From sizzling sausages to charming chocolates and tasty treats, south-east England is home to an array of awesome autumnal foodie experiences. Join top chefs as they reveal the secrets of their culinary masterpieces at food festivals, enjoy hands on demonstrations and tasting sessions, and discover where to find some of the region’s finest food this autumn.
Canterbury Food and Drink Festival
Around 150 stalls are packed into Dane John Gardens for the Canterbury Food and Drink Festival, featuring an exciting mix of trade exhibitors, live entertainment and foodie workshops. Don’t miss the Produced in Kent area, with 40 stalls selling the region’s finest foods and crafts, or the Green Hops Beer Tent, which celebrates the Kentish harvest by serving Green Hop Beers straight form the cask. There’s a funfair to keep the children entertained and a craft area showcasing everything from jewellery and woodwork to contemporary fashion. The festival is free to attend but some Urban Food Tour events are ticketed and prices vary.
When? 26-28 September
Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival
Now in its 14th year, the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival welcomes more than 100 producers from across Suffolk to showcase their foodie creations. Embark on a culinary adventure and take in tastings and demonstrations from chefs, authors and presenters at the Tiptree and Co-op Stages over the weekend, before sampling the Adnam’s Drink Experience. With a daily programme of events showcasing how drinks are made and how best to serve them, expect an exciting cocktail of drinks demonstrations and discussions. The Wild Suffolk area highlights the best naturally grown produce from across Suffolk while the Hillfarm Family Meadow has an array of fun and games to keep children entertained. A set of Masterclasses, including chocolate tasting and kids’ cookery sessions, also run across the weekend although spaces are limited. Day tickets for the festival are priced at £9 each, while a weekend ticket covering both days costs £16. Children aged 15 and under go free.
When? 28-29 September
Broadstairs Food Festival
Celebrating Kent’s best food and drink, Broadstairs Food Festival has something for all the family to enjoy. Set in the picturesque coastal town of Broadstairs, in east Kent, the festival features three jam-packed days of food demonstrations, tasting sessions and trade stalls selling an array of delectable produce from across the region. As well as talks and tastings in the Theatre Marquee, more than 100 stalls will be present, alongside a pop-up tea room, festival bar and Cider House. Entry to the festival is free, although many of the festival’s events need to be booked in advance and spaces are limited.
When? 4-6 October
The Great Framlingham Sausage Festival
A celebration of East Anglian sausage producers, The Great Framlingham Sausage Festival takes over the small Suffolk market town in October. Regional producers sizzle an array of mouth-watering sausages for visitors to try, while competing to be crowned Best Classic Pork Sausage or Best New Taste Sensation. There’s also a host of foodie workshops, live music and entertainment to enjoy at different venues around the town. Take part in sausage making workshops, try delectable local beers and ciders, or enjoy the latest comedy in the Fresh Talent performance area. Keep a look out for the festival’s mascot too – Teddie the adorable Dachshund (sausage dog)! If the sausages are not enough, the town also has a medieval castle to explore, as well as beautiful historic architecture and numerous cafes and coffee shops. Day tickets cost £3, or £6 including a tasting pass. A group or family ticket is available for £20.
When? 13 October
Hampshire Chocolate and Treats Fair
Welcoming an abundance of artisan chocolatiers and bakers to the south coast, the Hampshire Chocolate and Treats Fair has unique treats for the taste buds. As well as luxury festive chocolate, fudge and sweets, the Locks Heath Shopping Village in Southampton will also host several drinks providers, ensuring a great selection of cakes, biscuits and sweet treats. Entry to the fair costs £1 for adults and 50p for those aged 12 and under.
When? 19 October, 11am-3pm
Vegfest UK London
Olympia London hosts one of the largest vegan lifestyle shows in Europe in late October, when Vegfest UK comes to the capital. Dubbed the ‘ultimate vegan experience’, with 325 stalls offering everything from food and cosmetics to fashion items, visitors can also enjoy live demonstrations by vegan experts and indulge during taster sessions by 25 specialist caterers from around the world. The festival, now in its seventh year, will feature a cinema screening vegan documentaries, an art exhibition and live music from two stages, as well as panel discussions and entertainment in the auditorium. Discover what can be done with plant-based ingredients in the Living Raw Zone or relax with a yoga or qigong session. Tickets cost from £13.20 when purchased in advance (including booking fee).
When? 26-27 October
Kent Food Trails
Discover delights from across Kent during the autumn as part of a Kent Food Trail, a delightful range of itineraries featuring some of the county’s delicious treats. One great example is Canterbury to Wye – from Cheese to Wine. Travel from the magical city of Canterbury to Wye, taking in cheesemakers, vineyards and farm shops en route, or plan an exciting itinerary from the range of foodie businesses based all over Kent.
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