SAMPLE the freshest catch of the day and the finest Cornish produce just feet away from the sea at a feast of food festivals in 2013. Experience fantastic foodie extravaganzas which epitomise everything that people love about Cornwall and its produce. Each festival has its own particular character and highlights.
All celebrate the shared theme of promoting the very best of seasonal, local produce through cookery demonstrations and masterclasses with Cornish food producers on site selling their wares.
Live bands, buskers and street entertainers provide the colour and atmosphere and family fun all make up the key ingredients for the highlights in the Cornish Food and drink calendar.
"Cornwall has one of the finest reputations for food and drink in the whole of the UK, which it celebrates in a host of food and drink festivals." confirms Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall, the tourism service for Cornwall Development Company "Quality events such as these enhance the visitor experience, increase overall customer satisfaction and help to generate year round tourism."
SOURCED from the Sea is the theme for Porthleven Food and Music Festival on Saturday, celebrating the town's fishing heritage and the abundance of lobster and crab caught by the local fishermen. The Young Festival provides the entertainment for kids. Local history exhibitions and a fish barbecue complete a fantastic, free family day out.
BELIEVED to be the UK's only beach-held festival of its kind, the St Ives Food and Drink Festival moves to a new location on the town's iconic Porthminster Beach on May 18 and 19.
Beach marquee activities include cookery demonstrations from some of the most talented local chefs around with sustainably caught fish, edible seaweed cooking, fish filleting demonstrations, tastings, talks, children's pasty making classes, oysters, Champagne and live music. The 'forage, cook, feast' theme continues with food foraging walks, a wild food forage cook off, learn about the nutritional and therapy benefits that edible seaweed brings, you can even go fishing off St Ives and bring the catch back to the beach and take part in a cooking demo.
THE LOOE Festival of Food and Drink returns for a second year on June 29 to 30 , on the banks of the picturesque East and West Looe river, promoting Cornish produce, to sustain and promote the rich food heritage in this part of Cornwall.
THE BIGGEST, saltiest and fishiest festival in the UK, Newlyn Fish Festival returns on bank holiday Monday, August 26, with a real focus on educating festival-goers on the reality, diversity and sustainability of commercial fishing through demonstrations, story-telling and live music. Vital funds will be raised for the Fisherman's Mission, a cause close to the heart of the fishing community. Catch the annual Fishmonger of the Year competition, bid for your supper at the fish auction, stock up your larder local produce and cheer on the spectacular lugger-rowing world championships as they race the length of the harbour.
MARQUEES perched around the harbour characterise Newquay Fish Festival, September 6 to 8 , showcasing all that's best about life by the sea in the West Country. The chefs are the characters, with flamboyant demonstrations and fishy tales. Highlights include smoked fish, a pilchard barbecue, fishmongers, crab sandwiches, oysters, fish filleting demos and Cornish produce stands line the quay. This year features a fantastic pop-up museum and talks by local historians.
THE COUNTY'S ultimate foodie event, Cornwall Food and Drink Festival, returns to Truro's Lemon Quay on September 28 and 29 to celebrate its tenth anniversary.
New for 2013, the festival's pop-up restaurant feature, the first of it's kind in Cornwall, with a selection of Cornwall's best hoteliers and restaurateurs offering a taste of their mouth-watering signature dishes in a 'street food' style.
Head to the Pavilion to see and sample some of Cornwall's best food and drink producers; catch a live demo by one of the county's top chefs; kick back in the Croust Bar with great food and live music.
This fantastic three day festival brings together Cornwall's best producers, chefs and more than 40,000 food fans to celebrate the county's buzzing food and drink scene. It's a weekend not to be missed.
OCTOBER 5 to 6 sees the Boscastle Food, Arts & Crafts Festival, with ten fabulous Cornish chefs demonstrating their skills over the weekend.
A host of stalls will be selling and sampling Cornish food and drink and original arts and crafts in the huge marquees in this picturesque harbour side village.
FALMOUTH Oyster Festival is a Cornish cornucopia of stalls brimming with oysters, seafood, local beer, wine and other delicacies and takes place from October 10 to 13.
The festival, winner of South West Tourism's Gold Award for event of the year 2012 is timed to celebrate the start of the oyster season, the event celebrates the Falmouth working boats and oyster punts which trawl the natural oyster beds to harvest the prized local native oysters renowned for their sweet, delicate flavour.
Cookery demonstrations with top local chefs and live music add to the unique festival atmosphere, with the opportunity to savour a variety of seafood and other dishes washed down with local ales and specially matched wines.
Champagne is also a festival favourite too.
PADSTOW is at its magical best for the Christmas Festival from December 5 to 8. One of the highlights of this foodie event is the free chef demonstrations in the quayside cookery theatres – expect well known figures from the culinary world and celebrity chefs.
The Christmas market, voted by Lonely Planet as one of the top 'ten delightfully different Christmas markets in Europe' moves to a new quayside venue this year with even more irresistible Cornish food and drink, perfect for festive gift ideas.
Combine this with family-friendly entertainment, Santa's Grotto, live music, fireworks and Christmas carols and you will be in no doubt that the festive season has arrived.
For listings of events, inspiration for where to stay, things to do – see www.visitcornwall.com