Open tomorrow at 9am 01736 754242

Porthleven Food Festival 2024

One of the top foodie events in the South West, the Porthleven Food Festival is a three-day foodie fiesta that’s become a huge part of the Cornish calendar. Fantastic food, soul-quenching music, and glorious views all combine to create an event that turns this quaint Cornish harbour into a bustling pillar of foodie and musical delights.

The huge love food sign along the harbour at Porthleven Food Festival

Taking place in April (Friday the 26th to Sunday the 28th), this food-filled, seaside party has been filling the stomachs of locals and visitors alike for over ten years, with each year seeing more and more added to the increasingly awesome lineup. From its plastic-free ethos to the mouth-watering stalls, here is all you need to know about the Porthleven Food Festival 2024.


A waffle topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream at the Porthleven Food Festival

Let’s be honest, we’re all here because we want to talk about food, right? Right! Situated around a working harbour, the Porthleven Food Festival is a hub for local producers and showcases an incredible variety of food and drink for hungry visitors to enjoy.

Spread around the harbour, shipyard, and car park behind the Harbour Inn (the playing fields will be closed this year to protect the soil), there are lots of spots to discover. Dart inside the Royal Cornwall Food and Farmers Market to discover what the locals have been whipping up, stroll along copious street food stalls offering local and global cuisines, and quench your thirst from one of the many drinks stands that sell Cornish gin and beers. The recently added Net Loft Feast Nights will open your taste buds to a whole new world, while the Ann’s Pasty Lounge will introduce you to everything Cornish (tasty and historical). Your eyes will quickly become bigger than your stomach as you choose between seafood and sweet bakes, Asian influences and American comfort food, and so, SO much more.

Food demonstrations

Chefs giving a demonstration on the Chefs Stage at the Porthleven Food Festival

And if fresh and ready-to-eat food isn’t enough, the countless demos from Michelin star chefs will have you preparing restaurant-quality dishes in no time from the comfort of your own kitchen. This year the likes of Jude Kereama (head chef of Kota), Ben Palmer (The Sardine Factory) and Andrew Tuck (Harbour House) will be swapping the kitchen for the stage as they share their infinite wisdom with the crowd.

There are demonstrations across the three days between 10am and 6pm each day. There’s no need to book these sessions, simply turn up, pull up a seat and learn from the greats.

If you’d rather get a bit more hands-on with your experience, then booking one of the workshops is a must. From coffee masterclasses with local roasters Origin to lip-smacking wine tastings with Elly Owen - not to mention tongue-tingling cocktail masterclasses with Crusty Juggler Rum - there’s something for everyone in this action-packed lineup.

With so many incredible foodie opportunities, it’s a good thing the festival lasts three days because we don’t know how else we would fit it all in!

Stalls and shopping

People walking along the stalls at the Porthleven Food Festival

Once your culinary knowledge has been sharpened, a stroll around the more gift-centred stalls is a must, as you can pick up shiny new equipment and kitchen essentials to further your culinary exploits at home. If you fancy a break from thinking about food, there will be lots of arts and crafts on offer, adding colour and beautiful take-homes to the festival lineup. 

And if countless stalls aren’t enough to satisfy your shopping needs, you can simply pop in and out of the many shops and art galleries that line Porthleven’s beautiful harbour. You’ll find incredible coastal photography at Waves Gallery while Stargazey is full to the rafters with trinkets and Cornish treats.


One of the previous bands performing at the Porthleven Food Festival in the evening

Taking you from day to night, the Porthleven Food Festival is just as well-known for its musical exploits as it is for its food. While the sun shines, various bands, groups and artists lend their voices and instruments to the sea air so you can tap your foot while filling your stomach, with everything from sea shanties to pop songs reimagined making the rounds. In 2024, the Lime Kiln Stage returns, so you can sit and enjoy some tunes during your rounds of the food stalls.

