South West Food and Drink Festival

A NUMBER of Topsham producers will be showcasing their food at the South West's largest food and drink festival.

A NUMBER of Topsham producers will be showcasing their food at the South West's largest food and drink festival.

It's that time of the year again when hundreds of foodies flock to the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink, at Exeter Cathedral and Northernhay Gardens, held from Friday, April 17, to Sunday, April 19, to taste the delights of local farmers and producers.

Topsham will be well supported with Darts Farm having a fish and meat barbecue and Pebblebed Vineyards, on Fore Street, offering its award-winning wine and oysters up for tasters.

People can also pick up a freshly made Paella and Sangria from Devon Life Restaurant of the Year Oliva, on Fore Street, or a slice of the free range hog roast from Kenniford Farm, in Clyst St Mary.

Pebblebed Owner Geoff Bowen said: "It's an opportunity to show what we're producing to people because in Topsham we have got a loyal following and it's nice to tell more people about it.

"This year we have some Italians attending as the festival is looking to twin up with Tuscany so we are really pushing for this."

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Devon County Council will once again be one of the main sponsors for the festival.

This year the 'Food is Fun' area, at Northernhay Gardens, sponsored and organised by Darts Farm, has transformed into an exciting hub of food and drink knowledge and taste for adults and kids alike - all under 3 giant teepees.

Exeter Castle Courtyard will provide the backdrop for the celebrity chef cookery demonstrations, including Michael Caines, James and Chris Tanner and Paul Da-Costa-Greaves.

The Castle Courtyard will also host the After Dark event, two evenings (Friday and Saturday) of live music with regional ales and ciders.

Multi Michelin-Starred chef Michael Caines said: "We aim to encourage producers to work in sustainable ways that don't harm our land."

The festival will run from 10am to 6pm with the After Dark events from 6pm to 10.30pm, and on Sunday, April 19, from 10am to 4pm.

A Day ticket is �5, a weekend pass is �10, and entry is free for children under 16.

The Festival After Dark event is �3.

For more information visit

Daily Programme of Events


10.30 am Super soup making with Rod & Ben and their fresh organic veggies

12.00 pm Cook off challenge: Local producers vs our Tuscans guests

1.00 pm Cook off challenge: Doctors and nurses vs lawyers and bankers

3.00 pm Taste Workshop: Westcountry and Tuscan wine with Susy Atkins

4.00 pm Cook off final with winners from round one going head to head or spatula to spatula


10.30 am Fab fish with Dave Kerley from Darts Farm's Fish Shed and James Chubb - East Devon's infamous local Education Ranger

12.00 pm Summer Cookery Workshop with the one and only Mary Berry!

1.00 pm Ice cream making with Matt Mason from the Jack in the Green

3.00 pm Taste Workshop - Westcountry Cheese with Mary Quicke MBE, Sharpham and the Tuscans

4.00 pm Taste Workshop - Westcountry Ale with Red Rock and Otter Brewery


11.00 am Food and Fitness with the Exeter Chiefs

12.00 pm The perfect roast meat - with the Darts Farm butcher and chef

1.00 pm Taste Workshop: Chocolate with Carlo Melchior

2.00 pm Taste Workshop: Westcountry Cider with Green Valley Cyder

3.00 pm Cubs vs Brownies cook off challenge