Food Festivals in October

The Staff Canteen
As summer draws to its inevitable conclusion, we look ahead to October’s food festivals to show that autumn may not be so bad after all!   First up it’s a Staffordshire festival with a genuine party atmosphere:

Stone Food and Drink Festival

Where: Westbridge Park, Stone, Staffordshire.stone food and drink When: 3th – 5th October. Back for its 10th year, the Stone Food and Drink Festival has risen from a quiet celebration in the towns Georgian High Street into one of the biggest and most popular food festivals that the Midlands has to offer. The week of the festival sees Stone’s pubs, bars and restaurants get into the spirit of things with a week-long programme of special events, themes and offers. The weekend, always the first weekend of October, sees a flurry of activity with live cookery demonstrations, shopping in the Gourmet Food Marquee, talks, tastings, a beer festival, live musicgourmet dining, street food and much, much more. The gourmet marquee hosts over 100 of the finest artisan food producers from across the country while the adjoining Taste of Staffordshire marquee hosts an array of local food heroes. There’s a wide-range of food available, ranging from local Staffordshire oatcakes to gourmet burgers and stone food and drink 2international cuisine from as far afield as Lahore and the Caribbean. For aspiring domestic chefs there’s also a demonstration kitchen on the Westbridge Park site with live demonstrations every hour. Here, top chefs from across Staffordshire display their culinary talents and share expert tips in a live show. Elegant cocktail and champagne bars are also out in force while there are plenty of stalls serving hot beverages ranging from the classic ‘builders’ tea to exotic blends and fine continental coffee. There’s plenty for the kids too! Accompanied under 16s get free entry into the Westbridge Park site and there’s a range of activities from fairground rides to cookery classes. The Stone Food and Drink Festival really does offer something for everybody!   Back down south there’s the next instalment of foodie festivals:

Framlingham Sausage Festival

Where: Framlingham, Suffolk. When: Saturday October 11thhigh res sausages The battle to be the best Framlingham sausage is on! The pride of local sausage producers is at stake! This is a genuine meat-lovers festival! Guests navigate their way along the Framlingham sausage trail where local sausage producers will be hoping to sizzle your senses to get your vote and win the coveted prize. A trail map costs just £5 and is your ticket to the tasting and judging of Suffolk’s finest sausages. Suffolk is renowned for its sausages and as ‘Jimmy’s Farm’, famous after the BBC series, is one of the producers competing in the Framlingham Festival, guests will not go away disappointed! 12 sausage producers in total will be competing in the event and high standards will be a must to claim victory. Anne James, Teddie, Dan Tompkins best optionThe SausageFest Market Place will be a hive of activity where you can get chutneys and sauces to go with your sausages, sample other local produce, browse local trader stalls and also buy souvenirs from the big day. The famously talented ‘Ladies in Pigs’ will be in the United Free Church conjuring up some delicious pork dishes, tasty snacks and recipe leaflets to take away. There is also an interactive BBQ cooking workshop where Chris Plant’s devotion to gourmet cooking on a BBQ will, in theory, end the days of charcoal burger forever! However, it’s not all about sausages! For kids there’s Greg Chapman, the SausageFest entertainer, who’ll be holding a ‘pirate school’ and delighting crowds at various points along the trail. There are limo rides to the venue, all of which are free with the trail maps and the sausage king will also be in town, eating sausages and delighting children and adults alike.   And for those not so keen on sausages...

Alcester Food Festival

Where: Alcester, Warwickshire. When: Saturday 18th October.Alcester food festival Alcester is a beautiful market town in the heart of Warwickshire and an old Roman fort. Anyone who likes quality food and drink will love this festival in such a historic setting. The centre of Alcester is closed to traffic and filled with over 100 stalls offering a diverse range of fresh, seasonal produce. The majority of producers are local to the Warwickshire area but some come from further afield. Alcester food festival stallThis year’s Spring Food Festival was a great success as thousands of visitors enjoyed the food and sunshine in the streets of Alcester. The atmosphere was electric as people flocked to enjoy the fantastic range of food and drink on offer. This Autumn, once again, Alcester will be filled with market stalls offering seasonal produce such as artisan breads, local cheeses, venison, ducks, smoked fish and meats, local ales and ciders, handmade puddings, pies, cakes and many, many more. There will also be a free park and ride service available on the day provided by Dudley’s Coaches that should help allow all to have a very pleasant and enjoyable day.   Next up is an immensely popular festival in North Wales:

