Flavour & Savour | 24th August 2023
Six of the best food festivals in the UK in Autumn 2023
Feast your eyes on the finest harvest festivals
When the summer temperatures start to fall, does your appetite for good hearty food rise?
The cheering news is that the harvest months of September and October herald a bumper crop of exceedingly delicious food and drink festivals around the UK. Whether you’re hungry for seafood or craving a cheeky gin, we’ve hand-picked six of the sweetest culinary happenings that are sure to tantalise your tastebuds.
Gin and Rum Festival Brighton
Saturday 2nd September
The Gin and Rum Festival in Brighton celebrates the rich history and flavours of these beloved spirits. Make your way to Brighton Dome where a vast selection of more than 120 of the finest gins and rums will be available for the savouring, plus samples from guest distillers - many of which are exclusive to the Festival. The event features masterclasses and cocktail-making demonstrations, and you’ll want to gather your friends as this is very much a party date for your diary with award-winning DJs and live entertainment.
Where to stay: Ockenden Manor, a stunning Elizabethan manor house nestled in the West Sussex countryside. Here, you’ll enjoy five-star culinary experiences in the hotel’s fine dining restaurant which crafts mouth-watering dishes from locally sourced ingredients.
Newtown Food Festival, Wales
Saturday 2nd- Sunday 3rd September
Newtown Food Festival in Wales is a delightful celebration of local Welsh delicacies and international cuisine with an abundance of food stalls dotted across the green spaces in the centre of Newtown. It’s a magical event for foodies with interactive workshops and cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs, who offer tips on creating delicious meals at home. There’s also a lively programme of music and entertainment and the friendly vibe makes this a great festival for families.
Where to stay: Base yourself in Bala at the superlative Palé Hall. Situated on the edge of Snowdonia, here you’ll not only enjoy a deluxe hotel stay with breathtaking country views but also fine dining — including an eight-course tasting menu and a sumptuous afternoon tea.
Pub in the Park, Chiswick, London
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd September
Billed as ‘the ultimate food and music festival’, Pub in the Park is popping up in Chiswick, West London for a three-day extravaganza this year. The event, which visits numerous destinations around the UK, combines the best of British pub culture with a gourmet twist. In addition to a wealth of feasting opportunities, the star attractions include cookery demonstrations by top chefs who showcase their culinary creations, and a stellar programme of live music performances by well-known artists. This year’s line up includes McFly, Ronan Keating, The Hoosiers and Squeeze.
Where to stay: Make your way to Mayfair for an exceptional culinary experience at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences. This five-star art deco retreat is home to a superb fine dining restaurant, 116 at Athenaeum, where you can indulge in tasting menus and elegant afternoon teas, as well as lunch and dinner and divine menus for vegans. Or settle down in Knightsbride at The Capital Hotel, Apartments & Townhouse for authentic hospitality just steps from renowned Harrods Food Hall.
York Food and Drink Festival, York
Friday 22nd September - Sunday 1st October
The York Food and Drink Festival is an annual event celebrating the vibrant culinary scene of the historic city. It features a vast selection of food and drink from local traders, as well as international flavours with street food, markets with more than 100 stalls, and special dining experiences in various locations around York. Free cookery workshops, including lessons in making bread, pasta, and vegan dips, are held in the Museum Gardens and St Crux Hall, and chef demonstrations take place on St Sampson’s Square. And there’s music events in the lively Entertainments Marquee in Parliament Street, where you’ll also find a real ale bar.
Where to stay: Arguably the best hotel in York, Middlethorpe Hall & Spa is a sophisticated historic retreat that exudes old world charm. Foodies flock here for its award-winning cuisine, served in a beautiful wood-panelled dining room with views of lovely landscaped gardens and park land.
Rutland Food & Drink Festival, Oakham
Sunday 24th September
The Rutland Food & Drink Festival is a feast of an event that celebrates the finest local produce and culinary talent in the centre of the historic market town of Oakham. Here, you can devour the country’s famous meats, cheeses and pies, washed down with locally brewed beers, attend culinary workshops to hone your kitchen skills, or watch the master chefs in action. Come and peruse the food stalls in Market Square or along the high street and soak up the sunny atmosphere of this event that also makes for a great day out for families.
Where to stay: It has to be Hambleton Hall — Oakham’s luxury hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant. In fact, The Dining Room at Hambleton Hall boasts the UK’s longest-retained Michelin star and continues to wow with its culinary wizardry.
England’s Seafood Festival, South Devon
Friday 29th September - Sunday 15th October
Seeking succulent seafood? England’s Seafood Festival in South Devon is the ultimate celebration of the UK's coastal bounty with events across Brixham, Paignton and Torquay — the stretch of coast known as ‘England’s Riviera.’ The festival highlights the region's seafood heritage, with a focus on sustainability and responsible fishing. Come and enjoy a wide variety of freshly-caught delights, prepared by talented chefs and served by local vendors. The entertainments and beautiful beachside locations make this a tempting escape for food lovers.
Where to stay: Thurlestone Hotel, a peach of a hotel in Thurlestone on the South Devon Coast. Here, you can feast on seafood with chilled white wine on the terrace while lapping up the sea views —as well as enjoy fine dining at The Trevilder, and hearty roast dinners at The Village Inn, the hotel's two celebrated restaurants.
Explore Seasoned to Perfection, our collection of the best hotels in the UK for foodies.
If you've been inspired to plan an indulgent trip to enjoy the best of British food across the country, plan your own Break using our interactive map, or let our Hedonist's Dream or Sensory Indulgence curated breaks lead the way.