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The Final Festivals of 2018

Where to go for food, games and music? Fabio Contissa suggests three festivals worth visiting in the UK before 2018 is out


Padstow Christmas Festival, Padstow, Cornwall


In early December, the quaint Cornish town of Padstow succumbs to the culinary spirit of Christmas. Fortunately for visitors, this means delicious food, live music and a dazzling firework displays. The legendary town of Padstow has always been famous for its food – its unique location right on the water makes it an ideal spot for fish and seafood, and local chefs promise not to disappoint this year. So, what’s on the menu?


The four-day Padstow Christimas Festival is packed with surprises. Featuring star chefs Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth, and Nathan Outlaw, the festival promises to deliver on flavour. You’ll be able to view several demonstrations by these acclaimed ‘food heroes’ as well as more than 60 other chefs who’ll come flocking to the event.


The demonstrations won’t skimp on style as they spread across all four days of the festival. Best of all, the viewing is free – though if you want to taste the goodies, you’ll have to head over to the event’s Christmas marketplace. Here you’ll find over 100 vendors selling everything from homemade sausages and sweet pies to specialty soaps and blankets knitted by hand – perfect for Christmas gifts or yourself even.


The Final Festivals of 2018 – Where to go for food, games and music? Fabio Contissa suggests three festivals worth visiting in the UK before 2018 is out
They’ll be serving up delicious food in Padstow this holiday season. Image credit: Pixabay CC0


So, how can you get to the festival? Aside from driving, you could travel on the train to Bodmin Parkway, and from there, take the bus right to Padstow. You could also take a ferry to Padstow from Plymouth or fly right into the Newquay Airport.


  • Where: On the North Quay in Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8AF.
  • When: December 6th to 9th
  • Features: Live cooking demonstrations, craft and food market.


888Poker LIVE Festival, London


If you’re entranced by the bright lights and captivating colours of the casino, you might want to head to the 888Poker LIVE Festival in London this year. A gathering of poker enthusiasts is getting ready to play in one of the most anticipated tournaments of the year, and you can join them on their way to celebrate the game and compete alongside them for your chance to shine. Entering the tournament is simple enough, and the venue itself is worth exploring, too.


Aspers is without a doubt one of London’s top casinos, featuring two fantastic restaurants and two world-class bars. You could head to the rooftop terrace to get away from the action or plant yourself right on the swinging casino floor to experience the festival firsthand. Either way, gear yourself up as this tournament will be one enthusiasts will likely never forget.


Numerous poker ambassadors are set to arrive in London during this time – amongst them World Series of Poker champions Scott Blumstein, Martin Jacobson, and Joe Cada. Are you interested in competing alongside the UK’s best, perhaps even taking your shot at winning some of that £387,000 ($500,000) Main Event prize pool?


The Final Festivals of 2018 – Where to go for food, games and music? Fabio Contissa suggests three festivals worth visiting in the UK before 2018 is out
Before you decide to play in any poker tournament, you need to figure out what your playing style is and if it has the potential to take you to the top. Infographic credit: PNIMG


There are a few ways to work your way into the tournament, and 888Poker is there to lend a helping hand to you by offering the chance to win a £1,700 ($2,200) package deal. How can you get it? Several satellites are available for hopefuls who want in. These buy-ins start from only one cent, but you’ll have to compete hard to get the package. If you want to skip some of the competition, you can register for the direct qualifier. This buy-in is £84 ($109), and you’ll have the opportunity to win your spot at the big table that much faster.


The deal includes £270 ($350) of travel money, which deposits right into your account. You can use this to book your transport to and from London. As for accommodations, you’ll receive £348 ($450) for three nights between the 30th November and 2nd December. On top of that, your £1,084 ($1,400) on-site tournament buy-in is taken care of completely. You’ll also get the 888Poker LIVE kit, comprised of incredible 888Poker swag you won’t want to miss out on.


The festival itself boasts ten tournaments with buy-ins ranging from £100 ($129) all the way to £5,000 (£6,456) at the high-rollers table. Enjoy No-Limit Hold ‘em throughout the festival or try your luck at Omaha. The ladies will also enjoy sessions built especially for them, and high-rollers won’t be disappointed by the end of the event.



Those partaking will also be able to take advantage of enjoying the magicial Christmas spirit of London during their visit. As The Steeple Times previously mentioned, it would be worth trying perhaps some of these these Instagram-worthy London eateries, for example.


  • Where: Asper’s Casino, 312 The Loft, Montfichet Road, Olympic Park, London, E20 1ET.
  • When: 22nd November – 3rd December 2018.
  • Features: Personalities, London scenery, guaranteed Main Event prize pool of £387,000 ($500,000).


Great British Folk Festival, Skegness, Lincolnshire


Are you ready to rock out to some of the U.K.’s greatest folk music? Then Lincolnshire is the place you need to be during the end of November. Skegness is already known as a big music hub, and the Great British Folk Festival lineup this year is set to be quite a doozy — in a good way, that is.


One of the top headliners this year is Jon Boden & the Remnant Kings. Lead singer Boden is famous for his brash and unapologetic style. It works for him, as he’s received eleven BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – the most won by any folk musician. Coming in at a close second (or first, depending on your opinion) is Lindisfarne, known for such hits as Meet Me on the Corner and Lady Eleanor.


The Final Festivals of 2018 – Where to go for food, games and music? Fabio Contissa suggests three festivals worth visiting in the UK before 2018 is out
Join other fans in Skegness for a weekend of live music, dancing and fun at the Great British Folk Festival. Image credit: Pixnio/CC0


Ralph McTell is set to grace the stage as well, singing such classics as From Clare to Here and Streets of London. Attendees also can look forward to Oysterband – their stylish take on folk has a certain flair that fans across the world can’t seem to get enough and they’ve also been the recipients of five well-earned BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The legendary Janice Long will also be playing, and that’s one set of vocal cords I would suggest you wouldn’t want to miss either.


So, how can you get your piece of the Folk Festival pie? You’ll need to purchase a ticket for this over 18 year olds only festival, which you can buy along with your room. An entry for three nights costs anywhere from £100 ($129) to £150 ($194) –but prices will only increase as the date draws nearer so early booking is advised.


  • Where: Butlin’s Resort, Ingoldmells, Skegness, Lincolnshire, PE25 1NJ.
  • When: 30th November – 3rd December 2018..
  • Features: Folk music artists Lindisfarne, John Boden, New Celeste, Fisherman’s Friends and more.


Fabio Contissa is a freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of restaurants and fine dining.


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