Top food and drink festivals this year
We’ve rustled up our pick of events and festivals to keep your stomachs full and your taste-buds satisfied for the remainder of the year.
1. Fête de la Gastronomie – France
When? 25th, 26th & 27th September
France and gastronomy: two inseparable words for anyone who enjoys cooking – or just eating. Fête de la Gastronomie is celebrated throughout the country, and you can expect a showcase of local produce, a hosting of traditional dishes and culinary experiments galore, welcoming both locals and visitors through picnics, banquets, tastings, special menus, street entertainment, and foodie exhibitions.
The festival’s theme for 2015 is ‘Creativity and Audacity’ – so expect some weird and wonderful fusions and concoctions. We’re particularly looking forward to star chef Anne-Sophie Pic, the godmother of innovation and daring cooking, who will be revisiting pastry as a symbol of French cuisine, turning a classic tartine on its head and enacting feats of gastronomical genius.
What’s even better? Our hostels, which share these lovely values of sharing and conviviality with the French foodie scene, will be hosting special events over the three days, so plan your route around Biarritz, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Carcassonne, Cepoy – Montargis, Marseille, Rouen, Strasbourg and Saint-Brieuc for nibbles, picnics and recipe-sharing.
2. Good Food Month – Australia
When? September, October, November
Good Food Month, the world’s largest food festival, is celebrated in different spots around Australia at different times of the year. Some key dates for your diary still to come:
|Adelaide’s Night Noodle Markets||September 24th – October 4th|
|Sydney’s Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month||Throughout October|
|Sydney Night Noodle Markets||October 8th – October 25th|
|The Age Good Food Month||November 12th – 29th|
Expect month-long celebrations of a world class food and wine scene throughout Australia’s main hubs, with vibrant, diverse eats and plenty to fill the stomachs of even the most discerning food connoisseurs.
Find more info for individual cities and events here.
3. EAT! Brussels, and Hasselt’s gin festival – Belgium
EAT! Brussels: When? 10th – 13th September
This gastronomic gathering holds a torch to Brussels’s status as a cool, creative capital city which offers everything up on a plate – for local food lovers and travelling tasters alike. Held on Place des Palais, just a short walk from Brussels – Bruegel hostel, this is the perfect chance to plan a European city break over a long weekend or as a stop-off on a bigger trip. Either way, appreciate the hundred or so food outlets, sweet and savoury stalls, demonstrations by great chefs and lifestyle revelations.
Hasselt Jenever Festivities: October 17th – 18th
Expect the jenever (gin) to flow freely during this weekend of traditional liquor-soaked festivities in the third week of October. Playing tribute to its beverage as a short drink and a culinary asset, the city of Hasselt will be abuzz with foodie feats, processions and on Sunday, a waiters’ race. Still, in its 25th year, the city’s centuries-old symbol of the deer will form a prominent feature as a giant sculpture made out of speculaas (spiced short-crust biscuits).
Rest your sleepy head at Hasselt hostel.
4. Year of Food & Drink – Scotland
Scotland has events and food frivolities all over the country during 2015. In partnership with the likes of Visit Scotland and Think Local, Scotland Food & Drink is in the throes of its year-long celebration of national culinary heritage, and sharing local recipes and tasty secrets with lucky visitors. Beyond haggis and shortbread, Scotland’s larder will be under the spotlight this year for the likes of these tasty highlights:
- Award-winning cheeses from cow, ewe and goat milk
- Chocolate from numerous artisan chocolatiers (Scottish chocolate really is a secret worth discovering!)
- The seafood capital of Scotland, Oban, with its numerous stalls selling the catch of the day
- The dawn of the Clootie Dumpling: made with fruit, sugar and spices then bound and wrapped in a floured cloth (a cloot), boiled, and dried, this is a must-try.
SYHA will also be celebrating The Year of Food and Drink, with many youth hostels hosting local tasting events throughout the year. Keep an eye out here for further updates to whet your appetite.
Stomach the Wildfoods festival at Hokitika:
When? Saturday 12th March, 2016
You’ve really got to be a food lover to stomach what’s on offer at the Hokitika Wildfoods festival, held in March on the West Coast of the South Island. The adventurous festival is aimed at sustainability and getting people to try things they normally wouldn’t. 15,000 visitors feast on everything from cow’s placenta pate to barbecued Huhu bugs and wildberry ice cream with cicada topping.
Book a stay at YHA Hokitika.