Porthleven Food and Music Festival

Porthleven Food and Music Festival

The Porthleven Food and Music Festival is one of the most delectable events on Cornwall’s festival calendar. Launching the start of the county’s festival season, it is held in April each year and proposes a veritable feast for the senses. Family and dog-friendly, it draws foodie fans from near and far and brings together the county’s leading culinary talent across one spellbinding location: the enchanting harbourside town of Porthleven.

If you are seeking the sweetest sojourn to satiate your tastebuds this year, here’s all you need to know about this food festival by the sea.

Porthleven Food Festival 2024

A beautiful view of Porthleven with its clock tower and golden sand beaches

Porthleven Food and Music Festival is an annual food festival in West Cornwall, usually held in April each year. Returning in full flavour once again, this free-to-enter festival is set to run between Friday 26th and Sunday 28th April in 2024, bringing with it a fresh programme of events and activities. And, of course, mouth-watering fare. From live chef demonstrations to a gourmet selection of restaurants and pop-ups around the harbour, and from oceanside musical performances to an array of shopping opportunities, there is something for everyone. Follow Porthleven’s giant harbour sign and immerse yourself in a world of epicurean exploration.


The famous Love Food sign across Porthleven Harbour

Porthleven Food Festival was first launched in 2009 by a dedicated committee looking to share the incredible fruits of the county. A resounding success, the festival has since grown over the years and won a number of awards, including several Gold wins from Cornwall Tourism Awards. In partnership with the acclaimed Great British Menu chef and Kota restaurant owner, Jude Kereama, Porthleven Food Festival is now in its fifteenth year and has become an annual foodie mecca for those seeking to both demonstrate their culinary prowess and discover new flavour sensations.


Tasty savoury bites at Porthleven Food Festival

Porthleven Food Festival is one of the most exciting events on the culinary calendar in Cornwall. Inviting local and far-flung connoisseurs alike to tease the senses and tempt the palate, the free foodie event hosts an array of cookery tents and workshops, farmers markets, food stalls, treat trucks, beverage bars, and shopping stands around the town’s harbour, shipyard and playing fields in a whole-town takeover.

Explore the harbourfront and parkland, ready to satiate your appetite with a wealth of gastronomical goodness. Running along the harbour, the Royal Cornwall Food and Farmers Market affords the chance to meet some of the county’s leading food producers and traders and stock up on gourmet delicacies. Meanwhile, all along the harbourside and within the Shipyard Diner’s Club, local and global tastes are celebrated with mouth-watering food fusions and delicious drinks served on tap.

Behind the harbour and extending onto the playing fields, further stands await to capture attention, with vendors selling everything from freshly cooked churros with melted chocolate to Cornish gin infused with local botanicals. Pasties and music are supplied by Ann’s Pasty Lounge, while guest chef feast nights offer sit-down dining on Friday and Saturday evenings. With a dish to suit every taste and appetite, there is undoubtedly something for everyone on the festival’s eclectic menu.


Chef Antony Worrall Thompson and Jude Kereama at Porthleven Food Festival

A key part of the festival line-up, chef demonstrations take place each year at Porthleven Food Festival. Led by an impressive line-up of some of the most talented chefs from the South West and beyond, the exciting programme features talks, workshops, presentations and live cooking demos ready to awe all generations with food top-tips and know-how. Hosted in a harbourside tent in the town, each demo offers culinary inspiration, encourages conversation, and promotes consciousness around food sustainability and local traceability.

This year, the festival’s bill features an array of well-known culinarians, such as Michelin star chef Adam Handling, Great British Menu 2023 chef Andrew Tuck, Chris Eden, Elly Wentworth and Josh Eggleton. Also sharing the stage is chef Jude Kereama, who plays an instrumental role in running the festival and owns the Michelin award-winning Kota located on Porthleven’s harbourfront.

Spread across the three days of the festival, demonstrations are set to take place each hour between 10.15am and 3.15pm. No bookings are required to watch, simply turn up, sit back and enjoy.

Pubs and Restaurants

The white-washed facade of The Square restaurant in Porthleven

Cornwall is renowned for its Michelin star restaurants, seafood bistros, sun-kissed vineyards, and hidden cafés, each tempting with irresistible fare. Renowned for its culinary acumen, Porthleven is firmly placed on Cornwall’s map and has a deserved reputation as a foodie hotspot with a wide selection of places to eat, such as The Square, Kota, Kota Kai, The Ship Inn and The Harbour. As well as cosy pubs and fine-dining establishments, the town is also home to a number of winning venues for street food sensations and traditional bakes, including Ann’s Pasties and The Mussel Shoal.

A fabulous extension of the town’s existing foodie pedigree, the Porthleven Food Festival affords the opportunity for diners to secure reservations at their favourite eatery. Reserve a windowside seat and peruse the menus du jour, anticipating plates seasoned to perfection as the action unfolds outside and music carries on a warm sea breeze. Just remember to book well in advance to secure your table.


