Dart’s Farm (Deli Cafe – 5/5)

Dart’s Farm is a curious place, because unlike many people who might read this, I remember when it was still Picfresh.  Right, so lets go back 20 years ago and Ronald Dart owned a funny little farm shop that, in my mind, was always tacked on to the side of a larger barn.  That barn is roughly where the Deli is now and if you look down from where it is, you can still see what looks like the original doors (I might be wrong of course) where the old entrance used to be.

Now his sons; Paul, Michael and James Dart, run the business (I spied them today and wanted to go up and say hello but it’d be too awkward and they looked busy) and over the last ten years have expanded the site, marketed it to a certain segment of consumer and have generally made Dart’s Farm in to a ‘destination’ for people to go to.

Dart’s Farm has changed beyond recognition from the place I remember when I was growing up as a wee sprog in Ebford.  And in many respects not much has changed, certainly in terms of their ethos.

Fresh, local, good quality produce.

There is a fantastic array of different goods on offer.  ‘Lifestyle shopping’ is the term that they use to describe everything that isn’t food related, and that lifestyle is not for the short of cash.  But even though I am not a regular shopper here, it is still nice to come and browse and have a cup of tea in their lovely little Deli Cafe.  Which we did today and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Things I love about Dart’s Farm

1. Green Valley Cider
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Green Valley Cider are based on site, and as you can see from this slightly blurry photo, they have quite literally the largest array of local ales and ciders ever.  Obviously they sell their own wares too, but they have a terrific range including English wines.

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2. Deli Bar
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The Deli Bar, which is a cafe really, but not a cafe as the seats are in spread about, is a nice cafe serving traditional cafe favourites with a range of snacks and light eats.  We had most probably the nicest cookie ever, a Triple Chocolate Cookie for 99p which was so rich and gooey, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.  Prices were very reasonable, staff were politely brisk in service, friendly and very quick to serve.  I did find the arrangement of having the seats so far from the serving/ordering point a little odd.  But, this was my only picking point as it was not immediately obvious.
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3. Food Court

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There is a mind blowing choice of stuff that you cannot often get anywhere else.  For instance, the pasta shown above is speciality pasta that I have not seen in this part of the world before.  London Deli’s are full of the Vallebona brand, but this was the first time I had seen it down this part of the world.

They also seem to be one of the only places that you can buy Korev Cornish Lager. I bought some… it is deelish.

4. The Fish Shed
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The Fish Shed always always smells nice each time I walk past it.  Although I did not stop to eat, I have been here previously.  Hint. Check the opening times, because they are sometimes open later then the shop.
To quote the website: The Fish Shed is highly regarded as one of the best Fish and Chip and wet fishmonger’s shops in the country. We serve delicious crisp and crunchy chips with a wide array of different fish, which can be cooked in the traditional batter or grilled as a healthy and tasty alternative.

I came away very happily with a bottle of Korev and a bottle of Green Valley Cider’s ‘Temptation’, a sweet variety of cider for pussies like me.

korev

 

Website: www.dartsfarm.co.uk 

Twitter: @dartsfarm

Lots of telephone numbers here.

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Cafe@36, Devon Coffee and Jolly Roger Tea Rooms on FancyACuppa

Fancy A Cuppa Now, the YouTube channel that brings the better side of coffee shops and cafes, visited Exeter.

They visited Cafe@36 (hot on my list of places to go in the next couple of weeks), Devon Coffee in Queen St, and The Jolly Roger Tea Room on the Piazza down by the Quay.

Eating Exeter has already visited Devon Coffee, read our review here.

The Jolly Roger Tea Room is a relative unknown, again it is one I am going to have to visit.   But Fancy A Cuppa Now has done a nice review.

