Looking for food festivals to visit in February? Here’s our round-up of the best food festivals taking place this month, from gin festivals in London to a celebration of forced rhubarb in Yorkshire. Check out all of the events, here
Exmoor food festival
Eat your way around Exmoor all month; many local restaurants will offer special menus as part of Exmoor Food Fest. This year’s highlights include a series of supper clubs at La Petite Bouchee, a 20-seater French bistro that began life in a camper van in Sydenham before moving west. And, if you’re there on the first weekend in February, a seven-course tasting menu at the Beach Hotel where each dish (think soy-marinated sea bass and local lamb) will be cooked by a different chef.
All through February, exmoorfoodfest.com
Set in Wapping’s Tobacco Dock, Gin Festival London is one to ink in the calendar now if you’re a juniper fan. Expect tastings of more than 100 gins, as well as music, street food, a gin-based cocktail bar and masterclasses. Many sessions are sold out, but there’s still time to join the Thursday or Sunday evening event, where you can meet some of the UK’s finest gin distillers.
15 – 18, ginfestival.com
Food, Drink and Rhubarb Festival
With its PDO status, Yorkshire forced rhubarb deserves its own annual celebration – and it gets one in, the heart of the rhubarb triangle, each February at Wakefield’s Food, Drink and Rhubarb Festival. Along with stalls selling rhubarb produce (think jams, chutneys and cakes) there’ll be live cookery demonstrations and street entertainment. While you’re in the area, book a tour of the rhubarb forcing sheds to see the fruit growing in darkness.
23 – 25, experiencewakefield.co.uk
Kew Gardens Orchid Festival
Kew’s annual orchid festival is inspired by Thailand this year. The colours and culture of Thai life will be the centrepiece of the festival, with floral displays throughout the gardens and a traditional Thai market boat and rice paddy forming part of the water display. Head to the gardens after hours on certain evenings, however, and you will also be able to pick up cooking tips and sip Thai inspired cocktails.
10 February – 11 March, kew.org
Craft Beer Rising
On its sixth year, Craft Beer Rising returns to East London for a weekend of beer, cider, street food and music. At the Old Truman Brewery site, on Brick Lane, 175 breweries from across the world will be showcasing their beers, from London based Meantime and Brixton Brewery to New Zealand’s Yeastie Boys and Indian Bira 91. To keep you well fuelled, Le Boa will be serving steamed buns while Kolkati will be selling hot kati rolls.
22 – 24, craftbeerrising.co.uk
Fondue Thursdays at The Cheese Bar
Every Thursday night in February, The Cheese Bar in Camden are hosting fondue evenings. All cheeses served are British, so choose between a classic four cheese one made up of Irish Coolea, Ogleshield, Doddington and Moorfield Tomme or the Young Buck blue cheese version mixed with cider, chives and kirsch. The sides are the stand out; along with a fresh baguette you can have buttered deep fried sprouts, truffled roast potatoes, smoked sausage and pigs in blankets – think Christmas dinner dipped in cheese and extended for two more months.
Every Thursday in February, thecheesebar.com
Each February Catalonians celebrate the harvest of their precious calçot – a type of green onion somewhere between a spring onion and a leek. Across this region of northeast Spain people have traditionally gathered to celebrate and eat these prized alliums, and now London has caught on (any excuse for a foodie party…).
This year, Brindisa will be offering a traditional Calçotada weekend menu throughout February and March so everyone can join in with the veg fest. Calçots cooked over open flames will be served with romesco sauce, grilled lamb chops, Butifarra sausage, white bean stew and a classic Crema Catalana for dessert. There’ll be a vegan menu, too.
Throughout February and March, brindisa.com