Bristol Bites Blog

Posts Tagged ‘festival

This weekend (September 3rd and 4th), the Harbourside plays host to the Organic Food Festival. Organised by Real Food Festivals Ltd, the annual two-day event  provides visitors with a whole host of things to see, do, try and buy…but they’re also looking for volunteers… Read the rest of this entry »

Available on July 2nd and 3rd? Want free entry to Grillstock? Head to the Bristol Event Volunteers website and register your interest to volunteer at the UK’s biggest BBQ and music festival – help is needed in a variety of areas! Read the rest of this entry »

Slightly short notice, I’m afraid, but I only found out the full details today!

If you’re in town tomorrow for St Paul’s Carnival or the Bristol Wine & Food Fair, it’s also worth popping over to Surrey Street’s Bristol Cider House for an hour or two.

Previously The Surrey Wine Vaults, the Cider House was opened last year and is one of Bristol’s quieter venues for cider lovers. Despite already having a wide variety of ciders both on tap and bottled, including Broadoak, Thatchers and Black Rat, owners Charlie and Tracey will be playing host to a range of other ciders for customers to try.

One that I’ve been told will be on the list is Moonshine: a cider that I tried for the first time at the Bristol Cider Festival earlier this year and haven’t managed to find since. At 7.5% it’s a deceptive strong but very sweet cider, and unusual in that it is almost completely clear in colour.

With over 15 ciders available to try, we’ll definitely be heading over that way at some point during the day. The festival starts at 12, and finishes whenever the cider runs out – I suggest getting there sooner rather than later… 🙂

It’s now only three weeks to go until the Bristol Wine & Food Fair! Held on the first weekend of July, this three day event on Bristol’s Harbourside promises a wealth of entertainment and education for the city’s foodies.

This year’s theme of “discovery and education” will be served up in a variety of forms, and for a variety of ages. Parents of budding chefs can sign their children up for one of the event’s cookery classes, hosted by Bordeaux Quay (tickets must be bought in advance via the Cookery School website), and Creative Kids International will be running a free art and craft area to keep children entertained.

For the adults, it promises to be a busy weekend. Around 90 exhibitors will line up in the food, wine and tasting marquees, giving visitors the chance to try and buy from some of the South West’s finest artisan producers. This year, for the first time, these exhibitors will be allowed to sell hot food to the public, giving us the chance to taste more than we would have done before. 🙂

The Wine and Food Tasting Lecture Theatre does incur extra cost (£8 per session), but gives Fair visitors the chance to attend one of a variety of seated, lectured tastings, involving sampling 6 wines or 7 cheeses or 4 wines with different foods, over the course of 40 minutes. Demand is set to be high for these sessions, so for more details and to book tickets, check the Tasting page on the website.

Those interested in cookery demonstrations may want to visit the Chef’s Master Class Theatre, home to free demonstrations from some of the South West’s best known chefs, including Freddy Bird (The Lido), Chris Wicks (Bell’s Diner), Mark Evans (Cafe Maitreya) and Louise McCrimmon (Harvey Nichols).

Finally, the International Dining Area will see the likes of Papadeli, Hotel du Vin, and the Source Food Hall and Cafe serving up a variety of cuisines to visitors while they relax with live jazz and acoustic music.

Chris Scholes, founder and director of the fair, says,

“This year’s Bristol Wine & Food Fair is going to be even bigger and better than before, with something for everyone from the serious gastronome to families looking for a fun day out.”

Tickets are available from the website, and are priced at only £8 for adults in advance. All children under 16 go free with a paying adult. The website also states that they are looking for (paid) stewards for the event, so get in touch if you’re keen!

It seems that we already have festivals for most of our favourite foods and drinks: cider, cheese, beer, chocolate, wine, and even chillis, to name but a few. A report from The Sun earlier this year claimed that around 20 million Brits pop out to a coffee shop each week, and stats from Mintel claim that the UK coffee market will be worth £976 millon by 2015. With such seemingly high levels of caffeine addiction, it was only a matter of time until the first UK coffee festival was announced.