Cafe@36 – http://cafeat36.co.uk/ follow on Twitter @CafeAt36

Devon Coffee – http://www.devoncoffee.co.uk/ follow on Twitter @coffeedevon

Bad Times at The Boathouse, Dawlish Warren – Guest Submission

Radio Presenter, Sky Diver, Doctor of Metaphysical Mayhem, Steve Price submitted this for the listings.  If you reckon you could turn your hand to reviewing we accept well written reviews from anyone who is willing.  Submit yours to eatingexeter@gmail.com

It was a bright but blustery day during the Easter weekend when we ventured to the Boathouse at Dawlish Warren after enjoying a walk along the clifftop with the dog. Having a ‘dog friendly’ policy it seemed that this would be the perfect place to stop for a coffee and warm up before heading back on our return journey.  How wrong we were!

English: Dawlish Warren : The Boathouse Pub
English: Dawlish Warren : The Boathouse Pub (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After we entered the establishment we headed to the bar to order our drinks and enquired as to whether we could also get a toasted teacake (well you only live once!).  We were informed that this would not be available until at least 12pm (it was 11am at the time), when we enquired to the reasoning behind this we were duly informed that they had a new menu starting that day and at that moment the chefs were trying to get to grips with it and had all the grills already on preparing food for lunch!

Stunned by this answer we went and sat down with our drinks and to look at this new menu somewhat perturbed that they could not manage to either use a toaster or place a single teacake under a grill without the without the whole kitchen going into meltdown. It also worried us that they were already heating food at least an hour before any potential lunch orders.

On perusing the menu we found very little on there that was really ‘new’ and most of it was essentially standard ‘pub grub’ leaving us with a definite worry about eating here if the chefs were worrying so much about this that they could not even manage to cook a teacake.

Prices for this menu were average but the Boathouse has the advantage of being in a prime position in Dawlish Warren to capturing the tourist trade as the nearest alternate establishment is a good 5 to 10 minutes walk from there.

Do not think we will be frequenting The Boathouse again for some time.

Guy Arnold visits Fresha Cafe on Marsh Barton

I seem to be hooked on YouTube tonight, and I came across this lovely vlog review given by Guy Arnold who is, according to his website http://www.greatorpoor.com/ is an “experienced manager, entrepreneur & customer service professional. Guy is a former director of a FTSE 100 company with extensive experience across the licensed and leisure industry”.

By that I would say this chap knows his stuff.

I have never managed to get out to Fresha, its on the opposite side of my Exeter shaped universe but after this I am intrigued to see whats going on down there!

http://www.fresha.org/

Follow on twitter @freshacafe

Follow Guy Arnold @greatorpoor

Anton Piotrowski demonstrates his Carrot Cake at Exeter Food Festival 2013

So I was getting all nostalgic and watery eyed over the lovely afternoon we spent at Exeter Food Festival a few weeks ago. I had really wanted to see Anton Piotrowski’s demonstration as I had followed him on Masterchef, and naturally I wanted the home lad to win.  Anton is Chef Patron of The Treby Arms over in Sparkwell which he runs with his wife Clare.

Read here to see how trade at The Treby Arms went mad after his win on MC The Professionals.

So here is Anton demonstrating his Carrot Cake from a desk cam view.  You can get a feel for the demonstration although you don’t see much of the actual cooking!

Economical Light Fruit Cake Recipe (courtesy of Recipe Vintage)

Apologies to those who follow Eating Exeter on Twitter (@eatingexeter) if you have already seen this.  But I had to share another one of Recipe Vintage’s scanned in recipe cards from the 60’s.  (What is the right way, 60’s or sixties when you’re writing?)

This is ‘Economical Light Fruit Cake’, so called because its meant to be fluffy and cheap.  A bit like a bird, as they’re fluffy and go cheep…

There is a reason why I am not a stand-up comic.

It might seem a bit draconian and a tad dated, but this is a great recipe that is perfect for those, like me, who are nervous about the whole cooking thing.  I mean, I write this blog about eating out in Exeter, and I love recipes I am just not good at the rest of it, i.e. the cooking/baking.

