Mist, drizzle, and ripe apples – Autumn is here, and with it the very best time of year for British food. Our churches are celebrating with Harvest festivals, and the 5th St Albans Food & Drink Festival has started! It runs until Sunday 7th October and there are some fantastic events to tell you about.
The St Albans Beer Festival
Just a reminder: this huge event started yesterday and runs until Saturday night. Tickets are £3 until Friday, and £4 on Saturday. There are 300 real ales to try including the range from Tring Brewery. Many of the local pubs are also putting on special events, from mini festivals to quizzes and sausage tastings, so a perfect excuse to go out for a beer.
Many of our local churches are celebrating Harvest in the next few weeks. The Cathedral services will be on Sunday 14th October. St Peter’s Church Harvest Festival is on Sunday 7th October and the Vicar and choir of St Peters will open the Festival Finale by blessing the market at around 10.45, followed by hymns.
Last year’s Gourmet night at the Poggenpohl showroom sold out early, and it was a fab evening. Ruth Hurren from Darcys and Andre Lussmann from Lussmanns will again be demonstrating the delicious food that makes them return entries in the Good Food Guide (Monday 1st October). Everyone got to taste the cooking in canape form, and we enjoyed wine from Flagship Wines too. All the proceeds from the event are going to Iain Rennie Grove House Hospice Care, with tickets costing £15. You can buy them from the Tourist Information centre of at http://www.stalbansfoodanddrink.com.
On the same night, The Boot is hosting The Ultimate Foodie Quiz. Sean, past winner of the Kate Darcy award for outstanding customer service will be quizmaster and prizes will include home-mad chutney and dinner at The Boot. Tickets are just £2 so are bound to be very popular.
Food and Drink Awards
The highlight of the Food Festival, this is where we celebrate our excellent local chefs, producers, pubs, cafes and bars. Held at St Michael’s Manor, all the award finalists will gather to hear if they have won this year, as well as enjoy dinner and drinks. Tickets are £30 and it sold out last year early on. It’s a great chance to meet up with fellow foodies, and the disco was good too.
Sunday 7th October is the big day in the town centre, when we will have the farmers markets and pop-up stalls and restaurants. There will be live demos from local chefs and foodies at the AGA Rangemaster Cookery Theatre, and lots of tables so you can sit and watch while you eat all your purchases. We have had bright sunny weather the last few years, so fingers crossed.
The popular Highfield Park Apple Day is on Sunday 7th October (2-4pm) so pop over there to celebrate the apple harvest. There will be a variety of apples to buy, many of which you can’t find in supermarkets, as well as their very own apple juice. There will be games for the children, such as apple bobbing, lots of craft stalls for a good potter about.
Good luck trying to fit everything in. More next week!