Cornwall’s status as a world-renowned foodie centre continues to soar, not just because of its celebrity chef residencies and abundance of artisan producers and makers - but a year-round schedule of saliva-inducing events.
Though the home-grown staples of pasties and cream teas are not to be (ahem) scoffed at, today’s gastronomy presents a huge myriad of foodstuffs, with Cornish companies specialising in everything from award-winning cheeses and charcuteries to specialist gins, tea, wine, ketchup and seaweed.
You can sample the many flavours of Cornwall in an assortment of ways, from stockpiling at a local deli, market or bakery to dining out – but for an interactive foray into the Duchy’s foodie scene, the best option is to attend an event, where you can combine place, palate and performance to sense-tingling effect.
Here’s our pick of top foodie happenings in Cornwall this autumn…
Taste of Scilly Food Festival – 1st-30th September
If you’re lucky enough to be in the exotic islands during September – or can hop, skip and ferry/fly across to the diminutive archipelago, a supremely belly-pleasing experience awaits.
It all starts with the Low Tide Experience, where visitors will enjoy a mini-festival for just a few, tide-allowing hours on a sandbank between Tresco and Bryher to sink their teeth into locally-harvested garlic mussels, seafood paella, Tresco salt beef and Scilly mackerel baps while they marvel the islands’ soul-stirring seascapes.
Then there’s the Island Hopping Supper Safari, The Best of Bryher evening, Distillery Tours and Gin Schools, and smattering of events including family-farm tours and tastings, baking competitions, lobster feasts, beach barbecues, pop-up crab shack evenings, paella nights and local ale and wine pairing dining experiences during what is arguably one of the dreamiest food fests on the planet.
International Mining & Pasty Festival – 7th & 8th September
Cornwall’s mining hub of Redruth is the locale in which to celebrate everything pasty-related, where you’ll discover the humble food’s heritage as well as a host of lip-smacking fillings to try.
Commencing with the creation of the unfeasibly huge, Redruth Pasty at the town’s Miner’s Statue (later divvied out for free amongst the crowds), Saturday continues with a schedule of children’s activities, food, drink and craft stalls, steam rides, book sale, and free family fun day at Moseley Toy and Train Museum, and will also feature a free classic coach tour, Cornish dance and fire performance.
And with Sunday’s scintillating schedule of St Euny Pilgrimage and Redruth Fun Day at Victoria Park (complete with kid’s entertainment, stalls, go karts, dog show, music, games and - of course – pasties aplenty) – it looks set to enthral all in attendance.
Newquay Beer Festival – 20th-22nd September
Cornwall’s surf capital’s annual charity beer fest presents visitors with a massive selection of beers and ciders (over 100, to be more exact) from across the county and beyond.
Families will delight in the attractions that the venue, Hendra Holiday Park, boasts in abundance, while the list of bands that will be enlivening the crowds include QWest, Off the Lights, Paula Marcellis and Daisy Clark.
Truro Food Festival – 27th-29th September
This brand new event looks set to be a regular in the calendar courtesy of a mesmerising mix of cheffing talent, live music and Cornish food that will all be scattered throughout the bustling city.
Indulge in your every food and drink whimsy, with chef’s theatre, Cornish food hall, foodie talks, local restaurant trail and workshops, kids activities, gourmet street food and Trussell Trust charity dinner just some of the many highlights on offer, along with various pop-ups and parties to be discovered across Truro.
Nancarrow's 1000 Mouths – 4th-6th October
The weekend of feasting and festivities returns at the gorgeous rural venue, where the innovative organic farm will also be celebrating their 20th anniversary. Hosting street food by day and intimate feasting in the barn and its glorious surrounds by night, over 1000 lucky diners will get the chance to devour food from guest chefs including Paul Ainsworth, Dan Cox, Ben Tish and Adam Banks who will create special menus featuring organic fresh-the-farm produce – reducing your food miles to practically zero.
In addition, while the woodfired courtyard kitchens cook up a storm in the day, guests can discover traditional crafts such as leather making, apple juicing and wool spinning alongside family-friendly activities like wild walks as they to help raise finds for two brilliant environmental charities: Cool Earth and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
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