Food and Drink Festivals in the East Midlands

Foodies take note! We've listed the best food and drink festivals to look forward to in 2016 across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

Feb 05, 2016

Now that you have recouped the expenses of Christmas and the New Year – and maybe seen through “dry January” – it’s time to look forward to the food and drink festivals going on in the East Midlands in 2016. 
The East Midlands region itself is where some of the UK’s most-loved foods originate from, including Melton Mowbray pork pies, Red Leicester cheese and Bakewell tarts. That’s why Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire can offer some of the best events to showcase homemade food and drinks.
Take a look at our calendar of food and drinks festivals in the East Midlands this year, to make sure you get a slice of the action…

Camra’s National Winter Ales Festival, Derby

17th-20th February 2016

The popular festival dedicated to British winter ales moved from Manchester to Derby last year. In 2016, you can experience the events at The Roundhouse in Derby; a huge circular venue held up by beautifully renovated wooden beams. Choose from over 400 beers, meads and ciders by beer producers and breweries from around the world, which are all available to taste and buy. The whole experience will be accompanied by live music from local bands. 
The Roundhouse is located near Derby city centre in Pride Park, next to the Railway Station. 

Artisan Cheese Fair, Melton Mowbray

30th April-1st May 2016

This happens to be the UK’s largest cheese fair, with over 250 cheeses on display to sample and buy from artisan cheese makers. If you’re curious about how the cheeses are made, there will also be some talks and demonstrations from the cheese-makers, alongside other foods such as pies, cakes, breads and chutney. 
The Artisan Cheese Fair is just a 10 minute walk from Melton Mowbray Train Station and takes place at the Cattle Market on Scalford Road.  
artisan cheese fair melton mowbray

Bakewell Food Festival, Derbyshire

30th April-1st May 2016

Come down the Bakewell town centre to experience the best locally-produced foods that Derbyshire has to offer. The historic town will feature over 60 food stalls with independent food retailers, as well as demonstrations, children’s rides and a craft fair. 
This is a food festival that the whole family can enjoy, while enjoying the sights and countryside around Bakewell.
bakewell food festival derbyshire

Great Food + Drink Festival @ Prestwold Hall, Leicestershire

30th April – 2nd May 2016

The Great Food + Drink Festival is one of the largest, most exciting events in the UK. Starting on 30th April, the roadshow will tour the East Midlands and other areas of the UK until early September 2016. At the first East Midlands stop in Leicestershire, you can watch professional chef demonstrations from Jean-Christophe Novelli, Aldo Zilli and Marcus Bean. Of course, there is also a huge range of premium food and drinks to enjoy. 

Great British Food Festival @ Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

30th April-2nd May 2016 

The Great British Food Festival at the stunning Hardwick Hall is the perfect way to spend your Bank Holiday in Derbyshire. As well as presenting delicious food from local producers, there will be cooking demonstrations from MasterChef’s Luke Owen and Howard from the Great British Bake Off. Cooking workshops, lessons and live music are also guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained. 
great food and drink festival demonstration

Derbyshire Food + Drink Fair @ Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

14th-15th May 2016

Once again, Kedleston Hall will be hosting the annual Derbyshire food and drink fair, which covers a wide range of British produce. Browse the tents in Kedleston’s grounds to see chef demonstrations, take part in craft activities and watch live bands – with a locally brewed beer or wine in hand. 

Great Food + Drink Festival @ Nottingham Castle, Nottingham

28th-30th May 2016

The next East Midlands leg of the Great Food + Drink roadshow stops off at Nottingham Castle, not far from the city centre. The popular tourist attraction will host demonstrations from Greg Wallace, Tom Kerridge and Rustie Lee. There will be drinks to suit all tastes, including real ale, champagne and cocktails, as well as all kinds of fantastic food.

East Midlands Chilli, Beer & Artisan Festival, Nottingham

9th-10th July 2016

This festival will certainly put your love of spicy food to the test. Chilli eating competitions, over 80 street food stalls and chilli cook-offs will be going on throughout this fun two day festival. To wash down the chilli, there will also be beers and cocktails served. This festival is child-friendly too, with theatre performances, workshops and a bouncy castle to keep them entertained. 
The Chilli, Beer and Artisan Festival will be held at Orchard Farm on Fiskerton Road, Nottingham. 
chilli, beer and artisan festival nottingham

Bakewell Baking Festival, Derbyshire

13th-14th August 2016

As the home of the iconic Bakewell tart, there’s no better place in the East Midlands to host a baking festival. This two day event in the picturesque Peak District National Park hosts two baking theatres, guests from the Great British Bake Off and plenty of delicious bakes to taste and buy. To make a weekend of it, you can even stay the night at the adjoining campsite. 

Great Food + Drink Festival @ Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire

27th-29th August 2016

For the second time, the Great Food + Drink Festival will return to Newstead Abbey. Guest cooks will be Brian Turner, Michael Caines and Nancy Birtwhistle, who will show you their culinary tips and tricks over the three day event. The beautifully presented grounds are a great setting browsing the food stalls and drink bars. 

Great Food + Drink Festival @ Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

3rd-4th September 2016 

The UK-wide roadshow will make its final stop at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, where the Bake Off’s Paul Hollywood will make a star appearance alongside other fantastic TV chefs. The combination of great food, drinks, crafts and entertainment make this a wonderful festival to round off the summer. 

Melton Mowbray Food Festival, Leicestershire

3rd-4th October 2016

Melton Mowbray is named the UK’s ‘Rural Capital of Food’, so it’s no surprise that they will be holding their 13th Food Festival later this year. Across 150 exhibitor stalls spanning the central Cattle Market, you will find traditional Melton Mowbray pork pies, artisan cheese, steamed puddings, gourmet British game and much more. 
Tickets can be pre-booked at Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe, 10 Nottingham Street, Melton Mowbray, or booked online at

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