East Devon is becoming a foodie’s paradise from Saturday September 9 until Sunday 24, with a host of special events at venues across the district.

The Taste East Devon Food Festival includes food markets, gastronomic workshops, tastings and exclusive dining experiences at some of the area’s best restaurants.

The festival is now in its third year and the organisers say it will be the biggest and best so far. Events include a City to Sea Taste Trail at Darts Farm (September 9), a 'steak masterclass' at High Grange near Axminster on September 10, and a series of Lyme Bay Winery and Quickes Cheese Tastings (September 12, 14, 16, 19 and 21). Next weekend features a Cocktail Masterclass at Copperwood in Ottery St Mary (September 16) and a Party at the Pig at Combe (September 17). There's an afternoon tea event at Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary on September 18 and a Taste East Devon Feast at River Cottage on September 22.

Smallicombe Farm in Colyton is holding a Farm to Fork Family Experience and Lunch on September 23, and the Taste East Devon’s Party in the Vineyard takes place at Heron Farm on September 24.

Throughout the festival there are special events or offers at restaurants including Rockfish in Exmouth, the Salutation Inn in Topsham, the Jack in the Green in Rockbeare and Coldharbour Farm Field Kitchen in Ottery St Mary.

There are also events at Otter Brewery, Courtney's Orchards in Whimple and Sidmouth Distillery. 

The festival is now in its third year and the organisers say it will be the biggest and best so far. 

Exmouth Journal: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Michael Caines

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage said:  “This is so much more than a traditional food festival. It's a unique opportunity to experience East Devon in an entirely new light. We can’t wait to welcome visitors to our little corner of the South West and share all the amazing food and drink that it has to offer.”

Michael Caines of Lympstone Manor and Mickey’s Beach Bar & Restaurant said: “This food festival takes a different format to most, which are fixed in one place. It provides a fantastic opportunity to visit a wide range of food, drink and hospitality businesses within the 16 days enjoying everything from wine and beer tastings to sociable feasting evenings and fine dining experiences.

Ruud Jansen Venneboer, chair of Taste East Devon and owner of Mazzard Farm Holiday Cottages, said: "Last year’s festival was a huge success. It solidified that East Devon has an incredible food community, and it was amazing to see so many award-winning businesses join together and really put our district on the map. 

“This year, we have popular events returning and a range of exciting new events on offer. It’s set to be bigger and better than ever before. Whether you’re a food lover, a cooking enthusiast, a resident of East Devon or a visitor to the region, we invite everyone to join us and indulge in East Devon’s wonderful produce.”

The leader of East Devon District Council, Cllr Paul Arnott, said: “We’re tremendously proud of our local roots. East Devon is our home - we are keen to support activities that bring people together, encourage community spirit, support the local economy and local producers.  Taste East Devon allows businesses with shared values to collaborate and shout about the diverse, high quality food and drink offer in East Devon. Being able to celebrate the district in this way is such an incredible privilege.” 

The full programme of events can be seen at www.tasteeastdevon.co.uk