Festival season has arrived and we know that unanimously popular are the food and drink ones! With them comes a good reason to eat and drink a host of foods from local and international sources.
Over the coming months, the Garden of England will be showing off its culinary credentials with a whole host of festivals dedicated to sensational food and drink. Whether you are a sucker for street food or want to watch some of your favourite celebrity chefs go about their work, it’s time to tempt your taste buds...
Right at the end of spring is surely the perfect time to taste Kent’s finest wines all under one roof, as the weather begins to warm up and you dream of wandering the vineyards. With 14 wine producers from Kent showcasing their product, Master of Wine Clive Barlow will host the event where you can sample the county's finest wines. Of course after the session you are free to buy your favourites, which to us sounds like the perfect way to amplify those summer evenings.
Come along for a foodie feast this June at the Gulbenkian Arts Centre on the University of Kent. Showcasing 70 award finalists, you can sample their fantastic dishes and drinks amidst an amazing atmosphere on the beautiful campus grounds. Book now and don't miss out on a day of mouth-watering delights!
A brand new food and drink festival for 2023 will arrive in Ashford this summer! A celebration of the food and drink businesses in and around the town means a month long festival that begins with a two day event at Elwick Place full of producers, restaurants, live music and pop ups called ASHFOOD! On the weekend of Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd July, Curious Brewery and Wild Beer Co. will be running a Summer Beers & BBQ Festival for exclusive brews, BBQ classic and more. Throughout the rest of the month there'll also be a calendar of events at Coachworks, Made in Ashford workshops and competitions galore - including tickets to a Gusbourne Discovery Experience no less.
7th - 9th July
Pub in the Park is coming Kent once more! Tunbridge Wells is on the list of the nine spots being toured this summer by chef Tom Kerridge and co. Come along to the UK’s biggest celebration of food and music where you’ll get to enjoy live cooking demos, eat lots of food, and (if you’re belly’s not too full) have a boogie to some live music - including Rudimental and McFly! There’s lots to do so you might want to get your hands on a weekend ticket to get the most out of this fantastic festival. With kids under 5 going free, why not bring along your little ones to enjoy this delight on the senses? All you need is a napkin, and your weekend is sorted.
26th and 27th August
With over 250 premium and craft gins on offer, this is one festival you’ll want to put in the diary! There’s a gin for everyone, from the locally crafted to the globally curated, so bring along your friends and celebrate the summer with a tipple or two. If gin is not your thing, then maybe you’ll like the wide selection of beers, British sparkling wines, or splendid cocktails available. If you fancy treating your taste buds even more, the festival also brings with it a delightful array of food – pizza, burgers, paellas, and more! Give your senses an experience they won’t forget with an evening of music, food and, most importantly, gin!
2nd - 3rd September
Our county is quite well known for its beers and food produce - and in certain areas of Kent, hops! In steps one of Faversham's most beloved street celebrations, the Hop Festival. Bringing together no less than 60 bands and live performances stretching folk music to Morris dancers, but it doesn't just stop there as there'll be a fairground and the likes of magic shows for kids - this one big free weekend for all to celebrate and have fun.
Come along to Sevenoaks Street Food Festival this June and enjoy an array of amazing local food trucks, stalls, and sweet treats! Nothing beats a lazy early summer afternoon like strolling around, eating some tasty food, and enjoying live music. Bring along family, friends, and an empty stomach – this is one Saturday you won’t want to miss out on!
9th - 10th September
Kent Life is known for its animal experiences and a portrait of how Kent was over the centuries, so it is only fitting that the Hop and Harvest Beer Festival is set there for a weekend. You can start the process that the producers take by having a go at hop picking, and then taste and sample the 50 varieties of locally brewed ales and ciders on offer. Ironically this festival is also perfect for kids as there is a Big Top which has some of the best indoor and outdoor activities going on.
22nd to 24th September
This year, the Dane John Gardens in Canterbury will once again host the best of Kent’s food and drink scene for a free to enter three day festival. With over 100 traders, 2 stages of music, a bar, and a dedicated kids’ area, this is a celebration of not just food, but of the community and culture of Kent and Canterbury. Bringing food, music, and handmade products to one place, this is a place for people of all ages to have fun. So, bring along parents, friends, kids and whoever else loves food and enjoy a weekend of eating, dancing, and relaxation!
29th September to 1st October
One of Kent's best festivals (and not just because of its stunning views over Broadstairs and the sea!) holds two events, one spring and one autumnal. This September/ October celebration will have 100 stalls of regional produce and sharpen up your skills with workshops and live chef demonstrations. If the weather's good, you can always burn off the extra calories with a dip in the sea.
With Kent's reliable transportation links, Southeastern railway and Stagecoach bus service, travelling around the county's food festivals couldn't be easier (or cheaper). Especially with Stagecoaches' brand new express route which runs through cultured Canterbury, to the bustling town of Chatham, finally landing at the Capital in about 2 hours. The service also runs late at night so you can come out of hiding when the words 'designated driver' are muttered... Or, if you’d prefer to stay a weekend the Camping & Caravanning Club has plenty of sites across the county.