Savour the flavours of autumn food and drink in Britain

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.

TASTE – August 2019

From pop-up restaurants serving gourmet classics to modern takes on traditional cooking, Britain continues to welcome new restaurants and food offerings to its already thriving culinary scene. Here are the latest restaurant openings and unveilings for visitors to get their teeth into.

 

Recently opened

 

The Samling, Lake District

 

The luxurious Lake District hotel, The Samling, has relaunched its food offering with the support of new Executive Chef Robby Jenks. Several new fine dining menus now cover lunch and dinner to give guests plenty of options, including a three-course set lunch Table D’Hote menu and The Choice Menu, offering three courses of à la carte dining. Both menus will include a delectable array of seasonal ingredients as well as some from The Samling’s own gardens. Dinner service will include the Choice Menu and a delightful five-course Tasting Menu packed with a unique fusion of cooking styles, flavours and tastes. The lunch menu options are priced at £25 per head for the Table D’Hote menu and £65 per person for the Choice Menu. The Tasting Menu costs £85 per person.

 

Feasts from the Middle East, various locations

 

Comptoir Libanais Group founder Tony Kitous launched Britain’s first high-end large-scale Middle Eastern catering company in June, having partnered with leading events designers Admirable Crichton. Feasts from the Middle East specialises in mezze, small sharable plates of food that aim to showcase the best of Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. The venture aims to bring an array of grilled meats, rice dishes and plant-based delicacies to events, award ceremonies, product launches, weddings and private parties across the UK.

 

The Mantl, Knightsbridge, London

 

Using traditional cooking methods over hot coals to create an authentic Turkish sharing experience, The Mantl in Knightsbridge offers refined food in a sleek, modern setting. Founder Serdar Demir’s carefully curated menu puts a focus on lesser-known Turkish dishes, including Smoked Sheep’s Yogurt, Smoked Eggplant, Feraye and Chargrilled Octopus. The house speciality Lamb Shish is lovingly prepared over four days, while the Pistachio Lamb Chops promise a mix of mouth-watering flavours. Deserts include the restaurant’s own take on Baklava and Chocolate Delights, a twist on Turkish Delight. A set lunch menu with two or three courses is also available at a cost of £14.90 per person and £17.90 per person respectively.

 

The Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire

 

To coincide with the opening of new kitchen space, chef owner Steven Smith has launched a selection of exciting new menus at The Freemasons at Wiswell. The award-winning gastropub in the heart of the Ribble Valley in Lancashire now includes Mr Smith’s Table and Bench, offering guests the chance to dine in the heart of the kitchen. The Kitchen Table seats up to 12 – with a minimum of six needed to book – and provides a premium space for guests to try out tasting menus or celebrate special occasions. Meanwhile the Kitchen Bench features four stools in front of the kitchen, enabling guests to watch their meals being made from scratch.

 

Glasshouse at the Gherkin, London

 

In partnership with Perrier-Jouët Champagne, the Iris Bar at the top of the Gherkin has been transformed into a luscious botanical greenhouse. With splendid views of the River Thames, all of level 40 has become an oasis of greenery where guests can try an inspired seasonal menu, a delightful array of botanical gin cocktails and Champagne pairings by Perrier-Jouët. Glasshouse at the Gherkin runs until 1 September.

 

High Tea at the Orangery, Rockliffe Hall, Yorkshire

 

Rockliffe Hall’s flagship 4AA Rosette restaurant, The Orangery, has launched an indulgent afternoon tea experience. Executive chef Richard Allen’s offering includes an abundance of sweet and savoury treats and takes inspiration from the restaurant’s tasting and à la carte evening dinners. Expect a modern take on a traditional favourite, as the menu includes Duck Egg Mayonnaise and Cured Cumbrian open sandwiches, Warm Whitby Crab and Wensleydale Cheese Tart with Garden Chard and Raspberry Short Bread with Rockliffe Estate Honey and Candied Lemon, all served with loose leaf tea or fresh coffee. The Orangery High Tea is available daily between 1pm and 3pm for £35 per person. A Champagne Tea, including a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, is priced at £49 per person.

