DEVON: Delightful, Edible, Variety, Outdoors, Nourishing.
Five words we can think of relating to our incredibly rich, tasty and hardworking county, but there are certainly many more words to describe the assortment of food and drink available to us from our waters, moors and everything inbetween.
The best way to be exposed to as many great producers as possible? Food and Drink festivals of course!
Here’s our round up of the upcoming 2018 Food Festivals in Devon as well as a couple from Cornwall. We’ve included website links for each festival as well as links to our review of the previous events for a feel of what you can expect.
This page will be updated constantly if other events pop up, or when we know more info has been released so do come back to double check if you’re looking for an event to visit. In the meantime, get the dates in your calendar!
If you know of a great food or drink event we haven’t included, then feel free to message us on any of our social media platforms, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
14th April: Cullompton Springfest
A food, craft and music festival; there will be a Farmer’s Market, plus a range of food producers selling their food products as well as cooked food to sell on the day. Local restaurant, The Bakehouse, will be hosting an Indian Cuisine night and there is a special meal at The Walronds on the night (ticket only), with a celebrity chef doing the honours.
27th & 28th April: Toby’s Garden Festival
In its 5th year, Toby’s Garden Festival will feature 200 exhibitors, offering quality plants from award-winning nurseries, unique West Country craft, artisan food and drink along with live music and fun family entertainment, all in the fabulous grounds and interior of Powderham Castle.
5th, 6th and 7th May: Exeter Food and Drink Festival
Last years write up: Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink 2017
In our opinion, the largest event in the South West and based in Exeter city centre in the grounds of Exeter Castle. An excellent festival including evening music events, live music during the day, beer tent, kids cookery and activity tents, farm animals, plenty of food to eat, producers and no shortage of tasters – come hungry! Demo kitchen, chef’s Q&A, wine tasting as well as a VIP option with an extra room full of treats and a place to rest your weary legs.
6th May: Salcombe Crab Fest
Last years write up: Salcombe Crab Fest 2017
A free one day festival spread around Salcombe quay and town is a celebration of crab and seafood – with demos from chef and restauratuer Mitch Tonks, crab picking tuition, commercial crab fishing talk, crab pot making, music, wine tasting and more. The programme of events will be available on their website from March.
26th – 27th May: River Cottage Spring Fair
On the grounds of the famous River Cottage HQ at Axminster, this festival is full of food, music and producers in a fantastic setting, albeit not as accessible as some, so do check access if you have prams or wheelchair needs etc. Cookery line up includes Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tom Kerridge, Guy & Geetie Singh-Watson and Gill Meller, to name a few, with more to be announced. There are workshops to book, tours to venture on as well as various kids activities. Additional activities do cost a bit extra so be sure to take plenty of cash or prebook through the website to ensure a place.
27th – 28th May: Dartington Food Fair
Our write up from 2016: Dartington Food Fair 2016
A free event, with a small parking charge, the food fair is held in the grounds of the Shops at Dartington. This fab food fair includes a demo tent, large food producers tent, plenty of food to eat, along with a few kids activities. On top of that you can enjoy the deli, the kitchen shop, toy shop as well as the drinks shop. A great excuse to visit this lovely ‘shopping village’ which champions local food and drink.
1st – 3rd June: Plymouth Flavour Fest
Now in it’s 15th year, Plymouth Flavour Fest is quite a large food festival spread out through Plymouth city centre. Food stalls, producers, drinks marquee and chef demo tent with the star chef for the event being Masterchef Judge, John Torode who will be cooking on the Saturday. Extended trading times, evening entertainment, children’s engagement programme and a continental market also feature this year. 2018 details are yet to be released fully.
2nd June: Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival
Now in its 6th year, this event is aimed at foodies and all the family, encouraging healthy eating and showcasing local produce and restaurants. More info is yet to be released but last year over 5,000 people joined in the fun at local eateries, enjoyed tasting local produce from the food stalls and the children were well entertained inside and out.
9th – 10th June: Crediton Food Festival
Now in it’s 10th year, this event is held in the town centre and is great for food stalls, music and demos.
