The Week in Food

Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight
Two days into the Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, there’s still plenty of time to sample the surprises and delights of the festival that ‘encourages Scottish consumers to discover, buy and enjoy the food and drink produced on their doorstep’.  Now, we applaud the goal, but must we always be ‘consumers’?  We like to think of ourselves as culinary adventurers, phood pirates roaming the uncharted seas of gustatory discovery, hit-and-run chef-charmers.  Know what we mean?

Cafe St Honore

Anyway, there are brilliant events right across Scotland, like the four-course beer-matching Harvest Supper tomorrow evening at Cafe St Honoré in Edinburgh, or the inventive Meals on Reels at Falkirk Town Hall on Wednesday night inspired by celluloid meals before during and after WWII with tastings and displays, or the secret supper club Gaelic Loves Gallic this Saturday evening and that’s all we’re allowed to say about that.  In fact, on the weekends you’ll hardly be able to set food in the auld country without running into a farmers’ market, fair, meet the beekeepers, meet the milkers, dining, learning or shopping event.  Now through Sunday, 18 September.  As always, we have terrific restaurants in Scotland to click and book.
Brighton & Hove Food Festival
Right at the other end of the country, you’ve got the entire month of September to explore the great food and drink of the creative South Coast food and dining scene at the Brighton & Hove Food Festival.  The highlight of this exciting event is the Big Sussex Market in the heart of Brighton this coming weekend, 10 – 11 September.

Hotel du Vin & Bristro Brighton

Local growers, producers and restaurants trot out the best they can do for this fantastic market that last year attracted more than 40,000 people.  Fish straight off the Newhaven boats, local beers and wines, and irresistible dishes from top diner rated restaurants like Terre à Terre, Moshi Moshi and more can all be found here.  If you can’t properly devote a month to delving into the thriving Sussex food scene, this is a perfect place to sample a smorgasbord of Sussex.  Hotel du Vin is holding wine tastings each Wednesday evening throughout the month too.  Other toptable participants include The Restaurant at Drakes, Sabai Thai Gastrobar, Bar Aguadulce, New Steine Restaurant, Madame Geisha and the Brighton and Brighton Marina Zizzi restaurants.
Ludlow Food Festival
One of Britain’s foodiest hotspots is holding its annual culinary wingding which should not be missed.  Ludlow Castle is the place for the 2011 Ludlow Marches Food & Drink Festival where more than 130 top quality, independent and small food and drink producers will be on hand to thrill your palate.  Superchefs Claude Bosi (Hibiscus), Shaun Hill (The Walnut Tree) and Glynn Purnell (Purnell’s) will be cooking throughout the weekend and there are demonstrations, workshops and incredible festival tasting menus for lunch and supper.  Book now and have a whale of a time this Friday through Sunday.
Feast on the Bridge
At the end of each summer when London returns to itself, the Mayor’s office throws a weekend celebration called the Thames Festival that ends in a massive fireworks jamboree.  This weekend, 10 – 11 September, there are barge races, markets, historical talks, art installations and, speaking of food, a Feast on the Bridge pop-up restaurant. Highlighting forgotten fish and glorifying all things fishy, the Feast on Southwark Bridge will be a mass of workshops, talks, performances and two supper seatings.   Be there for the Toast to the Thames at 7pm and enjoy a terrific supper.  Pray for fine weather and don’t miss this fabulous return-to-London-after-the-travels-of-the-summer event.  And, as ever, toptable has restaurants nearby.