The food scene in Brighton and surrounding Sussex goes from strength-to-strength. One of the drivers of that success is the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival, now in its 15th year. Managing director, Nick Mosley, reveals what’s in store for 2018.
Brighton Wine Week, 6th-15th April
Our first major consumer event of 2018 is the all-new Brighton Wine Week. The growing renown of the Sussex and wider English wine industry is partly behind this event, but we’ll also be working with selected producers from around the world including Austria, France, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.
Wine Week will see a promotional menu of discounted wines at all of our festival partner bars and restaurants, plus a host of wine dinners and tastings. The opening weekend features a two-day self-guided Wine and Tapas Trail around venues in the city where you can sample a glass of vino and a perfectly matched bite to eat.
The closing event of the week will be the Brighton Wine & Gin Festival, hosted at Hotel du Vin on Sunday 15th April. Winemakers and vintners will be showcasing their product, alongside the chance to take part in some taster educational masterclasses and learn a little more about the science of wine.
Brighton Cocktail Week, 6th-15th July
After the astounding success of Cocktail Week in 2017, we’re teaming up again with our colleagues at Mixology Group to host an even more spectacular celebration of the city’s bar industry.
We’ll be hosting a two-day cocktail festival event in the Pagalini Ballroom and historic cellars of the Old Ship, featuring global liquor brands and artisan spirit brands from the south of England. And bars across the city will be offering promotional drinks at just £5 each throughout the week. As we’re a food festival too, we’re also working on some creative and experimental dinners and events including an ice cream dinner and cocktail fusion, featuring top mixologists and street food vendors working together on food and drink combos.
Autumn Harvest, 6th-16th September
Celebrating all things Sussex, our Autumn Harvest will be overflowing with the bounty of our county. Across a host of events, enjoy Sussex wines, beers, ciders and spirits, alongside seasonal game, seafood, fruit and vegetables. We’re still in the midst of plans for this event but save the date.
The festival organisation operates throughout the year, championing Brighton and Sussex’s food and hospitality offering on a regional, national and international platform through event partnerships and marketing. This year we’re working alongside a number of other food festivals in Europe again, and we’ll see link-ups with Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden.
We are a not-for-profit community interest company with specific objectives to fulfil. One of those is joining up the local supply chain so each year we host a day-out for local restaurateurs and chefs to network and tour some local producers and enjoy a Sussex produce lunch.
Recruitment is notoriously difficult for the hospitality industry, with many young people in Britain not even considering the trade as a career option. This year we’ll be investing in a careers fair for 16-18 year olds to meet colleagues in the industry and to find out the many job paths open to them in both the hospitality industry and also food and drink production.
We also run the long-standing Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Awards with around 20 categories celebrating the best of food and drink in the city. Public nominations open in April and run until September, before the top three finalists in each category go through to our panel of judges for secret shopping and interviews. Our Grand Finals will be hosted again at My Brighton hotel in November 2018.
If you’d like to find out how your business can get involved in the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival through corporate entertainment, or sponsorship opportunities to connect with consumers or the hospitality industry, then please do get in touch with us.