Sussex Food & Drink Festivals 2015
The produce of Sussex is an important part of the landscape of the county. From tiny tearooms to huge food festivals, if it’s local and delicious, it’s included in Sussex’s ever expanding and always impressive food and drink scene.
Local producers win awards aplenty for their meat, fruit, vegetables, jams and chutneys, pastries, cakes, beer, wine, and cider. Everything you could want to enjoy a good meal – a feast for the taste buds and the eyes – is here in Sussex, right on your doorstep. In fact, Sussex is home to a vast array of mouth-watering food events throughout the year, each one showcasing something special and delectable. Here is a selection of some of the must-visit foodie festivals in 2015.
Sussex Beer Festival // 19-21 Mar
This fantastic festival of real ales and locally produced beer (as well as other drinks from further afield) will give you the chance to taste something of the 240 different varieties of beer and 60 ciders and perries on offer. On arrival, collect a glass from the foyer, buy your tokens, and enjoy your beer tasting time. There is the Sussex LocALE bar, which, as the name suggest, serves nothing but locally produced beverages; the Main Hall, and a Balcony Bar will be serving hot and cold food.
This 25th anniversary festival will be held in the Corn Exchange, Church Street, Brighton BN1 1UE.
Eat Global International Food Festival // 21-28 Mar
If you love food, you’re in for a real treat with restaurant-based celebrations marking the quality and diversity of Sussex’s local food industry. If you love music, come and enjoy music tastes and experiences from around the world. If there’s one thing Hastings & St Leonards has, it’s variety – proud to celebrate their international flavours.
VegfestUK Brighton // 28-29 Mar
VegfestUK Brighton is a celebration of all things vegan with loads of stalls serving awesome food as well as bodycare, clothes, accessories, gifts and also lots of campaigning groups and merchandise, plus stacks of info, talks, demos, performances, passion and positive energy. Loads of freebies and tasters add to the attraction. People of all ages are welcome and the venue – the Brighton Centre – is modern, spacious and well equipped, and suitable for visitors with disabilities.
The show includes: 160 stalls, Food Village with 15 caterers and 3 all-day bars, Hemp Expo, New Product Showcase displaying the newest vegan products, huge savings on leading brands, UK Vegan Comedy Festival on both days, Party Political Conference (Election Special) on Saturday, Global Food Sustainability Conference on Sunday, and so much more!
Easter Weekender // 1-6 Apr
If you’re looking to indulge in something other than Easter eggs this April, then get yourself to Brighton’s Easter Weekender. Brought to you by the team behind the brilliant Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival, it promises to be a cracker.
This truly is a celebration of all things local – expect to find an egg-citing range of producers, growers, restaurants, bars and food retailers from across Brighton and Sussex. There’ll be plenty of cheese, meat, cider, craft beer, jams, chutneys, breads and bakes to keep your hunger pangs at bay.
Brighton Foodies Festival // 2-4 May
The fantastically fun Foodies Festival in Brighton features a range of superb workshops and exhibits to enjoy, as well as lots of tasting! Drinks masterclasses take place every hour, Michelin starred chefs create dishes in front of your eyes in the Chefs’ Theatre, the Children’s Cookery Theatre is perfect for the little ones to indulge in a bit of baking and making, and don’t forget Street Food Avenue and the world food pagodas where you can sample food from around the world.
For an added thrill, there will be live music on stage throughout the festival.
Sussex Food & Folk Festival // 3-4 May
The very best of the South East’s produce, crafts, books and plants will be showcased at this event. Enjoy cookery classes and demonstrations, traditional folk music, dancing and storytelling. There will be lots of tasty samples to try before you buy!
Watch the Rabble Folk Theatre performing their Robin Hood play and join in with Maypole dancing taught and accompanied by the traditional folk group, Trads. Enjoy more folk music from Trads with fiddle player Lucy Duff and Nick Powling on the accordion throughout the festival weekend.
There will be seasonal cooking demonstrations in Winkhurst Tudor Kitchen over the two days, and a slice of medieval life will be served up by the visiting Living History Group, Pelican-in-her-piety.
Loxwood Beer Festival // 16 May
The countdown to Saturday 16th May starts now… So charge up your glasses and come to North Hall in Loxwood to join in the fun. Gates open at 1pm, first band at 2pm and the last band leaves the stage at 11pm. It’s one of the biggest and best days (and nights) in the village calendar. The festival will follow the usual format of fantastic live music, thirst quenching booze, a mouth-watering hog roast, a sizzling BBQ, raffles, and fun in the sun for the kids.
Southwick Beer Festival // 22-23 May
2015 marks the 12th annual Southwick Beer Festival. It is hosted by the Southwick Community Centre, and the money raised goes towards the Southwick Community Association, so this really is a local event.
Southwick Beer Festival offers over 60 ales and ciders, alternative refreshments, two amazing food options and a huge variety of live entertainment throughout the weekend.
Brighton & Hove Food & Drink Spring Harvest Festival // 20-31 May
The Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival is the largest festival of its kind in the south of England. With local producers, growers, restaurants, bars and food retailers firmly at its heart, it’s a showcase of the fantastic food, drink and hospitality to be found in the city and surrounding Sussex. Rated by the New York Post in February 2012 as one of the world’s leading local food events, the festival also runs and supports food activity throughout the year including farmers markets and the Brighton Restaurant Association.
taste! Artisan Food Festival // 13-14 June
This fantastic food fair is free for visitors, so why not join in the festivities over the weekend and taste, sample, and otherwise enjoy all the delicious goodies the traders have to offer? Alongside the food there is plenty of excellent entertainment to make the weekend go with a swing.
