What’s On in Devon – Our Favourite Food Festivals

healthy foodYou may not immediately associate the South West as a being a popular base for top celebrity chefs, but you would be wrong. Here in Devon and Cornwall we can boast being a base for Michael Caines, Mitch Tonks, the Tanner brothers, Rick Stein and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, to name but a few. And if you’re a food lover looking for what’s on in Devon, you can take your pick from a number of food festivals throughout the year.

Here are some of our favourites taking place during the forthcoming months.

Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink

22-24 April 2016: This annual event is held in the courtyard of Exeter Castle, right in the centre of Exeter. Taking place over three days, the Exeter Food Festival also includes two evening Festival After Dark Events featuring live music, chef demos and a great atmosphere. This year’s celebrities include Michael Caines, Josh Eggleton and Gelf Alderson from River Cottage.

Exeter Food Festivals
Exeter Festival 2015 – photo courtesy Exeter Festival Website

Salcombe Crabfest 

shellfish in the south west
Fresh crab

1 May 2016: Salcombe Crabfest is a celebration of crab and all things seafood taking place from 10.00am in Salcombe, South Devon. The event will be opened by the ‘Queen of Cake’s’ Mary Berry (CBE) who will also be talking about her life, favourite recipes, and the new series of Great British Bakeoff. You can enjoy hands on demonstrations, crab picking tuition, commercial crab fishing talk, demonstration kitchen, crab pot making, music, wine tasting and much more.

Dartmouth Crab Festival

7 August 2016: Hosted by Mitch Tonks and Angela Hartnett, picturesque Dartmouth is the home of the fifth annual homage to this fabulous shellfish, combined with terrific musical entertainment.

Dartmouth Food Festival

21-23 October 2016: Dartmouth hosts its second major food festival of the year with this 3-day foodie’s heaven, celebrating the very best food, drink and culinary skills from the south west. The 2016 festival offers a tempting mix of delicious regional food and drink, chef demonstrations, workshops and fun for all the family.

Brixham Fish Market Tours

Head Chef Lee at Brixham Fish Market
Brixham Fish Market Tours

Does your fish eating experience extend to just cod, haddock, salmon and mackerel? Then the Brixham Fish Market tour is for you, where you could see over 40 different types of fish at the auctions. Featured in a blog published earlier this year, come along and see the auctions in action, as featured in the Sky Atlantic series ‘Fish Town’. You guide will be Barry Young of Brixham Trawler Agents, who has years of experience in the fish trade. After the tour you’ll head off for an English breakfast

Tours begin at 6am and are charged at £12.50, which includes your breakfast, tour and a donation to the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. Numbers are limited so book early to avoid disappointment by emailing bfmt2014@gmail.com

Dates for this year are as follows: May 4, June 1, 15, 29, July 13, 20, 27, August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, September 7, 14, 28, October 12th.

Devon County Show

19-21 May 2016: Westpoint at Exeter is the base for this giant celebration of country life full of country and farming competitions, local food & drink, traditional entertainment and masses of crafts. There will be lots of local produce including meats, fruit and vegetables, honey, cheeses and dairy products as well as puddings and pies, teas and cordials, preserves and ice-creams, and cider and beer. At one end of the Pavilion there is a cookery demonstration kitchen providing plenty of inspiration about how to turn those local ingredients into great dishes.

Devon County Show
2015 prizewinners – photo courtesy Devon County Show Website

Occombe Beer Festival

3-4 June 2016: Occombe Beer Festival is back with beer and cider tasting, live music and a feast of food. As Torbay’s only festival on a working farm, this year’s foot-stomping line-up includes a Friday line-up with Wille and the Bandits, Sound of the Sirens, Rich Cottell, Alex Hart, True Bass, and a Saturday line-up with Slient Alarm, MBP, Society Rocks, 3BF, Riviera Dogs and New Daze. Better still, 100% of festival profits go to Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust, to protect the places loved by so many – Berry Head, Ansteys Cove, Occombe Farm and Cockington.

Occombe Farm Beer festival
Occombe Farm Beer Festival

Powderham Castle Food Festival

1-2 Oct 2016:  A fun, family festival in a stunning historic setting. Now in its fifth year the Powderham Food Festival has become an established event on the Devon ‘foodie calendar’ and attracts both exhibitors and visitors from far and wide. Details for this year’s festival are still being put together, but rest assured there will be a fantastic range of local produce, together with a programme of live music and entertainment.

Powderham Castle
Historic Powderham Castle

Cockington Apple Day

16 October 2016: Set in the grounds of Cockington Court, this traditional village fair showcases the best in local foods, drinks and handmade crafts. Plenty of apple themed activities for the whole family to participate in and entertainment throughout the day.

Cockington Apple Day
Cockington Apple Day

TLH Leisure Resort – Taste of the Westcountry

If these events have given you food for thought and you’re tempted to make a visit, why not combine your trip with a stay on one of our Taste of the Westcountry Breaks . Based at either our TLH Toorak or TLH Carlton Hotels, these breaks offer the chance to sample some of the Westcountry’s finest produce. You’ll also get to taste some of our local cider and cheeses and enjoy a traditional clotted cream tea.

taste of the westcountry breaks
Taste of the Westcountry breaks


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