10 unusual food and drink themed events in the UK and Ireland

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10 unusual food and drink themed events in the UK and Ireland
Photo Courtesy of The Wilderness Festival

We have lined up a list of 10 of the biggest, the best, the oldest, the quirkiest, the hottest and the cheesiest food events being held in the UK and Ireland this summer.  

Whether it's banqueting in a field at The Great Wilderness Festival, hunting down new cheeses at the International Cheese Awards, learning how to taste beer at The Great British Beer Festival or shucking oysters with the best of them at The Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival, we've got the major events covered.

1. International Cheese Awards

Cheese lovers, this one's for you. Already the largest cheese show in the world, this year's event promises to be even bigger.  The renowned Cheese Marquee opens to the public on day two after a day one packed with serious cheese contests and judging.  A world record of cheese entries are promised at over 4,000 different varieties, from some 26 Countries in addition to record trade exhibits. Celebrity Chefs in attendance include James Martin, Will Holland, Jonathan Harrison and Sean Wilson who will be giving live cheese themed cooking demonstrations throughout the day.

When 28-29 July 2015
Where Nantwich, UK

2. Port Eliot Festival

Pitched as a creative festival, this is a unique event set in the huge grounds of the St. German's historic family estate.  British eccentricity at its finest - expect book readings, live performances, wild swimming, flower arranging and art classes amongst other spectacles. Food will also take centre stage as a variety of culinary classes will be given throughout the 2 day event,  with appearances from some of the UK's most well known chefs including Rick Stein and the food commentator Tom Parker Bowles.

When 30th July to 2nd August 2015
Where Cornwall, UK

3. The Great Dorset Chilli Festival

This spicy event is for those that like it hot. Chilli enthusiasts will have the opportunity to try and purchase all things chilli, from chill plants to chilli themed ceramics. Talks from chilli enthusiasts and how to put your chillis to good use.

When 1-2 August 2015
Where Wimborne St.Giles, Dorset, UK
Web The Great Dorset Chilli Festival

4. Great Wilderness Festival

A decadent weekend of fine dining with wold class cuisine, music and entertainment all set in the great British countryside.

Dine in a field and experience luxury on a large scale at a convivial communal dining table. Each day will be headlined by a different chef creating a four course lunch or a five course dinner. Angela Hartnett, Raymond Blanc and Niklas Ekstedt are all set to cook at this years event.

For a more intimate experience try The Chef's table, a tiny restaurant where you will not only be able to watch some world class chefs cook, but interrogate them at the same time, this year features; Nuno Mendes, Scott Hallsworth, Neil Borthwick and James Knappett.

When 6th to 9th August 2015
Where Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, UK

5. Great British Beer Festival

The UK's biggest beer festival, this is a great opportunity to try over 900 real ales, cider, perries and international beers all under one roof. Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) over 350 British breweries will be exhibiting across 27 bars. Plenty of beer themed events are promised including expert tastings and awards.

When  11-15 August 2015 
Where OlympiaLondon, UK

6. The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival

The island's biggest summer show and celebration of Britain's most pungent garlic. There will be a kitchen theatre and live demonstrations and even garlic beer if you dare.

When 15-16th August 2015
Where The Isle of Wight
Web The Isle of Wight Garlic Festival

7.The Big Feastival

Jamie Oliver presents this three day family friendly outdoor event in collaboration with his rock star friend, Alex James, on whose farm it takes place, in the heart of the picturesque Cotswolds. Raymond Blanc and Nathan Outlaw will be just two of the catalogue of chefs appearing in support of this food themed event.

Check out the 'Gone Camping' Immesersive dining experiences for a unique treat

When 28-30th August 2015
Where The CotswoldsOxfordshire 
Web The Big Feastival

8. Grillstock

Billed as the biggest BBQ event outside the USA, this is the time to perfect your BBQ technique in the BBQ Academy masterclass, kick back, enjoy some ribs and live music.

When 5-6th September 2015
Where Walthamstow, London
Web Grillstock

9. Ludlow food festival

Britain's first succesful food and drink festival, this one began back in 1995. Since then the small town has gained a big reputation as something of a food mecca. Most events will be hosted inside the historic castle's walls although there will also be plenty of events happening in the town. Whilst the event attracts foreign visitors as well as Brits, the focus has been retained on celebrating local food. Chef demonstrations will take place on the Friday.

When 11th-13th September 2015
Where Ludlow, Shropshire, UK
Web Ludlow Food Festival 

10. Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival

The oldest oyster festival in the world this event is said to be so internationally recognised it comes second on Ireland's list of events after St.Patricks Day. Seafood trails, oyster shucking championships, food tastings and talks are all in the programme. Enjoy some fresh oysters washed down with champagne or stout.

When 24th-27th September 2015
Where Galway, Ireland
Web Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival

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