Beer and Burger Bonanza at The Bridge Inn, Topsham – by Lauren Heath

The road between Clyst St George and Topsham holds many talented local businesses – Naturalmat, Sapphire Spaces, Amos Lighting and now even the operations for Good Game. Two more of these is the successful Darts Farm and the unique and historic The Bridge Inn pub.

On the back of some playground chat whilst dropping the kids off at school, the business minded ladies at both The Butchers at Darts and The Bridge Inn decided they should do a joint event, especially considering they are so close together. The Bridge Inn already holds ticket-only USA banjo infused music evenings and occasional evenings with Darts Farm providing the fish and chips for customers within their beautiful long brewhouse.

So on a lovely weekday summer’s eve in July, we ventured down to our favourite local pub for The Butchers at Darts Farm and The Bridge inn’s Burger and Beer evening.

It was a community feeling affair; it’s an incredible space filled with treasure, trinkets and furniture and all customers sitting together with friends as well as strangers (you know the saying – ‘arrive as strangers, leave as friends’), all chatting and wondering of the foodie delights ahead.

Caroline, the current owner, told us a bit about the history of this beautiful end of their pink pub. Their history page states:

It is thought there was a dwelling on this site as early as 1086, in the time of the Domesday Book. The stonemasons responsible for the construction of Exeter Cathedral may have lodged here.

The present building you see is substantially 16th Century, but the actual date of the different parts varies considerably. Unlike today, much building in the past was piecemeal, with new rooms added as necessary. Most of the fabric is local stone, but the old brewhouse at the rear is traditional Devon cob. This has the remains of the hop drying floor, and is adjacent to a large brewing chimney.

Great-grandfather was William John Gibbings from Clyst St. George. He moved into the Inn in 1897, and our family has been there ever since. The current licensee is Caroline Cheffers-Heard, his Great Grand-daughter. She is the fourth generation, her daughter Riannon will be the fifth, and Amelia, born in April 2008, will be the sixth generation.

Outside The Butchers at Darts were cooking up a storm on the Big Green Egg, with burgers galore; thankfully the weather was kind, gifting us a glorious Thursday evening.

Beers and burgers were paired up, with Caroline explaining each pairing as we went along and Alastair telling us about the meat and their flavours. We were served sizeable ‘mini’ burgers with generous servings of local ales:

  • Pork burger with Clyst St Mary’s very own Powderkeg Speakeasy
  • Duck burger with Jollyboat’s Thunder
  • Lamb burger with Branscombe Vale’s Summa That

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The big finale was a steak burger with Exmoor’s Beast. This mouthful was served with delightfully fresh salads, and we ventured outside at this point to sit on a bench and enjoy the end of the evening al-fresco.

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The burgers were absolutely delicious, juicy and flavoursome and of course the meat is all locally reared or sourced and expertly prepared by the Butchers at Darts.

The business is family run and based within Darts Farm; brothers Philip and Alastair are Master Butchers, which is not a common title and it means they can choose the right animal by feeling and handling it live on the farm – they even judge competitions. ‘Their knowledge and expertise of breeding, rearing, sourcing, maturing and butchering the best livestock enables us to provide you with the highest quality meat which you can trust.’ Becky, wife to Alastair, takes care of marketing side of the business and was delighted to be able to organise this event and there are plans for more so keep an eye out!

Here’s a peek inside the pub; there are two rooms indoors and both well behaved dogs and children are welcome, but noisy mobile phones are not. Don’t come here if you’re expecting lagers – this pub serves some wines and spirits but are very well known and loved for their fantastic local ales straight from the barrel with an ever changing beer menu being updated on their Facebook page each week. Food-wise they simply serve Chunk’s pasties or ploughmans with local cheese or meats.

If the weather is beautiful enough, you can be served out of the hatch (pictured top left) and sit on the benches enjoying the view!

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So keep an eye out for more joint ventures with these two brilliant examples of what makes local businesses special. If you can’t wait for an event, pop to the pub for a pint and make sure you drop in at the butchers for your burgers to cook at home!

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Recipe: Baked Kenniford Farm Cranberry and Rosemary Sausages with Piri Piri and Thyme

This delicious recipe uses Kenniford Farm’s Taste of the West Gold Award winning sausages and is packed full of flavour – great for enjoying in the garden in the sunshine or for a warming supper in the cooler weather. Recipe from Love Pork – http://www.lovepork.co.uk

Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Cooking Skill: Easy

Serves: 4 People

 

Ingredients

450g (1lb) Gold Taste of the West Award Kenniford Cranberry and Rosemary pork sausages

3 large sprigs fresh thyme

4 cloves garlic, peeled

Seasoning

15ml (1tbsp) olive oil

45ml (3tbsp) sweet chilli sauce

1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into large pieces

½ lemon, cut into wedges

2 large sprigs, vine on, cherry tomatoes

 

Method

Preparation: Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 4, 180ºC.

  1. Place sausages into a small baking pan or tin.
  2. Mix together in a bowl or jug the thyme, garlic, seasoning, oil and chilli sauce. Pour over the sausages and roll them to coat. Add the red chilli and lemon, squeezing and leaving wedges in the pan.
  3. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 35 minutes, then add tomato sprigs and cook for a further 5 minutes to soften slightly.
  4. Serve with mini roasted new potatoes tossed in thyme and drizzled with piri piri juices.
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Photo Copyright of Love Pork

Visit Kenniford Farm:

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Caribbean Food Week Street Party Spread – by Lauren Heath

Here at EEDD HQ, as well as local food and restaurants, we like to experiment at home with both recipe books, free-for-all cooking as well as national food initiatives including the Ultimate Crisp Sandwich with a national crisp company and trying out new recipes with British leeks.

I recently got the opportunity to sign up to Caribbean Food Week (celebrated 21st to 28th August), thanks to Grace Foods, and thought – why not! Something different to try at home; I already know of some of their products from the world food aisles in supermarkets, and as we are fairly adventurous at home, thought this would be great.

So my lovely parcel turned up, filled with plenty of goodies to try as well as a token hat, flower garland and funky straws – filling me with the caribbean spirit.

