Festivals & Events

The Holker Garden Festival, south Cumbria celebrates its 21st anniversary this June with a three-day summer spectacle from 31 May to 2 June, showcasing the best of gardening, countryside, food and crafts with over 200 exhibitors. For more information or to buy advance tickets visit www.holkerfestival.co.uk or call 015395 58838.

The Penventon Park Hotel in Redruth is hosting its free one-day asparagus festival on Sunday 19 May 11am – 3pm with a mixture of asparagus recipes, tasters, food stalls and cookery demonstrations.

To celebrate this versatile veggie, the team at the Penventon Park Hotel is joining forces with Cornwall's largest asparagus growers, John and Jenny Keeler from Tregassow Farm, to host the one-day festival. The food stage will include live cookery demos from Tim Treseder of Heartlands' Red River Café, Nigel Tabb of Tabb's in Truro, Arty Williams of The Cove in Falmouth, Mark Devonshire and his team of Cornwall College students and The Penventon Park's own chef Joe Lado Devesa.

At the festival's food market, there'll be a range of fresh Cornish produce available, including fresh asparagus. www.cornwallasparagusfestival.co.uk

Celebrating the best of Jersey produce, from the famous Jersey Royal potatoes, fresh seafood from the island's shores and rich dairy produce, the Jersey Food Festival takes place 18 to 26 May.

As part of the special food events taking place across the island The Atlantic Hotel and Ocean Restaurant is offering a special behind-the-scenes producer tour and Master Class. Executive Head Chef, Mark Jordan's leads a tour of the innovative Jersey Ormer Farm demonstrating how the ormer, now available on the menu at Ocean Restaurant, is farmed. On Mark's Pasta and Truffle Master Class guests will learn how to prepare and cook fresh pasta with truffle. Both events are followed by a three-course lunch created by Mark and accompanied by a selection of wines chosen by Head Sommelier, Sergio dos Santos.

Stay at The Atlantic Hotel during the Jersey Food Festival from £100pp based on two sharing. This price includes full English breakfast, daily newspaper and use of the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa pool, saunas, mini gym and tennis court. A half-board supplement of £50pp per day, includes a three-course table d'hôte dinner. Saturday 18 May - Pasta and Truffle Master Class £75pp; Saturday 25 May - Jersey Ormer Farm Producer Tour £65pp. Visit www.theatlantichotel.com www.jersey.com


Seats in the brand new 1,400-seater Supertheatre are now included in the ticket price where visitors can see live demonstrations from some of the best and most loved food stars in the country, including Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, James Martin, John Torode and Gregg Wallace. Plus see TV programmes brought to life including The Great British Bake Off, MasterChef and Saturday Kitchen.

Head to the new Kitchen Garden stage for advice and tips on how to start a Kitchen Garden from some of the nation's favourite gardening experts then see demonstrations on what to do with your harvest in the kitchen!

Shop till you drop from over 200 food stands: visit the Producers' Village and the Good Food Champions area to find small and artisan producers.

BBC Gardeners' World Live

Tickets also give free entry to BBC Gardeners' World Live featuring The RHS Flower Show Birmingham. See gardening experts including Monty Don, Diarmuid Gavin and Carol Klein live on stage and get tips on how to Grow Your Own. Plus visit the RHS Floral Marquee where hundreds of nurseries will be displaying their most beautiful flowers for you to enjoy and buy.

For tickets and information visit www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com

The International Wine Exhibition 24-25 May takes place at the Contemporary Art Centre when Lithuanian and foreign wine distributors present their wines during the fair. Events include wine tasting, seminars and film screenings. www.vynodienos.lt

World Street Food Congress - 31 May - 9 June

The World Street Food Congress is the first of its kind in the world to open up fresh ideas as well as create new opportunities for the hugely popular street food culture and industry. As the host of this exciting celebration, Singapore encapsulates the amalgamation of cuisines required to create a buzzing street food scene.

