Festivals & Events

From 1 October to 11 November, The Channel Island of Guernsey will hold its 15th annual Tennerfest, which will see restaurants in Guernsey and its sister island Sark offer all inclusive menus starting from £10, with savings of almost 50%. This gives the islands’ restaurants the chance to promote their quality gastronomic product and local specialities for fantastic value prices.

All Tennerfest participants offer innovative menus focusing on local produce, freshly caught fish and Guernsey specialties such as Guernsey Gâche, a fruit loaf often served with Guernsey butter; the traditional ‘bean jar’, a one pot meal cooked overnight and made of beans, pork belly and onions; Gâche Méléé, which is similar to an apple cake; crab patties, Guernsey cheese and locally brewed beer.

With inflation, the ‘tenner’ of 15 years ago means that menus start at £10 but there are also fixed price menus at £12.50, £15, £17.50 and £20. Menus will be available from late September at www.tennerfest.com; also visit www.visitguernsey.com

The Arundel Food Festival, takes place 19 and Sunday 20 October, with other events throughout the town and surrounding countryside from 21 - 27 October. The Festival is a community-led celebration of local food and drink. Its aims include building a more sustainable community by means of reconnecting with the local landscape - its farmers and food producers; promoting locally produced, seasonal food and drink and encouraging people to shop locally. Activities include food tastings, cookery demonstrations, brewery visits and family fun events. www.arundelfoodfestival.org.uk


Friday 4 October sees central London transformed into a vibrant and bustling taste of Malaysia, as the sights, flavours and sounds of this truly unique country take over Trafalgar Square for the fourth annual Malaysia Night.

The much anticipated free entry event celebrates the unique cultural destination of Malaysia and gives Londoners and visitors to the city the chance to experience the very best of Malaysian food, and immerse themselves in the destination.

Over 20 of the UK’s best Malaysian restaurants will showcase their authentic gastronomic delights for visitors, from well-known favourite dishes including Satay, Laksa, Nasi Goreng and Beef Rendang through to more unusual ones such as Apam Balik, a sweet fluffy pancake filled with peanuts, sugar and sweetcorn.

Visitors can also enjoy a series of live cooking demonstrations taking place throughout the event by well-known chefs including Ian Pengelly of Pan Chai, to show Brits that cooking with Malaysian food is an easy and tasty option.

An authentic bustling Malaysian marketplace, offering ingredients such as sauces, spices and pastes for sale, gives Londoners the opportunity to recreate authentic tasting dishes at home.

Visit: www.malaysiakitchen.co.uk

VisitEngland – edible map

British Food Fortnight commences on 21 September and to celebrate, VisitEngland, in conjunction with Cakehead Loves (the cake company behind the edible hotel in Soho), is creating a giant edible cake map of England at London’s St Pancras Station, to highlight the range of food festivals around the country.

There’ll be a series of individual food-shaped cakes in the food festival locations – for example an oyster inspired cake would appear in Kent to locate the Whitstable Oyster Festival, and sweet corn on the Isle of Wight. www.visitengland.com

The fifth Brazilian Film Festival (27 September – 1 October, Odeon Covent Garden) returns to London offering a presentation of Brazilian culture off and on screen. The Brazilian Film Festival is London’s premiere platform for contemporary Brazilian cinema in the UK.

For the first time, the Brazilian Film Festival will also feature Brazilian Taste, a ‘taste’ festival where the public will be able to experience Brazil inspired dishes at a selection of partnering restaurants across London.

For example, Cabana, official supporter of the 5th London Brazilian Film Festival, is offering a sharing board called Road to Rio – a selection of iconic Brazilian tapas plus a free classic caipirinha with the purchase of a skewer or any main dish for guests who present their ticket (pre-dinner) or their ticket stub from the Brazilian Film Festival from 27September to 3 October. (Note: Cabana is open until 23.00 and will be closed on the evening of 1 October). Cabana is located at 7 Central St Giles Piazza, St Giles High St, London WC2H 8AB Tel. 020 7632 9630.

Participating restaurants include: The Lockhart www.lockhartlondon.com, Quantus Restaurant  www.quantus-london.com; Ivy’s Mess Hall  www.facebook.com/IvysMessHall; Canela www.canelacafe.com; Praia at Sushinho  www.sushinho.com; Oui Madame http://oui-madame.joopp.com; McQueen www.mcqueen-shoreditch.co.uk/; Cabana www.cabana-brasil.com; A Little of what you fancy www.alittleofwhatyoufancy.info and Lima www.limalondon.com

Tickets available at Odeon Covent Garden. Price £11 / Concessions £8. Cinefoot Screenings £5.



The Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival, the ethos of sustainability – buy and eat local, is a two week celebration of the best food and drink in Suffolk, with the main festival happening on Saturday 28 to Sunday 29 September, followed by 50 fringe events, and a conference on food safety chaired by BBC Radio 4’s Sheila Dillon.

There is a packed programme of hands-on workshops from bread or pasta making, to wine and chocolate tasting.

There will also be demonstrations from leading chefs Valentine Warner, Sarah Raven, Paul Foster (Tuddenham Mill, Young Chef of the Year, Observer Food Monthly 2012), and Daniel Clifford (Midsummer House, Cambridge, 2 Michelin Stars). Visit www.aldeburghfoodanddrink.co.uk

The acclaimed Abergavenny Food Festival takes place 21 and 22 September featuring 200 exhibitors spread between five venues as well as producers, performers, artisans, cooks, writers and entertainers. There are some 50 special individually ticketed events to choose from.

Events include: Masterclasses – demonstration, tips and Q&A with top-flight chefs and cookery writers; Tutored Tastings – tune-up your appreciation of good food and drink including tasters specially selected or prepared by expert presenters; Food Talks – join writers, critics and campaigners in a wide-ranging conversation that's all about food and drink, it includes Q&A session and some tasting and demonstration elements; and Walks and Forays – guided walks to learn about the wild harvest of field and hedgerow.

GROW! COOK! EAT!  5 and 6 October. This new weekend event will expand on the annual West Dean Apple Affair to celebrate the autumn harvest and home-grown foods including those found in West Dean’s orchards and walled garden, and further afield on our farms.  The weekend will be packed with cooking demos, food and gardening workshops and competitions to show how to get the best from locally grown and sourced food and drink. There will be plenty of home-cooked food to sample plus stalls selling tasty ingredients to take home.  www.westdean.org.uk/events

See our recent A Postcard From... article about West Dean.

Michelin recognised chef Clive Dixon, and other top local chefs, will be demonstrating their culinary skills at this year’s free entry Marlow Food Festival, which is taking place at Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel, Marlow Bridge on Sunday, 29 September between 11am and 4pm.  The festival will also feature a huge variety of stalls offering tasty delights for visitors to try and buy as well as gifts and fashion accessories to take home.  Visit www.MacdonaldHotels.co.uk/CompleatAngler

The fifth Broadstairs Food Festival takes place 4  –6 October. The main action is a free entry three-day Food Fair when the promenade and Victoria Gardens become home to over 100 food and drink stalls. There are artisan beers and ciders, Kent cheeses, organic and sourdough breads, stacks of preserves and chutneys and a host of hot food stalls.There is also a special programme for children.

Andy McLeish from the Michelin starred Chapter One restaurant, Locksbottom, will be headlining in the Kitchen Theatre, other local chefs include TV chef Dev Biswal of Margate’s Ambrette Restaurant and students of East Kent College.

The Festival includes a number of fringe events in the days prior to the Food Fair. Back by popular demand on 1 October is the Gala Supper at East Kent College where the students plan, prepare and serve seven courses of fine dining. www.broadstairsfoodfestival.org.uk

Plymouth Seafood Festival takes place 20 – 22 September. This three-day celebration highlights the city’s enduring relationship with the sea and its traditional fishing industry, as well as its growing reputation as a food lover’s haven. Showcasing the fantastic quality of seafood available in Plymouth, both local and celebrity chefs will demonstrate creating a range of mouth-watering dishes from the catch of the day. www.visitplymouth.co.uk/oceancityfestival

North West Food Lovers Festival takes place18 – 20 October at EventCity, Urmston.

The festival will feature all the best chefs from across the North West and UK, as well as showing some of the very best produce available. Over 150 local, regional and UK food and drink producers will share their passion with you at this amazing foodie spectacular. There will be cooking classes for kids, wine seminars and of course chefs cooking up some spectacular dishes. nwfoodloversfestival.co.uk

Mary Berry, Britain’s favourite baker, is to top the bill at this year’s Malvern Autumn Show at the Three Counties Showground in Worcestershire on 28 September, as a special guest in the event’s popular Good Life Pavilion. The show takes place 28 and 29 September.

Although she will be sharing her top tips for delicious family cooking, she will also be talking about her passion for her own lovely garden.

The Good Life Pavilion will be home to five skilfully designed edible gardens. There’s also a brand new, complementary Plant Fair, for those with a real passion for unusual species grown by small specialist nurseries. The area is dedicated to promoting the secrets of living a happy, healthy life, beginning with the benefits of sowing, growing and eating produce from your own ‘back yard’ – even if that back yard is just a small collection of patio pots.

