Food and Drink Festivals and Events
Anyone who has a love of local food and drink will enjoy a visit to one of the New Forest’s many food and drinks events. Sample local ales and wines, buy produce fresh from the farmer or hone your culinary skills at a cookery school or food festival.
Annual food and drink events
Try some delicious local seafood that’s on offer at one of the many stalls at Lymington Seafood Festival? Be entertained by musicians, bands and other activities. Plus if you don’t fancy seafood, there are plenty of places to enjoy a tipple and meat eaters and vegetarians are also well catered for.
Bring the whole family along to the New Forest Food Festival! From craft baking, artisan cheese and local chocolates, to organic brewing and mouth-watering botanical gins, you'll find so much delicious local food and drink at this brilliant event. As well as culinary delights, there is so much more entertainment too, including live music, a fun fair, kids activities and so much more.
Each year, during the month of July, the Hampshire Food Fair takes place across the county, including many parts of the New Forest. Think food and drink talks, demonstrations, cookery workshops and more and you’ll get the picture of just some of things that take place. Look out for events taking place at some of our luxury hotels such as Montagu Arms and The Pig. Other New Forest venues have included in the past Ringwood Brewery and Lyburn Cheese Farm at Landford.
The Milford Sea Food Week is a fantastic chance to sample some of the local seafood at Milford on Sea. It usually takes place during late spring.
Nearby to the New Forest, along the coastline, the Christchurch Food & Wine Festival usually takes place in May. A popular event on the south coast, this festival often features celebrity chefs, cookery demonstrations and the ever-popular festival street market and village.
Regular and special markets
An ideal place to pick up the fresh produce you need for cooking up that perfect meal, regular markets take place in the following towns and villages in The New Forest:
Ringwood is also home to regular farmers’ markets, where you can buy food and drink directly from the farmers and local producers.
Look out for themed markets which head to Hythe and Ringwood from time to time including the popular French markets. You will also find a large food market as part of the annual New Forest and Hampshire County Show in Brockenhurst.
Cookery Schools in the New Forest
If you are looking to hone your kitchen skills then why not make a visit to one of The New Forest’s cookery schools?
At Lime Wood, HH&Co Backstage offers courses for all levels of budding chef in an informal and creative environment.
Chewton Glen Hotel’s cookery school, The Kitchen, is set in a beautiful setting within the hotel’s grounds. Explore the greenhouse for fresh produce and enjoy learning in this stunning setting. Courses even include celebrity chef classes run by James Martin and friends.
Within Brockenhurst, the local higher education college, Brockenhurst College, runs the New Forest Cookery School with courses ranging from beginners to more advanced cookery and is open for those who reside in and nearby the forest, as well as visitors.
There is also The Granary Kitchen Cookery School near Lymington which is headed up by Christian Rivron.
Other food events in the New Forest
Look out for cookery demonstrations and special food nights at some of our New Forest hotels. Careys Manor Hotel and Balmer Lawn Hotel hold regular food and drink events - simply check the listings below for details.
If you have a sweet tooth then we’d highly recommend that you head to Burley Fudge Shop and taste their ‘Fudge of the Month’ flavour. Call in for a free taster of what’s on offer!
Also in Burley, you can find New Forest Cider - a popular stopping point for many a visitor to the village. For one weekend in October join in with the annual apple pressing event, for your chance to see how cider is made using the traditional ways.
Look out for other pop-up food events, food talks and much more. Keep an eye on our what’s on pages and listings below for details of any forthcoming events.
Organising a food event in the New Forest?
If you are organising a food or drink event that you’d like us to feature on our website, please submit details of it here.
Also, if you would like to be kept up to date with the events taking place in the New Forest every week then make sure you sign up to our Weekly What’s On Enewsletter!