The Llangollen Food and Drink Festival

Where: The Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen. When: 18th – 19th October.Llangollen festival credit to Sucasa1 The 16th Llangollen Food and Drink Festival takes place at the Royal International Pavilion located in the beautiful Dee Valley.  Widely recognised as one of the top 10 food festivals in the UK, the event is supported by the rural development agency, Cadwyn Clyd. It should be a great couple of days for all the family! There will be several displays and an array of iron animals set to take pride and place. Around 30 sculptures created by the British Ironworks Centre will make their way to the Llangollen Food and Drink Festival including a flock of iron sheep, chickens, a giant boar and a giant ostrich. The festival is famous for its selection of weird and wonderful treats and it does not look set to disappoint this year. One inventive chocolatier looks set to launch a new range of milk chocolate truffles with an unashamedly novel ingredient: Wrexham Lager.  Meanwhile, Robert Didier, a baker who trained with culinary legend Raymond Blanc, is preparing to unveil the UK’s most expensive loaf logo_2014of bread. The luxurious loaf will be made with Champagne accompanied by 24 carat gold and will cost a whopping £25 per loaf! Visitors will discover great food and drink in the exquisite local producers market and will have the opportunity to enjoy live cookery classes and take part in engaging workshops. Furthermore, three of Wales’s best chefs will attend the Festival. Graham Tinsley, Mike Evans and Dion Jones will be cooking up a Welsh feast for guests to both enjoy and observe.   Now for a trip to Devon to delight the pallet:

Dartmouth Food Festival

Where: Dartmouth, Devon. When: 24th – 26th October.Credit to Dartmouth Food festival The Dartmouth Food Festival is an annual celebration of all things food and wine. Now in its 11th year, this free festival has been described by the Daily Telegraph as a “heady mix of celebrity chefs, parties, food markets, tasting shacks and demonstrations.” The aim of the festival is to showcase the best of the South West and commend the regions award winning restaurants such as The Seahorse, The Elephant in Torquay and the Milbrook Inn, South Pool. Also any charges for individual events go directly to support local trade. Dartmouth Food festival demo The festival offers a range of activities not to be missed such as cooking demonstrations, cooking workshops and food tasting. One of the most popular events at the festival is the Dartmouth Food Festival quiz held at Café Alf Resco on Wednesday 22nd so you can head down with all the food knowledge you can muster in a bid to claim first prize! There is also an array of drinks seminars scheduled over the course of the weekend where visitors can taste and discuss fine wine in a friendly and light-hearted environment. Evidently the Dartmouth Food Festival is an event with lots to offer and enjoy, not just for food lovers but for all the family.   In our final instalment for October’s food festivals, we visit Somerset:

Burnham on Sea Food and Drink Festival

Where: Burnham on Sea, Somerset. When: Saturday 25th October. Burnham on Sea is a popular seaside resort in Somerset and a perfect setting to have an enjoyable Food and Drink Festival. This year’s festival will have 5 indoor venues and a large outdoor market all free to attend.Last year's Burnham Bake Off winner Cathy Bird All of the 100 plus stalls will be offering food and drink from around the Somerset region and visitors often travel from around the county to taste the range of locally brewed cider on offer. On the main streets, between the 5 main venues you can find the outdoor market that will offer a range of breads, cheeses and various meats and is organised in association with Somerset Farmers Markets. There will be demonstrations throughout the day from some of the region’s best chefs outside the Baptist Church in the town centre. There are taster workshops in the Somerset Learning Centre. For the kids, there will be live animals to visit and a face painter. Meanwhile, there will be three great competitions for visitors to enter: The Great Burnham Bake Off, The Great Burnham Brew Off and the Great Burnham Burn Off. These will all follow the format of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off and should provide a really fun centrepiece for the Festival!  

The London Restaurant Festival

Where: London. When: 8th– 27th October.featured image The capital’s 3 week festival celebrating eating out is back for another year! To see more on the wide range of offers and activities please see our Staff Canteen guide:   So there we have it! A guide to October’s Food Festivals that should soften the blow of summer coming to an end, there is so much to look forward to this autumn! By Tom Evans
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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 2nd October 2014

Food Festivals in October