May's best food and drink events

From making your own bacon in Borough Market to chilli eating competitions in Brighton, we round up the best food and drink events across the country this month

Eat, grow, garden and drink at The River Cottage Festival in Devon
Eat, grow, garden and drink at The River Cottage Festival in Devon

There’s nothing quite like the perfect foodie experience to get your tastebuds tingling. From fresh crab in South Devon to award winning cheese in Leicestershire, here are seven of the best events going on this May.

Succumb to the stilton: Melton Mowbray’s cheese fest is a savoury treat

Artisan Cheese Fair, 5-6 May

Fulfil your cheese cravings in Leicestershire. More than 70 cheesemakers, with over 300 cheeses between them (you can never have too much cheese), will be heading to Melton Mowbray for the Artisan Cheese Fair. You’ll find some rare varieties and plenty of tasters, as well as lots of delicious things that go well with fromage – think ales, chutneys and, naturally, Melton Mowbray pork pies. Now in its fifth year, this proclaims to be the UK’s biggest festival dedicated to cheese. For the lovers of all things cheese, its an unmissable affair. Tickets are £4 in advance, children under 16 can enter for free.

Care for a cocktail? Brighton’s Foodies Festival offers a variety of tipples

Brighton Foodies Festival, 5-7 May

This festival dedicated to all food lovers promises to offer something for everyone. Claiming to be the UK’s biggest celebration of food and drink, there is a lot on the menu. Fancy yourself a bit of a chef or a budding baker? Watch Great British Bake-Off’s 2017 winner Sophie Faldot baking live in the Cake and Desserts Theatre. You can also watch Great British Menu winner Michael Bremner at 64 Degrees in the Chefs Theatre. Calm your palate after the chilli eating competition by heading to the Drinks Theatre, where a wide variety of wine, beer and cocktails will keep the libation enthusiast very happy indeed. Tickets start from £5 and are available at foodiesfestival.com.

Soak up the sea breeze with the fresh taste of crab at Salcome’s festival

Salcome Crab Festival, 6 May

Inspired by the famously flavoursome brown crab caught off the South Devon coast, Salcombe Crab Festival – or Crabfest – is an annual celebration of the local fishing, food and tourism industries. Enjoy a full day of events including cookery demos, crab-picking masterclasses, crab-pot making, live music and much more. Watch celebrity chefs Matt Tebbutt, from BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, Masterchef’s Jane Devonshire and the award-winning Mitch Tonks show off their skills alongside some of the best local chefs. An unrivalled mix of locally produced food, drink, artisan crafts and activities are on offer. Entry is free.

Patch and Ketel One have created a sanctuary in the heart of bustling London 

The Clean Air Bar, 9 May

From 9 May, Londoners will be able to get a literal breath of fresh air as the city’s first Clean Air Bar, run by urban gardening experts Patch, begins a month-long residency at No 29 Power Station West in Battersea. Decked out with plants such as golden pothos, Boston fern and rubber plant, which Nasa has found are most effective at removing toxins from the air, guests can personally tailor their Ketel One vodka and soda from a Living Garnish Wall, graze on a sharing menu created by BBC One MasterChef finalists Billy Wright and Jack Layer, or take part in an urban gardening masterclass. A limited number of tickets will be available via Patch’s website for £25.

Pub-grub goodness with a festival feel: Tom Kerridge has planned a huge lineup

Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park, 17-20 May

Last year, Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park festival sold 18,000 tickets in 24 hours. This year he’s on the road: he and a merry band of foodie friends are touring the country with a stellar lineup of world-class chefs and Michelin-starred pubs, plus a selection of other top UK pubs and restaurants. Guest chefs offering demonstrations include Kerridge himself, Atul Kochhar and Jodie Kidd, to name a few. You can expect delicious pop-up pub grub from a range of award-winning gastropubs – here’s your chance to taste the nations greatest dishes. Enjoy your food amid music from Razorlight, Jamie Cullum and Gabrielle Aplin. Tickets start from £24. Entry for children under 5 is free.

It’s time to venture into veganism at Surrey’s animal-friendly food fair

Surrey Vegan Fair, 19 May

For all things animal friendly, look no further than the Surrey Vegan Fair. Amongst all the delicious food on offer from a surplus of vegan vendors, the event will feature a variety of guest speakers, including Peter Egan, an ambassador for many charities including Animals Asia and Saving Suffering Strays in Sarajevo; YouTube activists Epi Vegan and Vegan Speak; and animal advocate Plazolles-Hayes. You can expect street food-inspired cuisine from Little Ginger, home cooked comforts from No Baloney and conscious cakes from Ripe and Nine. Tickets start at £2 and are available from surreyvegan.co.uk.

Hugh’s festival from home: the chef welcomes visitors to his River Cottage garden

River Cottage Food Fair, 26-27 May

Some of the country’s leading chefs, cooks, food pioneers and cookery writers are joining Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for a weekend of fun on the farm and food for thought at the River Cottage Food Fair. The fair is packed full of activities, with chef demos on the main stage and culinary masterclasses including wild cocktails, spicy suppers and cooking over fire with Gill Meller. There will be artisan food stalls, craft workshops, talks, live music and tours with River Cottage foraging guru John Wright. The chef lineup includes double Michelin starred Tom Kerridge, Anna Jones and Melissa Hemsley plus many more. Tickets start from £12.50. Entry for children under 16 is free.

This little piggy goes to market: London’s Borough Market boasts a meat feast

British Cured Meat Festival, 27 May

Moving on to meat lovers, this one is for you. The very first British Cured Meat Festival and Awards will be taking place at Borough Market in London, complete with demos, street food, craft beer, stalls selling British meat, award-winning cheese suppliers and live music. Get stuck into an opportunity to butcher with a demonstration from Cobble Lane Cured, a “make your own bacon” session with Ross & Ross and a talk from pie-maker extraordinaire Calum Franklin of Holborn Dining Room. While you enjoy eating all the meat, a panel of esteemed judges gets to decide which is the UK’s finest: the competition will be underway throughout the festival. Tickets are £17.50, which includes a beer on arrival.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in