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‘Caribbean Food Week was launched in 2012 by Grace Foods UK; the week presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy a taste of the Caribbean, whether it’s jerk chicken, curried goat, or a delicious Caribbean cocktail!’

Having looked at what we’d received, our menu on the eve of Caribbean Food Week was as follows:

  • Hot & Spicy Jerk Chicken – using the jerk chicken fry mix, we coated our drumsticks and thighs, and cooked them on our ProQ smoker BBQ. The skin was incredibly crispy with a lovely heat (This can, of course, be cooked in the oven or the fryer for maximum crispness). I just love crispy chicken and it keeps the meat moist.
  • Caribbean Spiced Cauliflower Dumplings – local farm shop purple and white cauliflowers (marinated in Jamaican Hot Curry Powder) coated in a spiced tempura based batter then deep fried for an amazing crunch!
  • Jamaican Seasoned Rice – boiled brown rice was then pan fried with the tin of mixed beans, finishing it off with cooked ackee and some spring onions for added texture.
  • Jerk BBQ Sauce Minute Steaks – lovely thin steak marinated in Jerk BBQ sauce and quickly cooked on the griddle – perfect for a bit of sweetness.
  • We had the Jamaican hot sauce and West Indian hot pepper sauce on the side for extra bite where needed.
  • Drinks included a Caribbean Cocktail (our own concoction!) of gin, ginger beer and smooth coconut water!

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Thanks to the unpredictable British weather, our street party spread turned more into a Sunday indoor dinner, but we didn’t mind! Hubby braved the rain (avec brollie!) and smoked our meats and potatoes on the smoker which just added that extra dimension. Our son helped to coat the jerk chicken by getting his groove on and shaking it all in a big tub to ensure it coated evenly!

 

The point is, it’s all about giving something new a go, and livening up that home cooking with easy, flavoursome products – and get family or friends involved.

“Come rain or shine, bring the taste of the Caribbean into your home this August.”

Get involved in Caribbean Food Week #CFW2017! For inspiration and events during the week of 21st – 28th August (or anytime for that matter!) visit:

Website: www.gracefood.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/caribbeanfoodweek

Twitter: @caribbeanfoodwk

Instagram: caribbeanfoodweek

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*Grace Foods supplied this complimentary hamper of dried goods as part of Caribbean Food Week but all cooking ideas, recipes and fresh food items were our own and all my honest opinion.

 

 

Trio of Awards for Farm’s Speciality Sausages

A Devon farm has beaten off stiff competition to win not one, but three, highly sought-after awards for its farm-reared pork products

Taste of the West awarded Kenniford Farm a gold award for its cranberry and rosemary sausages and two silver awards for its pork pie and Cumberland ring.

The awards celebrate quality, integrity and provenance of food in the west, and seek to promote and give recognition to local produce that goes above and beyond in terms of quality and taste.

Kenniford Farm has been rearing pigs in Clyst St Mary for over 20 years. The farm is Red Tractor approved and has consistently won awards for its produce.

Andrew Freemantle, owner of Kenniford Farm said: ‘This award means the world to us as we pour everything into the care and welfare of our pigs, and work hard to create delicious and innovative recipes. It’s fantastic to get this recognition for our work and passion.’

Kenniford Farm produce is sold at local stockists, and in their on-site farm shop.

Visit www.kennifordfarm.co.uk for more information.

 

The Nourish Gin Festival & The Devon Street Food Awards return to Bovey Tracey in September

Music: Fri 1 & Sat 2 September

Food & Craft: Sat 2 September

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Nourish Festival, now in its 4th year, has become synonymous with fine food, craft and music of the highest quality presented in the heart of Bovey Tracey, Devon.

The Devon Street Food Awards at Nourish Festival in association with Devon Life turns for another successful year celebrating the very best in Street Food in Devon. The county is packed full of inspirational and exciting street food producers and Nourish celebrates those Food Heroes. Street Food producers from across Devon are invited to enter and present to our judges Andy Cooper, editor of Devon Life, Kate Haskell, ITV weather presenter & Devon Life columnist and Alex Murdin, Devon Home Cook of the Year and former director of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, are suitably looking forward to the enviable task of sampling the food.

We will present an eclectic, exciting and above all delicious mix of street food at Nourish so whether you create Caribbean, Indian, Spanish, Moroccan flavours, wood fired Italian pizza, French crepes, Mexican street food, fish delicacies or a proper pie. A flavour to suit everyone.

We are extremely partial to a decent gin & tonic and with the soon to be opened Dartmoor Distillery in Bovey Tracey, we are rather keen to announce The Nourish Gin Festival. South West produces of artisan gin will gather for us all to enjoy at Nourish in September. Our Gin Festival is supported by Fever Tree Tonic and Tarquin’s Gin.

The Nourish Food & Drink Fair will fill Bovey’s high street with some of the best producers from the South West on Sat 2 September. We invited producers of the widest possible variety of excellent food. We had 2 simple criteria, you make the best and you live in the South West of England. Expect to find artisan cheeses, preserves, bread, cakes, cordials, vegetables, herbs, beer, game, meat, fish, wine, liqueurs, cider, relishes, pates, handmade chocolates, oils, pies and even speciality mushrooms. An exceptional collection of epicurean delights.

Other events include The Bovey Bake Off and Junior Bovey Bake Off, will once again get the community reaching for their mixing bowls judged by our own Queen of Cakes, Tracey Godwin.

The Nourish Contemporary Craft Fair will be hosted in the Methodist Church Hall, showcasing beautiful handmade craft from across the South West with craft demonstrations and other craft events taking place at Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

Exceptional makers from across the South West will present an inspirational selection of jewellery, pottery, glass, textiles and wood

The Nourish Music programme from 1 September will present a rare performance from world renowned cellist, Steven Isserllis. Isserlis, who sells out Wigmore Hall and venues across the globe will be performing in Bovey Tracey on Friday September 1st in the intimate surroundings of St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas Church. A truly unique experience. THIS CONCERT IS NOW SOLD OUT

The Festival also features Japanese pianist, Noriko Ogawa. Noriko appears with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras including recent and forthcoming performances with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra and the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Noriko will be performing in Bovey Tracey on Friday September 2nd at St Peter, St Paul and St Thomas Church.

