The weather’s getting brighter and the days are getting longer meaning one thing—Sprummer. For those of you not familiar with our ever-changing climate, Sprummer is a time between March and August when the weather heats up enough to brave the elements without fear of getting blown away or drenched to the skin. Not too cold to freeze but not warm enough to get a tan. Finally, the notorious food festivals are approaching the table. It’s time to start rooting out the sundresses and shorts from the back of your wardrobe to experience great food, drink and entertainment. Here are the top food festivals at home and abroad we’ll be saving the date for.
Dublin Bay Prawn Festival (18TH-20TH)
If you’re a lover of fish, this is the festival to get to. Barbecued, whole, fried, marinated, sauced, shelled; everything is cooked to your liking by Howth’s award winning restaurants. Linking this year with the St. Patrick’s Day festival, the village will be in high spirits serving great food and entertaining the whole family. With exciting cooking demonstrations, market stalls, demos and fishery skills to watch, you can enjoy the many tastes Howth has to offer.
Galway Food Festival (24th-28th)
The fifth annual Galway Food Festival will be taking place over the Easter bank holiday weekend for five days of fantastic food and events. Located on the Wild Atlantic Way, Galway will be joined by many culinary communities including Cork, Kerry, Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Donegal to showcase the great food the West has to offer. As this year marks the hundred year anniversary of the 1916 rising, they have chosen this year’s theme of “100 years of Irish Food.” With a world renowned line-up of chefs, we’re saving the date in our calendar.
Cherry blossoms are a symbolic flower of renewal, nature and spring. However, their short life’s of about two weeks makes it difficult to catch a glimpse. The Cherry Blossom Festival takes place all over the country, following the flowers blooming pattern and sharing Japan’s beauty. The important custom is accompanied by traditional Japanese performing arts, tea ceremonies under cherry trees, antique markets and most magical of all—the lantern illuminated parks to help soak up the beauty. So, if you find yourself in Japan during March, make sure to stop off at this travelling festival to truly experience Japanese culture.
West Waterford Festival of Food (15th-17th)
The ninth annual West Waterford Festival of Food is now underway bringing back some old favourites and new showcases. The three day coastal town of Dungarvan and its surrounding countryside will welcome some of the finest chefs Ireland has to offer as well as all round lovers of good food. Focusing this year on the up-coming faces of Irish food and trends to dominate the culinary word, the “Centuries” theme ties traditions with modernity. Why not attend one of the many workshops to be hosted by Blackwater Distillery, Health Hub and Blasta Wholefoods—there’s bound to be something to get everyone involved.
This wonderful event if hosted by indie women-in-food magazine Cherry Bombe in an effort to bring together chefs, activists and writers for the Cherry Bombe Jubilee. Celebrating women and food—those who cook it, serve it, source it and everything in between, the women’s conference covers topics as diverse as modern cuisine, healthy but good eating and even meditation! Welcoming women with backgrounds in business, journalism, food and health, to be part of their panel and to be a part of the greatest women’s networking event of the year. What could be better than a celebration of women and food?
Kerrygold Ballymaloe Litfest of Food & Wine (20th-22nd)
After three generations of family cooks publishing books (the first recipies being published by the farmer’s journal in 1959) the festival was created to celebrate food and wine writing. The weekend brings great chefs and writers, all with a love of good food, together to celebrate their wonderful literary traditions. Welcoming national and international food enthusiasts including tv presenters, publishers and journalists, it has become a hub to meet and share ideas.
New Orleans, Louisianna Food & Wine Experience (26th-29th)
Running for an impressive 23 years, the Louisiana festival has become one of the most anticipated culinary events of the nation, attracting food and wine connoisseurs as well as music and art lovers. From crawfish to andouilline sausage to complementary wines, the distinctive Creole-influenced food is loved by all. Welcoming some of the South’s best chefs and most exciting restaurants, it has proved its worth as being one of the top culinary events by donating their profits to food banks and schools.
Taste of Dublin (16th-19th)
Hosted in Ireland’s capital, at the beautiful Iveagh Gardens, Taste of Dublin will be the ultimate destination for four full days of food, drink and entertainment. This festival brings the opportunity to mingle with award-winning chefs, browse through hand-picked premium treats and relax surrounded by live entertainment. Taste of Dublin is the premier event for all food lovers from home or abroad. Not to mention the greatest and hottest restaurants who will fashion a unique menus of exquisite dishes. Did I mention you can create your dream taste menu at the most anticipated event of the capital?
Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival (25th -3rd)
Every summer Pembrokeshire, Wales, is bursting with food events, gaining the Fish Week Festival the UK’s number one food festival. The deep sea delight lasts for just over a week, attracting residents and tourists alike to enjoy the delicious and locally sourced fish and shellfish. There’s entertainment around every corner including cooking demonstrations, outdoor adventures, workshops, foraging sessions and live music. This small island celebrates its stunning coastline and maritime heritage with plenty of company. With so many things to do, you’re bound to have an amazing time surrounded by tasty food, beautiful scenery and friendly families.
Achill Island, just off the West Coast of Mayo, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, is the perfect venue to celebrate the maritime culture of Ireland. From boat trips, yawl races, harbour markets, foraging sessions and wild seafood, Féile Na Mara commemorates the rich harvest and heritage of the island. The events are widespread throughout the island encouraging everyone to partake in some sightseeing while moving locations. The festival brings people of different cultures together to enjoy some good food and entertainment all while taking in the breath-taking scenery. Spanning from July to August, it’s the perfect secret getaway.
Vermont Cheesemaker Festival (17th)
For the eight year in a row Vermont will host its annual Cheesemakers Festival at Shelburne Farms. As a world class cheese state, Vermont has the highest numbers of cheese makers per capita with a passion for exceptional cheese, great local foods, craft beers, wines and spirits. With additional seminars, demos and even cheese making demonstrations (who could say no to more cheese?) it’s no wonder the festival has sold out in advance the past 3 years. Meet the artisan cheesemakers, taste their award-winning cheese and maybe even spend the summer day on the shores of Lake Champlain with people of all walks of life brought together by their love of cheese!
Dalkey Lobster Fest (28th-30th)
There’s not many things better than a fish festival—unless it includes lobster, crab and jazz. Dalkey, Co. Dublin will host a festival fusion of local seafood and some of the best jazz musicians the world has to offer. The beautiful heritage town will be serving up some of the best seafood Ireland has to offer, along with the local pubs, cafés and restaurants. Why not visit the live interactive cooking demos, using only locally caught fish in a unique and relaxed setting. And if that wasn’t enough, the streets will be filled with performers, face painters and balloon artists to keep you entertained.
Buñol La Tamatina (31st)
If you like to get messy, this is the food event for you. Buñol, just outside Valencia will host their annual tomato-throwing festival for the last Wednesday of August. The world’s biggest food fight fight involving over one hundred metric tonnes of over-ripe tomatos. This festival has welcomed over 50,000 food enthusiasts which has forced them to limit the number of participants to just 20,000 lucky people. After an hour, water cannons break up the fight and flush the tomato pulp, leaving the streets clean from the tomato acidity. Better book your tickets now and we’ll hopefully see you there.