May has been a bit wet and wild. It is safe to say that it has been the wettest on record, but one thing that has been keeping our spirits high has been some of the events and places we’ve visited this month. May 17th saw many businesses reopening their indoor areas, and others opening for the first time since January. Newly opened Mickey’s Beach … Continue reading May highlights: Mickey’s Beach, Boston Tea Party, Ben’s Farm Shop and more!
I do like a good revisit – especially to a place that we enjoyed as much as we did when we visited last year. At the time Mike Welsh was heading up the food, but after moving on to pastures new, this left a space to be filled. Enter stage left, Charles Dingley and his partner Carlie who have taken the reigns. Every chef, like … Continue reading REVIEW: The Seven Stars, Kennford: The revisit #Ad
The meal provided in this review was gratis. Views expressed are independent of the business and is not seen or approved before publication. Holy Cow! Vodka made from milk? Intrigued? I for sure was. With there being an influx of new Gin producers flooding the market, even here in this part of the country, and some good ones too, it was refreshing to hear about … Continue reading BEYOND DEVON: Black Cow Vodka Distillery Experience – by Sue Stoneman #Ad
All photos are courtesy of One Mile Bakery In 2012, Guardian journalist turned baker Elisabeth Mahoney launched the first One Mile Bakery in Cardiff. Inspired by her mother’s home cooking and baking, the concept was a hyper-local delivery service within a mile of her Cardiff townhouse, delivering homemade bread, soup and jam to subscribers by bike. She ran inspirational baking classes in her micro-bakery kitchen, … Continue reading One Mile Bakery launches in Exeter with delivery by bike and exciting bakery classes!
Last week I put out a call for another foodie blogger to join our humble blog. The competition was fierce as we pitted potential rivals in a battle of wits, physical ability, and creativity as they fought for the coveted place of Third Member of Dining Devon. OK OK… it wasn’t quite like that. It wasn’t a fight to the death, that was just for … Continue reading Sue Stoneman joins the Dining Devon team!
All photos are copyright Nick Hook Photography The best events are the ones that you’re invited to last minute. My good foodie chums Harry & Nick were due to go to this event, but for Harry – is nearly ready to pop with a teeny small one – this was going to be an event that she would have to sit out. So I was … Continue reading The Chef Shed presents Tim Maddams and Juanita Hennessey pop-up event. Photography by Nick Hook
There are two things in life that I could not live without. Food and mindfulness. In recent years organisations like Mind and individuals like Stephen Fry & Ruby Wax have popularized the notion of talking about mental health, something which is strangely taboo around some dinner tables. We got an invitation to attend a bloggers evening launching a partnership between Wagamama’s and MIND a couple … Continue reading Wagamama, Mindfulness and Positive Juices: Wagamama supports the charity Mind! Launch Event
The second to last (don’t forget Dartmouth Food Festival that happened last weekend) big food festival on the calendar took place a few weekends ago; we were lucky enough to attend as guests. Each year the stands get better and more fascinating, all manned by friendly producers who are always willing to chat and share their passion for the products they’re selling. Have a look … Continue reading Powderham Food Festival 2017
*Header image courtesy of Nick Hook Photography Bonjour mes amis, bienvenue a La Petite Bouchee! Hello my friends and welcome to La Petite Bouchee! La Petite Bouchee you say, what does that mean? Well translation equals The Small Bite but small bites we did not have. In fact this hearty English venture with a full on French twist fed us good and proper. What once … Continue reading La Petite Bouchee – by Lauren Heath
Recently the wonderfully charming Andy Cooper, Editor of Devon Life magazine, lost his darling Zena warrior princess to that awful disease Cancer. Obviously nothing can bring her back or heal the wound fully but as in life one must find the good within the bad. So apart from deciding to run the Taunton half marathon in her honour to raise funds towards his chosen charities, … Continue reading Foodie Fundraising Feast by Lauren Heath
Both of us visited Powderham Food Festival independently, and wandered round in our groups enjoying many facets of the festival. Now in it’s 5th year, it hosts food producers, food stalls, children’s activities, a cookery theatre and it’s USP is the Fire and Smoke Tent; most events with BBQ events are mainly for BBQ enthusiasts, this drops it right in the middle of mainstream. With the extensive landscape, dotted with deer, a background of the castle and the estuary in the distance – the setting is a beautiful one. There is something for everyone, here are our best bits:
Last year we experienced this festival on a misty autumn day and this year, it was a glorious sunny day. I love how the festival is well spread out inside and outside the grounds, on different levels.
You pass though the initial courtyard filled with suppliers – too many to mention. There are also even more placed throughout the castle’s beautiful lower ground floor.