Superlocrian, our Saturday afternoon concert, brings together two trumpets, two trombones and two saxophones to create a thrilling sound where the dynamic edge of brass sits alongside the warm, soulful sounds of saxes and flute; a concert promising adrenaline, emotion – and superb musicianship.

Nourish Festival organiser Sarah James said:

“We are delighted that Nourish Festival has been welcomed so warmly to Bovey Tracey. It has been a success for the stall holders and craft makers visiting the town, for the local traders, and best of all for the local community. There is such a buzz in the town with so many people visiting the food stalls, talking to expert craftspeople and taking part in our own Bovey Bake Off. I’m also very excited about our Devon Street Food Awards and looking forward very much to our Gin Festival!

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The music programme continues to be a tremendous success, and I look forward to welcoming Steven Isserlis, Noriko Ogawa and Superlocrian. A weekend to remember”

Nourish Festival is a community initiative led by The Contemporary Craft Festival, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the Cheese Shed.

The Food & Craft Fair on Sat 2 Sept are free. Concerts on 1 & 2 September are ticketed. Full details and ticket information can be found at www.nourishfestival.org. Tickets will also available via our Box Office at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

Notes for editors

Nourish is an annual event produced in association with The Contemporary Craft Festival, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the Cheese Shed. The event celebrates the very best in food, craft and music, and takes place in Bovey Tracey, Devon, UK. Music: Fri 1 & Sat 2 September Food & Craft: Sat 2 Sept

Contact Sarah James hello@nourishfestival.org 01626 437653 www.nourishfestival.org @nourishfestival

Photography courtesy of the Nourish Festival apart from the Featured Image which is ours.  We visited the festival a few years ago and had a great time! Read our write-up here

New, Beautifully Crafted Tonic Waters Launched This Summer

Clear, crisp and perfectly crafted, Luscombe Drinks has created three new premium tonic waters which will add style and sophistication to any occasion.  Perfectly on trend, with a hint of retro in their look, the Devon, Elderflower and Grapefruit tonic waters all offer outstanding taste, and are perfect served either on their own over ice or with one of the many emerging craft white spirits.

The new Luscombe Drinks tonic waters are meticulously crafted in small batches using Devon spring water blended with the finest Indian quinine, with carbonation adding lots of bubbles to carry the subtle notes of each flavour. The Devon Tonic Water, a traditional tonic, is enhanced with the zingy citrus of Japanese yuzu, a rare citrus fruit with three times more vitamin C than a lemon. The Elderflower, which has just been awarded a Great Taste two-star award, is infused with handpicked wild elderflower to give a light floral taste. While the Grapefruit, which was awarded a Great Taste one-star award, is blended with pink grapefruit to create a delicate citrus taste.

Gin has been a popular tipple in the UK since the late 17th century and has enjoyed a recent revival with small producers making craft gins using a variety of different botanicals to add a distinct character. The Westcountry alone is home to the country’s oldest working distillery; The Black Friars Distillery has been making Plymouth Gin since it was first established in 1793 and several of the newest producers, such as Tarquin’s Gin in North Cornwall and Salcombe Gin, many winning medals on the international drinks stage.

There is also a huge increase in non-drinkers looking for something original and grown up to enjoy which isn’t laden with artificial flavours and sweeteners.  It is therefore the perfect time for Luscombe Drinks to be introducing its trio of premium tonics.

The new Luscombe Drinks tonic waters are now available to buy through on-line retailer, The Gin Kiosk (www.ginkiosk.com) and many other independent retailers, farm shops plus bars and restaurants.

Luscombe Drinks crafts premium soft drinks using only the finest ingredients from trusted growers. There are no additives, synthetics or concentrates. Only the best goes into the bottle. Luscombe Drinks has been producing beautifully crafted drinks on a farm in Devon since 1975. It is headed up by Gabriel David, who has become renown for his fanatical attention to detail and dedication for creating fantastic tasting soft drinks. Quintessentially English, with a love for capturing the essence of nature, Gabriel’s drinks offer a true reflection of the beauty of his Devon surrounds. 

The three new tonics add to Luscombe’s existing range of 23 delicate soft drinks, including fruit juices, fruit crushes, ginger beers, bubblies and a cider, which have, between them now received 73 Great Taste Awards.

For further information on Luscombe Drinks please visit www.luscombe.co.uk, email info@luscombe.co.uk or call 01364 64 30 36.  Follow Luscombe on Twitter: @luscombedrinks and ‘Like’ on Facebook.  

Ex Royal Clarence chef heads up restaurant at new luxury Devon hotel

BRAND new Devon luxury hotel and events venue Paschoe House has appointed Alex Gibbs as Executive Head Chef.

The stunning 10-bedroom manor house on the edge of Crediton throws open its doors to the public for the first time in its 800 year history this month.

And Tabitha Amador-Christie, Owner of Paschoe House, believes her new chef will play a vital role in the hotel’s success.

Alex Gibbs and Tabitha Amador Christie. Picture credit Neil Gratton Photography
Alex Gibbs & Tabitha Amador-Christie; Image Copyright of Neil Gratton Photography

She says: ‘Alex has an excellent reputation. I am excited about his creativity in the kitchen and can’t wait to see what delights he and his team produce from our brand new kitchen at Paschoe House.

’Alex previously held the position of Executive Head Chef at The Royal Clarence in Exeter. He sadly lost his job when the world famous hotel and restaurant burned down in October 2016.

‘All the staff from The Royal Clarence, many of whom had worked together for years and years, became unemployed overnight. It was soul-destroying, not to mention incredibly sad, to watch the venue that we’d loved, burn to the ground,’ says Alex.

But every cloud has a silver lining, and it was a supplier whom Alex had known for a number of years, who suggested that he contact the owners of Paschoe House, a brand new restaurant, hotel and events venue near Crediton who were looking to serve beautifully cooked, locally sourced food from their country house base.

He adds: ‘As soon as I heard about Paschoe House, I realised that this was exactly where I wanted to be. I fired off my CV and met the owner that same week. We open shortly, and I’m currently busy setting up the kitchen and creating our menu.’

So, what is it about Paschoe House that makes it such an appealing prospect for a chef such as Alex?

