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Image © Free From Festival via Facebook

Best Food and Drinks Festivals for Winter 2019

28 October 2019 | Maisy Farren

As we’re entering the annual period of over-indulgence, what better way to scratch that itch than with a food or drink festival. Plenty of tasty samples, street food vendors, bustling bars and take-home treats will present themselves to you at these foodie festivals, so make sure you arrive with an empty stomach! 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Free From Festival
The Passenger Shed, Station Approach, Bristol, BS1 6QH  
 
If your dietary requirements include gluten free, dairy free or refined sugar-free (or all of the above) then you might find most food and drinks festivals a little bit too much of a tease. However, here at the Free From Festival you’ll be able to consume everything you see as each food stall is committed to producing gluten, dairy and sugar free goods! Stop by stalls from local Bristolian vendors and stock up on guilt-free Christmas presents for your foodie family members, as well as trying hot dishes and bite size samples from various stalls. There will be live talks and demos curtesy of nutritionists and industry professionals, ideal for learning how to adapt to ‘free from’ cooking, and you’ll get a free alcoholic or soft drink along with the price of your ticket! 
 
This event takes place 23 November 2019, 11am – 6pm. Tickets cost £10 or £5 from 4pm, available here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Cheese Fest
Various Locations
 
The festival you didn’t know you needed – Cheese Fest. This year’s Cheese Fest is celebrating 30 years of Aardman’s Wallace & Gromit, so along with endless cheese stalls you can also discover model making with Aardman Animations and meet Wallace & Gromit themselves! There’ll be professional cooking demos, live music, an artisan cheese market (again, excellent Christmas present opportunity) and seemingly endless street food stalls. Try some Halloumi Fries, Canadian Poutine, Oozy Mozzarella Sticks or Gooey Mac N Cheese! Be wary – an overdose on cheese might result in some funky nightmares when you try and get to sleep that night! 
 
This event takes place on various dates between 9 November 2019 – 14 December 2019 in EdinburghPeterboroughGlasgowBathNorwich. Ticket prices vary, please click here for tickets. 
 
Brighton Vegan Festival
The Grand Hotel, 97 – 99 King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 2FW
 
Want to donate to a good cause and stock up on some tasty vegan dishes in Brighton? The Brighton Vegan Festival is in aide of Farplace Animal Rescue, a UK wide animal rescue organisation. It’s more of a vegan lifestyle festival than just simply a food fest, with plant-based cosmetics, campaigns and live talks alongside an abundance of food stalls. The day’s event programme sounds fascinating, with a live show about tackling the menopause with home-grown HRT and a GP discussing the health benefits of a vegan diet (amongst other things). Treat yourself to a VIP ticket for £15 (all proceeds going towards animal rescue) and you’ll get an exciting goodie bag filled to the brim with wholesome goodies, as well as early entry at 10am. 
 
This event takes place 19 November 2019. Tickets cost £3 as standard and £15 for the VIP, click here for tickets and FYI, under 16’s go free! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Wales Gluten Free Food Show
Cardiff City Stadium, Leckwith Road, Cardiff, CF11 8AZ
 
Hosted by Coeliac UK, this festival is a god send for anyone who lives without gluten on a day to day basis, whether you’re coeliac, intolerant or simply try to avoid it! All the food on offer at the Gluten Free Food Show is (you guessed it) gluten free, with food stalls and artisan markets for stocking up on wheat free wares. You’ll find both local retailers and large companies, with Old El Paso and Warburtons as main the event’s main sponsors. Grab some loaded sandwiches or tasty gluten free pasta dishes and sit tight for some specialist talks, live cooking demos and dietetic clinics to visit. This event is FREE, so if you’re enjoying a day in Cardiff that weekend then perhaps bob in and try something new! 
 
This event takes place 16 November 2019. Tickets are free, but you must register your interest here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Exeter Chocolate Festival
Exeter Castle, Castle Street, Exeter, EX4 3PU
 
Finishing off with a sweet treat, the Exeter Chocolate Festival is the go-to spot for all you chocolate lovers. Promising to be educational, ethical and delicious, this show champions the bean-to-bar, ethically produced chocolate being made in the UK. You’ll get the chance to meet a host of talented chocolatiers who are dedicated to sourcing quality beans from small coco producers. You’ll be able to enjoy some delicious hot food, endless chocolatey desserts and even some boozy coco cocktails. Every ticket gives you an entry into the big raffle, and a VIP ticket ensures free (and discounted) chocolatey cocktails from Exeter’s The Oddfellows. Kids can even enjoy lollipop decorating whilst you tuck into your second indulgent brownie (no one will ever know…). 
 
This event takes place 2 – 3 November 2019, and tickets cost £2 or £12.50 for VIP (per day). Click here for tickets. 
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