The Best Open Air Cinemas for Foodies

This summer, a whole load of gastronomic food nights are hitting the UK, so keep your eyes peeled for events near you! Here are some of our highlights. From celebrity chefs to free screenings, and from classic films at the zoo to classic films at the beach in bed, we’ve found all the most exciting alfresco film and dining experiences.


Sunset Cinema with Rick Stein, Chewton Glen

9th – 23rd July 2017

If you’ve ever dreamt of sitting outside on a warm summer’s evening, with a classic film on a big screen, drink in hand, waiting on a celebrity chef to cook you up a two course meal, then – would you believe it – your luck’s in! And if you haven’t, well, now you’ve realised you can’t miss it!

This month, the much-loved Rick Stein and the Pop-Up Picture Company are coming together at the stunning grounds of Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa in the New Forest to bring you a truly unique experience. Guests will be welcomed with an outdoor drinks reception as the sun starts to sink in the sky, before settling down to watch the film and await Rick’s culinary talent. Featuring on the menu is plenty of seafood, as you would expect, with starters such as Cantabrian crab and prawn cocktail with smoked paprika. Mains will feature seasonal delights like fish pie and slow-cooked lamb curry, and a halloumi madras curry for the veggies! As per tradition, ice cream will be passed around at the interval, ‘usherette style’. From La La Land to Gladiator, there’s a film for everyone!

See the full list of films and food here, and book tickets here.

Cult Films, Bristol Zoo (and other locations)

23rd – 27th August 2017

Coming to Bristol Zoo - as well as many more unexpected venues around the country - is Cult Films. Showing five films of different genres over five days, most tastes will be catered for! And speaking of tastes and catering, Cult Films are as mad on food as they are on films – a multitude of fantastic food and drink vendors will be onsite to conquer all of your cravings. Expect fantastic alfresco cinema and dining experiences in the most unusual of places this summer!

At Bristol Zoo this August, you’ll be enjoying a great film with great food and even better company – penguins, gorillas and lions! With varying ticket options available, you can decide whether to bring your own seats, or to chill on a bean bag or deck chair provided. Food-wise, Kurbside Kitchen and others will be providing you with all the very best film-friendly nosh, from gourmet German sausages, slow-cooked meats, sweet potato and Cajun fries and more.

Find tickets here.

Jurassic Park Under the Stars, National Botanic Garden of Wales

26th August 2017

Think you can brave watching Spielberg’s original classic Jurassic Park outside as the sun sets, sitting amongst the tropical shrubbery of Wales’ National Botanic Garden? Here’s your chance!

Perfect for all the family, this brilliant idea was put forward after the Lion King Under the Stars event sold out lightning quick. Food and drink will be available before the film commences in the form of a barbeque and bar, with fresh popcorn and ice cream too! Tickets start at £8, and guests are advised to bring their own blankets and camping seats, though blankets and pillows can be hired on the day. The event will get underway at 7pm, with live music, face painting and more to keep you all entertained whilst you tuck into some BBQ goods. The film will start at 8:30pm, as the sun sets… beware!

Find tickets here.


Spinningfields Summer Screenings, Manchester 

18th July – 5th September 2017

Mancunian film and food fans, listen up! Back for 2017 is Spinningfields Summer Screenings, a free, yes FREE, alfresco cinema experience for you to enjoy every Tuesday for eight weeks of fantastic flicks at the iconic courtyard of the Oast House. Rustic food and drink will also be available from the Oast House. There is no need to be distracted from the film – order via a mobile app and your food and drink will be delivered straight to your seat. To find this app, search ‘Qkr’ on Google play or the app store.

Kicking off the cult classics on the 18th July will be The Goonies. Arrive earlier than 6pm to avoid disappointment at these free events – spaces are bound to fill up ultra-fast! Preceding these Tuesday film nights is a fortnight of uninterrupted Wimbledon coverage – tennis fans are all covered. Live action from the Tour de France and World Athletics Championships will also be featuring!

No need for tickets – just turn up! See the programme here.

Brighton’s Big Screen

28th July – 28th August

The UK’s largest beachfront cinema is back and better than ever! Kicking off this July and screening more than 100 films over 32 days, this is one of the most celebrated cinema experiences in Europe. Plus, in Brighton this year, get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience: kick back and watch a film on an Ibis luxury bed! Pay a little more and you can chuckle the night away at the novelty of going out to watch a film at the beach from an actual bed.

All of your food and drink needs are covered by the likes of multi award-winning Pizza Face, concentrating on bold and interesting flavours and using fresh ingredients and a stone oven. Many more fantastic street food pros and old-timers will be permanently set up to keep your hunger pangs at bay – Bagelman will be dishing out stupidly tasty hot sammiches fit for accompanying a film, and expect many more cuisines from Caribbean to classic fish and chips. Camden Town Brewery will have their own bar on the beach, and Orangina will be hosting a Mediterranean beach bar serving cocktails.

Don’t miss the British Street Food Awards in Brighton on the launch weekend!


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