Alex Gibbs at Paschoe House. Picture credit Neil Gratton Photography
Image Copyright of Neil Gratton Photography

‘At the moment we’re busy planting up our kitchen garden, so it’s wonderful to be part of something from the very beginning. I have the opportunity to create the sort of menu that will make the food at Paschoe House stand out from its competitors, and that is very exciting indeed.’

Tabitha adds: ‘As soon as I heard from Alex, I knew that I’d be a fool not to appoint him as our new head chef. The food at The Royal Clarence had such an excellent reputation, so I knew that we’d be in safe hands.’

For more information about Paschoe House visit the website at www.paschoehouse.co.uk

Judges announce semi-finalists and finalists of South West Chef of the Year 2017

Following a nail-biting series of opening rounds, the panel of judges for South West Chef of the Year 2017 has now selected its semi-finalists and finalists for this prestigious competition. Championed by Michael Caines MBE, South West Chef of the Year has been showcasing and supporting exceptional, culinary talent in the peninsula for the last 14 years. The competition attracts home cooks, youngsters aged from 11 years and student/apprentice, young professional and professional chefs. This year, for the first time, the winner of Devon Life’s Home Cook of the Year has received automatic entry into the South West Chef of the Year Home Cook category final. Emy Mordue of Exeter will pit her skill and imagination against four other finalists hailing from Dorset, Devon and Gloucestershire.

As well as offering culinary enthusiasts and passionate professionals in the region the opportunity to cook for some of the South West’s best chefs, including Lympstone Manor’s Michael Caines, the competition provides a spring board for emerging talent. South West Chef of the Year also aims to champion the region’s exceptional produce, celebrate its creativity and promote professional cooking as an exciting and satisfying career choice.

Michael Caines said: “The competition is hotting up and we’re now at the stage where my fellow judges and I can look forward to tasting the menus created by our semi-finalists and finalists. I can’t wait as this is one of the most exciting parts of the competition during which we can see what entrants are trying to achieve; how they have been inspired by the fantastic local produce we ask them to use; how skilled they are at putting flavours together and importantly, how innovative their cooking is.”

Joining Michael on the judging panel are Michael Wignall of Gidleigh Park and Chris and James Tanner of Barbican Kitchen and Kentish Hare to mention but a few. As well as assessing entrants on their flair and creativity, the judges will provide invaluable support for those entering the final rounds with feedback and advice. Testament to the competition’s reputation and nurturing ethos is the return of entrants for consecutive years. 2017’s competition will see the return of several of last year’s competitors including the 2016 winners of the Home Cook and Student/Apprentice categories: Sue Stoneman, aiming to defend her Home Cook title and Harrison Brockington now striving to add the Young Professional Chef award to his collection as his career progresses.

The Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice Chef categories will now enter the semi-final stage taking place at Exeter College on Saturday 30th September whilst those selected in the Home Cook category will go directly to a final at Ashburton Cookery School on Saturday 14th October. Here they will be joined by the Junior Chef finalists who have all won the junior title in their own counties to gain a place in the South West final.  The grand finals for the Professional, Young Professional and Student/Apprentice Chefs will take place on Wednesday 25th October at Exeter College followed by a glittering awards presentation evening and sumptuous dinner at Exeter Golf and Country Club.

Tickets are now available for this prestigious event with a delicious dinner prepared by three highly acclaimed and award winning chefs: Michael Caines MBE; Jamie Coleman, Head Chef at The Masons Arms, Knowstone who won South West Chef of the Year 2016 and James Mason, Head Chef at Kentisbury Grange and winner of South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2015. The evening will start with a drinks reception with canapés followed by a three-course meal with wines for each course. The evening will conclude with the announcement of the winners of South West Chef of the Year 2017. Tickets can be purchased online at just £85 each.

This year’s semi-finalists and finalists:

Professional Category Semi-finalists – Sponsored by Ritter Courivaud

  • Martin Blake, Senior Sous Chef, The Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe, Wiltshire
  • James Checkley, Sous Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Robert Cox, Head Chef, Tudor Farmhouse Hotel and Restaurant, Clearwell, Gloucestershire
  • Joseph Fallowfield, Sous Chef, Kota Restaurant, Porthleven, Cornwall
  • Jozsef Kuti, Sous Chef, The Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire
  • David Mann, Sous Chef, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon
  • Dale McIntosh, Head Chef, Gylly Beach Café, Falmouth, Cornwall
  • Chris Young, Sous Chef, Buckland Manor, Broadway, Gloucestershire

 

Young Professional Category Semi-finalists – Sponsored by Lympstone Manor and Michael Caines MBE

  • Claire Andrew, Commis Chef, Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, Devon
  • Harrison Brockington, Chef de Partie, Grosvenor Hotel, Torquay, Devon
  • James Glover, Chef de Partie, Deer Park Country House Hotel, Honiton, Devon
  • Thomas Herbert, Commis Chef, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Joshua Murphy, Demi Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Joseph Oliver, Demi Chef de Partie, Buckland Manor, Broadway, Gloucestershire
  • Lawrence Snowden, Junior Sous Chef, The Idle Rocks, St Mawes, Cornwall
  • Paul Wearing, Senior Chef de Partie, Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon

 

Home Cook Category Finalists – Sponsored by Ashburton Cookery School

  • Andrew Callaghan, Verwood, Dorset
  • Lucinda Ellicott, Paignton, Devon
  • Emy Mordue, Exeter, Devon (Devon Life Home Cook 2016)
  • Kelly Shannon, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire
  • Sue Stoneman, Exmouth, Devon

 

Junior Chef Category Finalists

  • Cornwall

Anna West, Penair School, Truro

Anna will be mentored by Stephane Delourme at The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

  • Devon

Samantha Taylor-Clarke, Stover School, Newton Abbot

Samantha will be mentored by Mark Dodson at The Masons Arms, Knowstone

  • Dorset

Emily Henson, Bournemouth School for Girls

Emily will be mentored by Brett Sutton at The White Post, Rimpton

  • Gloucestershire

Amber Clay, Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury

Amber will be mentored by Gus Ashenford at Restaurant 5 North Street, Winchcombe

  • Somerset

Munopa Nhete, Queen’s College, Taunton

Munopa will be mentored by Liam Finnegan at The Castle Hotel, Taunton

  • Wiltshire

Vikki Pearcey Thorn, Lavington School, Market Lavingotn

Vikki will be mentored by Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park

 

Student/Apprentice Chef Category – Sponsored by Nisbets

Catering colleges across the South West are invited to put forward a student/apprentice chef for a guaranteed place in the semi-final of this category and, in addition, a small number of places are also available to those opting to enter this category directly.  Colleges putting a student forward are asked to confirm the name of the student once colleges return for the autumn term in September and so further students may be added to this list at that time.

