You don’t have to wander too far from home to find a festival dedicated to stuffing food down your maw, as Europe makes it easy to hop on a budget flight to the continent. Topping the list for the most epicurean drink festival this year is La Route du Champagne en Fête (27 – 28 July, Reims) in the prestigious French wine region. A proper boozed-up route, winemakers throw open the doors to their normally restricted cellars and dole out endless free samples to tasters. Moving swiftly to neighbour Switzerland, where absinthe drinkers descend upon the town of Boveresse for the annual Fête de l’Absinthe (15 June, Boveresse), where getting boozed on 50 per cent proof is part of its national spirit. Mexico’s Expo Tequila (9 – 13 October, Tijuana) can be found taking place in the famous Latin town, made famous for its hordes of Californian teenagers squealing across the border every spring break. Don’t be put off: there are 300 varieties of the golden nectar on offer.
When it comes to festivals, eating is most definitely not cheating, and one of the best places to ruin your summer diet plans is the Singapore Food Festival (12- 21 July, Singapore). It draws thousands of visitors to the city – which is gradually carving itself out as a proper foodie destination – every year: get yourself there before it becomes too commercial. Into roadkill? The annual Roadkill Cook-Offff in West Virginia (28 September, Pocahontas) pits meaty cooks against each other: as long as the animal met its end squashed on concrete, it goes. Don’t worry: points are deducted if there is gravel in the animal. Also on the East Coast of the US is the Maine Lobster Festival (31 July – 4 August, Rockland), for those who don’t fancy stewed possum smeared in deer gravy. Late summer sees Visa Wellington On A Plate (9 – 25 August, Wellington) arrive Down Under, bringing 100 of the New Zealand capital’s restaurants with it. Get stuck in with the steaks and the burgers in what is one of the coolest little culinary festivals of the world. Closer to our shores, the Galway Oyster Festival (27 – 29 September, Galway) is a weekend homage to its namesake, while the Isle of Wight’s second most famous festival after Bestival – the Garlic Festival (17 – 18 August, Isle of Wight) – pays lip service to the divisive garlic bulb.