Crowds mingling together in front of food stalls at Porthleven Food Festival

Porthleven Food Festival is the perfect place to peruse all that Cornwall has to offer, both on a culinary level and otherwise. On display all around the harbour are an array of artisan stands and stalls hosted by producers and makers from around the county and beyond. A lovingly curated display of expertly crafted treasures and wares, each stand combines to create an unmissable shopping opportunity for those seeking bespoke crafts.

Take a stroll around the harbour at your leisure before heading inside the shipyard’s market to uncover more gift ideas for yourself and loved ones. With everything from handcrafted jewellery to original paintings, and from boutique decorations to miniature bottles of Cornish spirits, there is something for everyone amongst the colourful array.


A music act on stage at Porthleven Food Festival

The finest pairing for a match made in daydreams, Porthleven’s annual festival presents a cocktail of food and music in one idyllic setting. In the day, sea shanties sound from the Lime Kiln and acoustic sessions play outside The Harbour Inn, filling the air with soul-stirring songs. Swapping daytime melodies for evening showstoppers, anthemic beats thrum from the Shipyard with the arrival dusk, while in the chef’s theatre, the stage swaps its pots and pans for frets and turntables with live DJs and bands stealing the nighttime show.

To keep you in the rhythm, the line-up promises to be as entertaining as ever this year. With daytime acts for The Lime Kiln, The Fishermen’s Quay and The Nauti Stage soon to be announced for the year, the evening bill for Saturday night is set to be topped by one of the UK’s most popular Fleetwood Mac tribute bands. Listen to music for free during the day and book your tickets in advance for evening sessions, ready to dance the night away under the glittering light of cosmic stars and disco bars.


A beautiful golden retriever at Porthleven Food Festival

Hosting a plethora of things to see and do, the options for activities are seemingly endless at Porthleven Food Festival. Alongside chef demonstrations and foodie feasting, this free-to-attend festival also proposes a whole host of family-friendly activities across the long weekend. Stay for an afternoon or dip in and out each day to select from your favourite events and attractions. Whether you are seeking culinary inspiration, moments of serenity on the nearby clifftops, or full immersion in the atmosphere, there’s ample to look forward to.


If you are seeking a unique experience in Cornwall, the festival’s offerings of workshops and masterclasses may pique your interest. Promising a variety of experiences to get involved in, these workshops encompass a range of disciplines and skills and propose a brilliant way to spend an hour or two. Learn a new skill, make cherished memories, and perhaps create a personal memento or keepsake to take home with you. From cocktail masterclasses to guided beer-tasting sessions, and from art workshops to pasty-crimping classes, discovery is waiting around the corner.

Ann’s Family Field

From wellbeing workshops to live bands to the tastiest Bloody Maries in town, Ann’s Family Field (Moors Field) resides behind Porthleven harbour and regularly beckons each year with a world of adventure. Sponsored by Ann’s Pasties, proud makers of handmade, traditional Cornish Pasties, it is one of the best places to go for families with little ones in tow. This year, due to recent rainfall, the field is closed; however, you can uncover all manner of delights to entertain and enthral all generations of festivalgoers around the harbour instead.


Festivalgoers sitting on the harbourside under blue skies during Porthleven Food Festival

Porthleven Food Festival takes place in one of the most beautiful settings in the UK. Set within Cornwall’s (South Coast - Western) National Landscape and nose-to-nose with the sea, it boasts untold natural beauty. Aiming to protect the natural environment in which it takes place and encourage sustainable processes within food production and consumption, the festival has a commitment to reducing its environmental impact and championing environmentally-friendly practices.

As part of this, Porthleven Food and Music Festival’s mission statement includes a drive to reduce carbon emissions from power generation and transport, reduce single-use plastic and pollution, manage waste responsibly, and encourage sourcing local produce and reducing food miles wherever possible. In order to keep this postcard-worthy town a picture of coastal perfection and protect our green planet, it’s important to dispose of waste responsibly and make conscious strides to leave no trace, just the dreamiest memories.


A waffle topped with strawberries, cream and drizzled chocolate at Porthleven Food Festival

The Porthleven Food Festival is not only one of the most popular food festivals in Cornwall, but the UK too. With thousands of people gathering around the harbour and sharing in the merriment, the town’s parking undergoes some logistical changes to accommodate everyone. Book yourself a dream staycation in one of our divine dwellings in Porthleven, or head over early to secure yourself a prize spot.

To ensure the festival remains safely pedestrianised, road closures take place at each of the town’s entrances, while regular bus services take place from the surrounding towns to nearby bus stops instead. Hop on the hourly shuttle buses, make use of the signposted festival parking just outside of the town, or pull on your walking shoes and amble the two miles through Penrose Estate in Helston to arrive at the festival. For Blue Badge holders, assigned car parking spaces in the town can be secured.

Feeling inspired to tempt the tastebuds at Porthleven Food and Music Festival? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Cornwall.

Crowds gathered outside the bar tent as dusk descends at Porthleven Food Festival

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