Food Festivals: part one

Food festivals in June & July 2019

Whether you like them led by celebrity chefs and packed with entertainment or small with opportunities to meet and learn from local specialist producers, there is no doubt that there is a feast of food festivals that take place here in the West Midlands. Starting from June, I’ve put together a roundup for you.

June

Shropshire Pub in the Park

Not to be confused with the Tom Kerridge event, Shropshire is introducing a new beer festival Shropshire Pub in the Park on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June with plenty of street food to soak up the extensive range of local brews.

The Hereford Food Festival trader

On Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th head to the Hereford Racecourse for a weekend filled with street food, a farmers market and gift hall at the Hereford Food Festival.

Foodies Festival Birmingham

Birmingham foodies will be heading to the huge Foodies Festival in Canon Hill Park. With celebrity chefs, a kids cookery school, vintage tea tent and cakes and desserts theatre there is plenty to see and eat over the three day show from Friday 21 – Sunday 23 June.

Shrewsbury Food Festival map

Shrewsbury Food Festival is back for a 7th year from Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 June with a whopping  200 food, drink and artisan craft stalls. There will also be two live music stages, cookery demo’s, hands on cookery classes, kids cookery and lots of opportunities to meet the makers and take part in masterclasses.

July

Pub in the Park

New for Warwickshire this year is Pub in the Park. Chef Tom Kerridge is bringing a mix of Michelin-starred chefs and live music to Warwick from Friday 5th – Sunday 7th Pop-up pubs and restaurants will be serving their award-winning food for festival-goers to feast on, including Tom Kerridge’s The Hand & Flowers, The Cross at Kenilworth and many more.

Shobdon Food and Flying Festival

On Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July you can sample over seventy of the very best food and drink producers from Herefordshire against the backdrop of a flying festival at the Shobdon Food Festival. Succulent local meats, breads, cheeses, ice-cream, confectionery, cakes award-winning local ciders, wines and ales brewed within just a few miles of the historic WW2 air field will all be on offer.

The Watering Hole gin and tonic

Lichfield will be keeping it simple with the three key ingredients of Cheese, Gin and Ale in this festival over the same weekend. Last year saw visitors tempted with over 160 different British gins, over 50 different British Ales and  over 50 different British cheeses

Windmill Hill Brewing Co.jpg

Sponsored by local Windmill Hill Brewery, Queens Road will be lined with food and drink traders for the Nuneaton Food Festival on Sunday 14 July.

Kenilworth Food Festival

Kenilworth’s Food Festival is a celebration of the little market town’s restaurants, bars, and cafes, as well as a vast array of food and drink producers on Sunday 21 July.

In part two of this food festival feature I will be looking ahead to August, September and October for more opportunities to taste the best food festivals in the West Midlands.

September Events

September is always a good month to visit food festivals, to meet producers and enjoy seasonal produce. My round up this month takes you from Shropshire to Warwickshire, with the return of huge well known events like the Ludlow Food Festival to lesser known celebrations like the Ginger and Spice Festival.

 SEPTEMBER 2018

In Staffordshire, the StrEATfood Social at Burton’s Market Hall and a Wolseley Wine Loft wine tasting of wines from handmade, small producers caught my eye.

It’s a busy month for foodies in Shropshire  – you can become an expert in cheese at the Turnbulls Cheese Experiences Academy of Cheese; Deliciously Ella will be signing her latest cookbook; Ludlow will be hosting  hundreds of food producers for the Ludlow Food Festival and at the end of the month The Ginger and Spice Festival is held in Market Drayton.

I’ll be going to one of the biggest food festivals in Warwickshire (which I’m pleased to say is still free entry) the Leamington Food & Drink Festival. The Arden Hotel in Stratford upon Avon is celebrating 100 years of the RAF with a special RAF Afternoon Tea and the whole town toasts theStratford upon Avon Town Centre Food Festival on the 22nd and 23rd of September.

In Birmingham Opus Restaurant is hosting a Cheese Dinner, you can sup a few pints at the Ale & Cider Festival, which is set in the gardens of Blakesley Hall and the Midlands Whisky Festival returns with a huge selection of drams.

All the details for addresses, opening times and ticket prices are over on the September Events page.

Festival Fever

With a lovely mellowness, September gives us a bumper crop of food festivals.

