Last month you may have seen the stunt at St Pancras station, where a giant cake representing England as the National Tourist Board began promoting British Food Fortnight. Travellers lined up to sample oyster cake (Whitstable Oyster Festival), sausage icing (Ludlow Food Festival), edible flowers (Royal Horticultural Society’s new Taste of Autumn Food Festival) and many more weird and wonderful foodie delights.
Now it’s your chance to sample the best of British, Here’s how:
Brand new: From patch to plate
New for this year is the Taste of Autumn Food Festival by the Royal Horticultural Society. Taking place across four RHS gardens, the Taste of Autumn Food Festival will feature an array of local artisan produce and TV chef James Martin, botanist and Gardeners’ World regular Pippa Greenwood, and chef and food writer Rosemary Moon will be on hand to entertain the crowds. The festival takes place 12-13 October at Hyde Hall in Essex, Rosemoor in North Devon and Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire. Between 16 and 20 October, the event will be hosted at RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey.
Paul Hollywood, Great British Bake Off , will show off his pastry skills at this year’s Flavours of Herefordshire Festival which takes place between 2 and 3 November.
Granted a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) for its delicious delicacy, Leicestershire’s town of Melton Mowbray hails its eponomous pork pies in a Food and Drink Festival of its own. Held over 6 and 7 October, the rural capital of food and drink lays down stalls in their hundreds to offer all things edible, drinkable and delectable. Not only can you grab a mouth full of pork pie and cheese but tables are furnished with exotic meats such as ostrich and zebra as well as Iranian culinary dishes – a nod to the area’s bustling multicultural community.
Up north, Manchester celebrates its own Urban Food and Drink Festival with events all over the city from 26 September to 7 October. From street food at Albert Square to an indie wine festival in Manchester Town Hall, there’s bound to be something for all to enjoy.
By the sea
Shock your senses and head down to Rye for Wild Boar Week (26 October to 3 November) which pays homage to the town’s local delicacy. Hunted to near extinction in the 17th Century, surviving boars continued to breed in Kentish farms leading to dramatic increases in the last 20 years. Curious customers can sample the beasts of Udimore alongside other mediaeval dishes during the festival. Head west and learn pasty crimping techniques at the 10th Cornwall Food and Drink Festival.
Weird and wonderful
Learn how to smoke herring whilst being serenaded by shanty singers at the Hastings Herring Fair between 9 and 10 November. And if you can’t wait for Halloween, check out the Spalding Pumpkin Festival which falls in the first week of October. The week-long celebration of local horticulture and harvest includes an annual pumpkin lit parade led by the Flower Queen upon the pumpkin coach (!) as well as new additions such as pumpkin throwing competitions in true eccentric English style.
For more foodie inspiration, visit www.visitengland.com/eat