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RECORD BREAKING YEAR FOR EXETER FESTIVAL OF SOUTH WEST FOOD and DRINK
Written: 30 April 2013
More people than ever visited the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink in Northernhay Gardens and Exeter Castle from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April to enjoy the region’s best food, drink, producers and chefs and celebrate the Festival’s 10th anniversary year. Close to 20,000 people attended the Festival with record numbers of visitors on Saturday and Sunday.
The highest ever number of visitors in the 10 year history of the region’s biggest foodie event ensured many of more than one hundred South West artisan food producers sold out of produce and the cookery theatre was full. Visitors also had the chance to learn new skills at workshops and masterclasses in the popular Darts Farm Food is Fun teepees and young food fans learnt to cook with Minno Kitchen and Fun Kitchen in the Little Cookies children’s area.
Co-founder and Chairman of the Festival Board, Derek Phillips, says, “We are delighted that so many people came and enjoyed the Festival this year and made the most of the fine weather to discover more about the region’s best food and drink and enjoy a fantastic atmosphere and great family fun. The Festival is a not for profit event so any surplus generated will help support our charities and go towards staging another terrific Festival next year.”
Regular exhibitors, Andrew Freemantle, Kenniford Farm, Clyst St Mary, comments, “We had a hugely successful Festival selling over twelve whole pigs through our hog roast, bacon, sausages and burgers in just 3 days and getting over 800 entries into our guess the weight of the sow and piglets competition. Not only were there more people at the Festival this year but I felt they were all spending more money, which is great news for the food and drink producers and the Festival.”
Fancy That, Sidmouth producing Caribbean food from the South West was awarded best exhibition stand by The Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Rob Newby. Cllr Newby explains, “I spent a long time at the Festival looking at all the stands but the enthusiasm, bubbly personality and welcome from Janice Voce clinched her win. She is very passionate about the food she cooks and works with local produce bought from local farmers. Her goat curry was superb.”
Thousands of people also attended the Festival After Dark Party nights, featuring live music, food-to-go stalls, local ales and ciders and live chef demos, with strong attendance at the extra night on Thursday starring Exeter’s Adam Isaac.
The next Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink will be at Northernhay Gardens and Exeter Castle from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th April 2014, with After Dark Party nights on Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th April.
Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is supported by Exeter City Council. For more information visit www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk