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 (ÂŁ8 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 ÂŁ8 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 ÂŁ976 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 cafĂ© 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 CafĂ©direct, Taylors of Harrogate, Whittard of Chelsea and CaffĂ© 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 cafĂ© 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 ÂŁ2.50 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.

It seems that every weekend has a new food-related event here in Bristol! We blogged before about the upcoming Love Food Festival at Paintworks on Sunday, February 14th, but we’ve now had more details.

Lorna – the festival organiser – has sent an update via Facebook to all who have said they are attending – details are below…

Hey all,

It’s the Big Day on Sunday… we are very busy putting the finishing touches to Love Food, very excited about the following things..

Afternoon tea – mini cakes and finger sandwiches (not filled with, shaped like) on beautiful vintage china.

String quartet – The Dearlove string quartet will be entertaining you during tea – lovely!

Massive and super duper local food market – Cake, chocolates, wild game, Fresh Bread, local cheese, Wine – all the things you need to have a cosy and super romantic evening of food loving..

Therapy Area – show yourself some love!

Lush food, Paella, oysters, steak sarnies, Trethowans cheese toasties…

Fraser and his chickens – Cooking up some egg-cellent dishes – get involved!

Louise and Baby Bites – hands on cooking for Mums and little ones

Amazing art exhibition – local artists exhibiting some superb food and love related work.

Very Special guest ‘The Art Tart’ aka Rose Popay will be sketching about doing wonderful portraits of you and your loved ones and holding a very special tart raffle – proceeds going to Haiti.

Valentines Bar – local beers, ciders or a Kir Royale??

Hope to see you all there

Lorna xx

Despite somewhat freezing weather, the area around the Glassboat Restaurant on Welshback was, for an afternoon, transformed into a buzzing, lively market full of stalls showing off some of the best artisan cheeses from local suppliers.

As I was approaching the venue, the first thing that greeted me – besides the happy bustle usually associated with any lively fair – was a pleasant and very familiar smell – cheese on toast! My imagination began to run wild as I joined dozens of others hoping to find something to please their taste buds.

Trethowan’s Dairy, Keens Cheddar, Papa Deli – all were displaying some of their best produce next to stalls from Bath Ales, Great Western Wine, Lido and Wayne the wood craftsman. There was something for everyone, from handmade ricotta (made by Lido) and Hafod, Welsh organic cheddar (Holden Farm dairy) to cheeses such as Vacherin Mont-d’Or & Picos Blue, and just about everything you could need to go with them.

The first thing that caught my eye was a small stall run by Angela Morris and Tim Homewood. They were offering a selection of handmade pickles and condiments alongside their homemade curd cheese called Old Demike (apparently named after one of the Pendle Witches).

As I headed towards Trethowan’s Dairy Shop stall, the busiest of them all, it became very clear just how enthusiastic some Bristolians are about their food. An elderly couple was in the middle of a very passionate discussion with Ben Ticehurst, one of Trethowan’s own, about their purchases. A large selection was on offer – Gorwydd Caerphilly (Trethowan’s signature creamy cheese), Dorstone & Ragstone (local goats cheeses) and Stichelton Blue.

For those looking to find something more unusual, the Papa Deli stall had organic honey, Membrillo (Quince paste), Queso Tetilla (a mild, soft cheese), Manchego (the most famous Spanish cheese), olives and countless other food items on display.

There was something for everyone. All of the cheeses on display looked absolutely irresistible and so I have to admit that I left the market with my fair share of them.
It was a wonderful afternoon out…despite the weather I had a great time browsing through the stalls and we certainly enjoyed the cheese platter that we had for dinner the following night!

The sun was shining, we’d just found a new flat to rent and it was a friend’s birthday. Three equally good reasons to head to the Brunel Passenger shed early on Saturday afternoon for a spot of cider sampling!

Friday and Saturday played host to Bristol’s 2nd Winter Cider Festival, organised by We paid our ÂŁ7.50 on the door and headed to the end of the hall to buy our “scrumps” – cider festival currency where one scrump equates to one glass (half-pint) of cider. We were given our programme and list of ciders, each with a box next to the name to rate it out of ten – and it was time to begin.

With 106 ciders and perries to choose from, we took the easy option at first by heading to the bar and taking whichever random choice the barman gave us. This turned out to be Lilley’s Apples & Pears – a sweet, slightly sparkling cider – for Em, and Pheasant Plucker for Al – a light and easy-to-drink cider. I think starting at the weaker end of the scale (5.2% and 4.5% respectively) was a good idea, before moving on to the harder stuff later!

We soon discovered that, of the four bars, bars 1 and 2 were our favourites – these held the sweeter varieties of cider, including the strawberry and cherry varieties that we sampled later on in the afternoon. Some of our friends were more adventurous, including one cider festival veteran, who very easily identified the three or four that he’d not tried before…a man on a mission!

The festival was accompanied by local band The Mangledwurzels to get everyone into the West Country spirit, and hog roasts and cheese platters were available to soak up the alcohol. All in all a great afternoon for us cider festival virgins…roll on the next one in mid-February!

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