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YHA Three London food and drink festivals to whet your appetite this autumn
    24/09/2015 10:34

Three London food and drink festivals to whet your appetite this autumn

Three London food and drink festivals to whet your appetite this autumn

Three London food and drink festivals to whet your appetite this autumn It’s harvest time and London is celebrating with a bumper crop of food and drink festivals this autumn. Here are three of our favourites to whet your appetite!

The Rum Diaries

Image by MattiasWinbladh

Rumfest returns to the capital on October 17-18, getting visitors into the spirit with a grand celebration of the world of rum. Back for it’s ninth year, the boozy bonanza will be showcasing over 400 blends from across the globe, giving drinkers the chance to taste some of the finest and rarest rums on the planet. In 2014, RumFest broke the record for the world’s largest rum-tasting event – and this year it’s raising the, er, bar with its most comprehensive offering to date. Like last year, discerning drinkers can purchase Golden Tots for just £5 on the day to sample exclusive rums that normally retail for over £200 a bottle. Aficionados and all-round spirit lovers alike can enjoy free tastings and seminars from veteran brands such as Havana Club and new premium producers, with experts on hand to help you find your perfect blend. To accompany all that drinking there’ll be tantalising food, live music, holiday giveaways, a Christie’s rum auction and talks by distillers and leading industry figures. Highlights include food-pairing sessions hosted by Rococo Chocolates and The Marshmallowists, and cocktail-making masterclasses with mixologist Georgi Radev from Mayfair’s famous Mahiki Club. Learn how to mix a killer Caipirinha, whip up a Honolulu Honey, then shake your tail feather on the dance floor during Carnival Hour.

RumFest takes place at the ILEC Conference Centre, Earls Court; tickets are on sale now from £49.95; see for details.

Veg out

Image by Moyan Brenn

Pammy does it, Miley does it, even Beyoncé and Jay-Z have experimented. Following a vegan diet has never been more popular – and now London’s going green as Europe’s biggest veggie event rolls into town for two days of meat-free magic. On October 10-11, VegFest will take over Olympia Central with a mouth-watering menu of attractions for vegans, vegetarians and foodies alike to sink their teeth into. Taking visitors beyond tofu, the show is set to prove that vegan cuisine is tastier than ever – think gourmet chocolates, organic beers, zinging Caribbean curries and haute veggie cuisine. Alongside 200+ stalls full of global delicacies and animal-friendly products from make-up to fashion, there’ll be a kids’ area and fantastic line up of music and comedy, with sets from star comedians Jake Yapp and Andrew O’Neill. Pick up dietary advice, cooking tips and delicious free samples as you work your way around the two floors, pausing for cookery demos, workshops, films and talks from industry experts, professional athletes and celebrities. New for this year, there’ll also be a vegan activist and health summit, and a campaign zone to teach visitors all about the vegan lifestyle. Drop in and veg out!

VegFest London takes place at Olympia, Kensington; advance tickets are on sale now for £10 or buy tickets on the door for £12; see for details.

The great and the good

Knives and forks at the ready! The BBC Good Food Show is back in London on November 13-15, bursting with menu of delicious food, great entertainment and fantastic shopping from top artisan producers and gourmet brands. With tastings, seasonal inspiration and live demonstrations from some of our favourite celebrity chefs, the show is the definitive foodies’ day out, with over 30,000 visitors expected. Pick up tips from famous faces as they cook up gastronomic delights live on stage – this year’s stars include the queen of cakes Mary Berry, master baker Paul Hollywood, Michelin-starred super chef Michel Roux Jr and many more. As always, there’ll be plenty of samples on offer, giving you the chance to discover new flavours, cuisines and cooking techniques as you browse the smorgasbord of stalls. Stock up on gourmet delicacies and kitchen gadgets, be inspired by industry experts and meet your culinary hero in book-signing sessions. Also look out for the pop-up restaurant and street-food experience for the chance to try signature dishes from some of the capital’s finest dining establishments and street-food vans. As well as food, there’ll be wine-tasting sessions and a craft-beer corner, where connoisseurs can help you find your perfect tipple. Cheers!

The BBC Good Food Show London takes place at Olympia, Kensington; advance tickets are on sale now from £20, or buy tickets on the door from £28.50; see for details.

Stay the night

Perfectly placed for all three festivals and just five minutes walk from Earl’s Court tube station, our YHA London Earls Court hostel provides low-cost comfort in an elegant Victorian townhouse in one of London’s classiest neighbourhoods. The building has 24-hour access, with free wi-fi, luggage storage and a self-catering kitchen where you can whip up your own culinary delights. A nine-minute walk takes you to the ILEC Conference Centre, while Olympia is just one stop away on the Underground or 15 minutes by bus. Our centrally located London hostels will also provide perfect bases for the festivals and are all within 30 mins of the Olympia and the ILEC conference centre.

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