The show is also renowned for its celebration of country life, food and nostalgia on account of its mix of flowers, fruit and vegetables, crafts, local food with taste and quality shopping. www.threecounties.co.uk/malvernautumn


The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) will celebrate harvest time with Taste of Autumn, a festival aimed at foodys, families and grow-your-own enthusiasts across all four RHS Gardens. The festival will take place over the weekend of 12-13 October at RHS Gardens Hyde Hall in Essex, Rosemoor in North Devon and Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire; and 16-20 October at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey.

The gardens will host stalls selling the best of local artisan produce from cheese and jam to heritage apples and wild mushrooms, as well as fruit and vegetables grown on site. Tastings, cookery demos, talks and book signings will also take place. Games and activities for children, and live music will create a festival atmosphere. For those keen to grow as well as eat RHS gardening experts and the advisory team will be on hand with tips and information. Visit www.rhs.org.uk


The World Food Festival takes place in Rotterdam 18 September to 27 October. The festival will showcase the multi-cultural cuisine of the Dutch city and will bring together urban farmers, chefs, producers and scientists to present the culinary delights and wonders of Rotterdam. With over 170 cultures present in the port city it is a veritable melting pot of culinary diversity.

With large and small events, markets, tastings, workshops, interactive exhibitions, recommended city routes and harbour excursions, the World Food Festival will give visitors a chance to discover the various facets of the food production and distribution chain. The programme will explore culinary trends and the latest developments in the food industry, focusing in on world food issues, the impact of food on health and local initiatives striving to achieve sustainable food production. With a tempting menu of events and activities, the World Food Festival programme will do more than excite taste buds – it also aims to give food for thought!


The Future Food House in Museumpark will be the heart of the World Food Festival and will offer a glimpse of the future of food, culinary trends and developments; and is also where 20 Dutch and international top chefs will be demonstrating, and presenting international flavours and the best of Rotterdam cuisine.

The new festival Rotterdamse Kost, (Rotterdam Cuisine) from 3 – 5 October is a tribute to Rotterdam snack bar classics. Including the best meatball in town - the mini Kapsalon (fries and shawarma on a bed of salad, with garlic sauce and a melted cheese topping) plus, lots of other finger-licking fast-food favourites.

There will also be the opportunity to get behind the scenes of the most extraordinary companies in Rotterdam’s food sector. There will also be a varied programme of mini food events – markets, tastings, workshops and exhibitions and pop- up restaurants. Throughout Rotterdam shops, restaurants, cafés and hotels will all be joining in with their own unique, exclusive World Food Festival speciality offerings. www.holland.com

Between 20 - 22 September, France will honour its gastronomy by celebrating its richness and diversity through a number of events and competitions

Recognised by UNESCO as a 'world intangible heritage', French Gastronomy is one of France's most precious cultural assets. The annual 'Fete de la Gastronomie' brings the country together around the theme of food, fun and festivities. This year the festival lasts for three days.

Some of this year's event highlights include: Large scale banquets including an 800 person banquet at the Palais des Papes in Avignon; Parties at the Grand Palais in Paris; '24 hour cooking race' in Le Mans; Cassoulet-cooking competition in Carcassonne; Picnics throughout the country where everyone is welcome; Various food lovers' trails; A national amateur cooking competition with Michel Guérard as its patron and a drawing competition for kids where top chefs will cook up surprise dishes for the winners.

This year 27 top chefs from the 27 regions of France have each agreed to create a simple, low cost (€5) gastronomic recipe. These recipes will be available to everyone on the website for free. The recipes will use seasonal and local produce, incorporate a symbolic element from other cultures to acknowledge culinary diversity, be creative and innovative to showcase the chef's skills and be simple and practical so that anyone, anywhere, can cook it using few utensils. For more information on the festival and a list of events, head to www.fete-gastronomie.fr

The Sauerkraut Festival at Brienne-le-Chateau -21 – 22 Sept: A popular annual event  with an agricultural show, parades, cattle auctions, performances all celebrating the various ways of cooking and preparing the local speciality of this small town in the Aube – one of the largest producers of Sauerkraut in France! www.brienne-le-chateau.fr

The Helsinki Baltic Herring Fair takes place 6 to 12 October. Baltic Herring Fairs have been held across the country in September and October every year since the 1600s, when fishermen sold their stocks directly off their boats and from market stalls. Dating back to 1743, the Helsinki Baltic Herring Fair is the largest of them all and is believed to be the oldest event still organised in the Finnish capital. A visit to the fair is the ideal way to sample one of Finland’s most renowned delicacies, from the traditional salted herring to a more exotic marinated variety. They can be eaten either on the go, with a piece of dark rye bread, or as part of a more substantial meal. Visit www.visithelsinki.fi/en

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