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By March 11, 2016January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

The Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is launching brand new wine and cheese tastings for food lovers at the annual event in Exeter Castle and Northernhay Gardens from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April 2016.


The sessions will combine expert tutorage on the skill of food and drink tasting with the chance to appreciate four wines and four regional cheeses.


Michael Caines, co-founder of Exeter Food Festival, explains, “This is the first year we have created a whole feature dedicated to cheese and wine tutored tastings. We hope the sessions will prove popular with our food-loving audiences. We have a great selection of traditional and artisan South West cheeses and excellent wines and the events should be great fun as well as informative.”


Exeter Food Festival will host six tastings on Saturday 23rd April and four on Sunday 24th April with limited tickets for each tasting. Wines from New Zealand, Italy and France, supplied by Great Western Wine, will be served with cheeses from some of the best cheesemakers in the South West, many of whom have their own stands at the festival. There will be a South West wine session each day dedicated to discovering and celebrating local wines.  With tutorage from a range of wine experts including Susy Atkins, wine writer and regular presenter on BBC1’s flagship cookery show Saturday Kitchen, Dirceu Vianna Junior MW, plus guest cheese experts across the programme, including local food hero Mary Quicke, the sessions will be both informative and enjoyable.


Tickets for the sessions are £15 plus booking fee and need to be purchased in addition to festival entry tickets. Full details of the sessions can be found at and tickets are available from Exeter Phoenix Box Office.  

Now in its 13th year, Exeter’s annual food and drink festival continues to go from strength to strength attracting more than 100 artisan food and drink producers from the region selling delicious south west meat, cheeses, bread, cider, wine, beer, oils, cakes and much more.


Familiar highlights – the Darts Farm Taste and Knowledge Teepees and Festival Cookery Theatre are back with a full timetable of demonstrations by regional chefs and producers each willing to share their expertise and skill with visitors. Great British Bake-off contender Glenn Cosby is returning to the Festival to host The Westcountry Bakery with his highly entertaining style.


As part of the Festival’s aim to teach children about food, its provenance and how to cook it, little hands will be kept busy in the Little Cookies area. With cookery classes, storytelling and a Festival farmyard, there is plenty to entertain the children throughout the day.


The Festival Question Time, with BBC Radio Devon, which was new for 2015, will be returning with a host of food writers, producers and chefs to talk about what’s topical in the world of food as well as to take questions from visitors.


When all that activity whets the appetite, visitors can enjoy food and drink to go from the street food stands dotted around the Festival. Local beers, ales, wines and soft drinks will also be available from the Festival Bar.


Visitors can also enjoy three Festival After Dark Party Nights from Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd April 2016 including the After Dark Music Festival on Thursday 21st April with Los Pacaminos featuring Paul Young. With its unique party atmosphere, hot street food and the Festival Bar, the Festival After Dark Party Nights bring a host of exciting and talented musicians to the stage to entertain revellers until late. For the first time After Dark tickets will allow entry into Northernhay Gardens from 4pm on Friday and Saturday evenings, allowing visitors to browse the festival stands before heading through to the castle courtyard for the evening’s festivities


Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is a not for profit event. For more information or to buy Food Festival tickets visit: