Food festivals: how to harvest the best this autumn

September and October see an array of food-related festivals up and down the country
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The Independent Travel

While many people may still be clinging to memories of balmy al-fresco dinners on distant shores, the onset of autumn heralds an entirely new gourmet calendar.

Next weekend, one of the country's oldest food festivals kicks off in Shropshire: the Ludlow Marches Festival of Food and Drink (foodfestival.co.uk). Now in its 20th year, the three-day festival will offer Camra beer tastings, demonstrations, children's cookery classes and even a special 30-minute knife-skills course run by Eckington Manor Cookery School. Highlights on Saturday include the popular Sausage and Bread Trails that thread their way around town.

Over the border, the Welsh town of Abergavenny, in the shadow of the Brecon Beacons, has a thriving gastro-scene best experienced during the annual food festival on 20-21 September (abergavennyfoodfestival.com). Special appearances include Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer of London's Honey & Co. On Saturday night between 6-8pm, the Lower Brewery Yard will host a Night Market featuring street food vendors as well as a pop-up restaurant from Notting Hill's La Cave à Fromage.

The Great Cornish Food Festival (greatcornishfood.co.uk) comes to Truro from 26 to 28 September. Attendees will discover there's more to the region's culinary riches than Cornish pasties – although these will also be taking centre stage with pasty-crimping workshops as one of the locally-inspired activities on offer. Two Michelin-starred chef, Nathan Outlaw, will also be demonstrating how to cook Cornish fish.

Newcastle upon Tyne has put a novel spin on its own culinary festival with the Urban Night Feast (urbannightfeast.co.uk). In the industrial surroundings of Silverlink's historic Boiler Shop some of the best street food vendors from around the UK will be under one roof from 6pm to midnight from 3 to 5 October.

Visitors to The York Food & Drink Festival (yorkfoodfestival.com) get the chance to eat Come-Dine-with-Me-style, when locals will open their doors for intimate dinners at home. This is one of an array of events taking place between 19 and 28 September.

Mitch Tonks, Mark Hix, Gizzi Erskine, and Tom Parker-Bowles are just some of the famous foodie faces making an appearance at this year's Dartmouth Food Festival (dartmouthfoodfestival.com) from 24 to 26 October. There will also be plenty of opportunities to sample food and drink from more than 100 artisan producers from all over the region, plus cookery demos and classes.

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