An Autumn Celebration of Kentish Food and Drink

Rochester Cathedral is the Garden Cathedral of England, and so it is an immense pleasure to be able host this celebration of Kent Produce, alongside this, the second English Wine festival. I hope people will come and enjoy themselves in this wonderful setting and remember those first monks who planted grain and grape.
— Dean of Rochester, Philip Hesketh

Rochester Cathedral to host the Wine Garden of England Festival and the Rochester Food & Drink Festival this November

On Saturday 16 November 2019, Rochester Cathedral will open its doors to the public and host two fantastic events to celebrate Kent’s incredible food and drink offering. The exclusive ‘Wine Garden of England’ festival returns to the cathedral for a second year running, this time alongside the inaugural ‘Rochester Food & Drink Festival.’ The events will give visitors the opportunity to explore the hallowed halls of the breath-taking cathedral, whilst also showcasing the finest Kent food and drink produce from across the county. Against this stunning historical backdrop, guests will enjoy the chance to sip fine wines, sample delicious local dishes, purchase exceptional ingredients and source unique Christmas gifts – all of Kentish provenance.

The Wine Garden of England Festival

Organised by the Wine Garden of England partnership, this festival will take place in the Cathedral’s spectacular crypt – a celebration of Kent’s finest wine producers today and in honour of one of the county’s very first producers – Gundulf, a monk who championed viticulture at the cathedral more than 1,000 years ago. The ticketed event, sponsored by Southeastern, will offer tutored tastings and talks from the wineries about their wines in sessions throughout the day. There will be two, three-hour sessions on the day, and attendees will have the chance to meet the producers themselves, hear their fascinating stories and sample up to 30 incredible Kent wines.

Tickets for one three-hour session will cost £35. Spaces are limited, and tickets are on sale now.

The Wine Garden of England is made up of seven Kent wine producers: Biddenden, Chapel Down, Domaine Evremond, Gusbourne, Hush Heath Estate, Simpsons Wine Estate and Squerreys. This friendly collective was formed to promote Kent as the Wine Garden of England, with its superb quality wines and the county’s unique and prized terroir, to both the wine trade and the wider consumer market locally, nationally and internationally. In addition, the proactive producers’ group aims to create a ‘world-class’ wine trail that promotes tourism to the county, in partnership with Visit Kent. (

Speaking on behalf of the partnership, Charles Simpson of Simpsons Wine Estate said: “We are delighted to announce the second Rochester Cathedral and Wine Garden of England Wine Festival that will be held in November 2019. We will once again be celebrating the unique story of Rochester Cathedral’s history of wine making whilst showcasing the outstanding range of wines now being produced by Kent’s Wine Garden of England Producers.”

The Wine Garden of England Festival

Saturday 16 November
11:00–14:00 £35
15:00–18:00 £35

The Rochester Food & Drink Festival

On the same day, Produced in Kent will be showcasing the finest Kent produce at the Rochester Food & Drink Festival. Between 11am and 4pm, in the stunning setting of the Cathedral Nave, visitors will be able to sample and buy a fantastic selection of local food and drink, purchase gifts and meet the talented producers working tirelessly behind the scenes. These producers are excited to share their stories and chat to visitors about how they source their ingredients and make their distinctive Kent produce. The ultimate test of course is in the taste, so visitors must prepare to tantalise their taste buds as they sample the finest the county has to offer before buying their favourites to take home. The food festival is a free event open to everyone, and another great opportunity to explore the beautiful Cathedral.

Stephanie Durling from Produced in Kent, commented, “Produced in Kent are delighted to be partnering with Visit Kent, the Wine Garden of England and Rochester Cathedral for the second celebration of Kentish wines with the introduction of the best food and drink Kent has to offer. The enhancement of this annual event at Rochester Cathedral, supports the fantastic range of Kent wines with a lovely food offering that promises to tickle everyone’s fancy and kick off your Christmas shopping in the best way possible.”

The Food & Drink Festival

Saturday 16 November