This is how to run a food festival

Brighton Food Festival Title Sussex Magazine Crowds enjoy the sun food and drink at Sussex and the World Market. Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival, Hove Lawns, Brighton. Photo ©Julia Claxton

Running a food festival isn’t always a picnic, as recent newbies to the scene CheeseFestUK found out. The two day self-styled ‘cheese festival’ was plagued by negative response – with a Facebook group even set up to give disgruntled visitors a voice (as apparently CheeseFest were deleting all the negative comments from their own page). The event oversold tickets, with visitors still being allowed in despite stallholders running out of stock, and for those attending late in the day, there was no cheese! Something of a pre-requisite for a cheese festival, one would have thought.

So it’s always good to see people who do this kind of thing properly, and after numerous years the Brighton & Hove Food & Drink Festival can be relied upon not to run out of cheese, wine or anything else, in fact. Hurrah!

Sussex Gin Week Title Sussex Magazine

Sussex Gin Week, photo Julia Claxton

Aside from the big weekend Sussex and the World food festival thang on Hove Lawns from 26-28 August (which is STILL free entry) there’s a whole host of different events running as part of the Autumn program. There’s a wide diary of excellent foodie events running across the whole of Sussex, and even a GIN WEEK! You can see lots about this on the Festival website, but here’s a taster of some of our faves….

Brighton & Hove Food & Drink Festival Title Sussex Magazine 24 August – Sun 3 September 2017
Programme of events

Saturday 19 August
Sussex Wine Bus Tour
Visiting Albourne and Ridgeview wine estates • 9.30am – 6pm (approx)
Hop aboard a beautiful vintage bus from central Brighton for a behind-the-scenes tour of two of Sussex’s top vineyards. The tour includes a croissant and apple juice for breakfast and a Sussex-inspired two course lunch at a gastropub (with a glass of wine or beer) plus tour and tastings at both vineyards. Make a date to join us on an amazing – and fun – day out discovering world-class vineyards right here on our doorstep!
Advance tickets £90 from the food festival website •

Thursday 24 August
International Chef Exchange: A Taste of St Lucia
sponsored by Vranken Pommery
supported by Hotel du Vin
The Dome Room, Hotel du Vin, 2-6 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 • 7pm
Chef Craig Jones of The Cliff restaurant at Cap Maison, St Lucia, presents a five course modern French Caribbean menu as the return leg of the International Chef Exchange with Michael Bremner of 64 Degrees. Chefs will be working alongside each other in the kitchen of Hotel du Vin for this once-in-a-lifetime tropical feast, accompanied by a glass of Pommery Brut Royal champagne, La Gordonne Provence Rosé, Pommery Royal Blue Sky champagne and two further wines.
Advance tickets £65 from the food festival website • (please note that tickets for this event are not available directly from Hotel du Vin or 64 Degrees)

Friday 25 August
Trenchmore Farm at Isaac At
Isaac At, 2 Gloucester Street, Brighton BN1 4EW • 7pm
Chef Isaac Bartlett-Copeland and Sussex farmer Joanne Knowles celebrate the bounty of our county with a creative menu exploring the versatility of beef. With the highest levels of animal husbandry, enjoy a menu featuring Trenchmore’s high welfare cattle, alongside their recent planting of heritage wheat, all perfectly prepared by Isaac and his talented team.
Advance tickets £45 from Isaac At • 07765 934 740 • Book online at

Friday 25 August
The Spice Circuit Bollywood Night
supporting The Crew Club youth charity
supported by Hotel du Vin
The Dome Room, Hotel du Vin, 2-6 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 • 7pm
Chef Kanthi Thamma, executive chef at Curry Leaf Cafe, launches his new venture – The Spice Circuit – with a Bollywood bang at Hotel du Vin. Enjoy a five course Indian banquet accompanied by music and dancing from Rakhisood Academy, plus charity raffle hosted by Henry Butler.
Advance tickets £40 from event partner Butler’s Wine Cellar • • Drinks are available to buy from the bar on the night

Bank holiday Monday 28 August
Pascere’s Court Garden Vineyard Brunch
Pascere, 8 Duke Street, Brighton BN1 1AH • 12 noon
The hottest new restaurant in the city – Pascere – hosts a delectable lunch with Court Garden Vineyard near Ditchling. Head chef Johnny Stanford will be creating a four course menu, accompanied by four perfectly matched English sparkling wines from this award-winning Sussex estate.
Advance tickets £45 including food and wine from Pascere • 01273 917 949 •

Tuesday 29 August
Gin Makers’ Dinner
The Salt Room, 106 Kings Road • 6.30pm drinks for 7pm start
Keeping to the festival of gin, we’ve teamed up with chef Dave Mothersill of The Salt Room, Blackdown Distillery, East London Liquor Company, Chilgrove Spirits and Regency Tonic for a dinner to explore the flavours and creativity that has made gin the UK’s number one liquor choice. A carefully crafted three course menu will be weaved with exciting artisan gins from some of the south east’s leading producers, including an in-depth masterclass from the distillers themselves. If you love gin, you’ll adore this dinner.
Advance tickets £75 including all food and drink are available directly from The Salt Room • 01273 929 488 •

