Make the most of the abundance of food festivals this summer with our guide to the best picks for kids.
Abergavenny food festival
Summer is packed full of fun foodie events the whole family should love. We’ve picked out some of the best for visiting with kids, but we haven’t sidelined the adult indulgences either, from locally-brewed beer to a lakeside spa we’ve rounded up the most exciting events on offer.
August 7th - August 10th
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
Adult weekend ticket from £143.50
If you are after a foodie feast, you can treat yourself to extra tickets to a Wilderness banquet by Angela Hartnett, Simon Rogan or Russell Norman & Polpo. Kids can get stuck into everything from pony riding to an exciting hunter, gather, cook overnight camp. There is also story telling, puppetry, art workshops, ping pong, parades and the famed Tap Tap theatre as well as the internationally acclaimed family circus and show troupe. But if you want to experience the lakeside spa for a bit of peace there is a very handy babysitting service to hand too...
Rutland Food & Drink Festival
This charming local festival has been steadily on the up since it started four years ago. Live music, locally-brewed beer, kids' activities, cookery demos and a lakeside setting make the perfect backdrop to stock up on lovely, local goodies.
29th - 31st August
Tickets: Adult day tickets from £32.25.
It's not surprising that Jamie Oliver's festival is a bit of a foodie frenzy, with chefs from Gizzi Erskine to Rachel Khoo taking part, and of course the main man himself. The Little Dudes Den comes fitted with a brand new big top, village fete games, a vintage funfair, face painting, storytelling, dance lessons and jam sessions. You might even have the honour of bumping into CBeebies legendary Mr Bloom or Justin Fletcher (AKA Mr Tumble).
24th July –27th July 2014
Adult weekend ticket £160
Not just famous for its music, this year the Taste the World Restaurant will offer experiential dining, where family and friends can sample sharing platters of new and exotic dishes. Feeling adventurous? Join the Spice Route feast on a Friday, a multisensory culinary adventure that starts in India, travels through the Arabian Gulf and ends in North Africa. There is also a Sugar Route on the Saturday for those with a sweeter tooth.
Meanwhile the next generation of gourmands will have plenty to keep them busy at the Children’s Cookery Workshops. Running every day of the festival, the classes will be run by Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation ambassador Danny McCubbin. The classes (and the food) will be child-friendly, healthy and fun, and free of charge, but the sessions will work on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Ludlow Food Festival
12th -14th September
Tickets: One day adult pass from £8.50
With more than a 160 stalls, knife workshops, pudding tasting, bread trails, sausage trails, ale trails and a waiters' race, there is an abundance of fun, food and activity to keep a family entertained. If the adults are keen to show their skills there are Indian, Egyptian and cheese masterclasses to name but a few.
There are also healthy kids' cookery classes in the castle gardens, where kids can get hands-on experience and parents can pick up useful tips for lunch boxes, interesting dinners and ways of making nutritious vegetables fun.
Ludlow Food Festival
Abergavenny Food Festival
27th September – 12th October
Early bird tickets from £6.50, children under 16 go free.
Take the kids on a mushroom foraging expedition, bring them along to the Children's Food Academy, enjoy the all day entertainment at the castle or get stuck into a wealth of interactive kids' workshops. Want to test out your own culinary skills? Try your hand at everything from cheese rolling to sushi making and create something special to take home.
Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival
27th September – 13th October
Tickets: £8 day ticket, £14 weekend ticket, Children 12 and under free.
There are over 80 producers at Aldeburgh Food Festival and an abundance of local food and drink to sample, as well as musical inspiration. There is a cooking club for kids where they can make all manner of foodie creations. Familiar faces will include Valentine Warner, Thomisina Miers and Sarah Raven.
15th August -17th August
Tickets: Adult day tickets from £35
It might not be strictly food-focused but we couldn't resist includng this little treasure. The Just So Festival is an annual weekend-long camping festival for children and their families. The festival provides a magical experience where art, music and literature are celebrated in a beautiful landscape. From a raucous pillow fight in the woods, to the curious circus sideshow, to a live audience with the Gruffalo, there is far too much going on to list here.
Just so Festival
Have you got a favourite food festival in mind? We'd love to hear your ideas and recommendations...