  • Alexander Andrew, City College Plymouth, Devon
  • John Brimicombe, Exeter College and Boringdon Hall Hotel, Plympton, Devon
  • Jamie Cassidy, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Somerset
  • Matthue Clarke, Gloucestershire College, Cheltenham
  • Katie Endicott, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Somerset
  • Thomas Greatrix, Gloucestershire College, Cheltenham
  • William Hamzij, Exeter College and Driftwood Hotel, Porscatho, Cornwall
  • Ford Thanyapat Khwanyuen, Truro and Penwith College, Cornwall
  • Eleanor Thuell, Exeter College and Rodean Restaurant, Kenton, Devon

 

For more information visit:

Website:              www.southwestchef.co.uk

Twitter:               @SWChefComp

Facebook:           www.facebook.com/southwestchef

Countdown to Powderham Food Festival 2017: foodie fun for all the family

With just two months to go until Powderham Food Festival returns for a sixth celebration of local food and drink (Saturday 7th to Sunday 8th October), festival organisers Bob Small and Fiona Gofton are hoping 2017 will be the biggest, best and quite possibly the healthiest food festival they have ever hosted.

Set amid the spectacular grounds of Powderham Castle, home to Lord and Lady Devon, Powderham Food Festival is a magnet for foodies of all ages. So, with nature’s autumnal larder full to brimming with delicious fruits and vegetables, what better time to shine a light on fresh, wholesome and delicious food that the whole family can get excited about.

Charles Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon (1)
Charles Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon

Bob Small says, “Powderham has always prided itself on being a family-friendly food festival, but this year we wanted to give everybody food for thought on what they feed their loved ones. It is for this reason that we have teamed up with Sugar Smart to help inform and inspire families on how to cook more with fresh ingredients, less with sugar-filled processed foods and to find simple ways to lower their sugar intake.”

Fiona Gofton says “We all live busy lives, and I know I sometimes struggle to get inspiration for meals to feed my family that are quick, healthy and appeal to everybody’s tastes. Our new family food marquee will focus on wholesome home cooking, offering loads of useful information from Sugar Smart and associated organisations on how families can make small changes to their diet and lifestyle that will have a long-lasting effect on their health and wellbeing.”

Rachel Pinnock, a food anthropology PhD student who works part time at Exeter Cookery School and part time as a Sugar Smart ambassador, will be on hand to show children and their parents how the humble veg can be transformed into a delicious and nutritious family meal. Meanwhile, Judi Spiers will be joining the team from Home Farm Café – a Dartmoor-based farm café with 85% of its menu featuring local, seasonal produce – with demonstrations from Stella West-Harling and Nick Smith on how to create exciting and delicious dinners for week-night meal times.

Fun Kitchen will also be supporting Sugar Smart’s campaign at this year’s Powderham Food Festival, as it returns once more with its popular, messy and educational hands-on cookery classes for children. Fun Kitchen founder and Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassador, Joe Mann, is a firm believer in making cooking fun and accessible for children, and has been instrumental in teaching about food beyond the classroom as a partner of the Growing Devon Schools Partnership.

For a wondrous line-up of the region’s culinary talents, head to the Exeter Cookery School stage. Jim and Lucy Fisher, the dynamic husband and wife team who opened Exeter Cookery School in the summer of 2016, will play host to a dazzling array of cookery demonstrations for the third consecutive year. Working with the region’s very fine seasonal larder, chefs confirmed so far this year are Richard Hunt (TV chef, consultant chef & founder of Devon Scone Company), Richard Valder (head chef and co-owner of @Angela’s Restaurant), Paul Greenhead (chef and co-owner of Café Catalan), Rachel Pinnock (Exeter Cookery School) and Nila Ross-Patel (Exeter Cookery School tutor), with more chefs yet to be revealed.

Stella West-Harling (Home Farm Cafe), Judi Spiers and Lucy Fisher (Exeter Cookery School) (8)
Stella West-Harling (Home Farm Cafe), Judi Spiers & Lucy Fisher (Exeter Cookery School)

Completing the cookery demonstration areas, the ever-popular Theatre of Fire and Smoke will also be back at Powderham Food Festival to delight its loyal following. Barbecue and food smoking aficionados Simon Dyer, Marcus Bawdon and John Gower from Quiet Waters Farm, will be cooking up a storm. Meanwhile, the Clifton Chilli Club will be hosting their usual increasingly fiery chillies on members of the public in the Great Devon Chilli Challenge – for the bravest of souls (or should we say stomachs).

And if that was not all, there will be over 100 local food and drinks producers and craft stalls to explore and give you plenty to keep your tummies happy. The festival will be a fantastic family and foodie day out for all to enjoy – so make sure you put the date in your diary for the must-visit Autumn Food Festival at Powderham Castle!

Tickets for Powderham Food Festival are available to purchase online via www.powderhamfoodfestival.com with a saving of 25% for advanced purchase tickets!

 

Family Fun at the River Cottage Summer Festival

FAMILY FUN AT THE RIVER COTTAGE SUMMER FESTIVAL

Under 16s go free when accompanied by an adult

Fun galore awaits children and adults alike as the River Cottage Summer Festival draws near. Taking place across the August bank holiday weekend (26th – 27th August) the Festival offers visitors a packed schedule of family friendly activities and foodie delights. The whole family can enjoy top music acts and great children’s entertainment, all in a beautiful East Devon setting.  Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult making the Summer Festival a fantastic, affordable day out for the whole family and a perfect way to celebrate the end of the summer season.

