Micro-fests are on the up, with hyper-local foodie events popping up in villages, towns and cities all over the South West.
Kicking off, and pioneering the micro-fest on the south coast is the Budleigh Buy Local Food & Drink Festival from March 13-15. A relative newcomer to the South West festival scene, this three-day event in the little-but-lively town of Budleigh Salterton was first held in 2013, but its second appearance will be even bigger and better.
Set up to support home-grown businesses, it’s a celebration of the chefs, producers and suppliers who keep the area’s food trade going. Devon’s Bake Off fave Glenn Cosby (pictured, right) and award-winning author Mark Diacono will be around; there’s also live music, kids’ craft and cookery workshops and, of course, a wealth of produce to trial, taste and buy.
Cookery demos are given by a line-up of East Devon-based chefs and the vast majority of the exhibitors hail from the same end of the county too. Festival organiser Trudie Burne says, ‘It’s our truly local ethos promoting our corner of Devon which sets Budleigh food fest apart from the others.’ Budleigh’s a micro-festival taking hyper-local to the next level, which is something worth celebrating.
Cornwall has also embraced the micro-fest, with big names adding their culinary weight to the mini-fest scene. A firm favourite on the Cornish foodie calendar is the little Beer and Mussel Festival from March 21-22 at Rick Stein’s pub in St Merryn, The Cornish Arms.
On the south coast, Porthleven’s Food & Music Festival is worth heading to on the weekend of April 25 for fiery food and fierce dance moves as a result of its Feast and Fiesta theme – look out for festival patron Antony Worrall Thompson shaking
For fine dining, Eat Drink Bristol Fashion’s three-week celebration in Queen Square is an event not to be missed. It’s a restaurant experience in a pop-up tipi village, with chefs taking turns to produce their own three course tasting menus.
Another fave is the Springtide Festival in Bridport, Dorset. With the rugged Jurassic Coast as its backdrop, the traditional foodie festival sets up camp on Hive Beach on May 16–17.