Travel News » September 2009 » Autumn brings worldwide food festivals

Autumn brings worldwide food festivals


The harvest might be over in Britain for this year, but there are plenty of places to go for a gastronomic holiday.

Giant sausages washed down by pitchers of foaming beer are available to holidaymakers who find themselves at the Windhoek Oktoberfest in Namibia. It's the African country's version of the famous Munich beerfest and no less appealing for the fact that it's in the desert.

There are other beer festivals around the world, including in Argentina, Australia, Bali, Brazil and Jamaica.

If you're holidaying in France over the next few days, head to the Marseille International Fair, where the vast array of food from around the world attracts more than 300,000 visitors every year. Held in the Parc Chanot exhibition centre, it runs until October 5.

A holiday on Italy's Lake Garda is made even more splendid by the annual Bardolino Wine Festival. Holidaymakers can mingle with the locals among the food stalls and tasting the local wine.

Seven award winning chefs are flown to Bangkok for the World Gourmet Food Festival, where holidaymakers can eat the food they cook at the seven-course Gala Dinner, the highlight of the event.

Many more gourmet holidays are organised by a number of specialist tour operators, many of which are members of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (

Suggestions include learning how to cook on holiday in Goa, Champagne tasting on Valentine's Day in France, picking up cooking tips on holiday in Cyprus and perfecting your tarte tartin on holiday in Normandy.

Alba Truffle Festival (Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d'Alba)

October 4 ? November 9

Prized above almost every other ingredient in the world, white truffles only grow in a few places -- Alba being the epicenter -- and only from September to December. Hence this small Piedmontese town attracts some of the world's top chefs for the annual Truffle Auction, Festival and Market

If you can't afford some of this white fungi with supposed aphrodisiac qualities (it sells at about £1,600 a kilo), don't worry - you can taste snails from nearby Cherasco and some of Piedmont's famed Barolo wine.

For further information, go to www.

Fly to Turin, from where it's an hour's drive to Alba. For flights, try British Airways, easyjet and Ryanair.

Salone del Gusto, Turin, Italy

October 23-27

Meaning Salon of Taste, this celebration of 'slow food ideology' takes place only every two years, but you're in luck because the next event will be held this October.

Bearing the somewhat worthy slogan, 'good, clean and fair, it's essentially an opportunity to try lots of different delicacies from all over the world.

There will be cookery demonstrations, cocktail demonstrations, workshops and wine and beer tasting sessions.

Held in Turin's Lingotto Fiere exhibition centre and Oval arena, the event charges an entry fee of €20 for a one-day ticket; a five-day ticket costs €60. has information in English.

Alitalia, British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have flights to Turin.

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