The 10 Best food festivals

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Fill your summer days (and your stomach) with our pick of the finest foodie days out, from chilli celebrations to whisky business...

1. Galway Oyster Festival 28–30 September

galwayoysterfest.com

If you're a fan of a good party, this is worth a look. It combines elements of a fête with "speed shucking" and not a little Guinness.

2. Great British Cheese Festival, Cardiff 22-23 September

greatbritishcheesefestival.co.uk

There are more than 400 cheeses on offer here: some are local champions, others national winners – all are the very best around.

3. Isle of Wight Garlic Festival 18–19 August

garlic-festival.co.uk

This paean to all things garlicky is a riot, with lots of food stalls, live music, a capacious beer tent and of plenty of arts and craft.

4. Ludlow Food Festival 7-9 September

foodfestival.co.uk

The oldest and most venerable food festival around has everyone, from army cooks to local big-name Michelin-starred chefs.

5. South Holland Food Festival, Lincolnshire 11–12 August

food-festival.net

Set in the grounds of the Ayscough- fee Hall Museum, this features all the usual demonstrations plus children's cooking competitions.

6. Abergavenny Food Festival 15-16 September

abergavennyfoodfestival.com

There is everything here, from talks with food writers to masterclasses with serious chefs (Pierre Koffman is the star turn this year).

7. FEAST, London 3–5 August

wefeast.co.uk

Yes, it's small, in The Quad at Guy's Hospital, but the line-up of chefs cooking includes names from St John, Hawksmoor, Moro and José Pizarro.

8. Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival 1-2 September

lochlomondfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk

It's haggis a go-go here, along with lots of other traditional foods such as smoked salmon and game.

9. Clitheroe Food Festival 4 August

clitheroefoodfestival.co.uk

This showcases 90 local Lancashire producers and has accompanying talks, including some good ones about local food.

10. West Dean Chilli Fiesta 25–27 August 2012

westdean.org.uk

For those who like it hot there's the Chilli Fiesta in West Dean Gardens in Sussex. It's nice and compact with a pleasing atmosphere.

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