Events include a 10 Days Feasting Jamboree when up to 35 hawkers and best street food masters from around the world will gather for a feasting Jamboree, bringing to life their own varieties of street food through demonstration sessions, tasters and insider cooking tips; a Two day Conference and Network Event featuring speakers from around the globe; and World Street Food Master Awards. www.wsfcongress.com

Sagra Del Limone, Monterosso (La Spezia) 18 May. During the day the town is painted yellow and the streets come alive with stalls of all types selling the typical fruit of the area (lemons) and its produce: limoncino, lemon cream, marmalade and lemon cake. In the afternoon the '8000 passi al profumo di limone' walk winds around the streets of Monterosso, starting at the house of poet Eugenio Montale and passing by the most famous places in the area. The walk also comprises a visit to a typical lemon grove with food stalls and eateries. The day ends with a party in the main square of the town.

www.turismoprovincia.laspezia.it  |  www.aromaticadianese.com

Fritto Misto, Ascoli Piceno, 24 April – 1 May. This event in its fifth year, celebrates all things 'fried' and typically regional, such as Marche's olive ascolane (giant green olives filled with meat and deep fried),Sicily's arancini (rice balls filled with meats or peas), Neapolitan cannoli (sweet conical cakes filled with ricotta), and frittura di pesce (lightly fried mixed fish). www.frittomistoallitaliana

Gourmet Festival In Bolzano/Bozen, 24-26 May. This food and wine festival shows off the variety and quality of the South Tyrol regional products with a guarantee of origin in the product houses and market stalls of Bolzano's old town. These long-established foods reflect South Tyrol's culture and tradition. In a varied supporting programme well-known celebrity and top chefs will prepare delicious food using South Tyrolean quality products. www.genussfestival.it

The Slow Fish Festival takes place in Genoa 9 – 12 May. The festival showcases local produce, traditional fishing methods and sustainable fishing cultures for Europe and the world – all combined with lots of opportunity to sample and purchase fish based delicacies and street food! Practical tips such as how to choose the freshest fish at the market and how to fillet correctly take place alongside famous chefs rustling up fish based dishes from live-show cooking theatres. slowfish.slowfood.it; www.turismoinliguria.it; www.genova-turismo.it

Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Co cork is hosting the first Ballymaloe International Literary Festival of Food and Wine 3-6 May.

Hosted by celebrated cook and author Darina Allen, the festival promises to delight lovers of food and wine with a feast of over 40 events over a three-day period. The programme includes cookery demonstrations, wine tastings, panel discussions, garden and foraging walks and book readings.

International participants include: Madhur Jaffrey, Claudia Roden, Alice Waters, David Thompson, Stephanie Alexander, Claus Meyer, David Tanis, Joanna Blythman, Stevie Parle, and Jancis Robinson MW, along with a strong Irish presence including Rachel Allen; Neven Maguire; Donal Skehan; Denis Cotter and John Wilson.

In addition to the main programme, there will be a fringe festival in The Big Shed at Ballymaloe, offering food enthusiasts of all ages an array of other activities. Gardeners will rub shoulders with cooks; foragers with food historians; critics with musicians; artisan producers with bloggers in a continuous melting pot of eating, drinking, speaking and thinking.

Information and tickets www.litfest.ie

Vlaggetjesdag (Celebrating the new herring season) 8 June 2013

From the beginning of the 17th century when the Dutch herring from the North Sea were introduced on the Dutch markets the "New Herring Season" has been celebrated. The best herring comes from the young female herring and can only be caught from the end of May until the end of June. The meat of this fish is at this time softer and fatter than normal.

The yearly event is celebrated with traditional music, an authentic crafts market and of course lots of herring. Vlaggetjesdag was originally the day the Dutch herring fleet was decked out with flags in the harbour, and put out to sea. Numerous performances and presentations take place in Scheveningen Harbour. www.denhaag.com

Once a year Bordeaux châteaux open their doors to the public offering tours, tastings and dinners during 'Le Week-end des Grands Crus' held this year on 18 and 19 May, organised by the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB). 'Le Week-end des Grands Crus' is aimed at food and wine enthusiasts all over the world who are looking for a destination holiday to enjoy excellent food, incredible wines, in beautiful surroundings.

Further information and to book tickets go to ugcb.net/en/wgc

Learn about the Azores at a lecture given by British adventurer Ben Fogle at The Royal Geographic Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW 7 on Tuesday 19 March. From castaway, rowing the Atlantic to his love of the Teatime Islands, Ben Fogle will share his adventures and why the Azores have captured his heart.