Please be assured that we will have some Exeter related food posts, and apologies if it has become somewhat self-indulgent over the last few weeks.

This recipe calls for a Victoria Sponge mix to begin with.  Have a look at this recipe first.
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Pickwick Fish Pie, a seventies classic.

Pickwick Fish Pie 1970′s style (courtesy of Recipe Vintage)

I am currently looking at digitising my collection of vintage recipe cards.  Inspired by the BBC’s failed attempt at digitising their back-catalogue of broadcasts, I felt that this would be the perfect time to start scanning in some of my oldest and most cherished recipes from my collection.

Marguerite Patten's Recipe Box With Cards 1967-1973

Image taken from: http://www.etsy.com/listing/88439516/marguerite-pattens-recipe-box-with-cards

So here is the first attempt.  Naturally all copyright still lies with Ms Patten, but this is the first step.

Brody’s Breakfast Bistro NOW OPEN :) (Updated) – Queen St

Brody’s is now open!! – Click here to read Eating Exeter’s review.

Slowly it is starting to take shape, Brody’s is opening soon! Very yellow so far.  Scroll down to see the picture I took today, they got signs up and everything!

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brody's

Food blog: Recipe Mutiny

Those of you who know me know that I write another food blog.  Its called Recipe Vintage.  Now and again I post up recipes from the darker parts of the 20th Century and beyond from the large collection of recipe books. http://recipevintage.wordpress.com  Those observant to my activity will also realise that I haven’t posted anything in there for a while as it is intended moreso for my own reference just as much as a blog to be read.  

But just after I started Recipe Vintage, I realised that I had another passion and that was all the foods that you shouldn’t eat.  So, realising I had a whole bunch of recipes for delicious foods, I started Recipe Mutiny for the sole reason to blog about junk food “Recipe Mutiny is all about junk food, how to make it, where to buy it and when to eat it. A celebration of all things bad for the body, but good for taste.”   

I lost track with updating it, but I have decided to push it and populate it moreso and I am going to try and make a push of it over the next few weeks.

http://recipemutiny.wordpress.com is the URL.  There is a twitter account too @recipemutiny

JD Wetherspoons: The Gourmet Hotdog and Beer offer

Being a foody can be a difficult and expensive passion sometimes, especially when you’re not blessed with heaps of cash.  And even if you do have the money to indulge in the nicer foods, sometimes a bit of cheapy-pub nosh is nothing to scoff at.

Rumour had it that The Imperial in Exeter (my local) had Crispy Pig on tap, so we hopped up there yesterday afternoon.  Unfortunately the rest of Exeter also heard they had Crispy Pig, and had drank it all.  But they had Yellow Hammer too, which was nearly as nice.

And here I make myself rather unpopular with those of finer tastes, where I openly admit that I quite like Wetherspoons.  Not for their pub-chain-world-domination reputation, but because they have real ales from local brewerys, cheaply and they have a different range that changes frequently.  It would be a strong case to argue but I believe they have helped in the growth of popularity of local micro-brewery‘s, and for that, I do not condemn or chastise them as a brand.

Their food, over the years, has been quite hit-and-miss but recently I have had a few really good experiences at the hands of their burgers, especially after the recent menu redesign.  Yes a lot of prices have gone up incrementally but they have also added some extra options and the latest option has been their Hot Dog and Beer offer, and of course like the Beer n Burger offer you can have a Gourmet Hot Dog and Beer for £6.79 (slightly cheaper if you have a soft drink).  I present to you the Gourmet Hot Dog and Beer offer…

Beer battered Onion Rings and Chips come with this meal.  Not many chips, but when you’ve worked through the Hot Dog, you can forgive them this as there really isn’t much room for a lot else.

Filling: Yes. Tasty: Mostly: Easy to eat? No.

The hot dog is huge, its one of those Frankfurter style sausages that tastes vaguely of sausage and its filled to the brim with chilli con carne topped with cheddar cheese.  This is fine but the size of it makes it a bit tricky to fit in your whole mouth.  There are a few schools of thought on how to eat a dog this big, so here I present a few.

