Love getting ‘hands-on’ in the kitchen, always dreamt of distilling your own spirits or are you intrigued by the art of fermentation, winemaking or rum blending? What better way to learn than through meeting the experts. Here’s Food Drink Devon’s round-up of some of the best foodie experiences the region has to offer. Food Drink Devon is one of the county’s leading food and drink organisations with over 360 members (www.fooddrinkdevon.co.uk).
Devon Cookery School Classes & Farm to Fork Experience
Devon Cookery School offers fun, relaxed, and informative cooking experiences in a gorgeous West Country setting. Choose from over 20 different classes for all abilities, cuisines, and tastes. From Mexican Street Food, Pastry, Japanese, Fish Filleting, Bread Making plus many more! So whether you’re looking for a fun experience with friends, learning new skills or just looking to take them to the next level, Devon Cookery School has something for everyone! To see the full range of courses visit www.devoncookeryschool.com.
Hattiers Rum Tour & Tasting (£20pp including tour and tastings)
Accompanied by the founder as your guide, explore the Blending Room, learn about the impact of oak and cask aging on the component rums, plus the benefit of tropical maturation. Take a deep dive into Hattiers Rum and discover where they source their rums from, and how they blend their multi international award-winning Rum and enjoy a hosted tasting. For tour dates and bookings visit www.hattiers.com.
A Brewery Tour at Salcombe Brewery Co. (£20pp including tour and tastings)
Salcombe Brewery Co.’s award-winning beers are available nationwide in pubs and hospitality venues as well as retail outlets. A visit to the brewery for a tour is the perfect opportunity to learn more about their ales, how they are created and, of course, how they taste! The ninety minute brewery tours start with a welcome drink in the taproom, followed by a tour of the brewhouse and the chance to grill the experts on any beer-related topics. The tour ends in the taproom, where visitors will enjoy a flight of Salcombe beers. Brewery tours cost £20 and can be bought online at www.salcombebrewery.com.
Tour, Taste, Dine & Stay at Sandridge Barton Vineyard
In June 2022, Sandridge Barton, the home of Sharpham Wine, unveiled its brand new visitor centre, winery, restaurant and self-catering accommodation nestled in the South Devon countryside on the east bank of the River Dart. Created within the traditional buildings of historic Lower Well Farm, the site has an exceptional location overlooking the surrounding countryside, including a spring-fed tributary leading to the River Dart nearby. Call in for a range of experiences including guided and self-guided tastings, walking trails through the estate and vineyards plus the opportunity to enjoy wines by the glass in the gallery bar or lunch in the on-site restaurant – Circa at Sandridge Barton – or outdoors on the sun terraces. The winery shop stocks the full range of wines as well as Sharpham Cheeses and other local produce to take home. For more details visit www.sandridgebarton.com.
A Masterclass or Brewing Experience at Owens Coffee (£95pp)
Owens Coffee is a roastery based in Ivybridge, South Devon in a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facility, which has been built with a focus on sustainable construction and energy. Its complete range of certified organic Fairtrade coffee is available in whole bean or ground format and can be bought directly from the roastery shop. They also host coffee masterclasses and coffee tasting and brewing experiences including a ‘Home Barista Masterclass’ (£95) and a ‘Coffee Tasting & Brewing Experience’ (£95). For more information visit www.owenscoffee.com.
A Wine Training Course or Tasting Event with South West Wine School
South West Wine School was founded by Jonathan and Hayley Reynolds to provide first rate wine education across the region and brings together the best wine educators in the South West. Join them for a Wine and Spirit Education Trust training course at Darts Farm or a wine tasting event. For more information visit www.southwestwineschool.co.uk.
Dartmouth Distillery Masterclass (£95pp)
Spend an afternoon at the internationally award-winning Dartmouth Distillery Co, on Calancombe Estate, to enjoy a hands-on masterclass and learn the art of distilling with their Head Distiller. He will take you through each step, to produce your own bottle of bespoke gin or vodka, to take home and share with your friends. For more information visit www.dartmouth-gin.com.
Boo Chi Organic Kombucha Masterclass (£45pp)
Learn to brew your very own lifetime supply of organic kombucha with Boo Chi Kombucha. Their one and half-hour masterclass at their micro-brewery in Seale Hayne will teach you everything you need to know about the art of fermentation and the secrets of the SCOBY and you will make your very own kombucha to take home with you. For more information and to book your course visit www.boochi.co.uk.
Salcombe Distilling Co. Gin School (Lesson for 1 £110 or for two £160)
Take charge of a beautiful mini copper pot still to develop and distil your very own 70cl bottle of gin. Create your own gin recipe by choosing from an extensive range of citrus, herbal, floral and spice botanicals or get imaginative and experiment by bringing your own. During distillation, you will sample and name your unique creation before bottling your gin and placing it in a presentation box with a personalised bottle label. For more information or to book visit www.salcombegin.com.
High Grange Devon Fire School Courses (Half Day, £130pp / Full Day, £225pp)
High Grange is a rural retreat in Axminster with fine dining over fire. They have an incredible outdoor kitchen and dining venue and a full roster of Fire School days for you to join. These are run by Luke Mackay – a chef with over 20 years of experience, his wife Sara and their lovely team. For more information and to book courses visit www.highgrangedevon.com.
Exeter Gin Distillery & School Experiences (from £25)
Established in 2017, Exeter Gin offers a multi-award-winning range of artisan gins as well as gin distillery tours and a gin school in the heart of Devon. The family run business operates from the idyllic Teignmouth on the outskirts of Exeter. Visitors can attend the distillery for fun-filled and informative experiences, ranging from a tour and tasting experience (£25) or learning how to create their very own gin (£65) with the help of Exeter Gin’s knowledgeable team of distillers. They also offer online tasting experiences (£45) which participants can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. exetergin.com
A centre for progressive learning in arts, ecology and social justice, Dartington Trust is based on a beautiful 1,200 acre estate near Totnes. The many elements of the Trust today include: Schumacher College, Dartington Arts School and Research in Practice. It is a social-enterprise hub for like-minded organisations and charities, a place for nature with a range of conservation, agroforestry and sustainable food-growing projects, a creative community with a year-round programme of art, craft, food and gardening short courses, theatre, music and dance events as well the independent Barn Cinema plus the Dartington Summer School & Festival which has been running since 1953. www.dartington.org
Food Drink Devon is a not-for-profit membership organisation of food and drink producers, retailers, hospitality venues and related businesses dedicated to serving up the best produce from the county. With a focus on quality, sustainability and provenance, Food Drink Devon’s aim is to support and promote their members and raise Devon’s culinary profile as a whole.
For more information visit fooddrinkdevon.co.uk, follow @FoodDrinkDevon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.