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Crowds return to the ninth Festival
Written: 17 April 2012
The ninth Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink 2012 has proved to be another success with crowds enjoying the fine food, live music and good weather. With 9% more exhibitors than ever before, visitors were able to stock up on local produce, watch top chef demonstrations and spot famous faces at the Festival throughout the weekend.
Festival co-founder Michael Caines MBE says, “Once again, we have enjoyed another successful Festival with happy visitors enjoying the very best of the region’s food and drink. Set against a challenging economic backdrop we welcomed around 15,000 visitors, on par with last year. The party atmosphere is always special at the Festival and this year was no exception. We were joined by Kirstie Allsopp and Michael Morpurgo during the Festival as well as an amazing line up of talented chefs and artisan producers. We are already busy planning the celebrations for our tenth Festival next year!”
New feature areas for the 2012 Food Festival included the Gourmet on the Go pop up restaurants featuring starters, main courses and deserts from five top regional restaurants designed to give visitors the chance to enjoy restaurant signature dishes at the heart of the Festival. Award winning restaurant, The HH presented its dishes in Gourmet on the Go, Debbie Hill, joint owner of The HH Restaurant says, “The Festival this year was a great testimony to the fantastic producers and foodies of the south west. As first timers we at the HH restaurant enjoyed the opportunity to meet fellow foodies and producers alike through the Gourmet on the Go feature; we'll be back for more next year.”
The 2012 Exeter Food Festival offered more family activities than ever before including the new Little Cookies area, sponsored by Crealy Great Adventure Park, which was packed with families all weekend keeping future foodies entertained. The Darts Farm Teepees involved children in making sausages, pasties and pizza and Farms for City Children, the official Festival charity, engaged children in farming activities including bread making and apple pressing. Michael Dart, Festival board member said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be involved with yet another fantastic celebration of local food and drink at the festival. For us, it’s the coming together of so many food producers and food lovers and an opportunity to enjoy everything that’s so fantastic about our region.”
The Food Festival also featured three live music stages across the site showcasing talented local musicians throughout the three days as well as during the After Dark events on Friday and Saturday nights, including music from Adam Isaac and Hannah Berney, local stars of the new BBC1 programme The Voice.
Exhibitors Dartmoor Chilli Farm were awarded Best Exhibition stand by Exeter Lord Mayor, Cllr Stella Brock for their passion for and knowledge of chilli plants and products. Dartmoor Chilli Farm owner, Philip Palmer says, “We have had a very successful Festival launching our new Chilli Salt and it is really nice to be judged best stand as well. Visitors at the Festival seem to enjoy being able to meet the people behind the company name and we have really enjoyed talking to them about our products and our environmental credentials.”
The 10th Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April 2013.
The Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink is supported by Exeter City Council.