Summer is a great time for festivals, and none more so than the food festival. At one time, this was something of a novelty in the UK but the past five years or so have seen an explosion of interest and activity in food and drink festivals across the country.
What has sparked all this activity?
People are far more interested in where their food comes from, and at the same time tastes have broadened and palettes become more adventurous.
The local summer food festival allows us to make a direct connection with the people who produce food for us, and to experience a whole range of different foods.
Food festivals may be centred on a special form of food, barbecues say, or food from a specific region; or they may be a more general celebration of food and drink.
Either way, they’re a long way from the traditional burger fan that’s long been associated with festival grub.
As a wholesale snack and drink supplier in Bury, serving Lancashire and the North West, we’re big fan of local food and drink festivals, where regional and local producers and suppliers can connect with their consumers, and celebrate together.
As we’ve come to expect better and better food in our restaurants and pubs, so our tastes have become more demanding.
Food festivals help to meet this demand, not just on the day itself, but by spreading the awareness of what’s out there, and where to get it.
Alongside the benefit to consumers is the enormous boost to local producers and suppliers. Many will have a niche food product, or range of products, and while some may have good distribution channels, there’s no better way of promoting your food than putting it in front of people at a festival.
Here you’ll find a ready audience of food enthusiasts, and the opportunity to explain what you have, what goes into it, and even the best ways of preparing and cooking it.
The season’s not over yet, so here’s our selection of the best local summer food festivals still coming up this year.
Fylde Coast Food and Drink Festival, 20th August 2017
Chances are, when you think of seaside food you immediately think of fish and chips. Now while there’s nothing wrong with fish and chips, the Fylde Coast Food and Drink Festival aims to demonstrate that there’s a whole lot more to the food of Lancashire.
Held in Fleetwood’s 1930s Art Deco Marine Hall, on the seafront, this festival occupies the entire main ballroom, but also spills out onto the colonnade. This provides the scenic setting for a whole variety of cooking demonstrations, exhibitions and samples, with plenty of food and drink on sale.
Nutritional therapist Katharine Tate, aka The Food Teacher, will be doing cooking demos and hosting talks throughout the day, covering such topics as maintaining your energy balance with the right food, and which foods do, and don’t, support better sleep.
There’ll also be musical accompaniment from the Thornton Cleveleys Brass Band at points throughout the day.
Chester Vegan Festival, 20th August 2017
As we said earlier, some food festivals focus on one kind of food, and here’s the perfect example. What Chester Vegan Festival aims to do is offer a wide range of cruelty-free and healthy food and drink choices.
This is a lifestyle event, as much as it’s focused on food, and there will be guest speakers talking about sustainability, and how our food choices affect animal wellbeing, our own health and the environment.
Farplace Animal Rescue is organising the event, which promises some 80 different stalls serving excellent, delicious, homemade vegan food. It’s occupying two venues in Chester, the Queens Hotel and Carriage Shed.
Whether you’re a vegan, or you want to broaden your tastes, and experience, this is well worth a visit. All profits will go to helping animals in need.
Bolton Food and Drink Festival, 25th to 28th August 2017
Stretching from the Friday to Monday of the late August bank holiday, the Bolton Food and Drink Festival is a big local event that brings in nationally-renown star chefs. Now in its tenth year, the North West’s biggest food and drink festival offers over 180 artisan stalls selling delicious food and drink.
You’ll find great displays of breads, cheeses, pies, cakes and fruit and veg, along with a huge range of other foods, all available to buy and eat.
There’s a gala dinner on the Friday, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for kids and other special events such as wine tastings, a Saturday brunch and an afternoon tea.
Throughout the festival there’ll be celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, held in the main festival marquee, by Simon Rimmer, Ainsley Harriott and James Martin.
Don’t worry though if you miss the star chef demos, because there’ll be plenty of other cooking demonstrations by regional chefs such as Polly Guy, Andrew Nutter and Aiden Byrne – who’ll also be running a pop-up restaurant for the duration.
The festival’s markets play host to specialist food traders, food and drink traders and arts and crafts.
A Taste of Leyland, 27th August 2017
This food and drink event, held in Leyland, Lancashire, promises locally-brewed beer and cider, and a wide range of food you can eat on the spot or take home with you. It’s held at Leyland Market, with food stalls also at Balfour Court and Hough Lane.
There’ll be locally-produced food but also dishes from around the world, celebrating the national cuisines of places as diverse as the Indian Subcontinent and the Mediterranean.
Over 20 local restaurants and shops will be taking part, and there’ll be a microbrewery stall on site.
Nantwich Food Festival, 1st to 3rd September 2017
It might be the end of the summer, but the Cheshire Market town of Nantwich hosts a three-day food festival, at the start of September, which includes over 200 traders setting up in two large, indoor market halls.
The festival includes various events, including food, wine, whisky and gin tasting, cooking demonstrations and a cookery book sale.
Along with the numerous exhibitors at the festival, there are special offers for eating out in Nantwich over the three days, and entertainment from buskers, opera singers and other musicians.
Here’s an ideal opportunity to experience food from across the globe in the truly charming setting of a pretty market town.
Get In Touch
We’re a specialist wholesale supplier of drinks and snacks covering Lancashire and the North West. We’re big supporters of local food and drink suppliers. Find out how we can help you, just pick up the phone and call 0161 763 6020, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.