Top Food and Drink Festivals in September
Summer may be drawing to a close and festival season might be over, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still tons of terrific food and drink events taking place throughout the country in the coming months. The last month of summer and also the first month of autumn, September is the perfect time for a fantastic food and drink festival, with the change in season welcoming a whole host of autumnal seasonal produce.
The rain may be pouring but that needn’t mean your weekends should be boring. From sophisticated indoor festivals celebrating some of the world’s best boozy beverages to fantastic fish festivals in some of the country’s most idyllic coastal spots, say goodbye to summer and welcome in a crisp and cool autumn the right way.
Here at Food Festival Finder, we’ve tried to make your life a little easier with our choice of ten of the best food and drink festivals to check out this September, but if none of these are to your tastes, be sure to check out our website for a more extensive rundown of all the food and drink festivals taking place across the country this month.
UK Rum Festival Exeter - Saturday 1st September
For the 6th year in a row, the UK Rum Festival is bringing its Caribbean flair to Exeter. Celebrating this often underappreciated spirit (there is MUCH more to rum than rum and coke), exhibitors at the event will be displaying their best liquors and giving you the chance to sample the rum as well as find out more about the process from cane to bottle – every drop of rum has its story to tell.
With chill-out zones around the Great Hall where you’ll be able to try some delicious rum-infused cocktails from the festival's three cocktail bars, street food vendors serving up delicious Caribbean cuisine and BBQ food, and live music getting you in the spirit, this isn’t just an event but a lifestyle.
Clovelly Lobster and Crab Feast - Sunday 2nd September
The small fishing village of lovely Clovelly plays host to a lively lobster and crab feast this September. With its narrow cobbled streets, unique shops, gorgeous gardens and picturesque harbour, there’s never been a better excuse to visit this gorgeous Devonshire village than now.
Talented chefs from the region will be cooking up the finest and freshest seafood from pop-up kitchens along the picturesque quay, offering you free samples or the chance to indulge in an enticing harbourside feast.
There will also be live cooking demonstrations, a beer tasting tent, arts and crafts, street theatre and magic, and live folk music throughout the day at the event which promises to be a perfect day out for all the family.
Oxford Wine Festival - Friday 7th September to Saturday 8th September
The sophisticated and high-cultured city of Oxford, with its world-famous university and impressive list of renowned alumni, is the perfect place to hold a celebration of the world’s most elegant wines.
Taking place in one of the city’s most stylish and interesting venues, the Oxford Union, and with award-winning wine varieties from more than 20 countries, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in tutored tastings from a range of prominent wine experts and educators. There will also be plenty of nibbles and live music. Tickets to the festival include 10 free wine samples.
Festival of Food & Wine Racing Weekend - Friday 7th September to Saturday 8th September
For one long weekend this September, Ascot Racecourse will be home to a huge celebration of the finest food and drink. In association with delicious magazine, this is one festival not to be missed.
Alongside the racing taking place over the Friday and Saturday, there will also be 140 food and wine stalls waiting to show you the latest gastronomic delights and food trends.
The Michelin-star chef Raymond Blanc will also be in attendance, along with Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown.
Newquay Fish Festival - Friday 7th September to Sunday 9th September
Now in its 16th year, Newquay Fish Festival showcases the stunning local seafood available in the region against the backdrop on the town’s historic 300-year-old harbour.
Celebrating the heritage and cuisine on their doorstep, top chefs from the region will be demonstrating how to make the most of this wonderful local produce and giving you the chance to sample the delicious seafood they serve up for yourself.
There will also be a full line-up of entertainment including bands, choirs, singers, dancers, and even a band of pirates complete with canons. There’s always a special atmosphere at the Newquay Fish Festival.
Cocktails in the City – Manchester - Friday 14th September to Saturday 15th September
A fantastic evening of live music, cocktails, and food, listen to top DJs and fantastic live music as you sample from a selection of perfectly mixed cocktails on offer. There will also be four cocktail demonstrations throughout the evening; Cocktail Making at Home; Sours, Punches & Flips; Cocktails in the US of A; and A Very British Affair.
With around 20 bars taking part in the event, if you love your drink, you won’t be disappointed at Cocktails in the City in Manchester this September. Tickets cost £15 which grants you entry, a cocktail and book. Additional cocktails and private tastings are available at the very affordable price of £6.50 on the night.
The Good Life Experience - Friday 14th September to Sunday 16th September
The Good Life Experience, now in its fifth year, is an absolutely unique festival founded by four friends back in 2014 – Cerys Matthews MBE, Steve Abbott, and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone. The purpose of the festival is to provide guests with an inspiring and energising experience – not one that leaves them feeling exhausted and empty pocketed, promising to be a weekend of genuine fun and discovery for those bored of the usual festival offerings.
Pitch your tent in the shadow of two castles and gorge on some great locally produced food before trying your hand at axe throwing, foraging, campfire cooking sessions from world-class chefs, mass sing-a-longs, and workshops.
There will also be a canine circus, dog show, abseiling, a free 1930s fairground, tree climbing, and lots of poetry and literature including a talk from former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen. Kids under 12 go free with tons of activities all the family can enjoy.
Great British Food Festival – Northwich - Saturday 22nd September to Sunday 23rd September
Combining the nation’s love of great food and drink with some of the country’s most treasured locations, The Great British Food Festival is so much more than just another food festival. Offering guests a unique opportunity to explore beautiful venues and sample some fantastic new flavours, this September the festival heads to the picturesque Arley Hall in Cheshire, bringing with it food eating competitions and the famous Cake Off where you can demonstrate your best baking skills.
Set to be a wonderful day, bring your family, friends, and dog and chill out on a picnic blanket with food and a beer in the grounds of the stunning estate while you watch and listen to some fantastic entertainment.
The Essex Country Show - Saturday 29th September to Sunday 30th September
With plenty of activities for all the family, The Essex Country Show comes to the beautiful Weald Country Park in Brentwood at the end of September. Back by popular demand and incorporating the ever-popular Festival of Dogs, there’s so much to enjoy here. From rural crafters on site showing you how to craft your very own products to independent trade stands and free entertainment including Main Ring and Countryside Ring acts such as stunt bike and horse displays, and great local bands and community groups.
For the foodies, cookery demonstrations will take place throughout the weekend with your chance to meet James Hillery from The Great British Bake Off 2017. Some of the best chefs from the region will also be in attendance, demonstrating how to make their favourite meals and offering you advice for your very own dinner parties. There will also be tons of children’s entertainment including face painting, livestock, and a petting zoo.
Soham Pumpkin Fair - Saturday 29th September
Taking place on the last Saturday of September since 1975, The Soham Pumpkin Fair in Cambridgeshire is hugely popular with locals, giving guests the chance to show off the most impressive home vegetable growing in the region – but there is so much more to the fair than pumpkins alone.
The fair will also host a collection of vintage vehicles, charity and food stalls, along with craft and story-telling tents. There is also a fun fair and even a Quidditch match planned!!! The proceeds of the fair will go towards supporting two local causes: Soham Community First Responders and Creative Minds and promises to be a wonderful way to welcome in October.