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Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities and entertainment, from watching performances by Swamp Circus and Rainbow Gecko Giant Bubbles, to getting hands on with Play Art Junk Modelling or taking a foraging tour with John Wright. Littles ones can enjoy baby massages, kids yoga, the hands-on mud kitchen, sandpit, felting and flower workshops and the Marine Monster making. Other workshops include pottery, jewellery making and clay modelling. Nature lovers can immerse themselves in the wonders of the stunning countryside with guided geology walks with local butterfly experts as well as star gazing after sunset.

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Take part in one of the masterclasses to find out how to make your own sushi or cook over a wood fire. The little ones can get stuck into pizza making or creating their own ice cream sundae masterpiece with prices starting from just £20.

When thoughts turn to food, visitors can enjoy a veritable feast of tasty homemade dishes on offer throughout the weekend with delectable street food from local artisan producers. Treat yourself to a Farmhouse Feast and immerse yourself in the River Cottage atmosphere. The two-course sit down meal is served in the iconic Farmhouse for just £20 and offers a mouthwatering menu designed using fresh, seasonal and local produce from the farm, garden and local suppliers. There will also be a selection of bars located across the Festival serving a variety of sumptuous drinks from Chase Vodka cocktails and English sparkling wine from neighboring Castlewood Vineyard to locally sourced beers, ciders, wines and seasonal cocktails.

A team of chefs and experts will be on hand to share their culinary tips throughout the two-day weekend on the Garden Stage hosted by Steven Lamb. On the Saturday, visitors can enjoy a mix of chefs, speakers and activists including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, forager John Wright, Bake-Off star Chetna Makan and herbalist Katie from Pukka Teas. On the Sunday, award-winning blogger Ed Smith will take to the stage alongside Satish Kumar, Michelin-starred Adam Byatt and Hugh.

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Festival goers can enjoy music throughout the weekend with a variety of brilliant musicians on the line-up. There is live music from midday until 10pm on both days, with entertainment for the whole family. On the Saturday, Sound of the Sirens will headline alongside The Jack Daniels Band, Them Voices Poor, Sadie Horler, Hungry Bentley, Nicky Swann and DJ Diggz. On the Sunday, visitors can enjoy music from The Travelling Band, Mr Tea and the Minions, Melissa Bel, Mark McCabe, Tori Reed and the Troubadours and DJ Diggz.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the website: www.rivercottage.net/festival/2017. River Cottage is running a free park and ride service to and from the Festival or add to the experience with VIP parking onsite available for just £5 per car.

Upcoming courses at Exeter Cookery School

At Eating Exeter, Dining Devon we are massive fans of the Exeter Cookery School. We have seen them develop and flourish from their launch, and they’ve continued to grow from strength to strength. We recently went down to help them celebrate their 1st birthday in their current premises with the owners, Jim and Lucy Fisher.

For more information visit http://www.exetercookeryschool.co.uk or click on the title of each course!

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The sheer range of courses that are available is mind-boggling, from seafood to sugar-spinning, you can sharpen your culinary skills whilst admiring the beautiful surroundings on Exeter’s historic quayside.

Exeter Cookery School Launch - read more at www.eatingexeter.co.uk

One Day Vegetarian/Vegetable Cooking Course

Are you a seasoned vegetarian looking for some fresh inspiration to pep up your repertoire?Maybe you’re new to vegetarianism and want some guidance and are keen to learn a few key veggie techniques.

Or perhaps you’re an omnivore, but are thinking that you’d like to be able to cook for your vegetarian friends or family members.Well, whichever is the case, this is the course for you. You’ll learn how to prepare and cook vegetables and vegetarian dishes from scratch in a fun and friendly environment.We’ll teach you all manner of professional cookery tips including cook-ahead and pre-prep methods.

Dishes might include the tower of riddled Mediterranean vegetables, the classic Greek Spanakopita, or freshly made raviolis.


What do you do on the first morning of your long-awaited French holiday? If you’re anything like us you seek out a popular cafe or patisserie, pull up a chair, sit down in the sun and order your first croissant of the year!
 

If you’ve been to France before you’ll know that the locals eat theirs just as they are, or dunk them into a bowl of hot cafe crème. We Brits like ours with a knob of butter and a spoon of jam, but either way there’s no denying the exquisite pleasure that is the archetypal French breakfast. 

But, returning home for work on Monday, France seems a million miles away. So what better than to knock up a batch of croissants in order to relive your moment in the sun? And while you’re at it, you may as well make some other staples as well. 

That’s where we come in: we’ll show you how to make authentic croissants and, using the same dough, you’ll also create some pain aux raisins and pains au chocolat. While we’re on a roll (pun intended), we’ll also make some crusty baguettes to have with lunch.And who knows, maybe we’ll even get to sit in the sun!

One Day Advanced Dessert Cookery Course

Taking things up a notch or two from our Classic French Dessert Cookery Course, the Advanced Dessert Cookery Course takes you into the realms of the professional pastry chef.Taking two complex restaurant-quality desserts as springboards for some pretty advanced techniques, we cover many facets of the Patissiere’s art:

Dessert Louis XV (pronounced “Louis Canze”)

Dessert Louis XV is the invention of Alain Ducasse of the three Michelin-star restaurant Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo.It is a many-layered chocolate extravagance: the base is a thin Dacquoise (hazelnut meringue) followed by a crunchy feulletine layer, then a rich sumptuous chocolate mousse. The whole is then draped with liquid chocolate and topped with a hazelnut spun-sugar droplet and a flutter of gold leaf.

Lemon Posset

Lemon Posset with Raspberry SorbetStrawberry LeatherStrawberry & Black Pepper Shortbread – Our chef’s signature dessert.

Half Day Ice Cream & Sorbet Making Course

Let’s get one thing straight: eating ice cream is about experiencing that luxurious cool texture and rich tongue-coating flavour we never forget from childhood. And herein lies the secret to making and serving great ice cream: it’s about using full-fat cream, free-range egg yolks, sugar and strong natural flavourings.

Forget your skimmed milk, reduced sugar, yoghurt-based grainy horrors – we’re talking full-on guilty pleasure here!But, making ice cream brings with it a fear of curdling the custard base which can put a lot of cooks off.

So, on your Half Day Ice Cream & Sorbet Making Course, you’ll learn how to make a perfect Crème Anglaise custard base, but with a little twist that makes use of a small amount of natural chemistry knowledge.

