Monday, 20 May 2013

Top 7 Food Festivals in Europe, Summer 2013

Guest Post by Angie Picardo 

Summer is a time for exploration and relaxation. What better way to unwind and explore than venture to one of these awesomely delicious European food festivals. Here are the 7 best opportunities for culinary adventure in Europe!

Taste of Amsterdam – May/June
At Taste of Amsterdam, top chefs and restaurants come together to treat festival-goers to four days of five star meals.  In the past, Taste of Amsterdam has featured such world renowned chefs as Agus Hermawan, Tobias Overgoor, Chris Naylor, and Mark Veesan.  There are also a number of wine tastings, workshops, and a marketplace selling fresh produce.  Live music presented at the Sopranos Piano Bar allows attendees to relax and enjoy some of the best entertainment in Amsterdam.  Tickets normally start at €14 for adults and €5 for children.

Cromer & Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival (Norfolk, UK) – 17-19 May
Rival fishing towns go head-to-head during this 3 day event, with chefs serving up their favorite lobster and crab recipes.  The family-friendly festival also offers chances to get even more involved in the seafood process with the World Pier Crabbing Championships.

Prague Food Festival – 24-26th May
Hosted in the Royal Gardens of Prague Castle, the Prague Food Festival brings together some of the city’s top restaurants.  Some of the highlights include olive oil tasting, beer and wine samples, and the wide variety of restaurants represented from all around the capital city.  The festival is easy to get to via transit – either on Tram 22 or Metro “A” line, Hradcanska Stop or Malostranska Stop.  

The Big Feastival (UK) – 31st Aug – 1st Sept.
A combination food festival and music extravaganza, the Big Feastival is presented by Jamie Oliver and Alex James.  The two-day celebration is set on an idyllic Cotswolds farm and offers the opportunity to camp onsite.  Highlights include top chef demos in the Big Kitchen, the best of British street food on “Street Food Alley,” and some of the UK’s most renowned restaurants preparing their best dishes for the festival.  Headlining musical acts accompany the culinary attractions, providing a well-rounded summer-festival feel!

Salone del Gusto (Italy) – Year-round/October
As summer turns to fall, the Salone del Gusto in Italy is expected draw close to 200,000 visitors to Turin in late October.  This is the showcase event of a yearlong celebration of the Slow Food Movement (including Slow Food Day on May 26 at more than 300 locations across Italy).  The goal of Salone del Gusto is to build a sense of relationship, loyalty and community as food is eaten, and the interactive and immersive week guarantees to connect visitors with some of the best food in Europe!

Rioja Harvest Festival (Spain) – September 20-26
The spectacular, parade-filled festival celebrates the vineyards of Rioja as people dressed in costumes with huge heads – called Cabezudos – dance in the street.  Hundreds of gallons of some of the Rioja wine are drunk during the week-long event, which coincides with the feast of Saint Matthew as festival-goers enjoy tapas and other regional cuisine.

Copenhagen Cooking Festival – 24 Aug. – 2 Sept.
This festival features Nordic culinary heritage as top chefs serve traditional dishes.  The festival’s “Nordic Taste” includes local restaurants offering samples of their signature dishes, hosted in the picturesque Carlsberg brewery.  Copenhagen Cooking even has its own festival beer, called the “Salty Ocean Weed” and brewed by the internationally famous Mikkeller Brewery.  

Happy eating and travel!

Angie Picardo is a writer for NerdWallet’s travel blog TravelNerd, helping you plan a European summer vacation by setting goals to best save for your trip