Wednesday 14 September 2011

St Albans Food & Drink Festival 28 Sept – 9 Oct

The 4th St Albans Food and Drink Festival starts on Wednesday the 28th of September and runs until Sunday the 9th of October. Organised by St Albans City and District Council, the food festival showcases some of the finest range of food, drink and produce available across the district. 

The famous St Albans Beer Festival, organised by CAMRA kick things off on the 28th of September, and throughout the 12 day festival, many pubs, restaurants and hotels will be offering special meal deals or holding events such as tastings, workshops and cookery demonstrations. There will also be a continental market, farmers’ market and festival stalls giving you a chance to sample and buy local food.  

A gourmet treat will be held at Poggenpohls showroom on the 3rd of October, as special guest chefs from Lussmanns & Darcys cook up a mouth-watering three course menu. Drinks from Flagship Wines and canapés will be served and there will be a raffle. The proceeds from the event and raffle are going to Grove House.

On the 6th of October, La Cuisine Imaginaire hosts “Great Vegetarian dishes from around the world” – a "Watch & Taste" cookery demonstration by BBC author Roselyne Masselin, featuring seasonal and flavour filled ingredients from around the world. Being vegetarian, I am excited about this one, and I am going, so see you there!

Other highlights include the Flagship Wines Autumn Wine Fayre
on the 30th of September from 7-10pm, with over 100 wines available to taste, gift ideas, tapas and special offers. Tickets cost £10 a head and are available from flagship wines, or the tourism office.  

Family highlights include the Honey & Nectar festival at Butterfly World on the 30th September to the 2nd of October, and the Tudor Treats family event to be held at the Museum of St Albans from 2pm to 4:30pm. For just £1, you can come along and sculpture your own “sweet meats” – a Tudor delicacy made of marzipan and sugar that would be generally be eaten after a feast, and also design your own decorated Tudor plate to take away with you. There will also be an “Apple Day Fair” held at St Peter’s Church on the 8th of October to raise funds for the church.

The festival culminates in the town centre on Sunday the 9th of October with a farmers market, cookery demonstrations, music and stalls.

Vote for your favourite food and drink venue!
From Thursday 15 September, you can vote for your favourite eateries, and the winners will receive their awards at the special award ceremony to be held on Thursday 6 October at St Michael’s Manor Hotel in Fishpool Street, St Albans. Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony. The evening includes a welcome drink, delicious 3 course buffet and a raffle in aid of the Mayor, Councillor Aislinn Lee’s charities which are Sure-start St Albans and St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge (SAHWR).

This event is sponsored by Flagship Wines, Mokoko and St Michael’s Manor Hotel. Tickets are £25 plus a booking fee and can be booked online: 

The categories you can vote for from across the whole district are:

Best Restaurant
Best Pub
Best Bar
Best Café
Most Family Friendly Venue
Local Gem
Local Producer

To vote go to the website: From 15 September the shortlist for each category will be available online. 

You can also nominate an individual person working within the food and drink industry for the Kate D’Arcy Award for Exceptional Customer Service. This award was created in memory of Kate D’Arcy, co-founder of Darcys Restaurant and is for someone who has exceeded normal expectations by providing outstanding service. To vote go to the website: 

Voting for all categories including the Kate D’Arcy Award closes on Friday 30 September.

If you would like more information about the event, then please see the festival website or facebook page. You can also E-mail: to join the mailing list.

Brochures can be downloaded from the website and are available online. You can also pick up a copy from the District Council Offices and the Tourist and Information Centre in St Albans. 

This looks to be a fab festival and I for one am excited to attend some of the events and fully immerse myself in the finest fare that St Albans has to offer. If any local peeps would like to join me, then please do get in touch!

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