One of the first activities we came across was Fun Kitchen, who were there to keep the children entertained, learning to cook whilst having fun. Joe Mann does an incredible job of commanding every little persons attention and they end with something edible, made by their own little fair hands, to take home at the end of it.
I loved the Theatre of Fire and Smoke; a huge teepee like tent, filled with benches surrounding a large fire. Local oracle Marcus Bawdon of Devon Wood Smoke and UK BBQ mag put on a very interesting itinerary with 2015 BBQ champ Simon Dyer and other guest cooks. Plenty of demo’s, q&a and the all important tasters with plenty for everyone.
There was a larger range of food and drink stalls this year, with gin and cocktails an obvious trend.
We were hungry fairly early on and, where usually I struggle to choose food (through sheer reason of wanting to eat it all) I easily settled on the cool Grandpa Franks and their reuben dog – a firm hot diggety dawg smothered in beef brisket, monteray jack cheese and some jalapeno’s thrown in for good measure – mouth wateringly good. My son chose a fantastic super-fast-oven-baked pizza from Pizza Buona, and it was delicious.
The Exeter Cookery School cookery theatre included demo’s from Richard of Angelas Restaurant, ex River Cottage chef Tim Maddams, and of course the host, ECS director and chef Jim Fisher. Tim cooked 4 courses, one of which I was delighted to be a selected diner due to the speed I put my hands up like antlers! (A fun and fair selection process). I enjoyed pigeon with mushrooms and blackberries all foraged by Tim himself, it was delicious! He was incredbly entertaining, full of anecdotes and clearly passionate about food and its origins, with uncomplicated dishes.
We purchased some lovely fudge from Devon Fudge, Steve was delighted to find a fantastic Indian naga chili pickle from India In A Jar, and my son loves beetroot and apple juice so he chose to buy some with his pocket money. I couldn’t leave without grabbing a caramel chocolate tart from Te Cake and coffee from Crankhouse – I consumed these two together so swiftly in joyous celebration of a good day out, I didn’t even take a photo!
An affordable and lovely day out full of local suppliers and food producers and all the demo’s included. If you haven’t visited it yet, you best put it in the diary for next year, and hot foot it towards the smoke and fire tent early on – it gets busy. Sit a while until hunger and curiosity lure you out, and enjoy everything this dynamic festival has to offer for yourself.
Summer’s final death knell fell on the weekend of The Powderham Food Festival. A gloriously sunny Sunday made up for a wet Saturday, and with this final surge, we close the doors on Summer with a superb send-off.
The festival is a relative new-comer to the foodie calendar, but it has been booming in popularity each year. I finally got the chance to visit and experience the clustering bustle of culinary craziness takes over the home of the Earl of Devon. This year has been particularly successful for the festival, firmly embedding it in the region’s foodie calendar.
Tori has been poorly for quite a few weeks now, so I took my lovely mum. The car parking was logical and well laid out, a little walk up to the castle with an optional tractor service for the less mobile. We we gently pottered along some of the Powderham’s magnificent stags casually laid themselves out by the fence, drawing much attention from the snappers and onlookers.
The first section of exhibitors were local producers in the courtyard. This was the entry point that all punters walked through on their way to the rest of the festival on the other side of the castle. Here we found Bell & Loxton with their lovely cold-pressed rapeseed oil, which I bought two bottles of including a Garlic oil that I have since used to cover everything edible in.
Also Shaldon Bakery, my favourite bakers I might add, was there in force with some delicious looking breads including the infamous and delicious Uglibun.
We took a trip around to the other side of the castle and there were street-food stalls, more producers, even a mobile gin bar! The highlight for me was the Theatre of Fire and Smoke which was MC’d by one of my favourite bloggers Marcus Bawdon and his pal Simon, who is also a legend in the BBQ world.
It was great to wander around taking in surroundings, to watch some of the demos at the Fire and Smoke tent and even get to taste some samples from the demo too!
Our last stop was the Exeter Cookery School Demo tent where we watched chef-maestro-and-nice-chap Jim Fisher and friends, including foodie hero Tim Maddams, share their extensive knowledge and skills to eager foodies.
Before we headed home we were able to walk back through the castle itself which was home to even more local producers.
Including a Pork Pie cake!!
This has to be one of my favourite food festivals. The exquisite surroundings of the castle, the reasonable entry fee, the choice and above all else the celebration of some of the fantastic local producers and street food stalls makes you realise just how amazing we are when it comes to producing good things with great ingredients, grown and created on our front door.
Exeter Food Festival is just around the corner, and it is easy to see that our region has become a shining beacon for food lovers over the last ten years, and us Exonians are in the middle of the party. But for those of us reliant on public transport, getting out to visit some of the best foodie destinations can be tricky. So, here are a few choice … Continue reading The Carless Foodie: foot-friendly foodie destinations near Exeter