As the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace has already left an indelible mark on British culture. But alongside its beautifully landscaped gardens and picturesque baroque architecture, it also hosts the Blenheim Palace Food Festival, an unmissable part of the nation’s culinary calendar.
Located in Oxfordshire, the palace serves as the home of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and is rich in heritage, culture and tradition. The Pleasure Gardens welcome Fantastic Food Festivals for 3 days on May 25-27, when up to 160 regional food and drink exhibitors are expected to attend, offering everything from artisan baked goods to gourmet burgers and delicious international cuisine.
Alongside engaging and educational talks from celebrity and local chefs, expect a multitude of family-friendly activities and cookery demonstrations that celebrate the best of British produce and other delightful dishes from around the world. Whether it’s freshly prepared wood-fired pizza to locally produced cheeses or the best of Vietnamese flavour, there’ll be something to suit even the most discerning of palates.
This year will be the 6th version of the festival and will have a strong focus on education, the environment and food for everyone. This will include a specialist area called Nature’s Pantry, which will feature 20 vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and organic producers.
The event is also renowned for its celebrity chef involvement, and stars of the kitchen including Raymond Blanc MBE, Jean-Christophe Novelli and 2017 Celebrity MasterChef winner Angellica Bell are all set to showcase their skills in the Festival Kitchen. As well as having an opportunity to meet chefs and food producers, a number of intriguing talks will provide fine-dining cooking tips for budding chefs of all ages.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the palace’s 2,000 acres of parkland, landscaped by renowned 18th-century gardener Capability Brown, as well as the butterfly house and the incredible Marlborough Maze. Made up of hundreds of yew trees and 2 miles long, the design for the giant hedge maze takes inspiration from the palace itself.
A miniature railway also runs between the palace and the Pleasure Gardens every 30 minutes from 11am to 5.30pm, while there are numerous walking routes through the grounds that take in the lake and other aspects of the park.
Entry to the festival requires a Park & Garden ticket (£16 for adults, £7.50 for children and £13 for concessions) or is free with a valid annual pass.