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The inaugural ‘Al Meni’ food festival, takes place in Rimini’s Fellini Square 21-22 June. Spearheaded by the celebrated chef Massimo Bottura, whose restaurant Osteria Francesana is ranked the third best restaurant in the world , the event will feature a further 11 Italian chefs and 12 international chefs cooking with local delicacies such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico and Prosciutto di Parma. The Al Meni festival will incorporate a mixture of cooking demonstrations and artisan food stalls, culminating in an open-air group picnic on Sunday 22 June. www.riminiturismo.it

Pembrokeshire Fish Week takes place 28 June - 6 July. The festival includes cookery workshops, a Fish Fest, gourmet nights and tutored tastings, live music and hands on family activities plus tasty dishes to sample in the ‘Blas-y-tir' Feast on Fish pop-up restaurant.

There will also be several fishing trips and estuary cruises, and a chance to explore the coastal waters in a kayak. Competitions throughout the week range from angling, photography to art and craft. Visit www.pembrokeshirefishweek.co.uk, and www.visitpembrokeshire.com

EAT! Newcastle Gateshead holds its first event of 2014 – Tea & Cake Planet at The Boiler Shop on 28 and 29 June.

Expect artisan stalls, street food and workshops from the likes of Top Hat Tea Cakes, Northumberland Tea, Brownie Bar, Teasy Does it, Tea Owl, Tea Sutra, Marco Polo, Fat Friars, Wylam Brewery, with live music, DJs and tea dances throughout the weekend.

Book in for one of the pop-up tearooms from Fenwick & Ringtons, The *TeaShed, SIX @ BALTIC and The Vermont Hotel taking your pick from cocktails, champagne or even a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

Plus the ever-popular Cake Book event returns with the whole blooming planet made out of cake!

For tickets and full information visit www.EATNewcastleGateshead.com

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The Green Island of San Miguel plays host to ‘10 Fest Azores’ 19-28 June, one of the largest and most important food festivals in Portugal.

Especially for 10 Fest Azores acclaimed and Michelin Star chefs from England, Spain, Portugal, France, Denmark, America and Canada will create their interpretations of modern Azorean cuisine.

Each international chef will head up a team of chefs from the Azorean School of Tourism & Hospitality Training for a night, as they compete to offer approximately 70 guests (each night) the best Azorean-influenced menu. The festival will also feature international barmen, winemakers and sommeliers.

Azorean cuisine is typified by local seafood dishes including squid, clams, tuna, swordfish, limpets and crabs, as well as local beef and meat dishes. These include ‘Cozido das Furnas’, a traditional stew containing local sausage, beef and a variety of vegetables which are cooked underground by the heat of a volcano in the village of Furnas. Each region also produces its own local cheese, which is often taken as an appetiser served with Azorean sweet bread. Local produce includes pineapples, bananas, guavas and passion fruits, teas, liquors, plus red wine and white wine grown on Pico Mountain. Visit www.taste.visitazores.com and www.visitazores.com

Madeira’s annual wine festival takes place 31 August - 7 September 2014 in Funchal. The four-day festival showcases the traditions of the wine harvest on the island and includes grape treading, traditional music and regional cuisine. www.visitmadeira.pt

The Garden of England Cook School is situated within Haguelands Village, a working farm located in Kent on the beautiful and historic Romney Marsh with its abundance of fresh and varied produce.

Suitable for adults and children alike, The Garden of England Cook School caters for beginners, intermediate and advanced cooks. Classes include cooking main course meat, fish and game or party cakes and delicious deserts.

Evening courses

Wednesdays 7pm – 10pm
£39 per person including supper and wine/beer/soft drink:

22 January - Cakes and pastries; 29 January - Fish; 5 February – Indian; 12 February - Mediterranean; 19 February - Middle Eastern and 26 February – Vegetarian

Daytime courses

Mondays 10am – 4pm
£80 per person including lunch and wine/beer/soft drink:

20 January - Bread and soups; 27 January – Fish; 27 January - Fish; 3 February - Indian; 10 February - Mediterranean; 17 February - Middle Eastern; 24 February - vegetarian; 3 March - Cakes and pastries.

www.gardenofenglandcookschool.co.uk

David and Holly Jones, co-owners of Manna from Devon, run a wide variety of cookery and baking classes (of no more than eight students) at Kingswear overlooking the River Dart.  Courses include bread and baking, cooking in a Bushman wood-fired oven and ‘Fabulous Fish’. The stylishly decorated, homely kitchen and the outdoors’ decking overlook stunning views across the Dart estuary to Dartmouth. In addition to the main kitchen there is a second kitchen which is in the style of a bakery.   

Accommodation can also be provided with a stay in their comfortable B&B.

Courses range from £75.00 upwards. www.mannafromdevon.com

Located with easy access to the slopes of Kitzbühel, the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Rosengarten in Kirchberg is the brainchild of top Austrian chef Simon Taxacher. His restaurant has been awarded four toques and 19 points by the 2014 Gault Millau guide, catapulting him to the top of Austria’s culinary elite.

During 2014 the hotel’s top floor cooking studio and cookery school offers taster cookery courses on 12 January, 9 February, 15 June, 6 July, 10 August, 7 September. The classes take place between 10am and 3pm, and include a welcome drink and five-course lunch, accompanied with corresponding wines.

A three night stay at the Relais & Châteaux Rosengarten in Kirchberg starts from €619 per person, in a standard double room, including a one day taster cookery course. www.rosengarten-taxacher.com

Award-winning river cruise line AmaWaterways has introduced an enhanced range of shore excursions, Limited Edition Tours, aimed at guests who are already familiar with the ports visited and are looking for a different angle or a deeper immersion in local culture.

Examples of the new tours include a visit to a traditional Viennese coffee house to try the traditional range of coffees and a slice of Sachertorte, followed by a cellar tour to sample Austrian sparkling wine. In Portugal, from Oporto, travel to a farm that manufactures cork products to learn about the local cork industry and visit the family’s private museum. Meanwhile, in Bratislava, enjoy a tasting of Slovak specialities, including sheep’s cheese soup and stuffed potato ravioli.

www.amawaterways.co.uk

On 25 January 2014 celebrated chefs Marcus Wareing and Chantelle Nicholson will take The Gilbert Scott brasserie on an inaugural journey on board the British Pullman in a celebration of all things ‘British’.

The Gilbert Scott, Marcus Wareing’s brasserie and bar at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, is famed for its very British menu. Using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, The Gilbert Scott takes inspiration from tradition, whilst delivering fare with a modern twist. Guests can look forward to a seven course menu of dishes created in the kitchens of one of the world’s most famous trains.

Dining on board the British Pullman is one of London’s most exclusive and luxurious dining experiences. With its original 1920s art deco carriages and exceptional personal service by authentic stewards in livery the train evokes the golden age of travel. The Gilbert Scott’s ‘Great British Journey’ costs £495 per person. orient-express.com/uktrains

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