Cornwall Food & Drink Calendar 2024
With a culinary tradition as rich and diverse as Cornwall’s, it’s little wonder there are so many festivals and events dedicated to food and drink taking place across the county each year. From oyster festivals and supper clubs on Cornish clifftops to cocktail mixing workshops in the region’s oldest vineyards, take your seat at one of these fantastic foodie events taking place across Cornwall this year.
Hosted by a different chef each year, the Rock Oyster Festival buzzes with demos and masterclasses, pop up restaurants and banquets on the banks of the Camel estuary. Expect family-friendly entertainment by day (forest school, circus tent, foraging, SUPing on the estuary), and live music, campfires, and feasts by night. Also worth sticking in your events diary for foodie goings-on is the Bude Food Festival, held not once but twice each year across the town on the north Cornwall coast.
For one weekend in April, around 40,000 people descend on the Lizard for the Porthleven Food Festival, which celebrates Cornwall’s culinary heritage and the very best local food producers. Visitors can see top chefs at work in the Chef’s Theatre, sample street food from rows of stalls lining the harbour and enjoy live music and buskers, who play into the wee hours. Celebrating the start of the traditional oyster-dredging season, the Falmouth Oyster Festival is packed with feasting and festivities for all the family. Expect cookery demonstrations from some of Cornwall’s top chefs and celebrated seafood experts, boat races in the harbour, live music, food stalls selling local produce, oyster shuking competitions, and oyster bars dotted around the various marquees.
Supper clubs and feast nights
Supper clubs are usually one-off events thrown by a venue or chef with a special menu created just for the evening and are a chance to sample local, home-reared and grown food in an informal, communal and often atmospheric setting, sometimes in secret locations. Talking of locations, few can trump the Hidden Hut, whose seafood shack on a cliff on the Roseland Peninsula has gained a bit of a cult following in recent years. Dates are released each spring for summer events so sign up to be first in line when tickets for new feasts go on sale. A little further south, the Idle Rocks in St Mawes hosts monthly supper clubs throughout the year, where guests tuck into the restaurant’s newest creations in this beautiful waterside setting.
Nancarrow Farm, an organic farm, restaurant and venue space near Truro, puts on a collection of different themed feast evenings throughout the year, from al fresco suppers and midsummer feasts to festive events later in the year, set in the beautiful cobbled courtyard in summer or under the festoon-draped beams in the old oak barn in winter. Further north, gather friends together for one of Heligan’s Lost Suppers, a series of culinary events which kick of in March. Held in the conservatory, the suppers consist of seven courses, all using ingredients that come straight from the surrounding gardens. The Pig at Harlyn Bay hosts a selection of feast evenings from their impressive 18th-century pile near Padstow, whilst pop-up events at Padstow Kitchen Garden focus on a ‘field to fork’ experience with all the ingredients plucked straight from the farm’s fields.
Vineyards, distilleries and breweries
Cornwall has more than its fair share of vineyards, distilleries and artisan breweries, many of which host all sorts of events, from taster evenings and cocktail masterclasses. If it’s cocktails you’re after, book a mixology session at Knightor Vineyard, who will be running Cornish Cocktail Experience events on various dates throughout spring and summer. Alternatively, head to gin makers Atlantic Distillery near Newquay or Colwith Farm Distillery for their ‘Spirits Tasting Flight’ evenings. Originally a potato farm, Colwith Farm is now Cornwall’s first plough to bottle distillery.
Other places worth checking out for their regular tours and tastings include Polgoon Vineyard near Penzance, Pocketful of Stones, a distillery also near Penzance, and Camel Valley Vineyard, Cornwall’s oldest vineyard.
Christmas foodie events
Christmas is the perfect time for Cornwall to show off its culinary prowess and the region’s festive calendar is stuffed with festivals and fairs that showcase Cornwall’s finest food and drink. At the 3-day Padstow Christmas Festival you’ll find a Chef’s Theatre with some Cornwall’s most celebrated chefs such as Rick Stein and Emily Scott, as well as demonstrations and hundreds of food and drink stalls. Set on a cyder farm in rural north Cornwall, Healey’s Christmas Markets include a packed programme of things to do, from cyder tours and apple pressing to cocktail making for the grownups and juice blending for the kids. Another event worth seeking out is the Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair, where all produce, from artisan cheese to coast-inspired gin, comes from within the Cornwall.