If you love eating out, why not take a trip to The Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink. The event is a stalwart on the festival scene having been among the first food festivals to launch. Blending a weekend of foodie indulgence with live music gives the festival a winning formula, so it’s no surprise it is 16 years old and still going strong. The brainchild of West Country food hero and Michelin-starred chef, Michael Caines MBE, the festival attracts around 20,000 foodies to Exeter Castle courtyard and Northernhay Gardens every year.
From the iconic Darts Farm Teepees to the sizzling kitchens of the Cookery Theatre, the festival serves up a weekend of sheer foodie indulgence immersing those who step through the gates in a true sensory experience. With a whole host of delicious eateries to choose from, it makes eating out in Exeter a breeze.
Festival first-timer? Let us help you sniff out the best bits…
The Cookery Theatre – hosted by the man himself, Michael Caines, the theatre sees Michael welcoming a line-up of celebrated chefs from across the region and beyond. Watch the team cook delicious dishes together, making the most of the region’s local produce.
The Producers – the beating heart of the festival, 100s of producers come from across the region with their lovingly crafted produce. Clear out your cupboards and stock them up with the good stuff.
Darts Farm Teepees – little ones in tow? Head here for family-focussed workshops and hands on activities – from sausage making to pizza decorating. For the grown-ups there’s plenty of tastings and workshops too.
Kid’s Activities – the place to take your budding foodies, a chance for little ones to get hands on and cook something for themselves. You’re never too young to start the foodie journey!
Street Food – lunch is always a serious dilemma at the festival and causes much anguish for foodies – hog roast? stone baked pizza? fish and chips? The only viable solution is to buy a weekend ticket and have something different from the incredible street food stalls each day.
Music – live music drifts through the grounds during the day as you settle back on the grass with a glass of something refreshing. In the evenings the Castle Courtyard becomes a party with Exeter Beats (ticketed separately). Here you’ll see top acts, alongside the hot street food and local cider, ales and cocktails.
If you’ve been before you’ll know what we’re talking about and, if not, you have to get yourself along to this treat of a festival. It’s delicious in every way.
Taste Buds is published by We Make Magazines, a family-owned Devon company. Taste Buds is produced using Devon-based writers, chefs, photographers and sales team. It is printed on environmentally friendly paper. Just like the food we write about, Taste Buds is lovingly made using the finest local ingredients!
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