Celebrating 10 years of the St Albans Food and Drink Festival!

St Albans Food and Drink Festival Finale.

St Albans Food and Drink Festival Finale. - Credit: Archant

Herts Ad food writer Becky Alexander looks ahead to the 10th St Albans Food and Drink Festival...

St Albans Food and Drink Festival Finale - picture by Ren Behan.

St Albans Food and Drink Festival Finale - picture by Ren Behan. - Credit: Archant

The biggest food event on the St Albans calendar is back, and is now in its 10th year!

Once again, St Peter’s Street will be closed to traffic on Sunday October 1 from 12noon–6om for the Street Feastival; the Dylans double-decker Champagne bus will be there, along with the Tabure pop-up restaurant and more than 100 food, drink and produce stalls.

There is so much going on that I am going to focus on the new events that have caught my eye. For a complete listing, pick up a free brochure from around the city centre.

Poppycock Bar, run by the Mokoko team will be on the Village Green near the Town Hall (remember the pineapples from the summer festival?), along with Farr Brewery.

The Cookery Theatre is focusing on our local chefs and authors this year; the line-up includes Theo Michaels, who presents regularly on This Morning and is the author of Mug Meals and Ren Behan, who has recently published a book on modern Polish food, Wild Honey & Rye.

will be there with my co-author Michelle Lake, talking about Packed, our book about healthy, nutritious packed lunches for adults. It was published earlier this year and has been featured in delicious, Great British Food, The Guardian, Coast, Prima, SheerLuxe and Top Sante among others. The timings of each demonstration will be on the blackboard alongside the kitchen; there is no charge to attend any demos – just turn up and grab a seat.

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Oaklands College will be hosting a pop-up farm again, and there will be meat preparation and butchery demos from the Master Butchers from the Hospitality and Catering section.

There will be live music and entertainment for all; young children will love the Teddy Bear’s picnic; just bring a bear and choose lunch from one of the many stalls, and all sorted!

As well as the main Feastival day, the St Albans Food and Drink Festival runs several fringe events, from September 27 until October 7. New for this year is the Gin and Jazz night on George Street on Friday October 6, where the street will be closed and you can listen to live music, shop and enjoy drinks from Dylan’s, Suckerpunch and ThirtyNine10. It runs from 7.30-10pm.

Also new for this year is ‘Sustainable Saturday’ on October 7, where the focus shifts to what we are doing locally to make our community more eco-friendly. There will be a Sustainable Food Zone at the Charter Market and you can find out about the community gardens in Harpenden and St Albans. The Courtyard Café is the place for information and discussion about what is happening locally, or you can book for a Vegan Afternoon Tea at The Green Kitchen on Hatfield Road.

There are some really great pop-up events to book: the pasta workshop by Chappell & Caldwell will be great, or try Coffee, Canapés and Conversation at Charlie’s on London Road. Author Ren Behan is also hosting two events; a pop-up Supper at the Street Café on Catherine Street, and a vodka tasting at Dylans. Book as soon as possible as these will all sell out.

Despite having lived in St Albans for 17 years I have never visited the Organ Museum; I do like the sound of the The Vintage Afternoon Tea to be held there, so that might be my excuse!

To pause for thought in all this, St Albans Cathedral will be hosting a more traditional harvest celebration on October 1; it’s also a chance to find out more about how we can help others around the world and donate to our local foodbanks. St Nicholas Church in Harpenden is hosting harvest festival on the same day too, with food tastings, a quiz and lunches. There really is something for everyone this year – see you there!