1. Chop it in half so that you can make two hot dogs.  This wouldn’t work as the chilli falls out and makes a mess.

2. Scoop out the Chilli Con Carne.  The successful method, but this meant that the Con Carne went a bit cold on the plate. Bad times.  I did manage to eat the whole hot dog with my hands after scooping out the contents though, but managed to get half of it around my mouth which made me look like I had issues.

3. Eat the whole thing with cutlery.  By far the easiest method, but the knives are not quite sharp enough to cut through the crusty sub-roll that they serve it in.

Answers on a postcard if you find the perfect method to eating it.

Despite the initial problems, the overall feeling was that the meal was satisfying and good value.  I was able to have a pint of Yellow Hammer with my meal, which made me even happier.  But it didn’t really match up to the Brunch Burger, it didn’t have the Umami hit which the Brunch Burger has, but saying that, it was less calorific then many other items.

The Crediton Food Festival – 15th to 16th June 2013

Crediton sign on the A3072.
Crediton sign on the A3072. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15-16 June 2013 in Crediton Town Square

http://www.creditonfoodfestival.co.uk

So who is going to be there?  Have a look at the stalls page, there is quite a mind blowing array of different things available.

There will be cookery demonstrations, competitions and much more happening.  The great thing is that Crediton is really easy to get to.  It has rail links and a frequent bus service, so if you fancy a day-out, this event is worth a thought.

Make your own American Egg McMuffin – Great breakfast idea…

English: A Sausage Egg McMuffin from McDonald'...
English: A Sausage Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s, as bought in America. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few years ago, a couple of books (first one that comes to mind is Kenny McGovern’s: The Takeaway Secret) came out that claimed to allow the reader to cook their own version of classic fast food dishes, in the comfort of their own home.

Intrigued by the concept of the book, I did some research (I googled and drank tea, which is my version of research) and found that this concept isn’t a new one and that there have been McDonald’s and KFC recipes bouncing around the internet for years.  Although the book does go one better than just list recipes, its relatively easy to find home versions of junk food classics.

I stumbled across a PDF file which was a) slightly older and b) American and found some interesting recipes for McDonalds recipes and given the recent trend of ‘dirty gourmet’, I thought this might be of some use and interest to Eating Exeter readers who might like to try this one at home and maybe bling it up with free-range egg, locally sourced bacon and organic muffins…

Given it is a Sunday morning at time of writing, this is a great idea for a special breakfast.  If you’re partial to the golden arches, consider this a money-saving idea.  I might get my staff to whip one up in the kitchens! Now…where’s my whip?  One thing I will mention is that you’ll need an egg-ring.  If not, then you’ll still achieve the same end in terms of taste, but its more of an aesthetic thing really.

If you do decide to try and make this recipe, please feedback and let me know how it went.  If we get multiple attempts with photos, I’ll create a feedback post and report back. I have lifted the recipe straight from the PDF I found, so some of it is worded slightly oddly.

*Note* I am not sure what Pam is?

The Recipe – Home Made Egg McMuffin

Ingredients:
1 large grade A egg
1 english muffin
butter, REAL butter
1 slice American cheese (real…not processed cheese food)
1 slice Canadian bacon
1 “12×12” sheet of wax paper
Non Stick Cooking Spray

SPECIAL TOOLS:
You need an egg ring. Find one at you’re favorite cooking specialty store.

COOKING your Egg McMuffin:
1- Pre-heat an electric griddle to 275 degrees (135C). Toast your english muffin by laying both sides face down on the griddle and applying pressure. This takes about 1 to 1.5 minutes. (they
should be medium brown) Set aside.

2- Lay your egg ring on the pre-heated grill. Spray with Pam (Non-stick cooking spray?) to prevent sticking. Crack the egg and pour into egg ring on the grill. Poke the yolk with a sharp instrument so it flows.