By night, the Chef’s Theatre swaps eats for beats as a superb lineup of performers emerges to give you an evening to remember. In 2024, you can look forward to some Cornish folk from 3 Daft Monkeys and the contemporary reimaginings of Beans on Toast on Friday evening, and the classic stylings of UK Fleetwood Mac and an ABBA tribute band on Saturday. There are also children’s evening sessions so the little ones can enjoy the music too.

Tickets can be purchased online for each of the evenings, and it’s best to book in advance as they can sell out before the big day.


The Swamp Circus tent at the Porthleven Food Festival

With people of all ages eager to visit this foodie haven, the event organisers have made sure there’s plenty to see and do for the young at heart. Ann’s Family Field, which is usually housed on the Moors Field, will be found dotted around the harbour and act as a beacon for the local community. Take part in some wellbeing workshops or check out the epic pasty competition… and for those that want to simply let loose, local punk and ska bands will be adding their lively tones to the hustle and bustle of the harbour. Oh, and did we mention there will be breakfast pasties so you can start your day off right?

Stay for half an hour or the whole day, this friendly and fun-filled corner of the festival welcomes you with open arms at any time.

Keep an eye out as you roam the festival as there are lots of entertainers dotted around the harbour ready to provide the ultimate show alongside your delectable dinner - what could be better than a circus act as you chow down on a churro!

The area

The busy harbour during the Porthleven Food Festival

With the Hollywood-style signage going up across the harbour and countless stalls and marquees beckoning for colourful and delicious fun, the pretty harbourside village of Porthleven is transformed each year into a unique and wonderfully eccentric foodie destination that showcases local businesses and producers in the best way.

With local restaurants such as Kota, The Square, and Amélies lining the harbour (not to mention Nauti But Ice for those with a sweet tooth), Porthleven is renowned for being a tasty day - or evening - out at any time of year. Check out our complete guide on places to eat in Porthleven so you can fully appreciate just how vast your choices are.

And if it’s a drink you’re after, you’ll be pleased to know Porthleven has no shortage of pubs with a view. From the traditional and perfectly perched Ship Inn (you can see the view from our Porthleven webcam) to the very best spot for some pub grub with a view at the Harbour Inn, you’ll have plenty to choose from during your visit.

All of these businesses and more will be open throughout the festival, giving everyone the chance to experience Porthleven and its local greatness fully – while also giving you countless reasons to visit throughout the year!


Street performers under a busk stop sign

As over 30,000 people flock to this tiny harbourside village every year, it’s little surprise that the town fills up fast, so it’s worth taking some time before you head off to go over the logistics of your visit (unless you’re staying in one of our lovely properties in Porthleven, in which case you can just roll out the front door and start eating your way through the festival).

Road closures will be in place across the weekend to ensure there is access for emergency services and buses. When approaching Porthleven, follow the road signs to the festival parking if you’re travelling by car. From there, you can stroll the short distance to the harbour where delicious sights and smells await. Alternatively, you can park in nearby Helston and either take the pretty Penrose Estate walk into Porthleven (which takes around an hour) or you can catch one of the buses or the festival shuttle bus, which will be operating across the three days from the free car park opposite the Boating Lake in Helston.

Entry to the festival is completely free in the daytime, while tickets for the evening shows and masterclasses can be purchased online from the Porthleven Food Festival website.


The Porthleven Food Festival flags blowing in the wind

With a commitment to avoiding single-use plastic and most stalls offering biodegradable alternatives, sustainability is an important aspect of this local festival. In order to protect the village and the environment, it’s important that all waste is disposed of appropriately so that Porthleven can be left exactly as it was found. Bins and recycling points will be scattered around the harbour and there will be places for visitors to refill water bottles.

So that’s the Porthleven Food Festival in all its sweet and savoury glory. Excited to visit and taste your way through the South West and beyond? Check out our lovely holiday cottages in Porthleven for the perfect accompaniment to the festival.

Tags: | | |