Dorset food and drink festivals you need to visit this year
PUBLISHED: 13:29 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:18 02 November 2020
Calling all Dorset foodies! Our county has an abundance of food and drink themed festivals taking place throughout the year. We round up the events you need to visit in 2019
Abbotsbury Food Fair
Discover over 30 stalls showcasing distinctively Dorset produce while exploring the stunning colours of Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens.
A festival to celebrate all things venison with live music, entertainment, chef cooking demonstrations, crafts, beer, cider, falconry and much more.
Dorset Knob Festival
A whimsical one-day festival comprising a competition to throw a knob the furthest (if you didn’t know, it’s a traditional Dorset biscuit), a knob-eating battle, knob-and-spoon racing, splat the knob and pin the knob on the Cerne-Abbas giant. This year’s competition will be in Kingston Maurward.
Christchurch Food Festival
11 – 12 May
70,000 visitors head to Christchurch to explore stalls brimming with local delicacies. Enjoy free cooking demonstrations, a Beer Festival, Kids Kitchen and a whole host of different entertainment.
Spring Tide Food Festival
18 – 19 May
An annual celebration of the finest local produce in Dorset. The festival is held at the picturesque Hive Beach in Burton Bradstock and there is family entertainment throughout the day in addition to hundreds of food and drink stalls.
Mudeford Seafood Festival
25 – 27 May
A free family event showcasing Dorset’s top seafood with chef demonstrations and food and drink stalls. There will also be a vintage fair for children.
River Cottage Food Fair
25 – 26 May
Some of the country’s leading chefs, cooks, food pioneers and cookery writers join Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at the River Cottage Food Fair. Tickets on sale now.
Highcliffe Food & Arts Festival
1 – 2 June
Highcliffe is run by unpaid volunteers with the shared goal of promoting local food producers, independent restaurants and retailers in Highcliffe. The festival entails educational workshops, cooking demonstrations with arts and crafts and entertainment designed for all ages to enjoy.
Christchurch Cheese and Chilli Festival
8 – 9 June
Local and regional cheeses, chilli-based food and products from all over the world all feature at this festival at Hurn Bridge.
Swanage Fish Festival
8 – 9 June
Celebrating ‘all things fishy’ with a festival featuring delicious seafood, fishing and fun and games – with a little bit of entertainment thrown in for good measure.
Bridport Food Festival
9 – 15 June
Throughout this celebration of local food and drink, restaurants, cafes, pubs, farm shops and food producers offer day and evening events showcasing their produce and expertise. The week culminates with the Bridport Food and Beer Festival.
Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival
13 -14 July
More than 50,000 people head to Weymouth’s picturesque harbour for this free-to-attend event. Taste seafood and other local produce from 100 stalls and watch cooking demonstrations from national chefs. Learn about sustainability and listen to experts debate the future of our seas.
Great Dorset Chilli Festival
3 – 4 August
The hottest day in the Dorset calendar – the Great Dorset Chilli Festival is a fiesta dedicated to all things chilli. The line-up includes artisan food producers, spicy street food, cooking demonstrations and nice cold beer to wash it all down with. A foodie event not designed for the faint-hearted.
Dorset Vegan Festival
80 fantastic stalls, world food, cookery demos and inspirational talks running throughout the day at Lighthouse Poole. Entry is £3 on the door or £15 for VIP tickets with a goody bag.
Food Rocks Festival
7 – 8 September
Founded by famous chef and restaurateur Mark Hix, Food Rocks Festival is based in his home town of Lyme Regis and promotes local produce from the town and surrounding areas. Top chefs, exhibitors, locals and tourists alike come together for interactive cookery demonstrations, chef talks and plenty of tasting. All money raised is donated to the RNLI and Fishermen’s Mission.
Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival
14 – 15 September
Winner of ‘Best Food Event of the Year 2016’ at the Dorset Food, Drink & Farming Awards, Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival is the perfect event for cheese aficionados. Visit ‘The Mousetrap’ food tent to watch demonstrations, enjoy children’s entertainment from pirates and puppets and fill up on some of the nicest cheese in the country.
This article will be updated with new events, line-ups, dates, times and prices as we receive more information. Got an event you’d like to shout about? Get in touch! CLICK HERE to send us an email.