 

Mahé Cookery School, Padstow

 

Chef Paul Ainsworth and wife Emma have continued to put their stamp on Cornwall’s culinary scene with the launch of their fourth venture in Padstow, the Mahé Cookery School. With space for up to five guests to hone their kitchen skills under the guidance of Michelin-starred executive chef John Walton, the kitchen will provide a range of courses including Pasta Masterclass, Bistro Cooking, Dinner Party Secrets and Sugar and Spice. From learning the essentials to making authentic Italian pasta, knowing how to create restaurant quality dishes at home and designing eye-catching deserts, each class will include one-to-one teaching and a wealth of expert advice. The adjoining Michelin-starred No. 6 restaurant, Mahé, will offer its cookery lessons during the day and a bespoke culinary experience at the Chef’s Table, capable of seating six guests in the evenings. A range of classes can be booked in the remainder of 2019, with prices ranging between £195 and £275 per person.

 

Boringdon Hall Hotel, Devon

 

The five-star country hotel Boringdon Hall launched its Tasting Menu to Remember package in June, giving guests the opportunity to transform their special memories into a bespoke culinary experience. The package includes the creation of a five-course tasting menu with matched wines from head chef Scott Paton to be enjoyed in the intimate surroundings of The Gallery dining room, an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s luxury suites, a welcome gift and a 60-minute treatment each at the hotel’s luxury Gaia Spa for £975 per couple. Each menu will be unique to each couple and will feature an array of skilfully executed dishes and seasonal local produce.

 

The Furnace Kitchen, Ironbridge Gorge Museums

 

Celebrity chef Marcus Bean launched the Furnace Kitchen at the Ironbridge Gorge Museums at Coalbrookdale in late July, offering a variety of brunch, lunch and snack options. Mixing British classics and European cuisine, visitors will be able to sample homemade cakes and tasty light bites, as well as fresh oven-roasted pizzas from the on-site pizza oven. Open to museum visitors and the public every day from 8.30am to 5pm, as well as on selected evenings, the restaurant is located in the former Long Warehouse of the historic Coalbrookdale Company, once the loading bay for rail wagons.

 

Bill’s Baker Street, London

 

Having undergone an extensive transformation, Bill’s Restaurant and Bar opened another new-look London restaurant in June at Bill’s Baker Street. Modern décor and luxurious seating have been combined with an enhanced evening menu, packed with cocktails and delicious treats. Seasonal additions include Steak and Rarebit Pie and Vegan Black Bean Chilli, while the cocktail menu features favourites such as a Coconut and Raspberry Daiquiri and an Apple and Elderflower Collins.

 

New menus

 

Little Kolkata, Covent Garden, London

 

To celebrate the sunshine, popular Bengali restaurant Little Kolkata has introduced a brand new seasonal menu. With more than 20 new dishes and a fresh summer drinks menu to sample, guests can choose from highlights including spicy jumbo prawn with coconut cream and green chilli, and beetroot croquettes with green chutney. Hidden away behind bustling Covent Garden, and with a restorative range of summery cocktails including spiced gin, Campari and Martini Rosso on offer, this little gem is the perfect spot to savour authentic Bengali cuisine in the heart of London.

 

Patisserie Valerie, nationwide

 

Sweet-toothed staple Patisserie Valerie has started the first stage of its redevelopment with a brand new summer menu. Focusing on ethical produce, fine ingredients and creativity, diners can choose from a range of tasty treats such as strawberry gateau with vanilla sponge, whipped cream and fresh strawberries.  With a brand new cold drinks range produced with British drinks brand Cawston Press, a new all-day brunch menu, and a wide range of plant-based and vegetarian options, the new menu is the sweetest way to savour summer.

 

Coming soon

 

Story by the Sea, Carbis Bay, Cornwall

 

Critically acclaimed chef Tom Sellers and the team from Restaurant Story are relocating to the Cornish coast for six weeks from early August. The exclusive residency in Carbis Bay, titled Story by the Sea, promises a delicious five or six-course menu that takes inspiration from the ocean and Cornwall’s incredible surroundings, alongside a carefully crafted cocktail menu. Restaurant Story also intends to work alongside ocean campaigners Parley to remove 50 tonnes of plastic from the seas during the residency at the Carbis Bay Estate, by creating a series of limited edition upcycled tote bags. Running from 2 August to 14 September, the pop-up restaurant will be open every day throughout that period. Experience the set five-course lunch menu from £95 and the six-course dinner menu from £125 per person.

