Cooking Up a Storm: London’s Summer and Autumn Food Festivals


Fair dos, Britain may not be the most revered for its traditional cuisine, but in recent times its chefs – and so, by extension, its greatest restaurants – have become acclaimed as among the very best in the world. No surprise then that London (home to so many of these culinary maestros and their food-serving venues) should have embraced the exciting trend for food festivals – and maybe like no other city anywhere. Fancy visiting the capital for a slice of foodie heaven? Here’s what’s on the menu in the coming weeks and months…

Brixton Beach
(Brixton Beach, Pope’s End SW9 6JH/ 26th May-29th September)

How’s this for a summer-themed food festival? This rooftop-based pop-up attraction will be hosting foodie parties until the end of the September – and so to the very end of the season itself – and among the highlights promised is the London Rooftop Taco Festival, definitely the first of its kind in the capital (although, admittedly, that may not exactly surprise you!). And, maybe best of all, each Thursday a major London street-food name is set to make the barbecue their own.

(Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane E1W 2SF/ 1st-3rd September)

Talking of barbecues, Tobacco Dock’s the place to head for a weekend of glorious grilling at the start of September. More than a score of leading chefs – from everywhere from Hong Kong to Cape Town – will be on the bill each day, cooking up fantastic dishes for attendees to taste. Maybe then just the way to top off a short-break taking advantage of London hotels special offers at one of the luxury hotels London?

BBC Good Food Show
(Tower of London EC3N 4AB/ 22nd-24th September)

This summer/ autumn’s biggie is, yet again, the Beeb’s festival of all things foodie-related; this time hosted in the dry moat of the suitably magisterial venue that’s the Tower of London. Confirmed celebrity chefs will include the likes of Michel Roux Jr., Tom Kerridge and John Torode, while not only will the gastronomic big names be signing their cookbooks, they’ll also be cooking-cum-performing and being interviewed live on the BBC Good Food Stage – who could pass up picking up some truly top, on-trend tips from very best in their fields? There’ll also be many a pop-up restaurant and street food and artisan vendor in the Producers’ Village – a wonderful opportunity to sample the finest flavours and to purchase some very special gifts if you’re staying at one of the nearby hotels in Shoreditch.

London Oktoberfest
(Millwall Park, Manchester Road E14 3AY/ 28th September-8th October)

Yes, it’s true; London’s take on this age-old Bavarian beer-swilling knees-up never quite seems to actually take place in October, but who cares? It’s an excellent way to see out the summer and no mistake! This year’s event’ll be staged in Canary Wharf, complete with all those delicious German sweet and savoury pastry treats, as well as, of course, a plethora of quality beers and, needless to say, all that awesome schlager music – after all, oompah-pah, oompah-pah, that’s how it goes; oompah-pah, oompah-pah, everyone knows!

On Blackheath
(Blackheath SE3 0UA 9th-10th September)

Finally, what better way to see out summer and welcome autumn than with a combined food-and-music festival! That’s right, a dedicated ‘food village’ will be offering up the very best (indeed, award-winning) street food along with Meantime Brewery-supplied craft beer and a ‘food stage’ (they’re all the rage nowadays) will be hosting famous chefs and celebrity guests for masterclasses and fun – all while the likes of Jake Bugg, De La Soul, The Libertines and Travis supply the soundtrack.