Don’t worry, we won’t be using any weird chemicals, but you will gain a fascinating glimpse into the world of proteins, sugars and gels. And it never fails!

We’ll answer a few questions, too – for instance: what makes a custard curdle, and what, if anything, can be done to rectify it; is there a correct temperature at which to serve ice cream; how to achieve that professional smooth finish, but without having to buy expensive gadgets.

One Day Bread Making Course

Our one day bread-making course covers more than just making rolls and loaves: after a brief introductory chat by the chef over coffee and biscuits, you’ll be shown how to choose the correct flour, yeast and other ingredients for each bread type.

You’ll be preparing everything from scratch, which means weighing, mixing and kneading the ingredients to form the various required doughs.

During the day, while you’re kneading and stretching dough around the communal central island, our chef will explain the chemistry involved in making bread and how you can take advantage of this knowledge to achieve consistent results at home. For instance; the reasons why one batch of dough will rise perfectly one day while another might fall flat the next; how temperature affects the rise; how you can refrigerate or even freeze active bread dough; why we choose a high gluten content flour for one type of bread, but a low gluten flour for another.While your breads are proving, you will be making various fillings and preparing tins, etc, prior to baking.

Lunch will be a buffet laid out by us and will include some of the bread you’ve made.At the end of the course, you will be able to take home everything you’ve made in order to show off your new-found skills to family and friends.

Half Day Children’s Cookery Course

Learning all about using fresh ingredients, the basics of following a recipe and the core principals of how to cook should be an integral part of a child’s education.

At Exeter Cookery School, we firmly believe that children should be inspired to cook from scratch so that they can truly explore the joys of cooking as well as giving them a firm founding in food education that will last them a lifetime.
On our half day children’s cookery course we will be teaching children between the ages of 10 and 14 how to cook a basic bread dough, which they will use to create a delicious pizza and garlic pizza bread or dough balls.
The children on our half day children’s cookery course will also learn how to make and pipe Swiss meringues, combining them with a Chantilly cream to form a delicious pudding for the summer. Add handfuls of fresh summer berries and you have the makings of a dessert that will delight the whole family.

Cake baking, the epitome of all that is good in the world. With cake baking becoming ever more popular (and competitive) than ever thanks to TV shows such as the Great British Bake Off, we thought it was high time we offered a half day cake baking cookery course. So here we are…

Cake baking: How to make the perfect Victoria Sponge

Want to learn how to bake a cake for the loved ones in your life? Or have a better chance in your workplace charity bake off events? Or even just love cake and want to be able to recreate it yourself with better results, this is the course for you.

You’ll learn how to make a traditional Victoria sponge with buttercream icing.This classic cake first came to popularity way back in the 1840s, made possible by the invention of baking powder.
The sweet-toothed British public embraced the gloriously patriotic recipe with aplomb. Mrs Beeton’s version of how to bake a Victoria sponge may have been slightly underwhelming as they contained no eggs. However, over the last century and a half there have been many different incarnations of the classic Victoria sponge cake, all baked with love and in many cases accolades. We can help you create your own Victoria Sponge award winner.

Learn how to make chocolate brownies

Cake baking: Learn how to bake gooey chocolate brownies at Exeter Cookery School

Then comes the chocolatey gooey bit, where you’ll learn how to make failsafe chocolate brownies using the melting technique. Whether you want to learn how to make brownies for a school bake sale or are hosting a coffee morning and want to impress your friends, our chocolate brownie recipe will tick all the boxes.

And the best bit…

We can’t really think of a better way to spend the morning or afternoon, and what’s better, you get to take away with you what you’ve cooked.

Local Exeter Food Producer Eat The Smoke Makes it into South West Morrisons Stores

Earlier this year the supermarket Morrisons put out a call for ‘The Nations Local Foodmakers’, a mission to find local producers to stock in their stores within each region or city so that customers can buy more British and local. If successful at application stage, the food or drink producer would have the chance to meet their buyers, local store colleagues and customers at one of four regional events that were held, where a final decision would be made.

The mission stated: ‘At Morrisons, we want to feed the nation with a bigger portion of food and drink that is sourced from local suppliers. That’s why we’re now starting a fresh search for a new crop of foodmakers – who we hope can grow with Morrisons and maybe even become household names in their own right.

When it comes to finding local suppliers, we go further. We’re already doing lots to help regional food and drink suppliers ‘make it’ at Morrisons. And now we’re doing even more to meet local tastes – with our search to find The Nation’s Local Foodmakers, and products that are grown or made ‘just down the road’ from their local communities.’

Now we all have our views on shopping local or which supermarket is best, but this is a great initiative to get the deserving small producers in front of more customers and be able to grow more successfully.

One such producer that has been successful is Exmouth-based Eat The Smoke, owned by Christian Sculpher, who produces a variety of BBQ rubs, nuts and sauces.  Now in his 4th year of business, Devon-born Christian has been an avid BBQ’er for 20 years, smoking for 6 and left his stressful 9-5 job to pursue his passion.

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He is already well known on the food festival circuit, and has his products stocked in local farm shops, London distribution in place and they are available to buy on his online shop. His products have also won various Gold and Silver Taste of the West awards 2016 and he was a Devon Life Food and Drink Winner 2016 in the Best Food Product of the Year category. His range includes five BBQ rubs, two varieties of smoked nuts and two BBQ sauces – all made with natural ingredients, are gluten free and can be used for outdoor cooking as well as indoors and the BBQ sauce works amazingly as a ‘ketchup’ too.

Out of this great product range, two rubs, BBQ Hot Rub and Buffalo Hot Wings and Poultry Rub, will be stocked in South West branches of Morrisons from Bristol down to Cornwall.

Although buying direct from him or a local farm shop may seem the more obvious way to buy your goods, if you buy from Morrisons it could result in a better return for Eat The Smoke on the whole as, the more sold in store the greater the possibility of Morrisons stocking more of his range of products both locally and possibly even further afield.

If you’d like to find out more about this awesome local producer and his products, read our write up and Q&A from last year here. Otherwise – pop to Morrisons and vote with your basket, and help the small guy make it big as he so deserves.

