Andy Hayler

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The British Isles are home to many great ingredients, from beautiful diver-caught scallops to world-class lamb. Food lovers can look forward to a range of festivals in the coming months celebrating the range of great British produce, the best of which are listed below. In each case a nearby luxury hotel is highlighted, somewhere to relax in style after a day spent exploring the culinary heritage of the local area.
Strattons Hotel

Norfolk – The Big Onion Food & Drinks Festival (www.bigonionfestival.com) Starts: 25th August in Thetford The folk of Norfolk know their onions, but the “Big Onion” festival goes well beyond alliums to showcase the produce of dozens of local food producers, displayed on the Elveden Estate farm. Stay at Strattons, an attractive family-run boutique hotel in the nearby market town of Swaffham, which is an ideal base to explore the attractive countryside.

Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa

Devon – Leamington Food & Drink Festival (www.leamingtonfoodfestival.co.uk) Starts: 8th September in Royal Leamington Spa In the historic spa town, the Leamington Food and Drink Festival gives visitors an insight into the culinary heritage of the area, with a cookery theatre as well as plenty of produce on display from local producers. You can stay on the outskirts of Royal Leamington Spa at Mallory Court, a pretty hotel set in ten acres of grounds, and noted for the quality of its restaurant.

The Chester Grosvenor

Cheshire – The Cheshire Food Festival (www.cheshirefoodfestival.com) Starts: 29th September in Warrington In the grounds of Walton Hall is the Cheshire Food festival, where you can bring a picnic or soak in the atmosphere of cookery demonstrations and cake competitions. Stay nearby in the beautiful city of Chester at The Grosvenor, whose “Simon Radley at the Grosvenor” restaurant has held a Michelin star since 1990.

Dart Marina Hotel & Spa

Devon – The Dartmouth Food Festival (www.dartmouthfoodfestival.com) Starts: 26th October in Dartmouth This is the centenary of the Dartmouth Food Festival, and this year will be bigger than ever, with a cookery school, three demonstration theatres and a wide range of local food producers showing off their wares. Stay at the convenient Dart Marina and Spa in the town, which features river views and a luxury spa.

Castle House

Herefordshire – Flavours of Herefordshire Festival (www.visitherefordshire.co.uk/whats-on/4515/festival-of-herefordshire/?doing_wp_cron) Starts: 27th October in Hereford Harvest time brings the Flavours of Herefordshire festival, with farmer's markets showing off the local produce and several cookery demonstrations to entertain visitors. You can stay at the handily located The Castle House Hotel, which overlooks the castle moat in the historic old town, and serves beef from the local farm of the hotel owner.

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