Exeter’s annual food and drink festival continues to go from strength to strength with tickets for the 13th year selling fast. Returning to the Castle and Northernhay Gardens in the very centre of Exeter, the Festival attracts more than 100 artisan food and drink producers from the region selling delicious south west meat, cheeses, bread, cider, wine, beer, oils, cakes and much more.
The award winning Festival has been championed by Michael Caines MBE since its launch in 2003 and the Michelin starred chef is as excited as ever about plans for this April. Michael said: ‘I am really looking forward to our 13th Festival. It’s always a joy for me to be part of something that celebrates the exceptional produce of the South West. It’s something to shout about.”
Returning for another year, exhibitor Luscombe Drinks said: “The Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink has a fantastic atmosphere and is one of the highlights of our show calendar. We count ourselves extremely lucky to have such a vibrant and well attended festival on our doorstep which shouts about Devon’s wonderful food and drink. We always continue to be amazed by how enthusiastic and passionate visitors to the show are about supporting the county’s finest, artisan producers.”
This year, the Festival will be bringing its winning formula of something for all the family as well as lively and informative features for foodies of all ages. As Michael continued: “Last year, we had around 20,000 visitors which is really wonderful. This year we hope to welcome even more and have some great plans for new features – it’s watch this space at the moment!”
Familiar highlights – the Darts Farm Taste and Knowledge Teepees and Festival Cookery Theatre are back with a full timetable of demonstrations by regional chefs and producers each willing to share their expertise and skill with visitors. Great British Bake-off contender Glenn Cosby is returning to the Festival to host The Westcountry Bakery with his highly entertaining style. Glenn will be demonstrating a range of delicious recipes as well as hosting some special guests.
As part of the Festival’s aim to teach children about food, its provenance and how to cook it, little hands will be kept busy in the Little Cookies area. With cookery classes, story –telling and a Festival farm-yard, there is plenty to entertain the children throughout the day.
The Festival Question Time, with Radio Devon, which was new for 2015 will be returning with a host of food writers, producers and chefs to talk about what’s topical in the world of food as well as take answers from visitors. Last year, the panel included Michael Caines, Gelf Anderson, head chef at River Cottage HQ and award winning wine writer and broadcaster Susy Atkins. 2016’s Festival Question Time is shaping up to offer visitors more fun and up to the minute conversations and tips from the experts on anything from cooking for the in-laws to growing sugar snap peas in your back garden.
When all that activity whets the appetite, visitors can enjoy food and drink to go from the street food stands dotted around the Festival. Local beers, ales, wines and soft drinks will also be available from the Festival Bar.
Visitors can also enjoy three Festival After Dark Party Nights from Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd April 2016 including the After Dark Music Festival on Thursday 21st April with Los Pacaminos featuring Paul Young. With its unique party atmosphere, hot street food and the Festival Bar, the Festival After Dark Party Nights bring a host of exciting and talented musicians to the stage to entertain revellers until late.
Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is a not for profit event. For more information or to buy tickets visit: www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk.