There is something about September. Even though most non-religious people do not celebrate Harvest Festival, it is widely recognised as a period of food and drink bursting with flavour. It is the month of pears, apples and blackberries. It is also the month of game meat and of the Sunday roast. The explosion of foods for early autumn means there are hundreds of food festivals across the country. We have grown to love our seasonal food festivals and they are a great way for local producers to show what they can do. Here is just a small selection.
Ludlow is one of the top towns for food lovers in recent year thanks to its Medieval Christmas Fayre, Spring Food Festival and this – the jewel in its crown. Arguably, it is the town entirely responsible for the food festival revolution. Ludlow is famous for its sausages, but that is not all this regional festival is. Local beers are a source of pride in Ludlow, as is the strong tradition for game meat at this time of year. Like its other big festivals, the event takes place in the castle grounds and around the market square.
Reading Oktoberfest: Reading, Berkshire 15th–18th September
This is the inaugural year for Reading’s beer festival and the organisers are hoping to harness the new-found love of the microbrewery. The rise of local producers and new flavours in the last ten years has been nothing short of phenomenal and we are (once again) a beer-producing powerhouse, having more microbreweries per head of population than any other country in the world. With a live DJ and entertainment throughout the weekend, this could be the new Reading event.
Ayrshire Real Ale Festival: Troon, Scotland, 6th-8th October
Staying with beer, this is the largest beer festival of its kind in Scotland. It will feature some 150 beers and 20 ciders, representing the best of Scotland’s beer produce. A third bar at the event will feature a large range of honoured former Champion Beers. CAMRA has been at the forefront of promoting good quality beer and are now reaping the rewards of our newfound love of good quality beers and ciders produced locally.
Abergavenny Food Festival, Abergavenny, Wales. 17th-18th September
The largest food festival of its kind in Wales, it takes place in six different locations across the town. Like the others, it celebrates food and drink with its distinct regional flavour. Again, it is more than that. It is a celebration of Welsh pride. At the event, you will find local arts and crafts, street entertainment and much more. It has the best of local produce, traditional and modern cuisine.
Great Cornish Food Festival: Truro, 23rd-25th September
Cornwall presents itself as the food festival capital of the UK and it is not difficult to see why. Throughout the year, most towns and cities have at least one food festival every year with port town Falmouth seemingly having a local festival every month. This event takes place in Truro and is a celebration of everything that is great about Cornish food. It has local food and drink, entertainment with a distinct Cornish flavour, celebrating the “food revolution” of the county in its desire to stay local and promote Cornish interests.
Belfast Autumn Fair: Botanic Gardens, Belfast, Northern Ireland 17th-18th September
Taking place in the city’s gorgeous Botanic Gardens, this two-day festival is a celebration of food, drink, family and flowers. Enjoy the arriving autumn colours for Northern Ireland while being surrounded by the best local produce. There is entertainment for all the family through the weekend, including a climbing wall, face painting and street theatre. With plants, crafts and live music there is something for all the family.