3- Butter both toasted halves of the english muffin liberally with melted butter. Put a slice of American cheese on the bottom half.

4- About 2 1/2 minutes after you started cooking the egg, the whites should firm up, and the yolk should still be a bit “liquidy”. Carefully remove the ring, leaving the egg on the griddle.
(you may have to “slice” around the edges if it sticks)

5- Very carefully turn the egg over, and lay one slice of Canadian bacon on the griddle.

6- After about 30-45 seconds, “flip” the Canadian bacon, and remove the egg, placing it on the bottom half (cheesed half) of the english muffin.

7- Put the Canadian bacon on top, and cover with the top of the english muffin.

8- Wrap in pre-cut wax paper. Let stand 5 minutes, then microwave 12 second on high, and eat.

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Exeter’s first ever Vegan Bake Sale

Papio anubis (olive or anubis baboon)
Papio anubis (olive or anubis baboon) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was pottering about on ThisIsExeter and saw this of interest.  Exeter’s first ever Vegan Bake Sale!  I don’t like lifting text from other websites, but this is quite worth it.  Please visit This Is Exeter, so I don’t feel too guilty!  The Baboon is to fulfil the random image quota….

“It is being held from 11am to 2pm at Exeter’s Palace Gate Centre, and includes lots of sweet and savoury bakes from cupcakes and cheesecake to pizza and pies, plus a bargain table and a vegan café with burgers, chilli and salads. Raw and gluten-free options will also be available.

Stalls include Fleecehaven Animal Sanctuary, Animal Aid, Exeter Friends For Animals, local vegan ice cream company Razzle Dazzle, Bookcycle and Lush. The event is part Well-Fed World project, a hunger relief and animal protection organisation.

Organiser Clare Persey said: “Vegan bake sales are a positive way to raise money for good causes, promote cruelty-free food and a chance to be part of a fun event that helps people, animals and the planet.”

Read more: http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/vegan-bake-sale-held/story-18935966-detail/story.html#ixzz2TJ0NmVvU
Follow us: @thisis_exeter on Twitter

Have a look at FairFoods link as there are some leaflets to print out and lots of information about the bake sale.

The Best Scone in Devon 2013 – The Scone Off

Sue from Cafe@36 got in contact with me to tell me all about this amazing competition. The Exeter heat is being held in the Guildhall Shopping Centre at the end of May.  Cafe@36 is holding a competition with a few other independent cafe’s in Devon to find The Best Scone in Devon, in a Scone Off.  The winner being awarded the Golden Scone Award and the title of Best Scone in Devon.

“We are working with three or four other independent cafe owners in Devon to support BBC Radio Devon‘s Give a Gift Charity appeal and Devon Community Foundation.

The Exeter heat is on the 25th May 2013 in the Guildhall Shopping Centre, and there are two other regional heats being held in North Devon and Torbay.  There will then be a Scone off final judged by BBC Radio Devon and the overall winner will receive a Golden Scone Award!!

Its a bit of fun, aimed also to raise the profile of independent cafes and coffee shops”

I strongly urge you to go forth and have a look, especially if you’re around in Exeter on the 25th May as the Exeter heat will be awesome.Image

Exeter Street Food Market – April 2013

Devonium blog has done a post on the Street Food Market in the Guildhall Shopping Centre in Exeter. Great stuff!  Devonium is written by Natacha Du Pont de Bie who wrote the fantastic book Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos.

I love this blog, it has so many nice photos and covers lots of great subjects.  If you don’t already follow Devonium, do so immediately.

Devonium & Kitchenalia

At last, the street food market in Exeter has opened from Friday- Sunday every week. The Market surrounds the small 10th century church of St Pancras, in the middle of the Guildhall Shopping Centre.

The church is tiny, only 46 feet long and 16 feet wide, and dates from 1191 with origins that go as far back as the Romans. It would once have stood  “without a church yard, tightly surrounded by stables, shops and houses in what was then described as Exeter’s British Quarter” so one hopes that the surrounding bustle of foodie commerce might bring this fascinating relic, now marooned between Mothercare and Claire’s Accessories,  some more notice.  Pop in before you buy your lunch.

