Summer brings food festival frenzy around the world

Food Miles

There are so many food festivals around the world that a determined globetrotting gourmet need not spend one summer's day without attending a culinary jamboree.

From fine dining to food workshops, there's something for all tastes.

Even if the British sun doesn't shine, you can still feel the heat at the West Dean Chilli Fiesta (5 to 7 August; 01243 818210; westdean.org.uk). You'll find Latin spice in the incongruous setting of a beautiful English garden. More than 150 stalls sell all things chilli-related, from plants and seeds to chilli beer and chocolate, and 200 varieties of chilli will be on display in the garden's lovingly restored Victorian glasshouses.

One place where its always OK to mix your drinks is Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans (20 to 24 July; 001 504 948 0511; talesofthecocktail.com) where some of the biggest names in mixology gather for lectures, book signings, demonstrations and competitions. Events include the re-creation of a prohibition-era backroom bar complete with jazz band and "gangster" clientele.

More than 100 restaurants take part in New Zealand's largest culinary festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate (5 to 21 August; 00 64 4 916 1205; visawellingtonona plate.com). There's also a celebration of Kiwi brewing, the New Zealand Chocolate Festival and a Malaysian Kitchen Street Market.

If you've ever struggled to get served swiftly in a pub, head for the Berlin International Beer Festival (5 to 7 August; 00 49 30 6576 3560; bierfestival-berlin.de) where the bar is over a mile long and manned by 300 breweries from 86 countries serving 2,000 brands including brown ale from Greenland and kelpie seaweed ale from Scotland.

Last year, more than 350,000 foodies attended the Singapore Food Festival, (15 to 24 July; 00 65 6796 9331; singaporefoodfestival.com.sg). In addition to cookery workshops and demonstrations by local and international chefs, highlights include a hands-on spicy canapé making session on the Singapore Flyer (the world's largest observation wheel) and a trishaw tour of the city's Little India neighbourhood where you can have a go at grinding and mixing your own spices.

Put some fizz into your summer with a visit to the Champagne Route Festival (6 to 7 August; 00 33 3 25 43 72 72; routeduchampagne.com). Fourteen winemakers from seven villages in the southerly Côte des Bar area of the Champagne region will be throwing open their cellar doors to the public for tastings. In addition, expect gourmet lunches hosted by wine experts, exhibitions on champagne and street performers all enhance the festive atmosphere.

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