Find Eat the Smoke on:

Twitter          Facebook          Website

South West Coffee Festival – by Lauren Heath

COFFEE – a need for some (a drug, some might say), a taste sensation for others. A pick me up, a relaxer, a wake up call, a bedtime warmer. Some like it hot, some like it cold – I’ll have it any which way as long as it’s not instant. Whatever your want or need, the options that are available for coffee lovers now is reaching those of ale or wine – dry, smooth, fruity, dark and more readily available in beans, grounds, bag or pod.

A new event was on the horizon to showcase this delightful drink. We’d known about the South West Coffee Festival since early in the year and I was very intrigued by what it would become – I knew it would be a boutique size event but wasn’t sure about who or what I would discover that I didn’t already know about – turns out quite a bit actually.

I did not see some of the more local coffee producers I had expected to, which I guess is a good thing as it’s always great to find something new. The event was held in a lovely barn at Powderham Castle, with plenty of room for hovering, manoeuvring and sipping coffee.

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I was delighted to discover Littlestone Coffee Roasters – a young team who are based right here in Exeter, in Marsh Barton, and who served me a strong and fruity Rubanda. They had at least 3 more types of coffee on offer.

Having heard of a chai latte, and assuming it was tea related, I have never drunk any (I like tea, but nothing more than a great strong builders brew, not these flower powery sorts of good for you teas..). So I was impressed and surprised to like Bath based Henny & Joe’s chai that was served as a milky drink – it was slightly vanilla, with all the flavours and spices perfectly balanced. I was given a bottle of the chocolate one to try at home and I look forward to giving it a road test!

Great things were on show from ecoffeecup with their natural, reusable bamboo based travel cups in a vast array of exciting designs and colours! More and more coffee shops are allowing you to use your own coffee cup, even giving a slight discount off your latte, in order to bring down the volume of cups going to landfill. These will make a great purchase for yourself or as a gift and I know they sell them in Toot Garook on Queen Street, Exeter (opposite the RAMM).

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Another sustainable and innovative stand was vegware based in Edinburgh; this company are manufacturing all sorts of takeaway packaging including beautifully defined coffee cups, all from plant based materials, that are compostable as well. I was so impressed by the visual quality too – all competitively priced versus the terrible non recyclables like polystyrene. Anyone in purchasing for large stores or restaurants and takeaways please do have a look at this company and consider using them instead.

Speaking of sustainable – I also met a lovely couple from Dorset who own Eco Roast as well as Flaming Dorset Coffee Roasters. Now, apart from their eye catching branding on their Flaming packaging, and their knockout nitro coffee, what was more interesting was how, as part of Eco Roast, they collect the coffee grounds from the companies they supply, and use this as energy to fuel the grinding of further coffee! Thanks to these ethics, clever ways, and zero waste, they supply The Eden Project with their coffee as well as it being available to customers in their retail outlet.

Still in virtual Dorset, Conker Spirit were popular, offering their gorgeously smooth and very satisfying cold brew coffee liquer – certainly a tipple worth having at home. My son took advantage of the cool chair for a rest.

Back to a Devon supplier, and Owens Coffee Roasters did the trick with a smooth flat white to finish off my visit – the boy even got a ‘babycino’. I was even more pleased to notice a bottle of Urban Brew Coffee Stout on their stand – a combination of talents between Owens and Summerskills Brewery – so I snapped one up and it’s awaiting its fate this weekend.

There was a couple of stands I didn’t get to and that was only due to having enough coffee (even by my standards) and the fact my naturally high child (no need for caffeine there!) had had enough after an hour and 15 minutes. There was cupping demo’s, some Q & A’s and music to be enjoyed too. Here’s a full list of who was there – do check them out, discover something new and support these great coffee artisans, whether from Devon or further up the country.

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Overall, a great little event that was small enough to be personal and you could really chat with the stands. Organised by Derry Tydeman, the owner of The Glorious Art House Cafe – the website already alludes to next year’s event – so watch this space!

Traders, potential sponsors or general public – sign up for further info on 2018’s event here.

Presenting Eating Exeter, Dining Devon and a fantastic celebratory competition with Harry’s Restaurant

Since 2011, Eating Exeter has been reporting and reviewing foodie events and restaurants throughout Exeter & Devon.  Six years after the first review was written, the blog is getting a major identity overhaul and a brand new web address to reflect its expanding ambitions.

From the 1st August Eating Exeter will be Eating Exeter, Dining Devon – the new URL will be http://www.diningdevon.com

Co-founded by Chris Gower with his good friend and then work colleague Polly Addison, the team has been beavering away giving impartial reviews to some of Exeter’s best loved restaurants.

The blog was so successful that in February 2016 Chris put a call out for volunteer writers to help out.  Through this process South African born Lauren Heath volunteered and has played a vital role in the running of the blog ever since. The blog is now currently run by Lauren and Chris who often attend events and reviews, bringing their loyal readers the best in foodie news.

In 2016 the blog reached the Grand Final of Food Magazine’s Readers Awards, and although not reaching the glory of overall winner this was a crowning achievement for a small blog that concentrated mostly on Exeter and the surrounding area.  

We’ve been finding ourselves doing reviews in Salcombe and Barnstaple and as Devon is such a big county and with this increased popularity, it makes sense to encompass our larger audience in the identity of the blog.  

There are many great things happening for foodies, with new producers and restaurants opening throughout the year, Eating Exeter, Dining Devon will continue its goal under a new brand that will help appeal to readers across the county.

Competition!

To celebrate the re-brand Eating Exeter, Dining Devon has partnered with one of the team’s favourite local independent restaurants, Harry’s Restaurant, to bring a lucky winner a fantastic prize.

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We are giving away a  £150 voucher!perfect for a dinner for four or more!  Head over to the Eating Exeter, Dining Devon Facebook and Twitter pages to find out how to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize.

Simply follow the instructions on the pinned competition posts either the Facebook or Twitter to be in with a chance of winning this epic prize; it is one of the biggest prizes we’ve ever given away.

By entering the competition you adhere to the terms and conditions – Most importantly remember that this voucher cannot be redeemed for cash.  It must be used in one transaction, and no change can be given.