place on the weekend of 13th-14th July is the fantastic Dorset Seafood Festival in Weymouth. It’s one of the UK’s biggest food festivals with over 90 stalls and top chefs like Mark Hix, Jon Wright from River Cottage, Lesley Waters, Matt Follas and Russell Brown. Proceeds go to The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. Oundle Food Festival is a week-long event from 15th-20th July in the ancient Northamptonshire market town of Oundle. It promises a street market with over 70 stalls and various events including wine and gin tasting, bread making workshops, picnics and even opportunities to juggle and skin a fish, not necessarily at the same time! The end of Oundle Food Festival marks the beginning of another biggy: The Essex Festival of Food and Drink on 20th and 21st July in Cressing in deepest Essex. There are three cookery theatres and seating for over 500 visitors to watch demos from the likes of The Great British Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood. The weekend of the 27th-29th July sees The Big Cheese, a festival dedicated to cheese, believe it or not. Set in the historic town of Caerphilly in south Wales, this free festival is an extravaganza of street entertainers, music, dance, funfairs, living history encampments and quite a lot of cheese. The 27th also sees the start of the Whitstable Oyster Festival which runs all week until 2nd August. The festival is a revival of an old mediaeval celebration and includes the traditional ‘landing of the oysters’ when Whitstable sea scouts bring oysters ashore for a formal blessing and presentation to the mayor. Strangely the festival is held outside the oyster season. Apparently this was the only time the inhabitants had to spare when they weren’t out catching oysters – makes sense really! A great month of festivals is rounded off in fitting fashion by a truly great festival; Nantwich Show is one of the top agricultural shows in the UK and the largest cheese show in the world! There will be an 80,000 sq ft cheese marquee, world record entries of 3,926 cheeses from 24 countries around the world and celebrity chefs James Martin, Matt Tebbutt and Will Holland. That’s a lot of cheese, even without the celebrities…

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th June 2013

Food festivals in July