The time of the harvest festival and described by Keats as the season of "mellow fruitfulness", Autumn is the perfect time of year for a food festival. And with Britain's foodie boom still in full swing, there is no shortage of events to choose from. Here's our carefully selected menu of six of the best...
Abergavenny Food Festival – Sep 18 to 20
Billed as the biggest and best-loved food festival in Wales, the Abergavenny Food Festival kicked off back in 1999 and has now grown to include more than 200 food and drink producers. Centred, as you've probably guessed, on the charming Monmouthshire market town of Abergavenny, close to the English border in South Wales, it will feature a "meat market" (not the local disco!), a craft beer festival and a night market with street food. Big-name celeb chefs recruited to speak and/or cook include Tom Kerridge, Raymond Blanc, Theo Randall and Yotam Ottolenghi.
There's a fine line between pleasure and pain, just ask any fan of Fifty Shades Of Grey – or those who really enjoy spicy food. And the hot stuff will be in plentiful supply in Brighton over the weekend of September 19 and 20 as Victoria Gardens plays host to this event – which incorporates the National Chilli Awards and of course a live chilli-eating contest. A sizzling variety of spicy foods from around the world will be on offer, along with a similar array of chilli-based products for cooking or home consumption – and bands will be playing throughout each day.
The Great Cornish Food Festival, Sep 25 to 27
Put your pasty jokes aside for a weekend and head to Cornwall for this sophisticated celebration of the cuisine of England's southern and western-most county. Held on Truro's Lemon Quay, the three-day event will be focused on fish and seafood – as befits a place with such an extensive coastline and fishing heritage. Hands-on masterclasses will be held for grown-ups, with kids also getting the chance to get their mitts dirty. There will be demonstrations of everything from filleting fish to tasting the wine to accompany it – and celeb chef Nathan Outlaw will attend the final day on Sunday.
OktoberFest London, Oct 8 to 11
The original Oktoberfest takes place is the world's largest beer festival and travelling funfair, taking place in Munich since 1810 and currently running for 17 days every autumn. London's Tobacco Wharf complex will be playing host to a new event celebrating Bavaria culture, with the main draw for many being the oversized "stein" glasses of pilsner lager. However there will also be a range of authentic Deutsche delicacies on offer to satisfy the appetites which are sure to be stimulated by all that beer. No specific details have been published – but don't be surprised if you find wurst, pretzels and noodles.
Dartmouth Food Festival – Oct 23 to 25
Promising visitors "the best of the south west", the Dartmouth Food Festival is now in its 13th year and bigger than ever. Spread around much of the centre of this picturesque Devon seaside town, the three-day event combines stalls staffed by suppliers from across the region with celeb chefs, food writers and demonstrations.Best of all, it's a free event and there is no entrance fee – leaving you more money to spend on tasty goodies.
Gwledd Conwy Feast, Oct 24 and 25
The medieval town of Conwy is the setting for North Wales' largest food festival, which is timed to coincide with the start of the local mussel harvest. Local produced will be showcased alongside tempting morsels from around the world, with a food hall, street food and farmers market all vying to empty your wallet and fill your tum. And to wash it all down there will be a real ale bar, a champagne bar and – most intriguingly of all – a feast bar featuring all-Welsh beverages.
Have you been to a great food festival? Leave a comment below...