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Give your tastebuds a treat at the York Food and Drink Festival

24th September 2012 Print

Voted as the UK’s top Gastro destination by Trip Advisor (Oct 2011), York plays host to its popular Food and Drink Festival, this September; an annual extravaganza of specialist markets, chef demonstrations, themed dinners, tutored Slow Food tastings, cookery classes, restaurant meal deals and various special events.

A massive showcase for York’s farmers and retailers, for ten days, from Friday 21st until Sunday 30th September, the heart of York’s historic centre will be humming with the sound of festivalgoers enjoying the very best of local produce. Each day will begin with the opening of more than 100 market stalls to tempt visitors with delicious products ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables, meat & cheese, chocolate, beer and wine. To keep hunger at bay, and tummies from grumbling whilst soaking up the delicious sights and smells of the festival, there will be plenty of delicious street food on offer as well.

In conjunction with the York 800 celebrations, which sees the city honour the 800 year anniversary of being granted a Royal Charter, the theme for the 2012 festival is ‘Feeding the City in the Past, the Present and the Future’.  In keeping with the theme, celebrations will include a number of special events to explore the history of York’s food & drink. Visitors will be able to enjoy drinks and nibbles with a Roman, Viking, Middle Ages or Victorian slant, take a tour around the Georgian kitchen of the city’s Mansion House, or take a look back at the food of York through the ages with Andrew Bone Jones of the York Archaeological Trust. Visitors will also be able to discover how York’s heritage has influenced how its citizens live, eat & drink today.

As the market winds down each day, festivalgoers will also have a range of evening events to choose from including:

A black tie ‘Chateauneuf Du Pape Dinner’ in York’s Medieval Mansion House, with WSET International Educator of the Year Award winner Karen Hardwick of the Wine Academy

Beer events, including a Yorkshire Vision Beer Contest, the Festival Ale Trail and a tutored beer tasting with Jeff Evans of e-magazine Inside Beer

Special ‘Dine at My Table’ home cooking events in which visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy authentic Yorkshire cooking

In addition to evening events there will also be a number of events geared specifically towards children, including pasta making, cheese making, cow milking and following the lifecycle of the humble coffee bean, ‘From Field to Cup’.

Chief Executive of Visit York, Gillian Cruddas, MBE explains the popularity of the the Festival: “Without fail, year after year, the York Food and Drink Festival is one of the region’s most talked about events. Think farm fresh produce, craft beers and delicious desserts all being showcased by retailers, producers and chefs from across the region.  We’re counting down the days until the Festival begins and look forward to extending our trademark Yorkshire hospitality to guests, and welcoming foodies to ‘Britain’s Best Gastro Destination’”. 

To get the most of the York Food and Drink festival, visitors are encouraged to purchase ‘Taste Trail’ booklets which will allow them to visit as many of the participating establishments as they like. The specially designed booklets hold two vouchers for each business: one that can be ticked off when you have had a taster and one that offers a small discount on a purchase.  ‘Tasters'  at this year’s Festival include canapés and various cheeses to mini cakes and, for adults, even samples of alcohol.

There truly will be something for every  taste during this 10 day Festival, in the heart of historic York, this September. For full listings of events happening throughout the Festival and information on how to get tickets, visit or go to