All posts tagged Events and Festivals

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2014

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival 2014The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is set to raise a glass to Scotland’s national drink and open its doors to the people and passion behind some of the finest whiskies available.

Tickets are now on sale, which draws thousands of visitors from all over the globe. It will run this year from May 1st- 5th in the heart of the world’s best known whisky region.

And this year the festival has been chosen to kick off Whisky Month which is part of the Year of Homecoming Scotland programme. Whisky Month celebrates Scotland’s diverse food and drink offering and will include an array of activities including events, festivals, and unique tastings and tours throughout the month of May, emphasising the warm hospitality that Scotland is famed for.

Festival Chairman James Campbell says organisers are looking forward to welcoming back old festival friends, as well as those who will be attending the internationally renowned event for the first time.

He says,

“The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is unique in offering visitors the chance to not only sample some of the best whiskies in the world but also learn about the passion and tradition that goes into producing them.
“More than 300 events are taking place over five days so whisky aficionados and novices alike will find something to suit them. Our partners have really pulled out all the stops and created an outstanding programme of events from tasting sessions and our world-class whisky school to canoe tours and ‘drambles’ between our famous distilleries.
“The Year of Homecoming Scotland also gives us the opportunity to celebrate our history and offer a warm Scottish welcome to international visitors. We are proud to have been chosen as the launch event for Whisky Month and it’s the perfect chance to raise a glass of our world famous malt whiskies.”

The Speyside region contains more than half of all Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries and each one produces a whisky with its own distinguished set of characteristics. During the Festival, a large number of distilleries will open their doors for public tours, nosings and tastings – some for the very first time in history.

Tickets will be available on the new look Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival website from 1900 GMT on 1st February. The new website offers quick and easy access to information about all of the festival’s events and partners, and aims to enhance the quality and availability of information to local and international visitors alike.

Tickets for all events in the 2014 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival programme can be bought via the website –

Brighouse Victorian Christmas Festival

brighouse victorian christmasAfter the success of the 1940s Festival in June, which saw tens of thousands of visitors come to Brighouse, the town will be turning back the clock even further this month with a Victorian Christmas Festival.

Starting on Saturday 30 November with the switch-on of the town’s Christmas lights and one of Brighouse’s famous food and craft markets, this time stretching over two days with more stalls than even before, the Festival will continue throughout December.

During the Festival, shops will be decorated in Victorian style with shops assistants in 19th century dress and there will be street entertainers throughout the town every Saturday.

The opening weekend of the Festival (30 November and 1 December) will see a huge range of attractions and events taking over the town centre, including Carol Services with school choirs, a Victorian Glass Carriage pulled by two white Shire horses and even a visit from Queen Victoria herself. For Foodies the Christmas Market is going to be a major draw.

On Saturday evening (30 November), a lantern parade will begin at 4pm led by Father Christmas and travelling throughout the town centre to the switch on of the Brighouse Christmas Lights.

The event is being organised by the Brighouse Business Initiative and supported by shops, businesses and organisations throughout the town.

Lesley Adams, from the Brighouse Business Initiative, said:

“Brighouse has put itself on the map with our events that take over the town centre and bring the community and businesses together. Our 1940s Weekend drew tens of thousands visitors to the area and the stalls at our regular food and craft markets are booked up as soon as the dates are announced.

“We are going bigger and better than ever before for our Victorian Christmas Festival with celebrations throughout December beginning with an exciting weekend packed with activities including the switch-on of the town’s Christmas Lights on Saturday 30 November.

“There is something for everyone taking place – from school choirs and bands, Punch and Judy shows, fairground rides and a Santa’s Grotto. Whether you have never been to the town before or are a regular visitor, we look forward to welcoming you to Victorian Brighouse.”

Full details of the Brighouse Victorian Christmas Festival can be found on

Cocktails In The City

cocktails in the city The UK’s only consumer cocktail show is finally coming to the big smoke on 26th September 2013, at the cool urban studio space of Victoria House Basement Block, Bloomsbury Square, London. For one night only, thirty of London’s top bars from East to West and North to South come together to offer over 1000 cocktail enthusiasts serve over 2,000 cocktails in an interactive evening of cocktail education and fun. Say hello to Cocktails In The City

Launched in Manchester, Edinburgh and Bristol 2012 saw over 1000 visitors to the show with more than 4000 cocktails being made around the country and in 2013 Cocktails in the City predicts over 2500 visitors will enjoy the event nationwide. At each event Cocktails in the City hosts the cities top bars partnered by leading UK spirit brands to provide visitors with an interactive cocktail making experience allowing them to learn more about the art of cocktail making, discover drinks brands and learn more about the bars in their area.

Internationally renowned as the world’s best city for cocktails, Cocktails in the City has selected a wide range of London bar styles to give consumers a taste of the capitals variety of cocktail haunts from the west end swank of The Ritz and Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Champagne Bar to the East London cool of The Hawksmoor Bar, The Ivy and Off Broadway to funky South London operators Lost Society Group with The Lost Angel.

All visitors will be able to enjoy live bar demonstrations on the art of cocktail making at home across a variety of styles and tastes from Mad Men and Whisky Drinks to reviving super cool disco drink classics. Enthusiasts and Connoisseurs can upgrade their experience to include an intimate private tutored tasting session from industry experts on Rum, Whiskies and Gin.

