June sees the return of Longleat’s vibrant Food & Drink Festival. Set in lush ‘Capability’ Brown-landscaped grounds, the festival’s third outing takes an antipodean flavour in honour of Longleat’s newest residents – the koalas and wombats
There’s a lot to pack in at the two-day event (which takes place on June 22-23), so here’s our pick of what not to miss
1. Live cooking thrills and spills
Following in the footsteps of previous guest chefs Nadia Hussain, the Hairy Bikers and James Martin, BBC Masterchef presenter John Torode will take to The Longhouse stage on both Saturday and Sunday to show off his culinary skills with an Australian themed menu. Take a front row seat to watch the action, ask questions and get insider tips.
2. Meander down Market Street
At the foot of the imposing walls of the Elizabethan stately home, a bustling pop-up food market takes shape for the weekend. With over 30 stalls spilling over with glorious local produce and delicious eats, choose between sizzling gourmet sausages, vegan treats, world food, cakes and bakes, prosecco, craft ales and more.
3. Flippin’ fun in the Outback Garden
No Aussie-themed summertime get together would be complete without a barbecue, so follow your nose to the Outback Garden where the organisers will crown the festival’s best burger flipper. Tongs at the ready…
4. Catch sight of a koala
In a first for Longleat – and England – koalas join the park’s extended menagerie, alongside other antipodean animals including the hairy-nosed wombat and long-nosed potoroo (a rabbit-sized, kangaroo-like marsupial).
Visit new exhibit Koala Creek for a unique opportunity to see the iconic Australian animals in thoughtfully constructed indoor and outdoor habitats.
5. Take tea afternoon tea
Head to the Great Hall for the ever-popular traditional tea curated by Emma Weymouth. Think delicate finger sandwiches, scones stacked with jam and cream, tea and fizz – a quintessential British afternoon tea served in suitably grand surroundings.
6. Revel in the fun of the fairground
The festival has an old school, funfair feel and includes rides and games such as a mini carousel, big wheel and coconut shy. There’s live music on the lawns and a classic car display, as well as established attractions to enjoy such as the safari park, hedge maze and classic railway.
Book tickets online to save up to 15 per cent. Pre-booking for the live cooking demos and afternoon tea sessions is highly recommended, with proceeds donated to charity.
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