Autumn days are well on the way and Kent’s bountiful landscape is the perfect place to celebrate the start of harvest (after all, it is called the Garden of England). From food festivals to the celebration of the humble hop, it’s time to get out into Kent’s countryside and start celebrating the glorious Garden of England!
Whether you're looking for the best spots for local produce, or the best festivals to raise a glass to the hop harvest, check out some of our favourite events going this autumn.
Embrace Kent’s hopping heritage at Kent Life this September with a festival packed with foodie fun! Don your hop crown and try your hand at traditional hop picking, peek into the Hoppers Huts, discover some of Kent’s historical heroes and, most importantly, sample from more than 50 locally brewed ales and ciders!
We love our hops here, so it’s only right the National Trust is gearing up for hop picking season right here in Kent. Take a tour of Little Scotney Farm, Scotney Castle’s very own working hop farm and learn about the hopping process from picking to drying, before a taste of ale brewed from those very hops. Plus, visit during the Hops and Harvest Weekend on 7-8th September and you’ll get a taste of the rest of Scotney’s harvest, with fresh produce on offer and a hog roast to keep the hunger at bay.
In October we’re back at Kent Life for round two of the harvesting celebrations and the Apple and Cider Fayre. Packed with entertainment, live music and apple varieties dating back to the 1500s, this family-friendly festival is looking pretty a-peel-ing. Sip on ciders, watch traditional apple pressing and keep the kids entertained with crafts and furry friends in Cuddle Corner.
Sweet as apple pie
We’ll be enjoying a taste of country living at the beautiful Chiddingstone Castle in September. Bring your dog along for tail-wagging fun, sample local flavours, from handmade chocolates, to wine and gin, and even try your hand at a few intriguing sports, including chicken racing (yes, you read that correctly) and fishing in the castle lake. Once you’ve explored the stalls, it’s time for tea, so pitch up at the tea tent for cream teas and homemade cakes.
Delights at the castle
Celebrating West Kent’s harvesting heritage and wealth of artisan food and drink, Tunbridge Wells is throwing one big foodie extravaganza in September! Food and drink lovers, discover two food festivals, a beer weekend, four farmers markets, oyster shucking and even a few foraging masterclasses. Plus, with special promotions and festival menus across the town, we can guarantee you’ll find plenty of tastes sure to tempt you to tuck in!
A foodie month
The rainbow world of Dreamland Margate is throwing open the doors for its first ever fantastic food festival on 7th – 8th September. In true Dreamland style, expect plenty of entertainment, with a parade of street food vendors, 32,000,000 different ice cream combinations and talks from chefs, mixologists and coffee connoisseurs.
Keep your eyes peeled for Shepherd Neame's tempting celebration of harvest this autumn - the Oast Dodger. Packed with freshly picked Kentish hops straight from field to brewery, a pint of this fragrant ale will transport you into the heart of beautiful hop garden. Paying a visit to the Faversham hop festival? Be sure to catch the traditional blessing of the hops for the ultimate in harvest celebrations!
Green hopped delights
In celebration of the start of Gusbourne's 2019 harvest they're throwing open the doors and hosting some sensational seasonal meals in the heart of the vineyard. With food from the Michelin-starred The Pony and Trap and Carters of Moseley, trust us you're in for a delectable treat at one of these dinners! Stroll through the vineyard and see the harvest for yourself, before settling in for a three-course meal out in the wine garden - cheers!
Cheers to the grapes