No cocktail can be enjoyed without some without the music. Already earmarked the summer of disco, Cocktails in the City brings Horse Meat Disco’s legendary duo James Hillard and Jim Stanton to the decks. The Sunday Night Stallions bring you select thunk music galloping straight from the HMD stables. Legendary resident DJs will be spinning sounds that will leave you chomping at the bit. A tasty combination for the capitals and the UK’s legion of cocktail fans.

As well as the showcasing the UK’s finest bars, bartender and cocktails, visitors will be able to enjoy the finest of cool casual dining, with the delicious tapas from Salvador & Amanda – if you can never get in this may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.

Founder Andrew Scutts comments on the show

“the interactive nature of the event ensures visitors are left with a very positive experience of all the participating bars and brands. With each bar creating a little “pop up” consumers are greeted with a great diversity of stands and it’s great to see how creative the bars and brands can be with their space”.

This really is the ultimate cocktail show in the ultimate city of cocktails……… get ready!

Ticket Prices:
£20 Taster Ticket: Includes two cocktails, demonstrations, cocktail booklet and entry
£35 Enthusiast Ticket: Includes three cocktails, a private tutored tasting session, cocktail booklet and entry
£50 Connoisseurs Ticket: Belvedere Champagne Cocktail on arrival, food from Meat Liquor, a private tutored tasting session, cocktail booklet and entrance

Taste Japan

Taste Japan

Hyper Japan, the UK’s biggest celebration of Japanese culture and cuisine is back for another year, ready and waiting to serve up a host of great food, expert advice and culinary inspiration for creating everyday meals or special occasion dinners with a Japanese twist.

This summer’s Taste Japan experience at Hyper Japan 2013 will offer you the chance to experience the varied and unique flavours of Japan. This food and drink event is part of an overarching project by the Japanese ministry of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to introduce to the UK public the accessibility of Japanese cuisine, and that it is something which can be simply enjoyed with one’s friends and family. With easy and delicious Japanese recipes to learn and taste, as well as sampling of Japanese tea, sake and other alcohol on offer, Taste Japan promises to be a fascinating and enjoyable event.

Taste Japan cooking demonstrations will introduce visitors to ingredients from Japan, which can be easily used to make nutritious food at home. Japanese food experts such as Atsuko Ikeda will be teaching audiences how to cook the hugely popular dish of katsu curry at home, as well as rice burgers for a Japanese style picnic. Visitors will also be able to learn easy Japanese party recipes from Yuki Gomi and Tina Turner’s former personal chef Akemi Yokoyama, including maki sushi roll and creative oshizushi shapes. In addition, visitors can learn how to turn their homes into a Japanese izakaya pub with easy sake and nibbles ideas, and a hands-on Japanese cocktail master class will be on the menu.

Demonstrating that the range of Japanese drinks available extends far further than just sake or green tea, the Taste Japan Japanese Bar and Tea Station will offer samples of a diverse and extensive ranges of Japanese teas and varieties of alcohol, including shochu, umeshu, Japanese whisky and wine. Visitors will learn about the many ways in which Japanese tea is produced, creating a huge variety of brews to enjoy.

All the demonstrations and sampling sessions will be open across the three days of the Hyper Japan event. Rounding things off, at 2pm on Sunday 28 July, three skilled mixologists will be introducing their original sake based cocktail creations on the Hyper Japan Main Stage. Participants will have the chance to try them all and help Taste Japan decide the Sake Shake-Up champion.

To attend the Taste Japan free sampling event, please purchase a HYPER JAPAN ticket, which cost £12 in advance (£15 on the door)

Rochdale Feel Good Festival

rochdale feel good festivalThe first star chef to be appearing at the Rochdale Feel Good Festival has been confirmed. Top television chef Simon Rimmer will be appearing in the festivals celebrity kitchen on Saturday 31 August.

Restaurateur, co-host of Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and prominent figure in the region’s cuisine scene, the celebrated chef will deliver cooking masterclasses at the event.

As well as being a best-selling food writer and one of the most recognizable faces in food, he’s also the owner of two of Manchester’s top restaurants, Greens in Didsbury and Earle in Hale.

Debbie O’Brien, of Rochdale Town Centre Management, said:

“Simon is a brilliant chef and always gets a great reception from his audiences, so it’s fantastic that he’s coming to Rochdale for the Feel Good Festival to share his expertise and recipes. He makes cooking great fun too and I’m sure he’ll be a popular attraction in our celebrity food kitchen on the Saturday. I am also delighted to confirm this year’s Celebrity Kitchen sponsor …
we are thrilled to have Carillion involved in what could well be the biggest and best installment of the Rochdale Feel Good Festival. Something of a North West institution, having such a recognisable company from the locality involved only makes it more of a celebration of the whole area.”

The festival will include live music across a number of indoor venues and a big main stage against the backdrop of Rochdale Town Hall. Chefs will host live cooking demonstrations throughout the event which will also include a 2 day quality food market. The Feel Good Festival is organised by Rochdale Borough Council and Rochdale Town Centre Management in partnership with RRG Toyota and The Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre.

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