Sarah Hodgson, Tuesday 17 July 2012
Tuck into a celebration of food this month.
From Monday 6 to Sunday 12 August, Kingston Food Festival is serving up a menu of delicious, delectable and delightful fun foodie events. The plan is to please everyone including seasoned wine experts and the youngest would-be baker, the culinary expert and those simply seeking to tickle their tastebuds.
The festival begins with the riverside Waiters’ Race on Monday 6 August, followed by the Kingston Mix Off Competition from 4-7pm at the new Las Iguanas bar and restaurant. Mixologists will be pitched against each other in a head-to-head battle for cocktail supremacy! It’s free entry and nibbles so come and watch the shake, rattle and roll, and cheer on your favourite bar.
Savour the town’s vibrant restaurant scene during Kingston Restaurant Week. Featuring leading high street names and Kingston’s favourite independents, enjoy 2-for-1 and discounted offers at the likes of Carluccio’s, Riverside Vegetaria and the all-new Cattle Grid restaurant. You’ll find full details of participating venues in the festival brochure or at www.kingstonfoodfestival.com.
Thursday 9 August is when restaurants, bars and cafés throw open their doors for the Kingston Food Trail from 2-6pm. Grab a free map from the festival team in Market House, then explore over a dozen great eateries each offering complimentary bite-sized samples of their menus and special offer incentives. Perfect for families, it’s a great way to try new restaurants and re-visit old favourites.
An epic weekend of food starts to build from noon on Friday 10 August with the opening of the three day English Beer, Wine and Cider Festival at Eagle Brewery Wharf, alongside The Ram on the riverfront. It will feature a wide range of local beers and ales, ciders from Sussex, inspired cocktails made from English spirits, and a choice of awardwinning English wines, including sparklers that have consistently beaten wines from the Champagne region at professional blind tastings. With free entry every day, pop in for a refreshing glass, watch the Chilli Challenge (Saturday only) and enjoy live music until 10pm across the weekend, or book a place at a tutored Wine Masterclass hosted by professor of wine Belinda Kemp and Will Wilson of Winebox TV.
Saturday and Sunday 11 and 12 August sees the Big Kingston Market arrive in Market Place and St John’s churchyard with around 75 stalls bringing food fresh from the farm, artisan producers and hot foods to eat as you browse and buy. Food writer Andrew Kay will be hosting the free Live Food Show, also in Market Place, as local and special guest chefs rustle up their signature dishes before your very eyes, and take part in a Five Minute Challenge!
Also across the weekend, families can enjoy a variety of activities at the Children’s Food Festival. Ticketed Making and Baking workshops will be located in the Market House, with free Food Bravery activities in the downstairs visitor information centre, where children will be positively encouraged to play with their food. Memorial Gardens will also host a range of children’s events and activities as part of the People’s Picnic, alongside the Community Food area featuring local food, growing and environmental charities and organisations.
Kingston Food Festival Monday 6-Sunday 12 August 2012. Collect a free festival brochure from the Market House and selected bar and restaurant venues, or visit www.kingstonfoodfestival.com