Summer is a brilliant time for foodies. Not only are there countless opportunities to eat and drink outdoors, but food festivals and markets really come into their own at this time of year, adding to the many delights of London’s food scene. A fresh crop of produce means lots of variety on offer, and the relaxed mood of summer lends itself perfectly to sitting back with friends and sampling the best of London’s larder.
Read on for a taster of some of the top food festivals taking place in London this spring and summer, and starting planning a season of snacking…
The series of Foodies Festivals has become a bit of a British institution, with events taking place around the country throughout the summer months. London lucks out with not one, but four separate Foodies events – at Marble Hill House from 24th to 26th May; at Kenwood House from 30th May to 1st June; at Clapham Common from 6th to 8th June; and finally at Battersea Park from 15th to 17th August.
This year visitors will enjoy the winning Foodies formula of food and drink masterclasses, demonstrations by celebrity and Michelin-starred chefs, pop-up restaurants and a food fair, plus live entertainment and workshops for kids. New additions this year include a Vintage Tea Tent and Kitchen Market, for tea dances and pretty kitchen wares, plus a Chilli Food Market for the adventurous. Find out more about times, line-ups and prices at foodiesfestival.com.
Urban Food Fest
For those who’ve enjoyed the burgeoning street food trend in recent years, Urban Food Fest is hosting a series of Street Food Night Markets in Shoreditch every Saturday night between 12th April and 21st June 2014.
Each week will bring a fresh assortment of food stalls and trucks serving everything from gourmet burgers, pizza and international cuisine to crepes, macaroons, hand-made chocolates and more, plus a selection of craft beers, cider, wine and cocktails to wash it all down. It even has a corner devoted to vegetarian, vegan and raw food, so you can enjoy the atmosphere even if you’re following a specific diet. Check out www.urbanfoodfest.com for more info.
London Wine Week
For lovers of the grape, London Wine Week presents an outstanding opportunity to sample a vast range of exciting new wines in some of the capital’s top bars and wine shops. By purchasing one of the festival’s wristbands, wine lovers are entitled to try wines by the glass or expertly selected wine flights for just £5 each at festival venues – and with over 100 participating venues, including everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to independent wine merchants, there is plenty to explore.
London Wine Week takes place 2nd to 8th June 2014 – check out www.londonwineweek.com for full details and a map of venues.
Taste of London
London is home to such a vast assortment of excellent restaurants that it would take ages to try them all; however, the set-up at Taste of London encourages you to sample as many as you can over the course of a day.
From 18th to 22nd June 2014, Regent’s Park will be hosting an outstanding line-up of chefs, restaurants and food producers from London and further afield, with enough demonstrations, workshops and tastings to satisfy any foodie’s appetite. A particular highlight is the opportunity to purchase sample-sized portions of signature dishes from some of London’s top restaurants – this means you can try a selection of the city’s most delicious cuisine, all in a single meal!
For details of prices and this year’s line-up, visit London.tastefestivals.com.
The Great British Beer Festival
No matter what your taste in beer, you’ll find something to your liking at the Great British Beer Festival. Held from 12th to 16th August 2014 at the Olympia London, this is one of the biggest beer festivals in the country, with around 55,000 people expected to turn up to sample over 900 different varieties of real ales, imported beers, ciders, perries and more.
Live entertainment and food will also be on offer, with this year’s festival adopting a carnival theme befitting its fun-filled atmosphere. See the Great British Beer Festival website for further details of times, location and exhibitors.
BBC Good Food Festival at Hampton Court Palace
If you enjoy fantastic food in historic surroundings, be sure not to miss the first edition of the BBC Good Food Festival to be held in the sumptuous setting of Hampton Court Palace. Running from 23rd to 25th August 2014, it’s a great way to savour the bank holiday weekend.
Enjoy exquisite samples of food and drink from some of London’s favourite restaurants, and pick up ingredients to create your own royal feast from a selection of artisanal food producers. You can also watch demonstrations by well-known chefs in the festival’s Summer Kitchen and learn more about Georgian cooking as the Palace’s food historians prepare an assortment of period recipes in the historic kitchens. Visit www.bbcgoodfoodfestival.com for more information.
Don’t forget to check with the concierge team at any of our Guoman hotels for directions to these events, or information on any other London foodie hotspots.
Which food festivals are you most excited about attending this summer?
Image: ostensiblyclear on Flickr