Taste East Devon back this September

After the success of last year’s inaugural food and drink festival Taste East Devon is back this September bigger and better.

Running over 16 days between 3 and 18 September there will be a mix of food and drink events, some paid for, others free. Taste East Devon showcases the best the region has to offer as renowned producers, chefs, restaurants and venues join forces in this celebration of culinary delights.

Here’s a flavour of what you can expect during the festival. Specific details and costings of different events can be found at Taste East Devon.

The festival kicks off with the long-standing Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival on 3 September. This one-day event, organised by a group of individuals enthusiastic about local food and drink, is free to attend. 

The focus on food varies across tasting menus, charity meals and seasonal feasts.

With its commitment to home-grown produce, the Kitchen Garden Gatherings at THE PIG-at Combe show how the garden and kitchen teams create its 25-mile menu. You can explore the three walled gardens and glasshouse and learn what plot to plate really means. Finish off the afternoon enjoying wood-fired flatbreads and mocktails.

Find out how the 25-mile menu is put together at THE PIG-at Combe

Head over to Darts Farm and take part in the Field, Fire, Ferment Feast at its newly opened restaurant The Farm Table. You can eat a three-course seasonal feast that brings together ingredients grown on the farm and from other local producers. Food is fermented and cooked over fire and glowing charcoal embers and each course will be paired with a local tipple. Its one-day food festival continues the theme with free mini masterclasses in butchery, fish, chocolate and cheeses and tours around the farm.

Eating for charity is the focus at Jack In The Green which is hosting a seven-course tasting menu to raise money for FORCE cancer charity. The menu includes braised farm pork belly, smoked salmon fillet and Creedy Carver duck breast, followed by a selection of cheeses and dessert.

River Cottage is holding a six-course feast that celebrates all the produce and ingredients East Devon offers. The event will include a Q&A with head chef Steven Kieran and culinary director Gelf Alderson and there’ll be time to explore the farm and vegetable garden.

The East Devon Lunch at High Grange will showcase a range of East Devon food producers, including Haye Farm, Lyme Bay Fish Shack, Trill Farm, Dalwood Vineyard and Gilt and Flint. You’ll be able to chat to representatives from each company before the live fire cookery demonstration and the three-course sit-down lunch.

Enjoy a BBQ and live music at Heron Farm

Head over to Heron Farm for a Garden BBQ where you’ll be able to enjoy locally produced food while listing to acoustic live music in the garden. At the Donkey Sanctuary, you can enjoy the last of the summer flavours at The Kitchen’s pop-up two-course vegan lunch. And after the food take a stroll around the sanctuary with a member of the conservation team.

A tasting menu is on the books at The Point Bar and Grill. This will include six courses showcasing Devon’s finest from sea and field, including local seared scallops, West Country beef carpaccio and local honey tart.

The Point Bar and Grill tasting menu comprises six courses

At Otterton Mill you can watch the millers at work and taste jam and chutney from Waterhouse Fayre before stopping for lunch or having a Devon Cream tea. And talking of afternoon tea why not visit the Coldharbour Field Kitchen for its Scone Sundae. Here you’ll be able to choose from a range of sweet or savoury scones topped with the best Devon produce.

For a more traditional affair, Blackbury Honey Farm is holding a Vintage Honey afternoon tea that will include sandwiches and savoury treats, homemade cakes and scones with jam or its own Devon honey. After tea take a stroll around the pollinator garden and chat with one of its beekeepers.

Enjoy sweet and savoury delights at the Blackbury Honey Farm afternoon tea

If you’re after street food then check out the Street Food and Sounds at The Forge where you’ll find stalls serving internationally inspired street food created with locally sourced ingredients and live music. Alternatively, you can go to Kennaway House where Sidmouth Eats Boutique will be hosting an evening of locally produced street food and drink.

During the Coastal Foraging events you can join Tony Coulson, founder of Ebb Tides Seaweeds, to learn about the seaweeds that can be found along our local shores and how they are used in producing food, drinks and cosmetics.

East Devon has plenty to offer with its range of drinks produced in the region. You can enjoy tours of Otter Brewery and at Lyme Bay Winery you can learn about the best mouthwatering combinations of its English wines and a selection of Quicke’s cheeses. At the Deer Park Cider Supper Evening, you will get a tour of the orchard, taste its first grown 2021 vintage and enjoy a wood-fired pizza in the walled garden.

At the Sidmouth Distillery Gin School and Rum School, you can find out about your favourite spirit while making your own bespoke bottle using a range of botanicals. And at its Spirit Pairing Evening, you can see how five spirits are paired with different food as well as learn about the history of the company.

The Lympstone Lunch and Vineyard Tour includes wine tasting overlooking the beautiful Exe Estuary before lunch in the restaurant, while the Lily Farm Vineyard Tour gives you the lowdown of its award-winning wines and the opportunity to taste some still and sparkling varieties.

The Courtney’s Big Pick and Open Orchards returns again this year where you can explore, pick apples, and press them before listening to live music in the orchard.

The festival culminates with a party at THE PIG-at Combe. Come along for an afternoon of food and live music that includes a BBQ, wood-fired flatbreads, kitchen garden veggies and salads and sweet treats.

Don’t forget to visit the Taste East Devon website for dates and how to book the different events.

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