For those who love food, there is an abundance of Devon food festivals taking place this year.
Whether you happen to be in Devon on holiday and wish to check out the local festival or are on a mission to attend them all, this list of food festivals makes for a delicious recipe. They’re all a must visit for the atmosphere, the sights and of course the locally produced food and drink.
We’ll update this list with more events and details as and when they become available. If there are any food festivals in Devon missing from this list that we could promote, please tell us. Use our Facebook or Twitter pages to fill us in.
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Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink
5th - 6th May 2018
A firm fixture on the food festival calendar, this event is held in the scenic grounds of Exeter Castle Courtyard and Northernhay Gardens. By day, food is the sole focus of the event because at its core the festival celebrates the food and drink of South West. There will be more than 100 regional chefs, food producers, workshops and food-themed activities. By night, live music gives the festival a party feel - perfect for dancing off all that food.
Our own Dez Turland, Group Development Chef at Brend Hotels, will be one of the chefs attending.
Credit; Norsworthy Photography
Salcombe Crab Festival
6th May 2018
Inspired by the famously flavoursome brown crab caught off the South Devon coast, Salcombe Crab Festival – or Crabfest – is an annual celebration of the local fishing, food and tourism industries.
Mary Berry opened the event in 2016 and renowned chef Matt Tebbutt from the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen did it in 2017, so fingers crossed 2018 keeps up the trend of hosting familiar faces.
Enjoy a full day of events including cookery demos by award-winning chefs, crab picking masterclasses, crab pot making and much more. Family events include bucket and line crab catching, or relax with stalls to try, buy, munch, sip and guzzle local products.
River Cottage Spring Food Fair
26th - 27th May 2018 - Axminster
If you love food then you and the family are invited to join Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, along with a big list of other chefs, at River Cottage for their annual food fair. It’s the ideal place to learn new culinary skills, spend time on the working farm, enjoy kids events and games, attend workshops and to generally indulge in a weekend of cooking, relaxing, and eating.
Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival
2nd June 2018
In the glorious Devon countryside, thousands of people have been descending on the Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival since 2012 and it’s been growing in popularity ever since. The food festival will be bigger and better in 2018 than ever before - with the aim of celebrating local food and the local community.
Held in various locations in the town, the event strives to involve local groups and schools to help raise awareness of good and healthy, locally produced and sourced products. Plus it’s an opportunity for local businesses to showcase their products.
Crediton Food and Drink Festival
9th - 10th June 2018
The Crediton Food and Drink Festival is celebrating its tenth year in 2018. This event is filled with sensory teasing food and drink stalls from local producers. Hungry visitors will be given the chance to indulge in some of the best food possible, and they’ll also be able to load up on goodies to take home. There will also be demos to feast your eyes on, and live music will be provided by local musicians.
Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival
1st - 2nd September 2018 - Ilfracombe
The Maritime Festival in Ilfracombe is a weekend of great food and nautical fun. Expect a whole host of locally-sourced and freshly prepared seafood to tickle your taste buds. Originally set up in 2009 by local volunteers and business, the event goes from strength to strength whilst remaining free to enjoy. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers, charities, council funding and generosity of local business the town comes together to offer two days of fun attractions, local food stalls, live music and family entertainment.
Clovelly Lobster & Crab Feast
2nd September 2018
Welcome to another world…the cobbled, cliff tumbling, car-free village in North Devon. Their Lobster and Crab Feast is a one day extravaganza based around the lobster and crab fishing that the village still thrives off from its tiny harbour.
As a privately owned village, upon entry guests can spend the day exploring the village, learning about its fishing history and seeing the stunning views. On top of this there'll be live music all day, cookery demonstrations with tastings, a prize draw for a magnum of champagne, local food and craft stalls, beer tasting, plus plenty of freshly cooked lobsters and crabs.
21st - 23rd September 2018 - Newton Abbot
Abbfest is a beer, food and drink festival that aims to raise money for local charities, organisations and good causes! To date, they’ve raised £220,000 for charity.
Run by volunteers, Abbfest stages a festival to raise money and in so doing so it promotes local drink, food, craft and entertainment. Every year Abbfest provides a wonderful weekend full of live music, locally produced beer and cider, chef demonstrations and a food market full of local artisan producers.
A weekend full of indulging in beer, food and entertainment for charity - does it get more worthwhile?
Powderham Castle Food Festival
7 - 8 October 2018 - Exeter
A stunning castle with beautiful grounds full of deer with lots of wonderful food stalls sounds like a great day out. Set in the historic park on the River Exe, the castle provides a stunning location for a celebration of glorious food.
From the estate itself comes venison and other game, beef, pork and lamb plus River Exe shellfish which the castle owns the rights too. All these delicious elements will be turned into mouth-watering dishes by the many cooks and chefs demonstrating at Powderham Food Festival. Now in its 6th Year, over 130 stalls will be selling artisan food, drink and hot treats.
Credit; Original Image Photography
Dartmouth Food Festival
19th - 21st October 2018
Described by The Guardian as “one of the top ten food festivals in the UK”, Dartmouth surely has a reputation for being one of the biggest and the best. Quite simply, Dartmouth Food Festival is a first-class feast of food, featuring workshops, seminars, tastings, competitions, demonstrations and over 120 exhibitors mainly from Devon.
Entry is free, and every penny spent goes to supporting local trade or boosts fundraising efforts.
Exeter Christmas Market on Cathedral Green
15th November - 16th December 2018 (TBC)
The Christmas market at Exeter revolves around food. Yes, there are craft stalls and clothing stands but anyone who’s visited before knows that it’s the sights and smells of mouthwatering food that draws the crowds.
By walking through the market and making purchases you’re supporting local businesses and performers. Full details and confirmation of dates to come, but we know they’ll be an exciting mix of continental and local, independent traders alongside music and choir singers. Perfect for getting into the festive spirit.
The North Devon Food Trail
Visiting North Devon for a holiday and want to know where to dine, aside from your luxury Brend hotel?
The North Devon Food Trail is a brand new website and App that advertises the very best places to eat and drink in North Devon, as recommended by locals. The routes and locations are designed to suit families, groups, or couples visiting any time of the year. Whether you wish to take a long walk around a stunning part of the country and stop at all the marked places to eat, or plan to relax in one area and dine in as many places as possible, then this is for you.