Exeter food heritage is worth studying. It starts since Medieval, when traders from different countries and cities came here and sold food at local food markets. Thus the food traditions of Exeter were formed, they consisted of food experience from various parts of England and other countries. The unique food style of Exeter was created. To taste dishes from Exeter chefs used to be interesting not only for local inhabitants but also for tourists. That’s why in 2002 Exeter food festival appeared.
What is the main idea of the festival?
The event is held annually during three days. Usually this great festival is organized in late spring, when it is warm enough, we are looking forward to summer season and are ready to spend some time outdoors and have delicious food. The full name of the festival is Exeter Festival of Southwest Food and Drink. As you can understand from the name, mostly South West cuisine is presented here. The event is popular and not only local inhabitants come to visit it, to try new dishes from chefs and to learn new secrets of food making. Tourists also like this event and during three spring days, when festival is held, the streets of Exeter are full of strangers. About 15,000 of tourists come here every year and have fun, enjoying various kinds of food activities at the festival.
This event is supported by City Council, and the main idea of it is not to make profit and sell some food and souvenirs to the guests of the event. In fact, the festival organizers set specific aims for the participants of the event. Thus, the main idea of the festival and its main tasks are the following:
1. Show the rich food heritage of Exeter to the local residents and tourists. South West cuisine is healthy and tasty and it is important for people to try it, to keep to the traditions of its cooking and to cook it themselves.
2. To honor greatest local restaurants, food markets and food producing companies. Local restaurants and food markets cook great seasonal food for the guests of the town and its inhabitants. This event is the opportunity to make a compliment to these companies that try their best courses.
3. To educate children in food making and healthy eating. It is important for children to know the main ideas of healthy eating and put them into practice. Various food activities for children, which are organized by the administration of the festival, help young cooks to be involved into the process of food making.
This festival is a family event, so for those, who have an opportunity to visit Exeter food festival, it is highly recommended.
What events are held within the festival?
Festival starts in the morning and lasts during the late night. Within Exeter food festival two other festivals take place. They are called Festival After Dark Party Nights. It is a great opportunity for young visitors to relax, to have a glass of noble wine or extremely fresh beer and to listen to live music.
The festival takes place at Exeter Castle Courtyar. It is interesting to walk there and to have some rest during late spring. But walking is not the only possible activity here. Both, adults and children can visit Festival Cookery Theatre. It is a family event, so you can take part in group family activities. Of course, the main topic of these family games and competitions is food. Besides you can meet TV celebrities – famous cooks from popular shows, listen to their food cooking tips and to learn some new recipes.
After visiting Cookery Theatre you can take a drink at Festival Bar – alcohol or alcohol-free and have some rest, enjoying warm spring weather. If you are a coffee fan, this festival is the ideal place to try new grades of coffee and who knows, may be here you will find that very grade you’ve been looking for!
The other thing you should try, if you visit Exeter food festival, is bakery. Westcountry Bakery, presented here, is worth tasting, it is fresh and mouthwatering. But even if you are not the fan of cakes and buns, still you can find something to your taste as two big stalls with different dishes from local markets and restaurants offer the samples of their cuisine.
Different food themed activities are held here during three days of the festival, but even if you don’t want to take part in any of them, still you can enjoy the unique atmosphere of the festival. The best local musicians entertain people with great live music all day long, beautiful gardens of Exeter castle are so beautiful in April! You can relax in the garden or make interesting photos to look at in winter. If you have children, don’t forget to take them with you as they will have a great and busy day here!
Children at Exeter Food Festival
Young cooks are welcomed here! It is very important to educate children in healthy cooking and eating. Your children can listen to tips from experienced cooks, try to cook pastry and calzones themselves, play with piglets and lambs at Kenniford Farm, listen to interesting stories about food and take part in various food themed games.
If you like team playing, you can join your child and win the first prize in cooking competitions or try to answer difficult questions of cooking quiz. Even if you won’t become the winner, still you will learn a lot about cooking and food history in Exeter. So, take all the members of your family and come here! Tickets are affordable!
Tickets and Admission
The festival is not free, but at the same time it is not a commercial event. The money, taken from this festival, will be spent for charity.
The ticket for adults of standard class cost £20. If you plan to visit the festival at weekend and stay all day long till After Dark Night Party takes place, it will cost you £30. The price for children under 16 is £3.
The prices can change from year to year, so they are given for Exeter Food Festival 2015. In 2016 the information will be updated.
The festival starts from 10:00 and ends at 23:30. The last day of the festival is closing, so the events on this day are over at 17:00.
From year to year Exeter food festival becomes more and more popular. If you plan your vacation at Exeter, it is recommended to visit this event. Many cooking activities will be interesting for you and all the members of your family. New recipes, cooking tips, beautiful photos and great cooking experience are the things you can get at Exeter food festival!