If you’re searching for a holiday that is filled with delicious cuisines or you’re on the hunt for your favourite dishes across the pond, we have a number of tasty treats that will get your taste buds tingling.
Speaking on behalf of a nation filled with self-professed foodies, Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies of holidaylettings.co.uk gives the low down on how to tickle both your taste and travel buds with her guide to the best food and drink festivals coming up. From Pizza in Naples to Oysters in Galway find the perfect holiday for any gourmand.
What we eat is often a key factor when choosing where we stay on holiday. My family and I are big foodies and so what we eat and where we eat really matters. We always seek out the local delicacies wherever we are in the world and it is such a bonus when we end up timing a holiday around something food themed that is taking place in the local area. From amazing beef bourguignon prepared by locals on a walk through the Beaune vineyards in France, to first eating chunks rather than shavings of Parmigiano with freshly carved locally cured ham in Parma’s central piazza, to tomatoes freshly sundried on restaurant roofs across the Med during La Tomatina through to the first time I discovered rapeseed oil (as an alternative to olive oil) at the Wallingford food Festival in South Oxfordshire, we’ve had some amazing food experiences on our travels.
Whether it is a cookery course or gourmet tour you fancy or maybe you’d like to attend one of the many renowned food festivals that take place across the UK and indeed the world, there is something on the calendar to suit your taste. You don’t have to be a seasoned diner or a passionate chef to really get your teeth (excuse the pun!) into this kind of trip. Taking a break with a culinary twist can be a real enhancement for anyone.
For most of us, boring hotel breakfast buffets and the same menu every night no longer seem to cut it. A holiday home gives you the freedom to cook some of the local delicacies in a fully kitted kitchen and here are some of my favourite locations where the culinary-minded should be heading over the coming months:
La Tomatina, Valencia, Spain - 27th August
Fancy your chances in the world’s biggest food fight where more than one hundred metric tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the street? La Tomatina is part of a week-long festival where you can enjoy music, dancing, parades and fireworks plus there’s even a paella cooking contest. Stay in a classic Spanish villa in the town itself so you can fully immerse yourself in the fun.
PizzaFest, Naples, Italy - 10 days mid-September
Visit Naples, the birthplace of pizza, as it celebrates its most famous food. During PizzaFest you can enjoy workshops on how to make the perfect pizza dough or take part in sauce making contests. You can then kick back and relax with your homemade pizza via a gorgeous rooftop property.
Galway Oyster Festival, Galway City, Ireland - 25th – 28th September
Well-known as the world’s longest running Oyster festival there are lots of tantalising events for all to enjoy. A real seafood hotspot, visitors can enjoy watching the oyster shucking (opening) championships, listening to foodie talks and taste many a mollusc. Stay within walking distance of the festival and close to the Salthill seafront to really make the most of County Galway region.
Oktoberfest Munchen, Bavaria, Germany - 20th September – 5th October
Quench your thirst on many a keg at this year’s Oktoberfest. You can also chomp your way through roast pork and feast on a traditional Bavarian snack such as frosted apples. Perfect for those with an appetite big or small, stay in a hip loft conversion nearby so you can beat the queues at the beer tents the next day.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne, Australia – 27th February – 15th March
Food and wine lovers in their hundreds and thousands each year indulge in more than 200 events that fill Melbourne's labyrinthine network of restaurants, laneways, lights-turned-down basements and dizzying rooftops as well as spilling into spectacular regional Victoria.
And for those who’d prefer to travel a little closer to home, there is plenty of delicious activity going on across our beloved Blighty:
Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival, Cotswolds, England – 29th – 30th August
The naked chef himself, Jamie Oliver and his friend Alex James present this weekend celebration of music, food and fun for all the family, set on Alex’s idyllic Cotswolds farm. It features music from top acts, top chef demos and “top nosh” from the street food stalls. What better excuse is there for a trip to one of the most beautiful areas in the UK.
Oxford Wine Festival, Oxford, England – 23rd – 24th August
The Oxford Wine Festival is a unique weekend in a magical city. Visitors can sample hundreds of wines from around the world at one of Oxford's most iconic venues - the Oxford Union. It features an extensive range of tutored tastings and presentations from renowned wine writers and educators as well as food and live music. Stay close by to really make the most of the festivities.
Ludlow Food Festival, Ludlow, England – 12th – 14th September
The Ludlow Marches Food and Drink Festival will take place in this small town with a large reputation for good food and drink. It features more than 160 top quality small independent food and drink producers. The festival features a famed Sausage Trail, Pork Pie of the Marches competition and Cake Competition to name a few! There is also the Ale Trail, which involves exploring the ale producing pubs around the area.
Cardiff Country Fair, 27th – 28th September
Located at the charming Cardiff Castle this festival really brings the countryside to the heart of the city. The event showcases the essence of rural Wales, celebrating the best of farming, food and the countryside. With so much to see and do, it is a great event to plan a family holiday around and make the most of. Attractions include Best of British Produce, farm animals, baking and handicraft competitions, music and entertainment, talks and demonstrations, countryside games such as wellie wanging and tug of war, not to mention a fantastic display of tractors!
For more information, visit: www.holidaylettings.co.uk