Food Festivals in September

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st September 2014
By Julia Watts We can almost feel the summer months coming to an end. But surely there’s no better way to get rid of post-holiday blues than celebrating food and drink with hundreds of fellow foodies! Here’s our guide of a few of those festivals taking place across the UK throughout September. Why not kick-start your Autumn with something to remember? Happening early in the month is…  

Nantwich Food and Drink FestivalNANTWICH

Where: Nantwich, Cheshire When: Friday 5th – Sunday 7th September The picturesque town of Nantwich will kick off this year’s festival with a party. On Friday night, visitors can revel in the fun and exciting atmosphere as town centre shops stay open late, while entertainers such as fire eaters and jugglers will roam the streets for your enjoyment. The free live music will entertain all weekend, as will the two buzzing marquee food halls, which will house over 150 exhibitors (showcasing cakes, chocolates, beers, cheeses, preserves, pickles and much more), as well as numerous street food stalls offering international flavours, including Caribbean and Dixie cuisines. Those looking for something rather sophisticated will find it at the oyster and fizz bar. NANTWICHThe chef demonstration marquee will present a plethora of Cheshire talents, as well as culinary workshops for both adults and children, hosted by expert Brian Mellor from Harthill Cookery School. Over 50 events, presented by local restaurants, pubs and businesses, will take place over the weekend, so there will be plenty to do and certainly something for every visitor. Friendly, local volunteer guides will be situated around Nantwich so that if visitors want to explore the charming town they can do so with a helping hand. The good news continues – entry to Nantwich Food and Drink Festival is completely free.   Taking place over the same weekend is…

Leamington Food and Drink FestivalLEAMINGTON food festival

Where: Royal Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa When: Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th September Voted one of the Top 10 Autumn Food Festivals by the Telegraph in 2013, this free-entry festival has plenty to offer, including over 150 food stalls boasting delicious local produce of all kinds – meats, wines, chocolates, cakes, pickles and kitchen equipment to name a few. A huge attraction, the Love Food Road Show Live Cookery Theatre will be the festival’s home for talented chefs’ demonstrations. The theatre will also host the ‘Home Cook of the Year’ Competition with award-winning local butcher Aubrey Allen. The live cook-off final will take place on the Sunday, when four carefully selected finalists will cook their Cornish lamb main courses for guest judges: celebrity chef Brian Turner and Andreas Antona, Chef-patron at Birmingham’s Michelin-starred Simpsons. r The Star & Garter Barbecue Masterclass Area will return this year, boasting a wide variety of entertainment in the form of Masterclasses and demonstrations from local chefs. The Barbecue Masterclass Area will feature the Star & Garter, a recently renovated old town centre pub from the heart of Leamington Spa. The popular Taste Trail will also return – a wonderful opportunity to visit a selection of local restaurants and sample a diverse range of specialty dishes (Taste Trail tickets will be sold from the information tent throughout the festival). For families, the Children’s Make and Bake Cookery School will provide cooking sessions that encourage experimentation and learning (places are limited, so sessions must be booked on the day). All of this will be set to the soundtrack of local live music, performing on the picturesque gardens’ bandstand.   Next, we’re heading west across the border…

Ludlow Food FestivalLUDLOW ariel 2012

Where: Ludlow Castle, Wales When: Friday 12th – Sunday 14th September Taking place at the magnificent Ludlow Castle, this 20th Ludlow Food Festival expects to see over 20,000 visitors. Its 1995 conception was the result of a conversation around a pub table about the quality influence of Ludlow’s independent restaurants and producers, and that thought has stayed at the festival’s heart since. Boasting over 180 artisan producers, as well as a host of top local chefs, this festival is a true celebration of the region’s best. Two main stages will see a varied range of free cookery demonstrations, including exhibitions from Masterchef victor Tim Anderson, the Great British Menu’s Jason Hodnett, and cook and food writer Anna Jones, who has worked with Jamie Oliver. As well as free demonstrations, there are plenty of master classes and Taste Workshops on offer, starting from £5 a session. LUDLOW Sausage MakingThe famous Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Exhibition will take place in the assembly rooms, showcasing the work of talented entrants from around the world. Visitors can also enjoy the also famous and fun sausage, ale and bread trails around Ludlow, as well as the pudding tasting, and the producers market on Sunday. The festival will see the launch of three brand new books: from celebrity chef Marcus Bean; entrepreneur Sam Gray; and founder of former Michelin star restaurant Hibiscus, Claire Bosi, who will be introducing her illustrated cookery book for children. There is plenty more for children besides this – a special kids’ area will offer cookery lessons, storytelling and a quiz that will have them exploring the entire festival.   Next up is something for your competitive streak…

The Great British Food FestivalGBFF RAGLEY HALL FoodFestival_Shots-2014_4 (3)

Where: Ragley Hall, Warwickshire When: Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th September And Where: Aley Hall, Cheshire When: Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st September Taking place twice this September at two different venues on two different dates, the Great British Food Festival is perfect for those who are up for a challenge. The ‘Men Vs Food’ challenges offer men and women the chance to do battle with half pound burgers, yards of chilli sausage, super-hot ‘suicide sauce’, pints of cider and much more in Men Vs Meat, Men Vs Heat and Men Vs Wheat. If you think you have it in you to be a champion, simply enter on the day for a chance to win a Man Vs Food t-shirt. If baking is more your talent, why not enter the Cake Off? Open to all amateurs, visitors who bring a homemade cake for the competition will gain free entry to the festival. Cakes will be judged by experts and the public, before an all-round winner is chosen and awarded a prize. There’s also plenty to do if you’re not the competitive type. With over 80 local producers showcasing their products and celebrity and local chef demonstrations, foodies will have a lot to see, smell and taste – including daily talks about artisan cocktails and wines. In the children’s corner, little visitors will find face-painting, balloon modelling, and Kids Cookery Classes. Tickets cost £7.50 per adult and £3.50 per 5-12 year-old. Entry is free for under 5s.   Now we’re heading up the M56 for a 12-day celebration…