Worthing Food and Drink Festival // 4-5 July
The Worthing Food & Drink Festival is now in its fourth year and continues to grow in popularity. This year there will be a varied programme of entertainment including cookery demonstrations, cook offs and competitions as well as lovely stalls offering a wide variety of gastronomic experiences.
Stopham Wine Festival // 4 July
This great wine festival is centred around Stopham Winery and the courtyard and features food, cookery demonstration, games, animals, music, tractor rides round the vineyard, winery tours, and tasting!
Chilli Fiesta // 7-9 Aug
Chilli Fiesta turns 20 in 2015! Chilli Fiesta is an annual event in which West Dean dedicates itself to three days of chilli madness. There is entertainment, food and lots for you to do and discover while you provide the enthusiasm for all things Hot! Hot! Hot!
Make a weekend of it and camp in the fabulous grounds of the West Dean Estate, near Chichester. Full camping facilities are available throughout the weekend.
You can watch food demos, sample some delicious delights and there will be plenty of food stalls around to ensure your hunger pangs are kept at bay as well as three bars on site offering a selection of beverages. Do visit the Glasshouses in the Walled Gardens which will be brimming with over 250 varieties of chilli.
To give a real party atmosphere to the weekend there will be live music from midday until 11pm each day across two stages.
Sussex and the World Weekend // 26-31 Aug
This autumn festival has local producers, growers, restaurants, bars and food retailers firmly at its heart. It’s a showcase of the fantastic food, drink and hospitality to be found in the city and surrounding Sussex.
Horsham District Food & Drink Festival // 5 Sep – 4 Oct
Run by Horsham District Council this festival is four weeks of fantastic food, tastings, and exhibits. Take the opportunity to find out just what the district has to offer in terms of artisan growers and producers, expert chefs, and exciting new food.
The Big Nibble // 5-6 Sep
If you love food and drink and are particularly passionate about local produce, this event is a must! You really don’t want to miss out on the legendary Big Nibble – A Slice of Sussex event. The two-day event launches the month-long Horsham District Food and Drink Festival, which will run from 5 September to 4 October.
Hopfest // 25-27 Sep
This three-day festival in Partridge Green includes a variety of events that take place in the Partridge Pub and the Dark Star Brewing Company. Whether you are a real ale fan, or you are curious to try it for yourself, there will be something for you here.
Enjoy free tastings, a hop exhibition, Morris dancers, brewery tours, and live music from a number of excellent acts.
Steyning & District Food & Drink Festival // 5 Sep – 4 Oct
Running alongside the Horsham District Food & Drink Festival, the lovely town of Steyning has their ‘festival within a festival’. There are dozens of fantastic events taking place throughout the month including afternoon teas, a ploughing match, bread making, many different tastings, a farm walk with a delicious cream tea at the end of it, farmers markets, specialist talks, and plenty more.
Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival // TBA
Indulge in a mouth-watering weekend of delicious seafood, luscious wines and local produce at this spectacular festival. Superb live music and street entertainment completes the atmosphere, making this an unmissable event.
Lewes Octoberfeast // 19 Sep – 4 Oct
With pop up bands, tons of food and drink to sample, and an atmosphere to rival the biggest of festivals, the Lewes Octoberfeast – taking place in various locations around the town – is a treat for the whole family.
Wild Boar Week // 24 Oct – 1 Nov
The 5th Wild Boar Week in Rye, East Sussex offers the perfect opportunity to indulge in culinary delights from the countryside, and more than boar! Restaurants will be showcasing an array of gamey treats including mallard, partridge, pheasant, rabbit and venison. You’ll also find details of Wild Boar events including walks, tours, live music, quiz nights and more!
Hastings Herring Fair // TBA
The fourth Hastings Herring Fair will feature stalls showcasing herring cooking, pickling and smoking along with local wine, beer and produce for you to enjoy. There will also be demonstrations and talks from professional chefs and Hastings Fishermen. The weekend wouldn’t be complete without some great entertainment and live music too!
Weald and Downland Christmas Market // 14-15 Nov
Find that perfect gift and enjoy a great day out. This bustling Christmas Market is located in and around the museum’s historic buildings, with over 130 stands selling arts, crafts, food, unusual gifts and much more, you will be able to browse and buy at your leisure.
As well as the craft and trade stands, there will be hot chestnuts to ward off the winter chill, and other tasty seasonal treats to sample and buy, including a delicious hog roast and festive music around the site. Visitors can also enjoy meeting the museum’s working horses that will be on site throughout the weekend.
Festive Food & Drink Fayre // 5-6 Dec
The South of England Agricultural Society has Christmas wrapped up this year as it gets ready to finish the events season off in style with its annual Festive Food & Drink Fayre. A one-stop shop to pick up local Christmas delights with festive fun to suit everyone all under one roof.
Spread across two floors of the Norfolk Pavilion with a fantastic variety of regional foods, gifts and stocking fillers, the Fayre offers the perfect escape from the hassles of the high street. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming for all members of the family and with ample free parking visitors are not pressured to rush and instead can relax and enjoy the start of the festive season.
Catering for the most splendid of seasonal spreads over the Christmas holidays, shoppers will be able to choose from an abundance of preserves and pickles, traditional mince pies, delicious sausages and hams and farmhouse cheeses.