The talk will be followed by a question and answer session and a raffle, with the chance to win a trip for two to the Azores as well as other exciting prizes. Tickets available from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Buoyed by the continuing success of its Food Festival traditionally held in October, Broadstairs is also hosting a Spring Festival 30 March to 1 April.

The new Spring Food Fayre will feature over 50 stalls showcasing the finest food and drink produce from the 'Garden of England', along with a number of stalls featuring the best of local arts and crafts. Dev Biswal from Margate's Michelin-listed Ambrette Restaurant, will be demonstrating his cooking skills. The three day weekend is followed by a 'Garden of Kent' supper celebrating Spring, catered by students of East Kent College with guest chef Jason Friedman, chef patron of the Minnis Bar and Restaurant. www.broadstairsfoodfestival.org.uk

The festival takes place 28 March - 3 April and includes three anchor events - the Big Sussex Market, Live Food Show and Children's Food Festival - taking over New Road, Royal Pavilion Gardens and Jubilee Square.

The Big Sussex Market on 29 and 30 March will see stalls featuring 80 local growers, producers and restaurateurs selling a huge range of food and drink. The free Children's Food Festival outside the Royal Pavilion features composting activities from PHS Wastetech, food bravery challenges from Wagamama, and a host of other fun foodie things for the little ones.

Live Food Show stage sponsor, Discover The Origin – an EU project celebrating protected designation of origin food and drink – will be returning to the festival for the second year to showcase geographically unique produce such as Parma ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, s Port, Burgundy and Douro Valley wines with the help of several local top chefs.

The festival's closing event is the Churchill Square Farmers Market Live Food Kitchen which runs alongside the weekly farmers market featuring chefs from Sabai Thai Gastrobar and AguaDulce plus Tina Horvath of Cantina. Visit www.brightonfoodfestival.com

Rijksmuseum: After almost 10 years of renovation, restoration and alteration, the Rijksmuseum will reopen its doors to the public on 14 April 2013. The updated museum will tell the full story of Holland from the middle Ages to the present. It will include a new display of the collection, a renewed building, fresh public facilities, a revamped garden and a new Asian Pavilion - only Rembrandt's most celebrated painting The Night Watch will return to its former place.

The Rijksmuseum will be the first national museum in the world that will be open every day of the year, from 9.00 to 17.00. Admission will be €15.00 (free with an iamsterdam card) and the museum remains free for children up to 18 years of age.

The 5th Annual International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) takes place for the first time in Zagreb 15 – 17 March. There will be over 30 talks, presentations, panel discussions and workshops to discuss this fast growing tourism sector and business opportunity. There will also be the chance to sample fine wines from India, Italy, and Thailand as well as award-winning Croatian wine. www.iwinetc.com

The Zythos Beer Festival takes place 27- 28 April when Leuven becomes the Mecca of Belgian beer. The largest beer festival of Flanders is a must see for every beer lover. Besides tasting, there is also opportunity to learn more about the whole brewing process from the raw ingredients to the final product in the glass.

Leuven's title of 'beer capital' will be all the more deserved that weekend, as many restaurants will be putting beer-based dishes on their menus, and special beer tours and beer workshops will be organised. www.zbf.be, www.leuven.be/beercapital


The Cortez Fishing Festival takes place 16 – 17 February, in the historic fishing village of Cortez, located in the Bradenton Area on the Gulf Coast of Florida, adjacent to the Florida Maritime Museum. The two day seafood extravaganza includes live entertainment, folk music, boat rides, marine life exhibits, arts, crafts and of course seafood! www.BradentonGulfIslands.com

Fort Myers

The Fort Myers Shrimp Festival on Florida's Gulf Coast started in 1959 to honour the annual shrimp harvest. This year's celebration takes place 2, 9, 10 March. It is now a huge three day festival with the main attraction being huge boiling pots of pink shrimp, serving more than a 1000lbs of the fish using a secret recipe. There are hundreds of other seafood booths, a colourful parade, street stalls selling local crafts and even a shrimp queen. www.fortmyersbeachshrimpfestival.com


The Original Marathon Seafood Festival takes place 9 – 10 March. Gourmet delicacies from the waters of the Florida Keys, live music, a kids' play area and an array of vendors highlight this annual weekend event that generally attracts more than 15,000 seafood lovers and families to Marathon Community Park, MM 49 Oceanside. www.marathonseafoodfestival.com

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