UK food and drink festivals to visit this summer
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10 June-30 September
Summer By The River, London
London Bridge City’s Summer By The River festival is returning for three months of al-fresco dining, drinking and entertainment. The riverside between London Bridge and Tower Bridge will be home to a number of pop-ups before opening with a full programme of free entertainment, screenings and activities from 21 June.
Piazza by the Pier, hosted by British chef Jimmy Garcia and Jimmy’s Pop Up team, will be located at London Bridge City Pier. Visitors wanting a flavour of Italy can enjoy pizzas cooked over open fires and a menu filled with this summer’s must-have cocktail, the spritz. Summer by the River will also feature the Riverside Terrace Bar at The Scoop. Designed to represent a collage of Mediterranean coastal towns, this is the perfect setting to enjoy an ice cold pint of Madri Excepcional, a Malfy con Limone Spritz, a Lynchburg Lemonade or a Graham’s White Port & Tonic.
The summer-long events programme includes an outdoor cinema, live screenings of major sporting events, and open-air fitness classes. There’s also live music from up-and-coming London acts in collaboration with BBC Introducing in London, and salsa and swing social dances with Havana Londres and Swing Patrol. All events will be free to attend and open for walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Summer Festival at Covent Garden
Covent Garden’s first ever summer festival will begin on 17 June and continue until September. The new concept in the al-fresco heart of London will take over the East Piazza and feature a Fever Tree Spritz Bar, a Parisian terrace-themed Stella Artois bar, Wimbledon screenings and daily live music. London’s top street food merchants will also serve up delights for visitors – kicking off with STAKEhaus offering Mediterranean meats, tiger prawn surf “n” turf, hand cut chips, vegan “lobster” roll and a whole lot more; as well as The Churros Shop offering classic churros and Instagram-ready churros ice cream sandwiches. The festival will have seating for more than 200 people and both bars will host live masterclasses and appearances from London’s top mixologists.
The Picnic at Holkham
Holkham Hall, on the magnificent Holkham Estate in Norfolk, is being taken over by The Picnic festival this June. The programme features eclectic arts and entertainment (including music, theatre, comedy and even disco yoga), which guests can enjoy while tucking into a decadent picnic of their choice. Picnic options include “from the sea”, “from the land” and “from the farm”, with a children's menu available too.
The Bars Are Back, London
Celebrate the reopening of London’s world-class bar scene at Cocktails in the City’s “The Bars are Back” weekender. Taking place in Bedford Square Gardens, a leafy oasis in London’s largest private Georgian gardens, this alfresco festival will feature some of the capital’s most famous cocktail bars and mixologists. Ten per cent of ticket prices will go to The Drinks Trust - a charity that supports people in the industry who have been affected by Covid.
Woodfired & Friends
All throughout summer, Home Farm - a countryside idyll just 13 miles from Marble Arch - is hosting an array of intimate, food-centric fiestas. One such event is ‘Woodfired & Friends’, a series of long-table alfresco dining experiences co-created by renowned chefs Thomasina Miers, Sabrina Gidda and Honey & Co’s Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich. Other events on the programme, which are all held outdoors within 150 acres of wild woodland, meadows and a private lake, include music from Jack Garratt and James Bay.
7-11 July and 14-18 July
Taste of London
Taste of London is back - and this time it’s being held in Regent’s Park. Festival-goers can taste-test the latest and most inventive dishes from the culinary capital, with the line-up featuring Jack Whitehall’s Food Slut, Big Mamma’s Napoli Gang, Sonora Taqueria, Hot4U and more.
National Geographic Traveller Food Festival, London
The National Geographic Traveller Food Festival will be returning to London’s Business Design Centre this July. Shining stars of the worlds of food and travel, including MasterChef’s Monica Galetti and food writer Fuschia Dunlop, will be brought together under one roof for immersive experiences and exclusive menus.
The Billericay Food & Drink Festival
The inaugural Billericay Food & Drink Festival, which sprung out of the success of the popular Billericay Food & Drink Facebook page during lockdown, is being held at Billericay Town FC on 25 July. The festival will showcase local talent and produce including chillies, vegan chocolate, artisan bread, fresh fish and a masterclass on Indian cookery. The first 100 people through the door will receive a free foodie goodie.
Festival of Drinks, London
For its final summer instalment, Cocktails in the City is bringing festival vibes to Bloomsbury, central London. Visitors can enjoy what’s described as an “immersive and interactive cocktail celebration” which will also feature street food vendors, games and live music from venues like The Piano Works.
Vegan Camp Out, Nottinghamshire
The Vegan Camp Out is the world’s largest vegan camping festival, attracting campers from more than 40 different countries each year. The line-up features music, talks (Russell Brand, Heather Mills and Chris Packham are all on this summer’s eclectic programme), activism workshops, yoga and fitness sessions and dozens of delicious vegan street food options. Each night finishes with an inclusive afterparty.
Fantastic Food Festivals, Blenheim Palace
It’s the seventh year that Fantastic Food Festivals will be descending on the magnificent Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire for a gourmet weekend set in 2,000 acres of extraordinary parkland. A wide range of artisan produce and indulgent treats will be on offer, plus an entire garden of vegan and vegetarian nibbles.
The Big Feastival, the Cotswolds
The Big Feastival returns to the Cotswolds for its tenth anniversary with an incredible line-up that will delight culinary and music lovers alike. Big names in the food world, including Romy Gill, Nathan Outlaw and Professor Green and Gizzi Erskine’s Giz N Greens, will be taking to the culinary stage - while Nile Rogers and Chic, Rag’n’Bone Man, Zara Larsson and All Saints are among the star-studded musical line-up.
Kent Coffee Festival
One for the caffeine connoisseurs: a new coffee festival is being held at the Gulbenkian Theatre at the University of Kent in Canterbury this August. The festival will feature a “show-stopping” latte art zone, a coffee roaster zone, a speaker stage featuring kings and queens of the coffee world, an Espresso Martini bar and more.
5 on the Farm Festival, Yorkshire
Channel 5 is bringing one of the biggest festivals of rural life in the UK to Yorkshire this summer. The first-ever “5 on the Farm Festival” is taking place over the August bank holiday at Cannon Hall Farm in Barnsley, south Yorkshire, where Channel 5’s This Week on the Farm is filmed. Visitors can take part in a range of activities including floristry, pottery, baking and bee-keeping.
Meat lovers, unite! Meatopia London - the legendary summit for carnivores - is returning to Tobacco Dock for the eighth time. The festival, described as “a weekend-long love affair with food, drink, fire and music” will celebrate incredible culinary talent from across the UK with demos, talks and exclusive dishes cooked over sustainably sourced wood and charcoal.
Denbies Food Festival
Enjoy picturesque views alongside mouthwatering meals at this food festival held at Denbie’s Wine Estate, nestled in the heart of the Surrey Hills. Visitors can take part in a wine tasting, enjoy a demonstration by MasterChef champion Thomas Frake and browse stalls stocked with local produce.
Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival, Weymouth
The award-winning Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival is taking place in mid-September on the Weymouth Peninsula, the very end of Weymouth’s beautiful sandy beach. As well as seafood and English sparkling wine, there will be demonstration chefs on stage, live music, street food and even a pop-up lobster and Nyetimber experience.
Taste East Devon Festival
The nine-day Taste East Devon Festival will be hosted by venues across East Devon, an initiative to celebrate the incredible food and drink on offer in the region. The festival will be a true “field to fork” experience, with featured foodies including Darts Farm, The Pig at Combe, River Cottage and Mazzard Farm.