Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink


A few weekends ago, we went up to Exeter for the Festival of South West Food and Drink. It was something I’d been looking at for a while, and as it was Adam’s Mum’s birthday, we thought it would be a nice day out for his family too. I am really passionate about food so I was quite excited to go and see what was happening and have a browse through all of their mouthwatering stalls (by browse, I definitely mean munch my way through all of their testers!)


There were lots of live animals around which was nice to see, and a really big focus on teaching children where food comes from and how important cooking is. Jamie Oliver has a big campaign at the moment called Food Revolution, but I completely agree with his sentiments – half the world is starving yet the other half are obese. There is something seriously wrong here (yet here I am, posting about a day of gluttony!)


The stalls were filled with a huge range of produce from edible plants and mixed spices, to your usual jams, bread and cakes. There was also a huge range of drinks – both alcoholic and soft, and lots of stalls selling food to eat there and then. Adam and I had both decided we would share two different lunches that we wouldn’t usually have. Surprisingly, I chose a kebab. Not just any kebab though – a posh kebab. I’ve never actually eaten a kebab in its traditional sense before after I found out that they contained enough oil to fill a wine glass and an average of 1900 calories! However, this kebab was a little different. Made from Aberdeen Angus rare steak slices, fresh home grown salad leaves, homemade soft pitta bread and tzatziki. Plus- the cattle were born and bred about 5 miles down the road from my parents house!


As a snack, we were offered to try sweet chilli locusts, salt and black pepper meal worms and crispy crickets – all of which I happily popped into my mouth (they were actually really quite nice and tasted a bit like rice crispies). I’ve heard before that once the world realises that traditional meat is completely unsustainable, there is likely to be a big push on insect farming as they’re virtually fat free and very high in protein. Interesting thought…


The other unusual lunch we had, chosen by Adam, was curried goat. I was unsure about this as I thought it would be very greasy, but it turned out to actually be delicious! Served with colourful rice and homemade coleslaw, the only off putting bit was the fact that it had lots of chunks of bone left in it! Other than that though it was full of flavour and the meat was incredibly tender.


The rest of the day was filled with Dan joining in the kids activities and making homemade pizza and crispy cakes, watching a sausage making demonstration, stuffing ourselves with samples and buying far too much delicious food and drink!

Everyone was so enthusiastic about their produce, and it was all made in the South West which was great. The range of stalls and activities available were great, and even though we were there on the afternoon of the last day of the festival, it didn’t feel like people were winding down until the end of the afternoon – which was great as we managed to bag some incredible foodie bargains!


We didn’t even realise there were more stalls and activities inside the castle courtyard until we were walking back to leave! I just wish we’d seen earlier so we could have checked out a few more of the demonstrations on that day.


If you love food and drink and live in the South West, this was well worth a visit! Ticket prices were really quite cheap (£7.50 adult, £1 child) and I could have happily spent the entire day there, watching all the demonstrations and sitting in the huge Darts Farm tent watching kids get excited about food, surrounded by beautifully decorated with rustic flower arrangements. I think it’s a yearly event, but I’m sure there’ll be others like it nearby in the meantime!