UK food festival roundup: November and December 2015

With winter well and truly on its way, there’s nothing better to do here in the UK than to wrap up warm and head to one of the many celebrations of British food and drink still going on as we approach the end of 2015. From an extravaganza featuring all things vegan to a festival dedicated to our favourite sweet temptation, chocolate, we’ve got it covered. For the ultimate winter foodie break, we’ve also paired some of the festivals with our pick of some of the best luxury hotels UK getaways have to offer.

Dorchester Vegan Fair – November 7

Join the beautiful Dorset town of Dorchester for its first ever vegan fair – a festive indoor market with over 35 stalls dedicated to organic and locally-sourced vegan products. As well as culinary delights such as chocolate, cakes and kombucha, you can also indulge in some artisanal and fairtrade products such as jewellery, clothing and candles.

If you’re planning on visiting Dorset this winter for the vegan fair and other festive and culinary delights, head to our collection of Dorset boutique hotels for a truly memorable getaway.

BBC Good Food Show – November 13-15

Hosted at London’s Olympia, the BBC Good Food Show is one of the largest food events of the year, and this year will be hosting some of the biggest names in food including Mary Berry, James Martin and Michel Roux Jr. The show will not only include live cooking and interviews with all your favourite chefs, but also tastings led by experts, pop-up restaurants, book signings, and much, much more.

Chic Retreats has a wonderful collection of boutique hotels in London, each your own private haven nestled in the hustle and bustle of the UK’s lively capital.

Clovelly Herring Festival – November 15

Once a year this quiet private village on the North Devon coast celebrates the ‘silver darling’ of the sea, the herring, in a popular food festival. Clovelly was once a major centre for herring fishing, with the festival today celebrating the village’s past, sustainable fishing and, of course, the herring itself. Alongside the local food stalls and cookery demonstrations, you can also experience traditional life in this maritime village by joining in with the sea shanty singing and craft activities run by the National Trust.

Also situated in Devon is the Deer Park Country House Hotel, which, paired with its award-winning restaurant Loxton’s, is the perfect retreat for a foodie getaway.

Victorian Gloucester Quays Christmas Market – November 19-22

For a traditional Christmas market with a classic Victorian twist, the Victoria Gloucester Quays Christmas Market has plenty to offer, from over 150 stalls selling local food, drink, bespoke crafts and gifts, to its own micro-brewery and old-time street entertainment. Over 150,000 people flocked to this event in the heart of the Cotswolds last year, where Gloucester’s Quays and Victorian Docks were brought to life with an authentic Victorian atmosphere which featured choirs, an old-time barrel organ, a traditional carousel and steam engines.

For a perfect finish to your day exploring Victorian Gloucester,the Wheatsheaf Inn offers a luxurious and comfortable place to stay, complete with its own restaurant serving no-fuss rustic food and wine from an extensive selection.

The Chocolate Festival – December 4-6

Perfect for any chocoholic, The Chocolate Festival celebrates all things chocolate, from much-loved classics to more unusual concoctions such as chocolate pretzels, chilli and even cocktails. Held at Islington’s BDC, you’ll discover dozens upon dozens of stalls showcasing the best of British artisanal chocolate made from pure ingredients – the perfect place to snap up a few treats for your friends, family, and yourself.

Image: David Leggett, available under Creative Commons

Andrew is a firm believer that travelling like a local inevitably leads to the best off-the-beaten-path finds which truly make a destination remarkably more memorable. From traditional Indian festivals in humid Hyderabad to fresh seafood pasta by the Sorrentine Peninsula, he appreciates variety when travelling. He hasn't been everywhere, but it’s on the list.