Our Favourite Food and Drink Festivals this November
With summer well and truly behind us, you won’t find any festivals across the country that are relying on great weather for a good few months now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of fantastic foodie events out there for you and your family to enjoy.
As Christmas rapidly approaches - less than 8 weeks away now – the UK will soon be playing host to hundreds of festive festivals to try to get you in the Christmas spirit. However, if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t like thinking about Christmas until a couple of weeks before Christmas day, there’s also an extensive selection of non-Christmas-themed food and drink festivals for you to enjoy too.
Read our list of 8 of our favourite food and drink festivals taking place across the UK this month, and for a more comprehensive list, be sure to use our website to search for festivals taking place near you.
Featuring over 300 high-quality wines, superb masterclasses, and some fantastic discounts on wines to purchase or order on the day, Edinburgh Festival of Wine is an unmissable event for Scotland’s wine lovers, and, unfortunately, is already sold out (there’s always next year though). Brought to the capital by Tom Cannavan, the award-winning wine writer and publisher of wine-pages.com, Tom launched his first solo day-long wine celebration in Edinburgh last year, having previously run numerous wine festivals in Edinburgh and Glasgow. This event sold out quickly and received rave reviews from the 550 wine lovers who attended and this year promises to be even better.
Set in the stunning 5* Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street, guests will get to sample some sensational new wines and engage in riveting conversation with the many wine experts at the festival. Tom will also be on hand to share his vast knowledge with you too.
Returning to Newbury Showground this year and incorporating the fan-favourite Festival of Dogs, The Christmas Country Show is the perfect way to start the festive season. From rural crafters and independent trade stands selling some truly special Christmas gifts, to free entertainment throughout the day including a spectacular circus, there’s something all the family will enjoy.
If keeping the kids happy and ensuring they have the most memorable Christmas season this year is your top priority, then you’ll be pleased to know that Father Christmas will also be in attendance, along with a real reindeer, Punch and Judy, and a petting zoo – all of which are guaranteed to make their months.
For the foodies out there, festive-themed cookery demonstrations will be running throughout the weekend where the region’s best chefs will be showing you how to make their favourite Christmas foods.
A truly immersive event with over 20 breweries across three floors, The Edinburgh Craft Beer Experience at the Assembly Roxy is a beer lover’s dream. Each floor of the venue will showcase bars dedicated to different regions of brewing. The Main Hall will celebrate Scotland’s 5,000-year history of brewing; the Upper Theatre will showcase Belgium’s distinctive lambic style; while the atmospheric Snug Bar downstairs will boast the best of Britain’s breweries with some beers making their way north of the border for the very first time.
Alongside all this fantastic beer, the Basement Theatre will also be hosting a full programme of beer-themed workshops and masterclasses, allowing guests the opportunity to experience beer in a different light with tasting notes and food pairings. They’ll also have the chance to get to know the people behind the cask with the “meet the brewer” sessions and start their own brewing journeys with home brew masterclasses.
Christmas magic comes to Tatton Park for its second time this November along with a whole host of recognisable foodie faces. Come along and pick up some invaluable foodie tips from previous MasterChef winners, Great British Menu stars, Great British Bake Off winners and top local chefs and patisserie chefs, and leave with all the skills you’ll need to become the ultimate Christmas host.
From learning how to bake show-stopping treats in the Cakes and Desserts Theatre to discovering your new favourite tipple at Gin Alley or finding the perfect Christmas gift in the artisan market, this is the ultimate Christmas food and drink festival and the ideal way to get all the family excited for a sensational Christmas this year. The kids will also just love the Elf’s Cookery School, Christmas carols, and music from Cheshire’s most exciting unsigned bands on the Live Music Stage.
Brand new to Classic Festivals and Events’ line-up this year, their famous and ever-popular Christmas Country Show comes to the excellent Crowne Plaza Five Lakes in Maldon, bringing with it plenty of activities for all the family to enjoy along with the Festival of Dogs.
With free entertainment throughout the weekend along with rural crafters, independent trade stands, cookery demonstrations, and local bands and community groups providing the musical and dancing entertainment, there’s no finer festival in the region to welcome the most wonderful time of the year in true festive style.
Some of the best chefs in the region will be in attendance showing you how to make their favourite Christmas treats and providing you with tips and advice for holding your own Christmas parties. The festival will also play host to Father Christmas, live reindeer, and a petting zoo to ensure your kids just have the best time ever.
If November is still too early for you to be surrounding yourself with all things Christmas, why not forget about the holiday and celebrate an undervalued but highly versatile fish instead at Hastings Herring Fair. With music, cooking demonstrations, beer, children’s sea-themed craft activities and face painting, along with a ceilidh, there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy.
Held undercover on the Stade, this free event celebrates the herring in all its wondrous forms, from bloaters to buckling and kippers. Not only will stalls be selling the most delicious fish dishes you’ll ever have sampled, but they’ll also be an extensive range of local produce, hot food and vegetarian options along with wines, ciders, and tons of sweet treats. Other activities include traditional net making by Hastings’ fishermen and a fantastic folk music line-up.
The hugely popular annual wine festival returns to the beautiful city of Winchester this year for a two-day celebration of all things wine. Featuring four-hour sessions, once your slot begins you’ll have unlimited samples of wine to try along with exclusive discounts on an extensive range of wines. You’ll also gain entry to the stunning Guildhall building (where the event is taking place) and all of its surrounds and get the opportunity to enjoy guest appearances from masters of wine Susie Barrie and Peter Richards from BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen.
The festival will showcase hundreds of the best wines from brilliant English producers to prestigious global brands and will feature a handy colour-coded system on every table entitled “Follow Your Taste”, which will help you find wines suited to your particular preferences.
Tickets cost £35, but this includes unlimited samples, discounts, and a free wine glass and bag. The proceeds also go towards supporting a local charity.
Foodies Festival Christmas has everything you could ever want from a celebration of festive food and drink. With an extensive range of chef demonstrations, mouth-watering foods to try, and music from some talented musicians, there’s no better way to welcome in December in Edinburgh this year.
Pop along to one of the festival’s tempting food stalls and enjoy dishes from Greek souvlaki to Persian chicken infused with coriander spices. You can also take a trip to the Champagne ski bar and the Scottish Gin tent, or join in with the Christmas cocktail making classes. There’s also live music, a chill-y eating competition, and an Elf Cookery School for the little ones where they can create their very own gingerbread men.