The 10 Best food festivals
From cheese in Cheshire to Galway's oyster Mardi Gras, here's our pick of the season's top foodie days out.
Thursday 09 May 2013
First held in 1999, this once small event has quickly grown into an award-winning whopper of a festival. As well as plenty of opportunity to learn how to cook and prepare every variety of fish, there are family-friendly activities such as crabbing, fishing and surfing.
22-30 June, pembrokeshirefishweek.co.uk
A branch of the big annual farming festival in Nantwich, the international cheese awards are the biggest cheese show in the world. You don't need to be a genius to know what that means; bring plenty of crackers.
31 July, nantwichshow.co.uk
A dude-food affair if there ever was one, Grillstock is a music festival built around barbecued meat (and beer). As well as a line-up of bands, including Riot Jazz, there is a King of the Grill competition.
Bristol, 11-12 May, Manchester, 8-9 June, grillstock.co.uk
Hosted around the beautiful 17th-century harbour in Weymouth, this is a sophisticated food festival with more than 100 stalls. Highlights include the Dorset Young Seafood Masterchef competition, judged by Mark Hix, and Lesley Waters' pop-up cookery school.
13-14 July, dorsetseafood.co.uk
For those who want an insight into the latest fine-dining trends, this festival is like doing a supermarket sweep. Forty of London's top restaurants attend, offering special tasting menus and signature dishes to try.
20-23 June, tastefestivals.com
One of the most important dates on the calendar for the brewing world, more than 55,000 beer drinkers descend on the Olympia for the Campaign for Real Ale's flagship event. There will be more than 800 real ales and ciders to sample, so eat first and pace yourself.
13-17 August, gbbf.org.uk
A fun coastal festival put together by two apparently rival Norfolk towns. There are cooking demonstrations as well as plenty of food and lobster to enjoy, though the highlight is inevitably the crabbing championship.
Friday 17-Sun 19 May, crabandlobsterfestival.co.uk
See off the end of summer in style, by sipping champagne and shucking oysters in Galway. The festival concludes with a Mardi Gras-style street carnival, with bands and a seafood feast.
27-29 September, galwayoysterfest.com
One of Britain's best culinary events, you can enjoy cookery classes and workshops, or just graze on the delicious food. With a huge variety of edible exhibitors to browse from, and an impressive line-up of chefs, you won't leave hungry.
19-20 October, llangollenfoodfestival.com
It may be set in the towering hills of Newchurch, but this festival has a distinct French feel to it. But then it would, being dedicated to the joys of garlic. There will be food stalls, live music, a massive beer tent and more arts and crafts stalls than you could shake a garlic clove at.
17-18 August, garlic-festival.co.uk
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