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Here's the lowdown on the finest food festivals in London throughout autumn and winter 2019, including a few festive foodie treats.
London Restaurant Festival 2019
The autumn food festival programme starts big with London Restaurant Festival. Lasting a whole month, the festival includes eateries from all over the capital, which host special menus, tours, masterclasses, chef-hosted events and more — it's one for the real foodies.
London Restaurant Festival, 1-31 October 2019.
London Cocktail Week 2019
Quench your thirst at one of the booziest events in the capital's calendar — London Cocktail Week. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, it's a chance for London boozehounds to sample signature drinks at an array of bars without breaking the bank (your liver is your own business).
To get involved, buy yourself a Festival Pass for a tenner and flash it at any one of these bars to get a selected Cocktail Week drink for £6. The pass also grants access to the Cocktail Village in Brick Lane, where all manner of mixology, music and munchies are available all week.
London Cocktail Week, 4-13 October 2019.
Major League Baseball Food Festival
Don't worry if sport is nacho idea of fun — it's all about the nosh at Major League Baseball Food Festival. The two-day event at Hawker House in Canada Water aims to emulate the food served at iconic baseball stadium in the USA.
Specific dishes have been chosen from specific venues — think the churros dog from the Arizona Diamondbacks ground, the fat rooster burger from Cleveland indians (pictured) and smoked belly pork bao buns from the LA Dodgers.
Admission is £8, and once you're inside, food items are £5 each. We think this could be a stretchy waistband kind of event.
Major League Baseball Food Festival, 5-6 October 2019.
Curry Curry Bang Bang at Hawker House
Also taking place at Street Feast Hawker House is Curry Curry Bang Bang, a foodie feast celebrating National Curry Week. Dishoom, Yum Bun, Sparrow and Raastawala are among the confirmed traders, all serving up South Asian curries in tasting sizes. Your £10 ticket includes a beer, and a chance to sample the dishes. And fear not — a whopping six bars are open at the venue all night, with plenty of options for washing it down if it all gets a bit heated.
Curry Curry Bang Bang, 10 October 2019.
SicilyFest London 2019
Bring back a small taste of summer at SicilyFest — the event's second London outing this year. All manner of food and drink from the Italian region is on offer, including arancini, wine, cannoli, cheese, pasta... we could go on...
Sample the foods, then stock up on your favourites at a variety of stalls in Brick Lane.
SicilyFest, 18-20 October 2019.
UK RumFest 2019
Where has all the rum gone? To Earl's Court, where RumFest is being held. 400 of the most diverse and rare rums from across the globe are available to try and buy, and representatives from bars such as Laki Kane and Trailer Happiness are on hand to whip up a cocktail storm. Caribbean food is available to soak up the rum, and talks from experts take place all weekend too.
UK RumFest, 19-20 October 2019.
Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival 2019
While the whizzbangs are the centrepiece of Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival, they're far from the only entertainment. The event — taking place on two evenings — is also home to the StrEATlife village, and the UK's largest German bier festival.
Stuff yourself with food from a range of traders (or head to the family area for kiddie sized portions), before washing it down with a huge selection of German brews, and loud music, bier hall-style. Pah, what fireworks?
Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival, 1-2 November 2019.
Taste of London Festive Edition 2019
Tobacco Dock gets a festive makeover when Taste of London cooks up a seasonal storm. The winter food festival brings together 20+ of the capital's restaurants, serving up their signature dishes, and special new recipes available exclusively at Taste.
At the heart of the festival is the fire pit, where celebrity chefs (tbc) whip up dishes in front of a live audience. Cocktail workshops, cheese making and wine tasting are among the activities on offer, with a live jazz soundtrack, marshmallow toasting, and snow-filled festive forests to wander through. We feel all Christmassy just thinking about it — someone pass the mulled wine.
Taste of London Festive Edition, 21-24 November 2019.
Eat & Drink Festival Christmas 2019
A giant indoor food festival, Eat & Drink runs parallel to the Ideal Home Show at Olympia London — tickets for the latter include access to the former. Browse stalls from all manner of food producers and stock up for Christmas gifts, or for your own festive treats.
Wines, beers and spirits get a decent showing too, and there are live talks, demos and workshops for those who want to master new culinary skills in time for the big day.
Eat & Drink Festival Christmas, 20-24 November 2019.
Festive Fayre at Hampton Court Palace
The courtyards at Hampton Court Palace are transformed into a foodie paradise for the Festive Fayre. The event features live cookery demos from Michel Roux Jr, Alex Hollywood, Chris Bavin, Barney Desmazery and Marcus Bean, plus producers selling everything from booze to cheese to coffee to sweets. Tuck into street food to power you through the day, and enjoy live festive music on the bandstand.
Festive Fayre, 6-8 December 2019.
In the summer, there was WingJam, a rooftop celebration of the humble chicken wing in all its flavours. Still on a rooftop, its winter cousin GrillJam — new for this year — takes over. Wings are still very central, with hot wing contests throughout the weekend. But BBQ and surf and turf dishes also get a look in, with DJ sets, festive games, and beer and cocktails to wash it all down.
GrillJam, 13-15 December 2019.
Not satiated your appetite yet? Check out our guide to Christmas markets in London. While not food specific, the vast majority of them have food and drink vendors and stalls, selling everything from hot roasted nuts and mulled wine to luxury cheeses and chocolates.