16th – 17th June: Q’fest BBQ Competition, Festival and Camping
Held at Red Rock Brewery in Bishopsteignton, this newbie to the food scene is now in it’s second year. Driven by the increased interest in UK BBQ’ing, smoking and outdoor cooking, the event features a major BBQ competition. For visitors there will be camping, product stalls, BBQ cooking demos, bouncy castles for the kids, food and drink of course, live music in the barn as well as the opportunity to taste some of the best BBQ in the country.
15th July: Pen’Grillie’ BBQ Festival
Held at Pentillie Castle, to the east of Plymouth, this event is now in it’s 3rd year and is a lovely event consisting of BBQ competitions, live music, chilli eating competition, kids activity tent, food and product stalls, smoking and grilling demos, all in a beautiful setting.
12th August: Rockfish Crab Fest, Dartmouth South Embankment
The Rockfish Crab Festival is now in its 7th year, championed by restaurateur Mitch Tonks, it celebrates all that is great about our British crab. Enjoy music, local crab, children’s crabbing competition & the best-dressed table competition – that’s the table not the guests! Bring bunting, table linen, flowers, candelabra, whatever you fancy. Guaranteed fun & guaranteed weather-proofing with a marquee! This is a ticketed event, and further info will be released in due course on their website.
1st September: Nourish Festival, Bovey Tracey
Bovey Tracey’s Fore Street gets transformed for this music, food, craft festival and Devon Street Food Awards. There will also be two evenings of concerts. More info to be released soon.
2nd September: Clovelly Lobster and Crab Festival
A unique and beautiful place, Clovelly celebrates its famous lobsters and crabs sustainably caught by its fishermen with a great day out for all the family. This year is its 10th Anniversary.
7th, 8th & 9th September: Topsham Beer and Bacon Festival
This little festival is not all fancy and big – it’s perfectly formed and organised by the guys at The Pig and Pallet/Good Game. A beer tent, some bacon and pork based food stalls, a side loader truck opened up for the live music to perform on, and right in front of The Lighter Inn on Topsham Quay. If you’re local, be sure to pop down for a good time.
8th September: Ashburton Food & Drink Festival
This free festival offers a full day of local foodie delights and entertainment. There’ll be over 60 stalls and music and entertainment together with talks, wine tasting and cooking demos.
16th – 17th September: Plymouth Seafood Festival
The website states “The Barbican and Sutton Harbour will come alive on Saturday 15 to Sunday 16 September, with a celebration of locally sourced and sustainably caught, high quality seafood.”
With Plymouth having the second largest fish market in the UK, events spread across this harbourside city includes cookery theatre with well known regional chefs, food stalls, crabbing competition, and a cardboard boat race amongst other activities!
22nd – 23rd September: The Great Food & Drink Show
This is a brand new show, being held at Westpoint in Exeter, featuring some serious food heavyweights such as chefs Tom Kerridge and Jean Christophe Novelli. The weekend will include workshops, South West food and drink producers as well as a selection of restaurants and eateries. More information being released gradually but having spoken with the organiser, it sounds like it’s going to be a very exciting, large event. When you buy a ticket, you can also opt in to be in with a chance of winning a place on their Ready, Steady, Cook challenge!
Date TBC: Taste of the Teign and Teignmouth Harbour Festival
A week long food event that will include Smokeinteignhead, a newly added BBQ competition. Various events are held and venues and include Tea on the Teign, jam making workshops, an evening in the orchard, Fry Up Friday, street food market, farmers market and culminating with a food fair.
6th – 7th October: Powderham Food Festival
Previous write up: Powderham Food Festival
Held inside Powderham Castle and around the beautiful grounds, this fabulous festival includes a Theatre of Fire and Smoke, food stalls, producers, drinks, items for sale, free cookery classes for kids by Fun Kitchen, demo kitchen with local great chefs including Exeter Cookery School and some live music.
19th – 21st: Dartmouth Food Festival
Held all along the harbour with plenty of street entertainers, food stalls, products, children’s activities and demos to be enjoyed as well as special offers in restaurants.
Some of the above events we have visited and some we haven’t so it’s a mix of knowledge, opinion and information gathered from the websites. Please check websites or organisers directly regarding prices, parking and accessibility. Feel free to tag us on social media if you visit any!