Food Festivals in Kent
11th March 2019
Festival season has arrived and with them comes a good reason to eat and drink a host of foods from local and international sources.
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 a sucker for street food or passionate about Prosecco, it’s time to tempt your taste buds.
And if you want to know where to find more fantastic food and drink fresh from the Garden of England to make your own foodie masterpieces, check out our round up of farmers' markets in Kent.
23rd & 24th May
Right next to the stunning Tonbridge Castle, on the banks of the River Medway, the Tonbridge Town Food Festival has more than 50 stalls of delicious food and drink product both locally and from across the globe. Think sweet treats such as fudge and of course cakes, to savoury cheeses and breads, all lined up to taste and buy to get your early summer fix.
6th & 7th June
Held in the beautiful setting of Ightham, the Food Fest will be bringing the best Kent has to offer from its local farmers, markets, breweries, vineyards and local producers of fine foods, completed kneaded in with the areas best rock to folk bands. You can also ensure your little foodies are completely happy by taking them with you to enjoy street art to circus acts and much more.
Whether you are a coffee guru or a casual fan of a well-made cup, head to the Kent Coffee Festival in Canterbury’s Gulbenkian and you can learn everything from seasonal trends in coffee to just tasting some of the countries finest coffees. Exhibitors include Coldblow, Docker and La Marzocco and so you’ll be able to pick up some bags of coffee to take home with you. With live music on hand too, the festival will feel like your local little coffee shop.
Right in the middle of the year, and the summer, is surely the perfect time to taste Kent’s finest wines all under one roof. With 14 vineyards showcasing their product, Master of Wine Clive Barlow will host the event where you can choose up to 20 wines to taste in a 45-minute session. Of course after the session you are free to buy your favourites and pop them in your complimentary bag and glass when you get home. Like the rest of this list, the Wine Festival is also a food festival as included in your ticket is a plate of local Canterbury cheese and crackers.
All foodies rejoice as Dreamland is turning those food fantasies into reality. The park’s food festival has something for everyone's taste buds. There’ll be various food producers, talks, demos and colourful creations from across Kent at the park and of course some live music thrown in there too - get a flavour of Margate!
Travel deep into the heart of Kent and discover picture-perfect Royal Tunbridge Wells. With rural landscapes and fertile soils producing an abundance of luscious crops each year, this beautiful town offers the perfect foodie treat for you taste makers. Visit during September for ‘Food Month’ to bite into in some fresh and local sun-kissed produce. With two food festivals, a beer weekend and four markets which all showcase different delicious dishes, you’ll probably want to stay a few days to fully indulge. If you can’t wait until September, celebrity chef Tom Kerridge returns with his ever popular Pub in the Park in July! With a range of accommodation available in this quaint area, you’re sure to find the perfect place to sleep off that food coma.
Now in it's fourth year, Deal Food & Drink festival has become a favourite for foodies across the county. Set to be its best year yet, visitors of the 2020 edition of the festival will be treated to a variety of local, national and international dishes to really tickle those taste buds. Bite into one of the tantalising treats whilst taking in the boasting views of 16th Century Deal castle and the stunning seaside- There's no better way to try the fabulous flavour of delightful Deal.
12th & 13th 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.
2nd – 4th October
Sensational food and drink is served up with a side of sea views at the Broadstairs Food Festival. Tour 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. Plus, if you want to make it a full weekend even, then be sure to stay at the eloquent Beachside Hideaway – right on the seafront.
Sea views and great food
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.