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Topsham Food Festival is definitely top notch

A pretty town with a great reputation for locally sourced foods make Topsham Food Festival one of the best epicurean events in the Westcountry.
The small riverfront town of Topsham is best known as a genteel boating community on the River Exe in what many visitors describe as “the loveliest place on earth”. In order to promote good food to a wider audience, the Topsham Food Festival was established. Its aim was to put this little-known gem on the map as an outstanding destination for celebrating local food and drink. The festival takes place on the third weekend in June and includes a diverse programme of food and drink-orientated events.

Join in Nello’s Longest Table at the Topsham Food Festival

The 4th takes place in 2013. It is a two-day event including cookery workshops, demonstrations, food and drink tastings (remember this is cider country!) with live music in a friendly community atmosphere. One of the most memorable events is Nello’s Longest Table. This involves participants setting up a long series of tables either in Matthews Hall or on the Quay.

The tables should then be decorated in style with tablecloths, fancy napkins, flowers and more. Participants must bring their own chair and a meal consisting of local food and drink. Tesco and Sainsbury carrier bags will he hexed at the door! The event begins at 2pm with setting up and it runs until well into the evening. Just for fun, many people wear fancy dress.

Topsham’s campaign to eat, drink and shop local

Although much of our food tends to be supermarket sourced and not as fresh as we might hope, Devon has plenty of local food sources right on its doorstep. Many of the local pubs and restaurants in the area pride themselves on producing a menu of great tasting food from whatever is seasonally available. The Topsham Food Festival echoes the same thought principle.

The emphasis on sustainability, limiting how far food is transported and being concerned about the environment are key concerns which help shape this gourmet Food Fest. It is an extension of Topsham’s ongoing “eat, drink and shop local” campaign.

The proof, so they say, is in the pudding, so you can sample local produce as part of the Food Festival and decide for yourself whether fresh is best.

Where to find the best food in Topsham

Topsham is famous for the “Topsham Ten”; not a group of pardoned criminals but a set of exceptional pubs, cafés and award-winning restaurants. These places serve outstanding menus to suit all budgets and tastes. Those looking for a food-themed holiday in should certainly consider staying in the area, particularly on the weekend of the Topsham Food Festival.

The is on the outskirts of Topsham and is a moutherwatering Food Hall and Farm Shop which sells local produce to the public. From fresh eggs to pink rhubarb, if it’s in season you will find it here. Other places gourmets may want to browse are the , Oliva Deli, , Country Cheese and Arthurs Butchers and Deli. The area is served by a local food van and a mobile fish van (when did you last hear of one of those?) along with the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Matthews Hall.

You can dine in style at the Michelin star and the topnotch or enjoy perfectly cooked Fish and Chips at the Fish Shed. There’s something for all tastes at Topsham, and the best time to discover it is at the Topsham Food Festival.

Do you live in Topsham or have you ever visited? Care to share your favourite dining spot with others by commenting below? We’d love to find out the best places to dine in Topsham, according to our discerning readers.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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