It’s time to Party!

beef wellingtonBy Matt Viner, SRA Volunteer wellington boots

If the word wellington inspires thoughts of pastry-wrapped beef rather than rubbery wrapped feet.

If you prefer a sausage roll to rock and roll, if you favour a mud cake over being caked in mud, if you’re more mushy peas than a mosh pit, or if you understand cheese to be dairy, not a dancing fairy, then this blog is for you. Festivals, for all their amusements, often feature some good food vans along with some great bands – but what about turning this around and having great food and music as a side? If you’d like to feed your belly rather than your ears, then read on for a savoury selection of summertime food celebrations.

Visitors eating (3)First up is Taste of London, which starts on Wednesday 17 June and runs through till the Sunday. London has so much to offer in terms of chefs, restaurants and cuisines and this event squeezes all of it into a piping bag to ice the culinary cake of the town. The cherry on top? Our very own President, Raymond Blanc and a number of SRA Member restaurants including Cinnamon Club, Ember Yard, Lima, Bluebird, The Modern Pantry, The Palomar, Tredwell’s and Lyle’s. Tickets are on sale here and you’ll save a few quid by booking early.

Taste is to London what the Abergavenny Food Festival is to Wales. Taking part over the 18th, 19th and 20th of September this late summer event boasts food and fanfare, feasts and feats (of amazing cooking demonstration). Tom Kerridge, Hemsley + Hemlsey and Olia Hercules will be headlining the festival and giving special talks about their food and inspirations; a notepad and pen is advised! In the same vein there will be a medley of masterclasses for those looking to add another notch to their belt, or stain to their apron. If you’ve not got plans for the weekend then you could also think about volunteering at the event, just click here for more, but if that’s too much like hard work then get your tickets here and enjoy the beer (there’s also a beer festival, fyi).

What do you get if you cross glamour with camping? Ok, too easy. How about crossing glamping with Jamie Oliver and Grandmaster Flash? A luxurious and tasty big feastivalexperience with retro beats (did I just say ‘retro beats?’ ergh, sorry) and just a little bit of Essex? Perhaps. Or, you get The Big Feastival, brought to you by Jamie Oliver and Alex James and featuring a line up which, once again, includes our very own Mr. Blanc OBE, Ashley Palmer-Watts and a whole host of others. There are musical appearances from Groove Armada (creators of the infamous: I see you baby, shaking that ass), Sophie Ellis-Bextor and non-other than the wobbly mischievous, Dizzee Rascal. It’s on over the 28-30 August and you buy your tickets here.

This next one is surely my favourite pick of the bunch: Somerset Cheese, Cider & Moozic Fest’ 2015, 19-21 June. On the website for the festival, marked under ‘culture’ is the following: Oh come on. Drinking Cider, eating cheese, mucking about on bungee runs and wipeout machines IS culture isn’t it?! Brilliant. There’s also a silent disco from Mooovers Music and an event simply named ‘Cider Making Ooarr Ooarr’. There’ll be cider masterclasses, cheese masterclass, cider drinking, cheese eating, cider talks, cheese talks and much, much more. Unfortunately this is probably best avoided if you’re allergic to apples or intolerant of dairy, for all others tickets are here.

Finally, we’ll touch on the Great British Beer Festival, because it’s beer and good beer is really important. Nobody knows this better than the Campaign For Real Ale, who as it happens are the ones bringing us this truly superb event. Held at Olympia, London, this ‘festival’ requires no wellies, no fancy dress and nothing really accept a fistful of fivers for your beers. There will be hundreds of beers from hundreds of breweries all over the UK, as well as some international entries as well. Supporting good beer is just as important as any other British produce and this event gives you a brilliant opportunity to do so – it’s also all the excuses you could ever need to literally drink beer all day long. If this sounds like your sort of gig then book out the 11-15 August and find tickets here.




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