Best Food Fests in England...

Sure, sure, you've heard all the jokes about British food, but it's no secret that the food scene in the U.K. has skyrocketed in the last few years. (Gordon Ramsay, anyone? Jamie Oliver? I rest my case!) There are now some terrific food festivals throughout England and the rest of Britain--the Visit Britain Super Blog has a great list of suggestions. Here are just a few:

Whitstable Oyster Festival, Canterbury, England
From July 23-29, head to this gorgeous seaside town (pictured right) for the ‘Landing of the Oysters’ at Long Beach, the colorful Oyster Parade and, of course, to eat as many oysters as possible.

Nantwich International Cheese Festival, Cheshire, England

The Nantwich International Cheese Festival, reportedly biggest cheese show in the world, is more than 100 years old. The July 27 event will see a record number of competitive entries from some 24 countries.

Great British Beer Festival, London, England
Britain’s biggest celebration of the frothy cold stuff hits London’s Earls Court from August 2-6. Try a wide range of ales, ciders, perries and international beers from great British Real Ale to delicious European lagers. There will also be live music, tutored tastings and book-signings by the experts.

West Dean Chili Fiesta, West Sussex, England
Chili fans from around the world will gather from August 5-7 to sample everything from chili jam to chili chocolate and some of the hottest sauces known to man. And when the heat gets too much, they can chill out in the beer and cider tents and soak up summer sounds from the Latin Fiesta band. Over 300 chillies and sweet peppers will be on display including the California Death Pepper, now officially the world’s hottest chili.

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival, Isle of Wight, England

This festival, running from August 20-21, celebrates garlic and garlic-flavored food from sausages to ice cream and beer. Other entertainment comes in the form of acrobats, strongmen, stunt artists, magic, kids’ shows and live bands. And don't worry--there’s plenty of non garlicky food to tempt those who want to stay kissable.

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