Love food? This fortnight is perfect for you

Love food and discovering what the best producers can entice us with? Then British Food Fortnight is perfect for you.

It’s the biggest annual celebration of our national food and drink. Held at the same time as harvest festival it promotes the benefits of buying and eating from our British larder.

Celebrity names such as chef Raymond Blanc, TV gardener Chris Collins and Bake Off winner Candice Brown are extolling the virtues of growing, cooking and celebrating home produce.

And this year there are some huge events in Manchester, Cumbria and London that tie into the festival. It runs from September 22 to October 7.

Manchester Food Festival 2018

This year’s festival will be the 21st and take over the city between September 27 and October 8. The festival is held in venues across the city, and at the Festival Hub on Albert Square, where a huge food and drink village is built.

The hub will be open daily from noon to 11pm and is free to enter. For 2018 it will be transformed with the addition of the Dining Dome. This ‘spherical foodie palace’ will host specially curated banquets, supper clubs and events.

Manchester Food Festival: Waffles street food
There’ll be a celebration of street food with favourites from across the world from Pan-Asian Tampopo to Sicilian Cannoli to traditional Cypriot fare.

Other highlights include demonstrations, a family food fest with Clint Boon and the Big Indie Wine Fest.

Visitors are challenged to try out as many restaurants as they can during the Manchester Food Festival. Dozens of the finest establishments offer a signature small plate along with a beer, wine or spirit for just £5.

Meanwhile the City Life Music Stage will host a line-up of musicians and DJs so visitors can tune in, dance or just chill-out to an eclectic mix of artists.

Taste Cumbria Cockermouth

The county’s biggest culinary treat gives visitors a chance to taste delicious food and drink from the Lake District and Cumbria.

On September 29-30, there will be more than 80 stalls to browse, try and buy food and drink.

The hot food court area has fresh hot food for guests to eat whilst they walk around the festival. And there’ll be plenty of places to grab drinks at the Secret Gin Garden and the Prosecco and the Pig. To add to the festival atmosphere there’ll be a DJ playing Northern Soul and disco music.

At the Cockermouth Kitchen Company you can watch masterclasses from expert chefs giving away tips and tricks for favourite dishes.

British Food Fortnight: Jennings beers

One of the highlights will be the exclusive pop-up restaurant which will be held at Wordsworth House and Garden. Guests will dine in the historic house’s kitchen with food created by Michelin-starred chef Kevin Tickle from Forest Side in Grasmere.

At Jennings Brewery, there will be a beer festival, run by the hosts and Tractor Shed Brewery of Workington. A comedy night will take place at Kirkgate Arts on the Friday.

Urban Food Fortnight, London

The fortnight, actually September 20 to October 7, connects restaurants and retailers with London’s edible gardens and small producers, to showcase the best food and drink on offer in the city with special menus, one off events and supper clubs.

Guests can try genuinely local food, including delicacies such as Tottenham made cheese, Enfield reared lamb and Hackney grown salad at this celebration of London’s gastronomic talent.

London Harvest Festival

This one-day event – September 29 – at Woodlands Farm in Greenwich offers a taste of what the farms and gardens of London have to offer, including a huge horticultural display with produce from miniature gardens to homemade honey to giant pumpkins.

Apple Weekend, Hampstead

An annual celebrations of all things apple in Fenton House’s walled gardens and 300-year-old orchard on September 29.

Taste old English varieties of apples and juice from the trees. Relax with a beverage or two, from delicious fresh juices and teas, to wine and cocktails. There will be local produce, hot food and kids’ activities like badge making, apple juicing and giant lawn games.

More reading: If you like wine, then read this.

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