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Popular Devon food festival ditches entry fees

Powderham Food Festival

The culinary-calendar highlight promises to be bigger, better – and free

Fine food, artisan tipples, family-friendly fun and heritage stretching back 600 years … Powderham Food Festival (October 7 and 8) has all the hallmarks of an unforgettable epicurean experience.  

With over 100 producers decamping at the festival site on the banks of the Exe Estuary, visitors will have plenty of opportunities to taste and buy from familiar favourites and exciting new faces. From Godminster cheeses to Edward’s Fudge Kitchen and Josh’s Chocolate, the South West’s finest food and drink producers will be making an appearance.

There’ll be a host of cookery demonstrations taking place over the two-day event, so as festivalgoers take ringside seats they should have pens and paper ready to jot down the tips and tricks shared by a line-up of renowned chefs. Culinary experts will also be hosting talks to discuss topics including fermentation and foraging, eating Tudor-style, food as art and how the cream tea came from Devon (controversy guaranteed!). 

Not for the faint-hearted, the exhilarating annual chilli-eating contest is back by popular demand. Overseen by Clifton Chilli Club, attendees chomp on some of the hottest chillies available in a bid to be crowned the Chilli King or Queen 2023.   

Family-friendly is the watchword at Powderham this year, with plenty of fun activities for kids such as chocolate sculpting, face painting and a climbing wall. Little ones can meet Shaun the Sheep on an all-ages AR trail, look out for the Bouncing Chef stilt walkers and climb aboard the Exmouth Express miniature railway.  

The castle itself will be open throughout the weekend, for visitors to explore and enjoy a glimpse into over 600 years of fascinating history. While tickets are free for the first time in the event’s history, car parking is available at a cost of £8 per car. Visitors can also make a donation towards the preservation and enhancement of the castle. 

Ella Fielding, head of events and weddings at Powderham, said: ‘This year’s line-up promises a deliciously memorable experience, showcasing the finest local produce and celebrating our region’s culinary heritage.

Bookings achieved record-breaking sales in the first six weeks of release, so to make sure you don’t miss out on yours, visit

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