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Book these food and drinks events!

From the first ever Leicester Restaurant Week to a travelling vegan market, we've rounded up the top food and drink festivals across Leicestershire and Rutland.

  Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

Mojito or Martini? If you can’t decide then perhaps you should sip both during Leicester Cocktail Week from 20 – 26 September. Throughout the week you can enjoy a speciality cocktail at more than 20 city venues for just £5. The best part? You can then vote for your favourite!

East Midlands Food Festival is back on this year from 2-3 Oct in Melton Mowbray, the ‘Rural Capital of Food’. Famed for its artisan producers of cheese, pies, charcuterie and other foodie goodies, this event will also include a street food area so eat your fill of tempting treats. Don’t miss the Food Theatre with local chefs demonstrating easy recipes, many using the ingredients found at the festival. Tickets are 6 and under 16s go for free.

Discover a feast of fabulous wines at The Lutterworth Wine Fair on the afternoon of 2 Oct at Wycliffe Rooms. Enjoy a glass or two from small producers – many of which are not available in supermarkets. There will also be champagne and gin. Tickets £3!

Photo by Jose Hernandez-Uribe on Unsplash

This next event may not be for all of your G&T sipping darlings, but Oktoberfest is big this year and Leicester has not one, but two events taking place. The first one is in Victoria Park on 2 Oct. Taking place inside what is set to be one of Europe’s Largest beer tents, there will also be an authentic oompah bands, a large selection of traditional German foods plus those all important steins! Most of the VIP tables have already sold out but there are some standard tickets still available for the afternoon session from noon to 5pm and even evening session from 5-11pm. The second event is on 23 Oct at the Morningside Arena. Expect live music, german food and of course, beer!

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

Love trying new food? Then you’ll be pleased as punch to hear that the city is hosting the first ever Leicester Restaurant Week 18 – 24 Oct! The event celebrates the city’s diverse dining scene and some of the best local eateries will be offering fixed price menus at £10 and special family ones too. Get those elastic pants ready.

Celebrate the humble, but beloved British Pie at PieFest from 13 -14 Nov also in Melton Mowbray. Sample sweet and savoury, hot and cold, award-winning pies from across the UK. Tastings, workshops and an expert ‘Pie Panel’ and don’t miss the ‘Pie Kitchen’ for hot pies n’ mash, gravy.

If you’d rather dive into a chocolate pizza, book tickets to the annual ChocFest in Melton Mowbray. Yes it’s back this year and is actually running on the same dates as PieFest from 13 -14 Nov. Why not kill two birds with one stone and once you’ve scoffed enough pies, head here for all things chocolate inc beer and chocolate kebabs (yes, really)!

But, wait! There’s more in Rutland too! The popular Rutland Food and Drink Festival on 10 Oct will see stalls lining up along Mill Street, Market Place in the Castle Grounds and even inside Oakham Castle. Sample lots of lovely food and drink from local businesses including Kiran’s Spice Kits and Ruddy Fine Gin. If that wasn’t enough, from 25-31 October, there’s also the Discover Rutland Food & Drink Week, a festival of samplings, beer tastings, pumpkin picking and special menus created by the county’s best chefs, culminating in the Rutland Ball on the 31st at Barnsdale Lodge – it’s like the foodie diary event of the year!

Lastly, stock up on lots of vegan goodies at Leicester Vegan Market on 28 Nov. Taking over the city’s Market Square, the event will feature up to 50 stalls including a huge variety of vegan street food, artisan savouries, sweet bakes, craft cheeses, handmade cosmetics, ethical clothing & jewellery, arts and crafts, plastic-free, and charity stalls. All created by a handpicked selection of talented, ethical and sustainable businesses. It all kicks off from 10.30am. If you can’t make it don’t worry, Market Harborough Vegan Market is taking over the town square on the 31 Oct.

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