Outstanding natural resources combined with an abundance of incredible raw talent has put Devon firmly on the gastronomic tourist map in recent years. For those who like to get hands on, Devon has an unrivalled range of food and drink experiences. Here are some of the top foodie tours and activities that visitors to Devon should seek out this year.
Salcombe Brewery Co. was founded in 2016 and in its short history has built a strong reputation for award-winning beer. Their range of beers is available nationwide in pubs and hospitality venues as well as retail outlets. A visit to the brewery for a tour is the perfect opportunity to learn more about their ales, how they are created and, of course, how they taste! The ninety minute brewery tours start with a welcome drink in the taproom. This is followed by a tour of the brewhouse and the chance to grill the experts on any beer-related topics. The tour ends in the taproom, where visitors will enjoy a flight of Salcombe beers. Brewery tours cost £20 and can be bought online at www.salcombebrewery.com.
Over the past 25 years, Darts Farm has continually evolved to become one of the most exciting shopping experiences in the South West. Award-winning Darts Farm remains a family business run by the Dart brothers, with a working farm at its core, and sells all of its home-grown produce directly through the farm shop. Darts Farm can be found overlooking the beautiful Clyst Valley in the picturesque town of Topsham on the outskirts of Exeter. Enjoy a fabulous meal in a choice of dining venues. Reconnect with nature and stroll around the fields and bird hide. Hire one of Darts Farm’s bikes and cycle along the beautiful Exe Estuary or book into one of their outstanding foodie events or masterclasses. More details available at www.dartsfarm.co.uk.
Founded in 2002, independent, family-owned Sandford Orchards is based in Crediton, Mid Devon in the oldest working cider mill in the UK. The area has long been known as one of the most fertile parishes in all of Britain, both for its grazing and ability to grow apples. Combining tradition and innovation, Sandford Orchards takes a fresh, natural and low impact approach to producing an award-winning range of core session, flavoured, traditional and fine ciders. A behind the scene tour at the Cider Works is a chance to see how their cider is made. The tour concludes with an opportunity to quiz the cider makers whilst enjoying a tasting flight of ciders and freshly baked pizza. Tours cost £25 and can be booked at www.sandfordorchards.co.uk.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural festival, Taste East Devon is delighted to announce its 2022 food festival is to run from 3rd-18th September, extending into a 16 day celebration. Award-winning venues, producers, chefs and restaurants across East Devon have joined forces again to celebrate the incredible food and drink on offer across the region. Founder Members include THE PIG-at Combe, Darts Farm, Otter Brewery, Deer Park Country House, River Cottage, East Devon AONB, Donkey Sanctuary, Mazzard Farm, Jack in the Green and Lympstone Manor. For more details visit www.tasteeastdevon.co.uk.
In June 2022, Sandridge Barton, the home of Sharpham Wine, will be unveiling its brand new visitor centre, winery, restaurant and self catering accommodation nestled in the South Devon countryside on the east bank of the River Dart. Created within the traditional buildings of historic Lower Well Farm, the site has an exceptional location overlooking the surrounding countryside, including a spring-fed tributary leading to the River Dart nearby. Call in for a range of experiences including guided and self-guided tastings, walking trails through the estate and vineyards plus the opportunity to enjoy wines by the glass in the gallery bar or lunch in the courtyard. There will also be a shop stocking the full range of wines as well as Sharpham Cheeses and other local produce to take home. For more details visit www.sandridgebarton.com
Experience Cheesemaking with Quicke’s Cheese (£35 pp including a tour and lunch)
With a unique behind the scenes experience day, the Quicke’s team will reveal how they craft world-class cheese. Quicke’s crafts outstanding cheese from pastures that have been in the family for 15 generations, spanning 450 years. Within a Quicke’s Cheese Tour (£35), guests hear about the intriguing history of the Quicke family, watch cheesemakers expertly craft each truckle by hand, meet the clothbound cheddars and learn about the traditional skill of grading cheese. A guided tour of the farm will take place, while working up an appetite for a seasonal two course lunch featuring Quicke’s Cheese at The Beer Engine. Tours take place on a selection of Fridays from May until the end of September 2022. For more details visit www.quickes.co.uk.
A Masterclass or Brewing Experience at Owens Coffee
Owens Coffee is a roastery based in Ivybridge, South Devon in a state of the art, environmentally friendly facility, which has been built with a focus on sustainable construction and energy. Its complete range of certified organic Fairtrade coffee is available in whole bean or ground format and can be bought directly from the roastery shop. They also host coffee masterclasses and coffee tasting and brewing experiences including a ‘Home Barista Masterclass’ (£65) and a ‘Coffee Tasting & Brewing Experience’ (£55). For more information visit www.owenscoffee.com.
South West Wine School-South West Wine School was founded by Jonathan and Hayley Reynolds to provide first rate wine education across the region. The South West Wine School brings together the best wine educators in the South West. Join them for a Wine and Spirit Education Trust training course at Darts Farm or a wine tasting event. For more information visit www.southwestwineschool.co.uk.