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Celebrating year 13
Written: 12 May 2016
THE SUN SHONE ON THOUSANDS OF VISITORS AT THIS YEAR’S EXETER FESTIVAL OF SOUTH WEST FOOD & DRINK
After a glorious weekend, the 13th Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink 2016 closed its gates on the evening of Sunday 24th April. Around 17,000 visitors attended the 3 day, 3 night event to enjoy the wealth of stands, culinary activities for children, talented chefs, demonstrations, music and sumptuous food and drink.
Festival co-founder, Michael Caines MBE said: ‘Our thirteenth Food Festival has been fantastic. The weather was a little challenging on Friday but the clouds cleared for the Saturday and Sunday and we basked in the sunshine up in Northernhay Gardens and Exeter Castle courtyard. It made the event even better!’
This year, the Festival moved its Cookery Theatre to Northernhay Gardens and extended its opening hours on the Friday and Saturday for the first time. Visitors were able to enjoy cookery demonstrations, 100 regional producers in the Food and Drink Pavilions as well as street food stands until 7.30pm while the Exeter Castle Courtyard became the venue for the After Dark Music Festivals headlined by Los Pacaminos featuring Paul Young on the Thursday night. A large Festival Bar, brand new Oddfellows of Exeter Cocktail Bar and companies selling delicious street food provided revelers plenty of lip smacking fodder while they tapped a toe to the live music acts and enjoyed one of the best nights out Exeter has to offer.
New to the Food Festival this year were cheese and wine masterclasses with wine writer Susy Atkins and local wine expert Rebecca Mitchell. Visitors enjoyed delicious regional cheeses and excellent English wines in these ticketed masterclasses held in the splendor of the Exeter Castle ballroom. Other features included the Festival Question Time with BBC Radio Devon and the Westcountry Bakery with Glenn Cosby, contestant of the Great British Bake-off, each offering visitors a host of entertaining and informative demonstrations and debates. The Darts Farm, Food is Fun returned once more with their timetable of fascinating and tasty workshops from Cider pairings to sausage making.
Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink returns for its 14th outing next year, moving a week later to the early May bank holiday weekend, from 28-30 April plus three After Dark Music Festival parties on the evenings of 27th, 28st and 29th April.