 

Kindling, Brighton

 

Opening in September, ‘land-sea-fire’ concept Kindling promises to deliver a range of delicious vegetarian, ethically-sourced meat and sustainable fish dishes under the mantra “good food, done well”. Created by husband and wife team Ramin and Jane Mostowfi, the duo behind ground-breaking vegetarian restaurant Food for Friends, the restaurant will feature reclaimed wood, elegant décor and a wood-fired grill, for an ethical dining experience with style.

Discover Caribbean culture in the UK

The Caribbean community has played a pivotal role in shaping British culture, since the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush 71 years ago. This is now celebrated annually on 22 June as Windrush Day. On that day in 1948, the vessel landed at Tilbury Docks, in London, bringing with it the first immigrants from the Caribbean. In the years that followed, a huge number of immigrants from the Caribbean followed, and the ship’s name inspired the term, the Windrush Generation. The celebration is designed to recognise and celebrate the incredible contributions of the Windrush Generation and their descendants in helping create the multicultural Britain that exists today.

As well as the Windrush Day celebrations, numerous other events take place across Britain throughout the year to celebrate Caribbean culture, including one of the world’s largest street festivals – the Notting Hill Carnival. Visitors can enjoy revelry, dance and music, while getting a true taste of Caribbean food and drink in Britain.

Events for Windrush Day

A number of events are taking place in London to mark Windrush Day, including the Radiate Windrush Festival, held in Crystal Palace Park. Numerous acts are performing, alongside a food village offering a range of Caribbean and African cuisine.

The Migration Museum at the Workshop is also hosting a day of activities to coincide with a new audio-visual exhibition called Caribbean Takeaway Takeover: Identity and Stories. The museum’s café will morph into a Caribbean takeaway, while also telling inspirational stories from those who arrived on the HMT Empire Windrush.

Newcastle is hosting a Rum and Reggae Festival on 22 June, where guests will be taken on a rum journey around the world. The festival is visiting numerous other locations during the summer months, including London, Reading, Nottingham, Brighton, Kidderminster, Manchester, Weston-Super-Mare and Lincoln.

Meanwhile the city of Bangor in Wales is hosting a Jamaican breakfast to mark the occasion.

Notting Hill Carnival

As one of the world’s largest street festivals, the Notting Hill Carnival celebrates Caribbean culture in Britain every August Bank Holiday. From the first event in 1959, the carnival in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has continued to grow, with steel bands, street food and dancing commonplace. By bringing together talents from London’s Caribbean community, the festival is a celebration of cultural diversity, creativity and the arts, with a traditional J’ouvert parade taking place early on Sunday morning (25 August). Expect revellers donned in brightly coloured paint and an array of dance shows, with the Sunday of the festival aimed at children in particular. As well as a Children’s Parade, a host of other family-friendly entertainment can be found dotted around the streets. The Notting Hill Grand Finale Parade brings an end to proceedings on Monday (26 August), with an array of dancing, street performances, steel bands and music groups all taking part.

When? 24-26 August

Jerk Jam

Having evolved from a small gathering, Jerk Jam is now a fully-fledged celebration of the Caribbean, with food vendors, artists, DJs and dancers flocking to Houndhill Farm in Hampshire. Alongside four stages of live music, there’ll be workshops for children, fairground rides and plenty of circus, arts and magic performers. The centre piece of the festival is the Jerk-Off BBQ Battle, when chefs from all over the country go head-to-head in a boxing ring, battling it out with authentic jerk pans.

When? 20 July

Caribbean Carnival of Manchester

Since launching in 1972, the Caribbean Carnival of Manchester has celebrated all that is great about Caribbean culture in the heart of the city’s Alexandra Park. Expect to see Caribbean music and dance, as well as theatre, steel bands and an abundance of bright and extravagant costumes. Proceedings start with an early morning J’ouvert parade before the main carnival procession weaves its way through the crowds, complete with floats, DJs, dance troupes and a host of carnival queens and princesses in the early afternoon. Three stages of music will be accompanied by a host of food vendors and Soca bands.

When? 10-11 August

Caribbean Music Festival – Liverpool

Dubbed the ‘ultimate Caribbean festival’, Liverpool’s celebration of the Caribbean welcomes an array of DJs and other artists to Brick Street to showcase their talents. Headline acts for the main stage of this year’s Caribbean Music Festival include Scrappy Sinon, DJ Rockshun, Big Band Tropical Storm, Firebiggz, DJ Rory and Iyah Sample, among others.

When? 17 August