It’s early days for this market and the large spaces between stands means you can miss stalls that are hidden around corners but start going there and more will come. Try Mexican Gus’s…

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Marco Pierre White to open Frankie’s Bar and Grill in Exeter

Exeter International Airport
Exeter International Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caterer and Hotelkeeper reports:

Marco Pierre White is to expand his Frankie’s Bar and Grill chain, with the launch of a new site in the West Country, the first outside London.

The celebrity chef, who first launched the Italian brand in Knightsbridge in 2004 together with famous jockey Frankie Detorri, will open the new restaurant at Exeter Airport’s Hampton by Hilton Hotel.

Set to launch towards the end of the year, the 85-seat Frankie’s Bar and Grill will serve a menu including pizzas, pastas, seafood and steaks. It will be the fourth Frankie’s outlet after sites in Knightsbridge, Chiswick and at Stamford Bridge in London.

White commented: “There is a clear appetite for affordable, quality Italian food and that is exactly what I will bring to Exeter. Frankie’s Bar and Grill is a dining experience for all the family to gather in relaxed surroundings and enjoy simple food, cooked perfectly.”

The 160-bed, Hampton by Hilton Hotel at Exeter International Airport will be owned by Blackstone, and operated by Sanguine Hospitality, which has already opened a number of sites with White, including a Steakhouse Bar and Grill, at the Doubletree by Hilton Chester.

Follow Marcos at Exeter on Twitter 

– See more at: http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.co.uk/articles/17/1/2011/336607/marco-pierre-white-to-open-frankie-s-bar-and-grill-in-exeter.htm#sthash.UCzxQbIr.dpuf

Special Dispatch: The Coffee Pot Internet Cafe, Morwenna Terrace, Bude

Finding a nice cafe is hard, especially when you don’t know the area.  After coming back from a brief soujourn to Bude, I had to write about this little gem of a cafe that we hit on after a night -out of frolicking and debauchery.  A good breakfast the next morning is, for me, part of the fun of going out.
Its located here, TripAdvisor says nice stuff about the cafe like ‘Nice Atmosphere’ and ‘Perfect Cafe’ but I have to say I haven’t been in an ‘internet cafe’ for a long time.

Back in the early noughties and late nineties, Internet Cafes were sometimes the only way that meager people like me could get online apart from the library.  They still exist in one form or another but given the prevalence of mobile internet and ease of access, many internet cafes have turned back to normal ones.  From my impressions anyway, I might be wrong?

Menu is a nice affair, not too cluttered and not too expensive.  I went for the Shoreline Breakfast as I was feeling slightly delicate stomach-wise, and although it wasn’t a mega-massive trucker size breakfast, the quantity was just right.
The service was nice, the egg wasn’t quite cooked enough for me and given the fact we were the only people in the cafe when we were ordering I was half expecting to ask how I wanted my egg done (moany picky point) but it wasn’t so underdone it was inedible, I had enough to mop up with my toast.

Verdict: This cafe is out of the way unless you’re going to Sainsburys or out of the town centre.  On the outside it looks a little like a double-glazed nightmare, but despite the outside, the inside is nice the food is descent and the whole experience was perfect for the physical aftermath of a night out.

I haven’t given it a score as such as its a ‘special dispatch’.  But had it been in Exeter it’d been about 4/5.

Devon Restaurant Month

http://www.devonrestaurantmonth.co.uk/

It’s Devon Restsurant Month in June. Follow the link above to find out more!

Eating Exeter visits the Exeter Food Festival 2013

A long time has been spent writing this post.  In fact this post started off life as a post in a third-party piece of blogging software that got added to over the week and then managed to become the victim of a mistimed OS upgrade, thankfully the photos were saved but the text is now long gone, historical bits lost to the God of Unsaved Work that we have all sacrificed bytes of bits and data to at some point in our computer using lives.

