Now serving – food festivals across the South East – There’s a mouthwatering menu on offer across the South East of England with a wide range of food, beer and wine festivals throughout the summer and autumn.
Many festivals are held over a weekend and offer the perfect excuse to stay over and take a mini break to enjoy good food, live music and street entertainment at stunning venues and surroundings.
The Cheese and Chilli Festival at Guildford will offer live music, from jazz to rock, local beers, cooking demonstrations with industry professionals, a chilli eating competition, trade stalls, street theatre and magic shows. (21 and 22 July). From £6 adult general admission. https://cheeseandchillifestival.com/locations/guildford
Trout ‘n About Festival of Food and Crafts takes placew in the historic market town of Stockbridge. The Test Valley is renowned for trout and the event showcases the best in local food. In addition to produce there will be crafts, music and other entertainment in a family friendly outdoor market environment. (4 August).
Garlic is one of the Isle of Wight’s most famous food exports – not a lot of people know that! The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival will feature stalls offering Garlic Beers, Garlic Seafoods, Garlic Ice-Cream and a whole host of other local produce. Entertainment is provided on-site across the weekend, with cookery demonstrations, stunt team displays and a stage of live music. (17 and 18 August). Online day tickets from adult £12.50, child £7.50. www.garlicfestival.co.uk
Summer Ice Cream Festival at Kent Life in Maidstone will feature vendors offering over 20 delicious flavours of ice cream, and plenty of treats from chocolatiers and sweet stalls. Live music on the ‘Dairy Stage’, face painting, a Punch and Judy show and more. www.kentlife.org.uk
The award-winning Woking Food & Drink Festival 2019 offers three days of delicious feasting, fun entertainment and interactive activities for all the family across the town centre’s main pedestrian areas. The weekend programme includes well-known chefs, food and drink stalls, wine masterclasses and tastings and more. FREE to attend (30 August to 1 September). www.wokingfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk
Chilli Fest at Waddesdon Manor will be taking place in the beautiful Aviary gardens. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy live music and family fun, and indulge in produce from local artisan traders and some of the best loved exhibitors from across the country. Free with grounds admission. (Saturday 31 Aug and Sun 1 September). www.waddesdon.org.uk
Deal Food & Drink Festival is back for its third year. The festival takes place in front of historic Deal Castle and features a selection of national, international and local food stalls along with live music, bars, international street food and entertainment. (6 – 8 September) www.zoomevents.co.uk
Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival in The Stade at Hastings. Visitors will be able to enjoy seafood caught off the shores of Hastings with wine from local vineyards and retailers, along with many other tasty treats from local restaurants and producers. There will be non-stop live music, family entertainment and hands-on cooking demonstrations from the Hastings Fish Ambassador, CJ Jackson from Billingsgate Seafood School. Tickets on sale soon. (14 and 15 September). www.visit1066country.com
The 13th Sweetcorn Fayre will welcome in the autumn at Arreton Barns on the Isle of Wight with live music, children’s entertainment, a Beer Festival at The Dairyman’s Daughter, snail racing, sweetcorn eating and more. (28 and 29 September) https://arretonbarns.co.uk
Blackmoor Estate’s Apple Tasting Day is now in its 49th year. It is staged in aid of local charities it offers a rare opportunity for fruit enthusiasts to taste a wide variety of the old and new apple and pear varieties, from traditional Cox’s Orange Pippin and Norfolk Royal Russet to new varieties, Opal and Rubens. Apple experts will be on hand to identify mystery apples and fruit trees and plants will be available from the nursery. Further attractions include rural craft fair, a community fete, local produce stalls, horse and cart rides, Morris dancing, and cider of course! Free Entry. (Sunday 13 October). www.blackmoorestate.co.uk
The CAMRA Real Ale & Cider Festival in the Victorian Engine Shed at the Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells is one of the biggest beer and cider festivals in Kent and Sussex. On offer will be 160 Real Ales, 25 Green Hop Beers, craft beers and ciders. The festival continues on the trains with the chance to enjoy more local brews at Groombridge and Eridge stations along the line. (18, 19 and 20 October). Trains will operate every 50 minutes. Tickets, £20 per adult or £10 per child for unlimited travel all day. www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk
And if you are looking for accommodation checkout The Beautiful South’s websitewww.visitsoutheastengland.com