FestivalsFoodNorth East & YorkshireReview

Festival of Flavours – RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate

Reviewer: Sara Jackson

A more beautiful backdrop to a food festival, you could not ask for than RHS Harlow Carr.

Its stunning floral displays, woodlands and lakeside walks make for a fabulous family day out, with three play areas to boot.

The Festival of Flavours is a weekend celebration of food and flavours from around the world, with demonstrations and book signings from TV chefs including Olayemi ‘Yemi’ Abimbola Adelekan (MasterChef 2022), Owen Diaram (MasterChef 2022), David Atherton (Great British Bake Off 2019) and Eddie Acott (MasterChef Champion 2022).

The demonstration tent is small and fills up very quickly, so it’s highly recommended to get there early to see your favourite chefs if you want a seat. On a very hot day, the tents become stifling very quickly though.

The energy and passion of the chefs are very entertaining and certainly worth taking an hour away from the lovely surroundings to taste and smell the incredible food being demonstrated.

The festival is small and succinct, placed at the centre of the gardens and attracting local food vendors and exhibitors.

A highlight is the delightful Fruit Works, which allows visitors to sample their locally grown apples, which are some of the sweetest varieties. A bottle of their freshly pressed apple juice is a bargain at £3 a bottle and deliciously refreshing.

Another beverage worth sampling is a refreshing Gin and Tonic from Harrogate Tipple, served over ice with sprigs of mint. It slips down very easily though so remember to drink responsibly.

Street food is available from Jack In A Box, Peacock Indian Street Food, Toast of Harrogate and George’s Caribbean Kitchen.

Curried Goat, Mutton and Jerk Chicken form the menu from the Jamaican-influenced food vendor which comes with rice, beans and salad. It’s packed with flavour, rather than chilli heat, and certainly worth sampling.

The gardens benefit from 2 Betty’s cafés, where you can treat yourself to a coffee and cake, including Betty’s favourite Fat Rascal, which if you have never partaken in, is worth a trip just for those.

The festival itself is very small, and will only form a small part of your day out in RHS Harlow Carr. However the grounds, Garden Centre, Parks and views certainly make it a family day out worth having.

Runs until 10th September 2023.

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Jacob Bush. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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