THE FOOD FESTIVAL IS OVER FOR THIS YEAR!
THE SOMERSET FOOD TRAIL FESTIVAL: 14-30 JULY 2023
We had some amazing food adventures, with more than 170 venues putting on 385 events for this year's Somerset Food Trail Festival. We enjoyed fabulous 30-mile feasts highlighting the best of local sustainably produced veg and grassfed meat. We tasted wines, cider and cheeses, toured farms and smallholdings, explored eateries and farm shops, and discovered regenerative producers across the county, from the Chew Valley to Wedmore and Wiveliscombe to Crewkerne.
Thank you to everyone who took part and to all of our visitors for joining in! We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our sponsors and volunteers for making the Food Trail happen. While this year's Food Trail is finished, the work goes on – please continue to support and celebrate local, sustainable producers where you can. And please do share your best photos and experiences with us – we love to hear about them.
LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE, DELICIOUS!
The Somerset Food Trail Festival celebrates the best, most sustainably produced local food. It's the first of its kind: a countywide event focused specifically on our more nature-friendly farmers and artisan producers – the local food heroes who are leading the transition to a new era of regenerative, 'agroecological' farming, to cut emissions, restore wildlife and produce better, tastier, more nourishing food.
The 2022 Food Festival featured 247 events organised by farmers, growers, food producers, farm shops, delis, cafés, pubs and eateries, and attracted nearly 9,000 visitors over the ten-day event. For 2023, we added an extra weekend, spreading it out across the calendar and the full length and breadth of the county from Exmoor in the West to Bristol and Bath.
The 2023 event programme is now finished, but you can check out the fantastic producers via this website. Do sign up to our mailing list or follow us on social media to be the first to hear what's on near you.
FEASTS AND TASTINGS
THIS YEAR'S THEME
The Somerset Food Trail Festival celebrates the farms, landscapes, people and places behind Somerset’s most nature-friendly food and drink. This year's theme was 'feasts and tastings' to get everyone trying our fantastic produce.
Nearly 40 venues took up our '30-mile Feast Challenge' – where most of the ingredients were sourced from a 30-mile radius. There was also a huge variety of other events, including open days, farm tours, family picnics and more.
Many events on the Food Trail are free, but a few special events, such as the feasts, require you to buy tickets in advance. Participating pubs and restaurants will celebrate local food with a special menu or tasting event.
If in doubt, check with the venue before setting out.
Photo by Matilda Temperley
A FARM-TO-FORK SHOWCASE
Based on the 'open studios' model of arts trails, the Somerset Food Trail Festival sees farmers, growers and food producers open their doors to the public at set times in July.
From biodynamic vineyards to community-funded food forests; aquaponic market gardens to milk-based vodka distillers; fermenters, foragers, smokeries, goat herders, bakeries: you name it, it’s here. And that’s before you get started on the cider and the cheese!
This is a chance to get out and explore some of the country's most beautiful and bountiful landscapes: a feast for the senses!
NAVIGATING THE FOOD TRAIL
HOW THE FOOD TRAIL WORKS
There is not one ‘Somerset Food Trail’. You choose the route yourself based on what catches your eye or whets your appetite. A good starting point is our interactive map which will give you an overview of what's on, where. We've divided the Trail into clusters, or areas, to make it easier to navigate. You don’t, of course, have to confine yourself to one area, although each area will offer plenty to see and do.
Venues open for set times during the festival, and opening times vary, so check out the venue listing and their website before heading out. The Food Trail Festival is mostly free, although some events have a modest fee, and there will be a charge for feasts, of course.
Our aim is to showcase the range and richness of Somerset’s sustainable producers, while highlighting the crucial role we can all play in creating a shift to more nature-friendly farming through our everyday food choices.
"Somerset is an amazing, beautiful county, producing food that’s recognised around the world. I’m delighted to support the Somerset Food Trail as a way of encouraging people to ‘buy local’, find out more about how food is made, and learn what farmers are doing to protect and care for the environment.”
Dairy farmer and founder of Glastonbury Festival