Wednesday 30 August
International Chef Exchange: A Taste of The Hague
Etch, 216 Church Road, Brighton BN3 2DJ • 7pm start
Chef Steven Edwards of Etch hosts the very talented chef Mark van Bemmel of Publique in The Hague, Netherlands – one of the city’s leading gastronomic destination restaurants. Explore a creative take on modern Dutch cuisine with iconic ingredients from the Zuid Holland region combined with the freshest Sussex produce. A wine flight is available on the night for an additional cost.
Advance tickets £60 from Etch • 01273 227 485 •

Wednesday 30 August
Old Albion Ginpourium
Old Albion, 110 Church Road, Hove BN3 2EB • From 6pm
From 6pm on Wednesday 30th August, Old Albion will be celebrating gin! Specifically their exclusive Old Hove Gin, an Old Tom style gin made in the Sussex Downs, available only at Old Albion. If you haven’t been to the new Old Albion here’s your excuse: pop in and see the maître d’ to get your secret password for a free G&T.
01273 772 929 •

Wednesday 30 August
Brighton Gin Club at La Cave à Fromage
La Cave à Fromage • 7pm
Gin and cheese… surely two of the greatest food stuffs ever!? After a welcome gin and tonic, enjoy a matching event with cheeses chosen by La Cave à Fromage’s David Deaves and three sipping gins courtesy of Brighton Gin Club.
Advance tickets £30 from Brighton Gin Club •

Thursday 31 August
64 Degrees on Safari
Murmur, 91-96 Kings Road Arches, Brighton BN1 2FN • 7pm
Chicken, pork, beef? Nah, we’re going ‘On Safari’ with the 64 Degrees team for an epic beach BBQ of exotic meats from around the world. Our talented chefs will no doubt be throwing in a few surprises, and there’s the option of a matched wine flight available too. Without a doubt, this is going to be the WILDEST BBQ you’ve ever experienced.
Advance tickets £40 (or £60 with wine pairings) from

Thursday 31 August
Sussex Gin Week wild cocktail foraging walk & masterclass
supported by Mayfield Gin
The Queen Vic, 54 High Street, Rottingdean, Brighton BN2 7HF • 10.30am – 1.30pm
Get hands-on with gin cocktails at this interactive foraging walk and masterclass. Enjoy a guided stroll through Rottingdean and the surrounding Downs, collecting ingredients for your drinks, followed by a cocktail making and infusing demonstration including tasters, then make your own Mayfield Gin cocktail.
Advance tickets £30 from The Queen Vic • 01273 302 121 •

Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 September
Flavours of Brighton
Boho Gelato, 6 Pool Valley, Brighton BN1 1NJ • Regular trading hours
Master gelato maker Seb Cole teams up with 20 of the city’s iconic chefs, mixologists and food and drink producers to create a rainbow of inspiring one-off flavours. Drop by the shop in Pool Valley and delve into the Flavours of Brighton… whilst stocks last!
Individually priced •

Saturday 2 September
Festival of Sussex Gins
presented by Brighton Gin Club
supported by Hotel du Vin & Fentimans
The Dome Room, Hotel du Vin, 2-6 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 • 1-4pm & 6-9pm sessions
A host of Sussex’s finest distillers invite you to sample their craft gins at the first ever Festival of Sussex Gins. The perfect way to explore the expanding gin offering of our county.
Advance tickets £20 include a ‘taster card’ allowing 6-8 samples, a goodie bag and Festival of Sussex Gins tasting glass available from Brighton Gin Club • • (additional gin tokens are available to purchase on the day)

Sunday 3 September
Brighton Food Trail
Participating venues • 2pm – 5pm
Our ever popular Brighton Food Trail returns to the heart of the city with 10 food venues in and around The Lanes joining us for what could possibly be the most delicious afternoon of the year. Follow your map and enjoy menu tasters and snacks from some of the city’s hosted venues.
Advance tickets £20 from

Sunday 3 September
Pike & Pine with Ridgeview: From Root to Fruit
Pike & Pine, 1D St James’s Street, Brighton BN2 1RE • 7.30pm
Chef Matt Gillan and team at Ridgeview Wine Estate join forces to create a seven course menu that celebrates everything that makes amazing English sparkling wine, from the roots where the vines began to the fruit they produce sparkling wines.
Advance tickets £125 including food and wine available from (please note a deposit of £50 per person is required for this event)

For more information on events please visit the festival website:

About Sam Harrington-Lowe
As the managing editor Sam is responsible for all the Title publications and works diligently to develop the brand and support relationships with all partners and clients. She runs things with her dedicated PA Ms Alice Pickle Pug