Ludlow Food Festival 2017

From the original and bar-setting  Ludow  Food Festival (8th – 10th) to newbies like Independent Birmingham (17th) celebrating individual businesses, there is a food festival for everyone’s appetite this month.

Sparkenhoe cheese

Leamington Food & Drink Festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary ((9th & 10th) with a kids cookery school and plentry of tastings. Set in the castle grounds, Tamworth’s Food Gusto will offer local and regional produce over the same weekend.

Birmingham Chili Festival Brindleyplace

The popular Birmingham Extreme Chili Festival  will be turning up the heat in Brindleyplace (15th & 16th) while beer and cider lovers will be quenching their thirst at the Leamington Beer and Music Festival  (15th – 17th).
Sweet

The week after, Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh will be launching their new book Sweet as a prelude to the Stratford Town Centre Food Festival (23rd -24th).

All the details are on the September events page so enjoy!

Jump into June’s events

June 2017 events

This is a good month to see your favourite chefs in action, with cookery demos at festivals all across the West Midlands in June.

Catch Jean-Christophe Novelli in Coventry,  Simpson’s Nathan Eades  at Foodies Festival in Birmingham, Brad Carter at Ragley Hall’s Fabulous Food Festival and Chris Burt at Shrewsbury Food & Drink Festival.

Specialist dinners this month include a forage walk and inspired menu in Hereford at Madam & Adam, celebrating asparagus at The Cross in Kenilworth and three of Colmore Row’s best eateries in an evening tour.

Look out for National Beer Day themed events in Staffordshire too, with a supper club and beer tasting.

May’s marvellous food & drink events

May 2017 events

Welcome to my round-up of May’s marvellous food and drink events.

This month you can brush up on your Thai  cookery skills in a class with Suree Coates or learn more about your favourite tipple as Gabe Cook, aka The Ciderologist, hosts Birmingham Wine School’s first ever cider evening. Over in Coventry, the city’s cathedral is the backdrop to a weekend Gin Festival.

Food festival season kicks off in earnest, with four great events being held in the West Midlands. The inaugural  Independent Birmingham Festival, Ludlow Spring Festival (particularly for real ale fans) Alcester and Warwick Food Festivals will have all the locations buzzing with local producers, cafes and restaurants taking part.

Sate your  cultural appetite by joining  Annabel de Vetten of Conjurer’s Kitchen for an evening of deathly facts and food at the Midlands Arts Centre, or taste English wines while watching Four Weddings and A Funeral at The Electric cinema.

A Spanish festival or burger pop-up in Birmingham at Amantia and The Plough will get you into the party spirit, and special events include a one-off Pudding Club with five desserts from Sweet As in Leamington Spa to indulge in, plus the launch of a new monthly Sip + Supper Club in Stratford upon Avon.

Wherever you go and whatever you consume I hope that you have a marvellous May!

 

March-ing on our stomachs

March Events page is packed with food and drink festivals, wine tastings and themed dinners.

march-2017-events

This means that from Staffordshire to Shropshire, Worcestershire to Warwickshire you have my top picks of the tastiest things to do this month.

Enjoy discovering the glut of culinary talent in the West Midlands!

2015 food adventures

Happy New Year!

In 2015 I’m looking forward to eating at The Smoke Pit in Northampton, sipping cocktails at The Botanist in Birmingham and learning some new cookery skills at Harborne’s Food School, which I will be writing up as new blog features for you shortly.

2015 food adventures

I am also very excited about two new food events  in Warwickshire that I am working on. They will launch in March and September so I will be updating on you on these fantastic new events as soon as I can!

 

Trio of new food festivals

Alcester Food Festival

From the 22 applications for Operation Footfall support to revitalise town centres, Warwickshire County Council has awarded funding to three new food festivals.

Alcester & Forest of Arden Autumn Food Festival – as with the Spring festival, the Autumn Food Festival on Saturday 19 October will have over 100 exhibitors displaying a delicious and unusual array of foods and beverages, with competitions and surprises also added to the mix http://alcesterfoodfestival.org.uk

Rugby Food and Drink Festival, with a real ale trail – a weekend of food and drink in Rugby town centre, due to take place in the Autumn.

Warwick Food and Film Festival – launching in the Summer, follow #warwickrocks for updates on this new event.

These festivals are a great way to put Warwickshire on the culinary map and I’m looking forward to visiting all of them.