Food, Glorious Food

Tickle your tastebuds with a feast of festivals

A seafood fan enjoys an oyster Grub, tucker, fodder, nosebag, scran, nosh – call it what you will, food's now about a whole lot more than just eating.

It seems everyone's a foodie these days. So whether you fancy growing organic onions, you want to calculate the food miles incurred by last night's Balti, or you simply fancy seeing your favourite celebrity chefs in action, get to one of this summer's food festivals.


11-15 June

James Martin will be at the BBC Good Food Show BBC Good Food Show Summer, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
This major event, incorporating BBC Gardeners' World Live, features all you'd expect and more: live cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs including Gordon Ramsay, James Martin and the Hairy Bikers; the chance to sample signature dishes from top restaurants; top advice from celebrity gardeners including Alan Titchmarsh, Monty Don and Joe Swift; inspiring show gardens; and the chance to buy kitchen equipment, picnic accessories and more. There's also a children's area with face painting, magicians, tricks and balloon modelling. Official website »

12-15 June

Taste of Dublin, Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, Ireland
Enjoy a family day out and sample dishes from 22 of the city's best restaurants. Watch live professional cookery demonstrations, sample and buy produce, or visit the World of Wine, the Cocktail Academy, or the Chocolate Experience.
Official website »

19-22 June

Taste of London, Regent's Park, London
This is one of several 'Taste' events around the UK and early booking is advised as they're increasingly popular. The big draw at the London show is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, of River Cottage and 'Chicken Run' fame. But the alfresco feast of fun is also set to feature demonstrations, food and wine tastings, and sample dishes from 40 of the capital's top restaurants. There's also a special focus on China showcasing the nation's best food, drink, cultural arts and entertainment. Official website »

20-22 June

Fresh chilis and peppers Cheltenham Food and Wine Festival, Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham
Broaden your culinary knowledge and take the chance to buy local produce. See the Hairy Bikers and chefs from leading local restaurants putting on exciting displays in the Cotswold Kitchen Theatre, and you could learn something new in the real ale and fine wine theatres. Official website »

27-29 June

Taste of Cork, Cork City Gaol, Cork, Ireland
Take advantage of free samples, exciting demonstrations, roving live entertainment, and try signature dishes from some of Cork's most prestigious eateries. Official website »

1-31 July

Corn on the cob Hampshire Food Festival, various locations
The month-long extravaganza celebrating the county's food producers, which is supported by Gordon Ramsay, features 120 events across Hampshire. Highlights include: flour-milling demonstrations; junior tractor rides; vineyard tours; farm trails; live music; sausage and cheese tastings; cider-making and chocolate-crafting workshops; plus special festival menus at many restaurants. Official website »

3-6 July

Taste of Bath Festival, Royal Victoria Park
Fancy sampling innovative dishes from some of Bath's most famous eateries? While you're there, visit the Taste Kitchen for demonstrations and tastings with top chefs and food writers, or try your hand in the onsite cookery classes. Official website »

10-13 July

Taste of Birmingham Festival, Edgbaston's Cannon Hill Park
Enjoy the chance to sample signature dishes from award-winning Midlands restaurants including Simpsons and Opus. Glean tips and advice from top writers and chefs, and browse the food markets for fresh local produce and unusual ingredients. There's also live music from the Jam House.
Official website »

11-13 July

Apples Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival, Cardiff Bay
The highlights this year are a craft fair, a farmers' market, children's workshops, chef demonstrations, a food piazza and live entertainment including tango, celtic, jazz and folk music. There will also be ticketed events – wine tasting at the Cardiff Bay Visitors Centre, and ice-cream workshops at the Norwegian Church. Official website »

11-13 July

Bristol Wine and Food Fair, Bristol Harbourside
Enjoy live jazz while you try wines from around the globe, or simply shop for food direct from the producers. Learn from the experts with live cookery demonstrations and tutored cheese tastings. Official website »

12-13 July

Fresh peapods and oranges Dorset Seafood Festival, Weymouth Old Harbour
The event's compered by wine expert Joe Wadsack and there's live music throughout. Highlights include: filleting demonstrations; live cookery by top chefs Mark Hix, Mitch Tonks and Tom Cull; a fresh fish auction; and the chance to taste crab, lobster, scallops, mussels, oysters, mackerel, cod, gurnard and many of the Dorset coast's other species. Official website »

Check out our other inspirational ideas for days out and weekend breaks.

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12 June 2008