Could this be one of the UK’s best locations for an autumn food and drink festival?
St Albans is not only the birth place of the hot cross bun, but also lays claim to having the highest density of pubs in the UK, one of which is supposedly the oldest – Ye Olde Fighting Cocks dating back to 793AD (more on this later…).
Right now, the town is hosting its eight annual food and drink festival which makes the most of its ale house heritage. Festival goers can enjoy the pop-up ‘Village Green’ in the heart of the cathedral city’s 9th century market square.
Get in there quick – the festival is on now and runs until this Sunday 4th October (with Ye Olde Fighting Cocks rugby screenings until the end of Oct).
Festival highlights include:
CAMRA St Albans Beer and Cider Festival – until 3rd October
St Albans hosted the UK’s first-ever beer festival back in 1974, and the event has now grown into the city’s very-own mini Oktoberfest and is the must-attend event in the real-ale calendar. There are more than 350 real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers including new beers and new breweries across the festival’s six bars. Entertainment will be provided by cult singer/songwriter Jon Otway and the UK’s number one Madness Tribute band One Step Beyond.
Real ale, rugby and roosters – until 31st October
The pub has installed a giant screen in its garden so rugby and real-ale fans can enjoy all the tackles and tries of the Rugby World Cup, while soaking up the glorious surroundings of the pub garden, supping a pint or two of real ale and tucking into some tasty barbecue food from the Famous Fighters Barbecue. This pub now boasts 10 real ales on-tap, fine wine and a menu presided over by a former chef of Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One.
St Albans Street Finale – 4th October
The city will be embracing its thriving pub culture on the finale day with the Everglades Village Green in the same location that the city has held a market since the 9th century. Some of St Albans’ finest hostelries will be setting up their pop-up pub on the city’s first-ever village green. So visitors can lounge around on a hay bale, while enjoying a pint and a tasty bite to eat from one of the 10 pop-up bars on the Everglades Village Green.
The city has also been experiencing a quirky foodie renaissance, with a number of independent restaurants and diners creating a buzz, most of which will be out in force on finale day. There will be a Chef’s Theatre with live cooking demonstrations from Masterchef finalist Theo Michaels, Michelin-starred chef Phil Thompson and Ye Olde Fighting Cocks chef Christo Tofalli. And for kids, there will be a family zone which will feature Children’s Fair-trade Chocolate Factory.
For more information visit www.enjoystalbans.com