Manchester Food and Drink FestivalManchester Food Festival

Where: Manchester When: Thursday 18th – Monday 29th September For the seventeenth year, Manchester promises to showcase a range of food and drinks across the city centre. The free-entry Festival Hub, a buzzing village of culinary experiences, will open on Albert Square from the 18th to the 28th. Throughout the festival various demonstrations and eateries will find a home here, including the Festival’s first pop-up restaurant space, which will see a special live cookery event staged by the team behind Hotel Football: two-star Michelin chef and the hotel’s creative director Michael Wignall; executive chef Brendan Fyldes; and an enticingly promised surprise guest. The Street Food Festival will run for the duration of the Hub, offering the famously eclectic street food of over 30 companies. Those in need of liquid refreshment will find drinks flowing between two beer festivals: Thwaites Festival of Beer (running between the 18th and the 21st) and the 100 Greatest Beers Bar (22nd – 28th). The Blue Pig Cocktail Lounge will be an exotic sanctuary in the Drinking Den Marquee and the Magner’s Cider Bar promises as much entertainment as it does cider. The fun isn’t confined to the Hub – Brazennosse Street will hold the Manchester Cheese Festival, including a Cheese Challenge Competition (18th – 23rd), and the Chocolate Festival (24th – 28th). On the Saturday the Elixir bar on Deansgate will host the Liquor Market, an opportunity to sample fine boutique spirits (a £10 ticket includes entry to the Liquor Market After Party). On the same day independent merchants will present their exclusive wines at the Big Indie Wine Fest at New Century Hall. The festival goes out with a flourish, with the prestigious Gala Dinner and Awards event, where awards will be presented in categories such as Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year and Best Street Food of the Year. Next up is a big city celebration of local food…  

Liverpool Food and Drink FestivalLIVERPOOL Festival crowd (3)

Where: Sefton Park, Liverpool When: Friday 19th – Sunday 21st September Opening a day earlier than usual, this seventh Liverpool Food and Drink Festival is a celebration of the varied local food and drink scene – with a couple of shining culinary stars headlining. The new Friday evening slot (4pm – 9pm) will be filled with a lively revelry of the Great British pub, including a street food zone, a showcase of local producers, live entertainment and a fine dining experience. Tom KerridgeThe following two days will see over 160 top Merseyside chefs whipping up a Feast in Sefton Park, as well as hosting master classes and demonstrations. Over 60 local producers will also show what they have to offer. Besides all this, guests can browse the edible garden, the craft beer zone, the Real Ale Festival and the Heavenly Chocolate Garden, and watch the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival Awards. There’s plenty for families: the children’s zone offers workshops in planting, harvesting and cookery. Headlining the festival this year is two-Michelin starred chef Tom Kerridge, of the Hand and Flowers pub in Marlow and BBC TV fame. “I’m keen to see what the city has to offer”, he says, and is excited to enjoy “the city’s pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and producers taking over a local park”. Joining him will be Yotam Ottolenghi, whose signature fusion of Israeli with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian food has brought great success to his Ottolenghi delis and his Soho restaurant, NOPI. He says he is excited to “meet local people with a passion for food”. Both chefs will join the open air feast, as well as demonstrating recipes from their latest books, and hosting book signings and question and answer sessions. Tickets start from £5 online, and entry is free for under 14s. To keep updated, follow the festival on Twitter: @livfooddrink Last but not least…  

Abergavenny Food Festival

Where: Abergavenny, Wales When: Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st September Awarded “Best Event in Wales” by the National Tourism Awards for Wales in 2013, Abergavenny is all set to surpass itself this year. Guests can enjoy over 200 exhibitors performing with a variety of international cuisines across five venues, with an impressive line-up of star chefs as the cherry on the cake. On the Friday night Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will speak about his new book. Other guests include BBC2’s Incredible Spice Men Cyrus Todiwala and Tony Singh; Masterchef Victor cum Mexican street food queen Thomasina Miers; and ‘Moro’ restaurant founders Samuel and Samantha Clarke, to name a few. British food is certainly not forgotten – River Cottage’s Steven Lamb; Wales-based owner of Charcutier Ltd Illtud Llyr Dunsford; and Marcus Verberne, head chef of Borough Market’s ‘Roast’, will also exhibit. ABERGAVENNY Val Warner at Food Academy 2013 2 - Tim Woodier (3) Besides an array of tasting sessions, markets, walks and forays, the brand new Artisan Kitchen School will open its doors for 2014. Learn how to craft and create artisan food or drink of your own. Also making its Abergavenny debut is the Night Market on Saturday night, playing host to a range street food traders, produce stalls and places to eat and drink. Families can visit the Castle, where the Food Academy will run hands-on workshops for children. It is advisable to buy tickets online in advance as the most popular events sell out quickly. Special events tickets start at £8.00 while stroller tickets for the markets – including the Night Market – start at £6.50 (early-bird prices) and entry is free for children accompanied by a paying adult. You can pick up a free 80-page guide when you arrive. Other festivals happening in September: The Colchester Oyster Festival and Joust, 6th Lock Lomond Food and Drink Festival, 6th – 7th West Essex Food Festival, 6th – 7th Berwick Food Festival, 13th – 14th Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival, 20th – 21st Canterbury Food and Drink Festival, 26th – 28th Real Food Harvest Festival, 26th – 28th

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st September 2014

Food Festivals in September