Dartington Food Fair – by Lauren Heath

Well what a great day out as always; we went to Dartington Food Fair on day 1 of its 2 day event held over Sunday 29th and Monday 30th May. Now in its 6th year, and held at The Shops at Dartington in conjuction with Food and Drink Devon, this perfectly formed fair works well hosting over 40 local food and drink producers alongside the normal shops on site.

Thankfully the sun shone, surpassing 20 degrees C!

It was great to see Susy Atkins again, and she was giving ad-hoc tastings to anyone who ventured into the Devon Drinks shop – I tried some Lyme Bay 2014 Shoreline, Steve had the Dartington Elmhurst Ale, and I also tried the very tasty Sharpham Sparkling Pink Brut. I loved this last drink – a lovely light fizz I thought, light sherberty taste almost and Susy told us about how it has been made using the champagne method, certainly one to buy for a treat or celebration!

As well as catching up with well known local companies such as Blueberry Brothers, from whom Steve bought a Blueberry Ale and Norcotts Cider who make our favourite Elderflower Cider which I highly recommend even for the non-cider fans such as me (I hear cider fans gasp in horror, but I am afraid it is true). Bell and Luxton were also there who have a new basil oil which is a delight, and the fab South Devon Chilli Farm were also showing their wares.

Some new discoveries were made today – Bini, with her new business Sweet Cumin which consists of home cooked Indian ready meals, South Hams Brewery who had a lovely amber beer called Devon Pride and a light amber ale with a hint of Stokeley honey called Stumble Bee. We also came across Ebb Tides who were selling sustainably hand harvested seaweeds including kelp, dulse and sea salad in both bags and grinder options (it was their first outing for the business so we wish them luck in their foodie adventure!). Steve tried everything and is certainly a fan already. And last but certainly not least we discovered New Lion Brewery with beers crafted in Totnes, they had a lovely Totnes Stout and real treat of a chilli beer called Scorpion IPA – a triumph of a beer for a chilli head with a good heat in the middle of the palet and a touch of lemon came though on the tip of your tongue.

We watched Favis in the demo tent show us how to crack open a crab, and Exeter Cookery School were to follow to showcase co-owner and chef Jim’s spun sugar skills. There were other chef demos earlier in the day as well. There was Crazy about Clay for young and old alike, cast your vote for the best scarecrow, meet some rare breed animals, forage tours on the estate and of course, after all this, the food tents and bars outside providing lunch and much needed refreshment.

Our son was delighted at the sight of the Dartington Dairy Ice Cream and, with mint being his favourite flavour, he throughly enjoyed a scoop of their mint ice cream made with fresh mint from the Dartington gardens picked this morning – incredibly fresh and light.

So a great free day out with the only cost being £2 for all day parking. I highly recommend it; go on Bank Holiday Monday if you don’t already have plans!

For more info visit: https://www.dartington.org/visit/the-shops-at-dartington/dartington-food-fair/

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