A week later, the festival is gone and the organisers are taking a well-earned break and us foodies are left with the taste for food festivals and a summer full of good food.  We want more!  We are also left with the memories of one of the busiest and bustling years for the Food Festival and certainly a very successful wake of punters left behind.

So Eating Exeter being the website that deals with eating everything in Exeter (good and bad), decided to pay a visit on the Saturday to the festival. Which, really, wasn’t a great idea as it was so so so busy.  Record numbers through the gates meant that even getting to see a table or talking to one of the exhibitors was a monumental challenge.

But locally crafted Ale is a great thing, and The Festival Bar is an even better thing.  With some liquid courage and the fact the day was getting on and most people were going home, we were about to hit the stalls with some vigour and really enjoyed every minute of it.

We took lots of photos, so a big thanks to Tori Dee of Tori Dee Illustration  for being cameraman.

somersetducks

After passing through the gates, £7.50 lighter for it too, we realised we had to eat.  The problem with food festivals with which you have an entrance fee, is that on top of the entrance fee you also have to buy food as well so the whole thing does start to become very expensive.  But you do pay for the demonstrations, the venue and toilets etc. Once you realise the economics of setting up and running a festival like this, you realise that a fee is necessary to cater for stuff.

Somerset Ducks produce the most amazing Duck Burger which we had with a rich plum sauce.  After we managed to grab one of these, it was a quick run to The Festival Bar to sample some of the many local ales on offer.  My personal favourite was Hunters Brewery’s Crispy Pig with a light freshing Apple and Honey nose, this was a really refreshing light ale which lends itself to roast pork.  Interestingly it was brewed especially for the Crispy Pig Hog Roasters, hence the name and the apple theme.

I spoke to so many people, tasted so many things and really enjoyed the whole experience. I was going to attempt to list everyone I spoke to, but given there are certain things I remember about the day and they have stuck, I am going to focus on the main highlights.  First Highlight was Blueberry Brothers and their brownies.

Blueberry Bros Borwnies
Tori bought one of these from their stall and both of us were blown away.  The texture was perfect and the blueberry chocolate combination was inspired.

Second highlight was South Devon Chilli Farm’s Bhut Jolokia.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Without a shadow of a doubt, the hottest thing you are likely to pass in to your mouth. The little card next to this said, ‘Go Steady’.  I didn’t.  I wish I had.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The third highlight was The Cherry Tree. We bought a jar of their Spicey Red Onion Marmalade which we have been enjoying most of the week with the block of Vintage Reserve Cheddar that we also bought from them.  Some of the offerings on hand were absolutely delicious including my personal favourite, Chilli and Pineapple Chutney.

madebymoo Then finally we had Handmade by Moo.  More chutney/jam/relishes, but I love them so!  This time I bought a mini-jar of Spicey Red Pepper Relish.  Perfect size for endulging oneself.

The afternoon was finished off with a half pint of Avocet and a long sunny soak on the grass watching the crowds sink away.

Exeter Food Festival is an event which we are lucky to have in Exeter.  It needs supporting, it needs to be promoted and local producers, growers, sellers and farmers all need our support.  Supermarket’s do not need our support, although convenience means they do naturally when you have no other choice.  I don’t give to charity regularly, but I do make sure I can buy at least something from a local producer now and again.

Soap Box Moment
Today (5th MAY 2013) The BBC reported that nearly one in five families are buying food on credit.  This means there is a considerable chunk of the populous who are cutting their food bills back, drawing in the strings and making changes.  It is unlikely that most of these people will be able to pay that little more for a locally produced item, and if the rest of the population start looking at seriously making cutbacks as economic hard-times get worse and worse, we could see things get even harder for local produce and independent producers. So events like the Food Festival act as a good reminder that there are people out there slaving away making a living from producing high-quality goods in a tough climate. Support support support.