We’ve got a big exclusive for food fans in Reading this year (that’s all of us, right?) Reading is getting a cheese festival. We repeat, Reading is getting a cheese festival!
After a successful summer of Feastival events in 2017, street food kings Blue Collar are bringing three exciting food events to our town centre this year. They’ll be celebrating local producers and international food with a cheese festival, a summer of food markets and Meat Feast in the autumn.
The Cheese Feast
From Thursday 19 – Sunday 22 April, Forbury Gardens will be home to the Cheese Feast. History has it that back in the 18th Century, Reading’s town gardens were home to an annual festival of cheese products, and Blue Collar founder Glen Dinning hopes to bring some of that marketplace heritage back this year.
The four day festival will have street food stalls serving up all the cheesy, oozy goodness you could want, including mac ’n’ cheese, gourmet cheeseburgers and cheesecake. There will also be stalls from local cheese producers and matching craft beers, wines and cocktails (subject to licence).
The Cheese Fest takes place in Thursday 19 – Sunday 22 April at Forbury Gardens. Find out more.
Then, for three weeks in early summer, the Feastival food markets will return with a bigger, bolder setup. The team are bringing in a two-tiered platform stage with a bar, fire pits and hay bale sofas. Partly inspired by London’s summer UnderBelly Festival, there will also be a programme of live music sessions as well as an art display celebrating Reading’s local history and famous faces (think Huntley & Palmers, Robin Friday and Ricky Gervais).
Last year, food vendors included local favourites Georgian Feast, Peru Sabor and John the Greek as well as street food traders from the wider area such as Crispy Squid and Rad Burgers. The line up for this year is still to be announced, but will rotate through the three week period, so there’ll be chance to try everything.
Feastival runs from Friday 25 May – Sunday 17 June in Forbury Gardens.
The Meat Feast
Finally, in October a Meat Feast will take place in our newly-reopened Abbey Ruins. Over four days you’ll be able to chow down on barbecues, slow cooked meats and dry aged steaks while taking in our town’s history in the grounds of the lovingly-restored monastery.
Meat Feast will take place in October (exact date TBA) at the Abbey Ruins.
Glen Dinning of Blue Collar Street Food said: “The response to last year’s events was incredible and it’s so exciting to be able to build on that and take it to the next level.
“The return of Feastival will see our very best food and booze options alongside a brand new, two tiered seating infrastructure, fire pits, hay bale sofas and live music. Along with the four-day-long themed events, it promises to be the perfect place for lunch in town and drinks in the sun.”
Keep an eye on this page for updates about vendors and line ups closer to the event dates.