Culinary Events, Festivals Fill British Landscape Throughout Year
(London, England) - VisitEngland, the official tourism body for England, is advising visitors to “arrive with an appetite” and to explore the countries abundance of exceptional locally produced food and beverage offerings. Renowned for its rolling countryside and picturesque vistas, England's culinary landscape is equally impressive, highlighted at the many unique local food and drink festivals throughout the country in 2010. For inspiration visit www.visitengland.com/food.
“Comprised of nine distinct regions, each with its own unique personality, history and culture, England is the perfect backdrop for experiencing the countries specialty food and drink produce”, said James Berresford, VisitEngland CEO. “From festivals celebrating a range of local items such as the Cumberland sausage, Yorkshire pudding, Cornish clotted cream and award-winning English wines and beers, to events dedicated to different types of fruit and seafood, we encourage visitors to discover England’s many locally produced food and drink offerings – and to arrive with their appetites.”
East Anglian Game and Country Fair, April 24-25. Including displays on everything from falconry, horse whispering, clay pigeon shooting, gun dog displays, sheep shearing, ferret racing and fly fishing, the event held in Norwich, Norfolk in the East of England is a must for country-lovers and anyone wanting to learn more about local produce. Fans of the great outdoors can also enjoy mushroom foraging in the area, along with farm walks and tastings offered in local farm shops and delicatessens.
The Big Apple Blossomtime, May 2-3. Each year In Much Marcle in Herefordshire, small rural communities put together a series of tours around villages and orchards west of Ledbury, culminating in a grand cider and perry tasting.
Watercress Festival, May 16. Famed for its deliciously fresh and peppery watercress, South East England is home to the annual event held in Hampshire, featuring watercress-oriented activity including celebrity cookery demonstrations, children's workshops and a food market ripe with produce from the area.
Derbyshire Food & Drink Fair, May 22-23. Set in the grounds of the spectacular National Trust Property of Kedleston Hall in the heart of Derbyshire, East Midlands, celebrity UK chef Brian Turner will demonstrate his skills at this two-day event, designed to showcase the best of local produce.
English Wine Week, May 29 – June 6. Spanning across Cornwall to Kent , this week-long celebration of English wine producers will include tastings and food pairings and will see vineyards throughout the country open to visitors.
EAT! NewcastleGateshead, June 12-27. Festival highlights celebrating the finest food in the North-East of England include The Great North Eco-Feast with leading environmental chef Arthur Potts Dawson, The Pearly Diner, a restaurant where diners can choose ANYTHING they want to eat and Cakebook, which sees 100 iconic structures and buildings from NewcastleGateshead modeled out of cake.
Pontefract Liquorice Festival, July 1-31. The liquorice capital of England , located in Yorkshire, will welcome this celebratory event with a host of items made from the black root available to sample, as well as family-themed events and a town centre parade.
Whitstable Oyster Fair, July 24-30. Highlights at the annual fair include events such as the Landing of the Oyster ceremony and the Oyster Parade, as well as walks and talks around Old Whitstable and the harbour.
Pershore Plum Festival, July 31 – August 30. Worcestershire’s plum festival celebrating locally sourced plums and related recipes including main courses, desserts, jams and preserves, sauces, chutneys, pickles as well as juices and wines, will run for a whole month for the first time, ending with a bang on England’s August Bank Holiday.
Great British Beer Festival, August 3-7. Britain’s biggest beer festival will showcase international brands as well as small, local brewers of real ales, ciders and perries at London ’s Earls Court . The Champion Beer of Britain competition will also be judged.
Pennine Lancashire Festival of Food and Culture, August 14 – September 14. Encompassing 60 events across 600 square miles of Pennine Lancashire, this colourful cultural carnival will include extraordinary events such as the World Gravy Wrestling Championships, culinary canal cruises, opera and strawberries, steam train lunches, ale trails and medieval food markets.
Totally Tomato Show, September 4-5. At the show in West Sussex more than 150 varieties of tomato will be on display as competitors compete for the spot of tastiest tomato, and tips and demonstrations are given on tomato-growing and tomato recipes.
York Festival of Food and Drink, September 17- 26. The annual festival is the largest event of its kind in the UK , and a massive showcase for Yorkshire growers and retailers. For ten days the city hosts an extravaganza of specialist markets, chef demonstrations, themed dinners, tutored Slow Food tastings, cookery classes, restaurant meal deals and other special events.
Nantwich Food Festival, September 25-27. Billed as " Britain 's Tastiest Festival", it is the largest festival of its kind with more than 2,000 products to taste during the three-day event, offering the chance to sample the best regionally produced food against the backdrop of the historic market town in the North West of England.
Manchester Food & Drink Festival, October 1 – 11. This established urban food and drink festival revels in the fact that it has no single location; rather it takes over as much of the city centre and surrounding districts of Greater Manchester as possible, with a huge programme of both indoor and outdoor events.
East Midlands Food and Drink Festival, October 2-3. Set in the grounds of Brooksby Hall, the award winning 16th century hunting lodge in the heart of Leicestershire brings together a fantastic selection of local specialties from some of the country's finest producers.
London Restaurant Festival, October 4-18. A two-week citywide celebration of London 's extraordinarily diverse and exciting range of restaurants – from its Michelin stars to coveted neighbourhood bistros. Comprising Festival Menus and Festival Events, the former will see participating restaurants run affordable, seasonal and inspiring set menus, created for the Festival period.
Clovelly Herring Festival, November 21. Aiming to help safeguard the livelihood of fishermen by highlighting neglected but tasty herrings, the festival in North Devon will offer herring dishes, freshly-smoked kippers and bloaters, along with local cider and wine, and entertainment from traditional shanty singers as well as an educational exhibition from a local maritime historian.
Further information about foodie events and visiting England can be found at visitengland.com/food.