Luckily for us South Westerners, this inaugural event is to be held in our neck of the woods, thanks to Linda Donaldson, organiser of the Bath Coffee Festival.

Taking place over the weekend of the 15th and 16th of May, this free-to-attend event will take place at Bath Rugby Club’s Recreation Ground. According to Linda, “Bath seemed the natural location for the UK’s first coffee festival as café society is such an important part of the city’s life. Bath has a large number of independent retailers as well as the big brands, and with its many other attractions, Bath is an ideal location.”

The “big brands” that will be exhibiting at the festival include such household names as Cafédirect, Taylors of Harrogate, Whittard of Chelsea and Caffé Ritazza. However, there will also be the chance to visit the stalls of smaller, local, independent brands such as Bath-based Carpuccino and Gillards of Bath, the Cornish Origin Coffee, and Bristol’s own Wogan Coffee.

The event is not just about sampling multiple cups of the stuff, however. Other diversions include visiting the stall of Derek Stansfield, who uses coffee as a medium for his watercolours. There will also be companies selling everything you need to make your favourite cuppa, from coffee machines to flavoured syrups, and access to the Take it Easy tent, where you will be served free coffee while being able to relax with a newspaper and live music.

A demonstration tent will also be in action over the course of the weekend, with festival-goers able to learn how to cook with coffee, create amazing latte art and have a demonstration from the South West’s Champion Barista, Jose Melim. If you’re still left wanting more, there will also be cakes, chocolates and ice cream (coffee-flavoured, of course!) to keep you going throughout the day.

With so much packed into the weekend, it’s amazing to see that entry to this event is free of charge! As Linda says, “The festival will be an excellent way for visitors to get excited about coffee in a beautiful city famed for its café culture and high end coffee shops.”

For more details, go to the Bath Coffee Festival website, or follow the organisers on

If you are still in Bristol for the Easter weekend, and aren’t yet sick of chocolate by Sunday, head down to Welsh Back for the Eat Chocolate festival.

After the success of their Cheese Fest earlier this year, the lovely people at the Glassboat have decided to play host to another foodie event, with the wharf being transformed into a chocolate lovers’ paradise for the day. The event will include specialist chocolatier stalls, Bristol’s biggest Easter Egg hunt, and chocolate cocktail tasting, and kids who love animals will be able to see one day old chicks and pet the festival’s rabbits.

In addition, if you’re looking for something savoury to counteract the chocolate overdose, the Glassboat are serving a brunch menu and a Sunday roast menu all day.

The chocolate festival runs from 10am to 4pm on Sunday, April 4th on Welsh Back – for more information email, or phone Kirstie on 0117 929 0704.

Under a week to go until the Spring Festival is upon us. This time round, it’ll be held at Brunel’s Old Station, Temple Meads, on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March.

The biggest Love Food Festival to date promises a wealth of food-related goodness for those attending, including:

  • The Market: 60 stalls selling West Country food and drink
  • Picnic Area and Bar
  • Bordeaux Quay Cookery School Workshops
  • The Lively Library: talks, literature, and exchanging of ideas
  • The Den: arts, crafts, play, movement, growing, cooking and storytelling for kids
  • Therapy Area: sample treatments, natural remedies, advice & talks from local therapists
  • The Cinema: topical and informative short films for all ages
  • The Garden: a selection of culinary and medicinal herbs, plants and flowers

Attendees will be able to stock up on a variety of produce, including breads, chorizo, chocolates, olive oil, cheese and local vegetables, along with handmade Easter Eggs in time for the following weekend. For a full list of stalls, take a look at the Love Food website.

We’ll also be checking out the urban-city foraging described on the website: a walk designed to help foodies identify and find a variety of edible herbs, plants and weeds that are easily found in public areas.

Tickets for the event are only £2.50 for adults, and are free for children. With a successful history behind them, the festival organisers are guaranteed to make this a must-visit foodie experience.

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