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Maidstone: Gin Festival arrives at Kent Showground, followed by Prosecco Festival and Cheesefest

By Angela Cole

There's a feast of food and drink festivals to try a tipple at across Kent this year - many arriving for the first time - starting with GinFestival.com this weekend.

GINFESTIVAL.COM

The country's original touring festival of gin is stopping off in Kent for the first time. GinFestival.com will feature more than 100 different gins and will be staged at the Kent Event Centre at Detling, near Maidstone, for two days.

GinFestival.com will be at the Kent Showground
GinFestival.com will be at the Kent Showground

The festival's mission is simple: to provide a great atmosphere in a great venue with great gin and will have live music, food and gins exclusive to the event.

There will be different zones including lively bars, an informative brand room, and creative cocktail bar. There will also be gin masterclasses and the opportunity to meet gin distillers in person, try free samples and chat about their gin.

Taking place on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17, there will be sessions on the Friday night, and an afternoon and an evening session on the Saturday.

A gin festival is coming to Detling near Maidstone
A gin festival is coming to Detling near Maidstone

Guests get a pocket-sized brochure to guide them through their gin festival journey when they arrive.
From small craft distilleries using locally foraged botanicals, through to exotic examples of contemporary gins, there will be something for every palate. The festival is for over 18s and ID may be required. Tickets start at £12. More tickets were recently released, but the Saturday is now sold out. Book at ginfestival.com/events

AND ALSO COMING SOON...

GIN SOCIETY FESTIVAL

The Gin Society is bringing its festival to Kent for the first time. There will be some 120 gins on offer at the gin experience when it comes to Canterbury in April.

There will be a tasting station where visitors can try new flavours, and a prosecco cocktail bar where you can choose from a range of prosecco cocktails featuring fruit flavoured gins.
There will also be live music at the two-day event, with DJs playing vintage sounds.

The festival comes to Westgate Hall on Friday, April 6 from 6pm and there will be two afternoon sessions on Saturday, April 7 at noon and again at 6pm.

Early bird tickets are on sale at £8.50. Tickets include entrance, a gin glass and gin booklet to guide you around the festival and pen. To book, go to eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-gin-society-festival-canterbury-2018.

PROSECCO FESTIVAL

News that prosecco stocks were running low last year had us all dashing to the shops to stock up - but fear not, a Prosecco Festival is on its way.

The event, which will be held at the Kent Showground near Maidstone on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12.

On arrival, visitors will be given their branded prosecco flute ready to fill - and then keep filling! The bars work on a token - no cash - system. Tokens can be purchased using cash or card from the token points at the venue. There will be more than 40 types of prosecco, Supmante, Cava, Brut, pink fizz and prosecco cocktails on offer.

Two prosecco festivals are on their way
Two prosecco festivals are on their way

To go along with your fizz, there will be an array of Italian streetfoods on offer, such as calzone and homemade meatballs. The atmosphere will be topped off with live music and entertainment. There is a Friday evening session, and an afternoon and an evening session on the Saturday, with some tickets left for each, though Friday as only around 20 left. Tickets are £11.50, or for VIP tickets £260 for a table of 10. Visit proseccofestival.co.uk/kent-event for details.

There is also a Prosecco Festival in Mote Park, Maidstone on Saturday, July 21, which is sold out.

CHEESEFESTUK

Cheese lovers of Kent get ready: CheesefestUK has announced it will be coming to the county this year, bringing a day of melted cheese delights and delicious cheese-based cuisine to the Kent Showground in Detling near Maidstone on Saturday, June 2.

It's all about the cheese...Cheesefest UK is also coming
It's all about the cheese...Cheesefest UK is also coming

Visitors will be able to experience some of the cheesiest cheeses in the world, a host of the UK's cheese traders and the chance to buy from street food vendors.

Try, taste and buy hundreds of different types of cheeses, and wash them down with a selection of craft beers and wines to match. VIP tickets and early bird tickets are now sold out, but tickets at £5 are available at cheesefestuk.com

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