Vote for Eating Exeter in the Food Magazine Awards 2016

EDIT: Link wasn’t working, but now it is! Please vote for Eating Exeter at the bottom of the page.

My good blogger mate Marcus from the countrywoodsmoke blog has just informed me that Eating Exeter has reached the finals of the Food Magazine Reader’s Awards 2016.


For, what I consider, a small blog written by my mortal fingers this is a massive achievement and if you did happen to nominate Eating Exeter, then a massive whole hearted THANK YOU.

Although I am not expecting to win, it would be an amazing experience to come close to second or third.  So please, go forth and vote for Eating Exeter and The Salutation Inn. And The Real Food Store. And if you don’t like Eating Exeter that much then please consider voting for Marcus’s meaty blog which is awesome.

So click the link below. Send it to your friends. Send it your colleagues. Send it to your book group. Send it to your tennis partners. Send it to their families and spread chance to vote for Eating Exeter :) :)

Eating Exeter Update (November-ish)

Life has somewhat got in the way recently.  Lack of money, lack of time and definitely a lack of energy has meant that EE had to be put on the back burner for a couple of weeks whilst I recharged my batteries, consumed Burger King Burgers and other assorted things that foodies just should not do.  We’re not really meant to admit it either… *hangs head in shame*

Next week I’m visiting Gus at Taco-Macho in Fore St. He’s been really keen for me to visit, so I’m going down to see what he does and see how awesome his food is for myself.  I’ve heard good things on the grapevine and have been meaning to visit for sometime.

Taco Macho

On Thursday we’ve got a meal at Orestone Manor in Torquay, a historical Hotel and Restaurant known for its prestige and heritage which I am very much looking forward to.

There are more things in the pipeline too, but can’t say too much at the moment.  Don’t forget to check out The Complete Dining Club for exclusive member offers.  Fancy being a member? Click the link on the right hand side and purchase a membership! ->

Food Magazine is also calling for nominations for their Food Reader’s Awards.  If you put down Eating Exeter for Best Food Blog, I wouldn’t be offended! But you only have this weekend to get your nominations in. Do it!! 

I am looking for recommendations for product reviews as well. If anyone has a particular local product you reckon should be reviewed on here, please send me an email via the contact page.




Grillstock to open in Exeter

The Dining Quarter is going to be one of the biggest things to hit Exeter next year, and one of the names that is coming is getting me very excited.  For the dedicated meat-heads amongst you, this is a definite bonus… scroll down for professional photographs and the press release!

Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’) announced today (18 November 2015) that American BBQ smokehouse, Grillstock will be the fifth restaurant to join Exeter’s exciting new Queen St dining quarter.

Grillstock signed contracts with Aviva Investors last week for their smokehouse restaurant which will face the newly remodeled Market Square, which with its amphitheatre-style seating areas, is set to become one of the main focus points of the whole £12m redevelopment.

Described as ‘meat, music and mayhem’, Grillstock began as an open air festival held in Bristol in 2010 which was so popular the founders quickly opened their first year-round smokehouse. Born out of a deep love for American BBQ and the culture that surrounds it. The Grillstock concept is simple, Southern style hospitality, ‘cooking meat with fire and smoke, all getting together around a big table with family and friends, kicking back to great music’.

Simon Green, Associate Director of Aviva Investors said: “Aviva Investors are delighted to announce that Grillstock will be coming to Exeter’s Queen St Dining. Their hugely popular smokehouses are lively and welcoming and provide an new ingredient in the mix of restaurants we have revealed to date. Work is really progressing well on the Queen St project and in addition to signing up tenants, we will shortly be announcing our plans for re-opening parts of the public realm, allowing shoppers to explore some of the newly re-modelled spaces in the lead up to the busy Christmas period, and get a glimpse of what is still to come.”

Jon Finch, Grillstock, Managing Director added: “We can’t wait to bring our Southern style hospitality to Queen St Dining. Grillstock will be cooking up a storm for Devon diners and visitors to Exeter from all over the world. Our smokehouse in Market Square will provide the perfect location for BBQ fans to appreciate our distinctive offering of authentic recipes, US beers and our relaxed, communal dining experience.” Grillstock currently has six smokehouses across the UK (Bath, Walthamstow, Leicester, Liverpool and two in Bristol), and hold annual open air live events in Bristol, Manchester and London. Like their sister restaurants, Exeter’s Grillstock will be taking ‘big hunks of meat and smoke them low ‘n’ slow fresh on site every day’.

When fully open, Exeter’s Queen St Dining will have eight restaurants in total along with wonderful new open air spaces designed especially for food events, markets and entertainment. Turtle Bay, The Stable, Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) and The Terrace have all been announced to date, with the remaining three restaurants to be named by Aviva in the coming months.

The Queen St project is seeing the Guildhall Shopping Centre’s neo-classical façade on Queen Street transformed, a new entrance from the high street is underway and the three public spaces within the centre itself are being re-invented: Market Square, bordered by amphitheatre-style seating areas, St Pancras Square overlooking the beautiful 13th-Century St Pancras Church and Goldsmith Square, making them all more welcoming and attractive to shoppers and diners alike. For further information about Grillstock visit for more information about the Queen St redevelopment, please visit:

UK BBQ Magazine now available!

Marcus Bowden has been a busy chap recently.  Not only is he the author of  Country Wood Smoke (one of UK’s best BBQ Blogs), but he is now the founding editor-in-chief of a new BBQ publication.

UK BBQ magazine does exactly what it says on the tin, packet or foil wrapping.  Packed with some amazing articles about the UK BBQ scene, recipes, tips and foody intrigue.  The magazine’s official birthday was the 17th November.

It is free to download and subscribe to, and is also compatible for mobile devices.

It’s All About The Base + Barley – Exeter’s new Pizza & Craft Beer Restaurant

Exeter’s foodie scene is growing as Base + Barley is set to serve
sourdough pizza and craft beer with a hefty dose of style.

Freshly risen sourdough, clouds of flour in the air, a great range of craft beers, wines and cocktails and a buzzing atmosphere:  Base + Barley will disrupt Exeter’s foodie scene when it opens in late November.

The Base + Barley team have taken two old staples back to their roots – pizza and beer. Sourdough pizza will be made fresh and flavourful with carefully sourced toppings. It’s all about the base, as the sourdough is prepped the day before with finest grade 00 flour and baked to order.

Equally important is the beer. Featured beers are hand-brewed in small batches by local yeast gods who love their barley and hops.

The vibe at Base + Barley will be buzzing and busy, it will be a destination for families looking for a relaxed lunch, friends catching up over dinner and students starting a fun night out. The aim is to offer a simple but well crafted menu with very reasonable prices – the artisan pizzas will all cost £6.95 – £8.95. There will be no reservations, so anyone in the mood for good food and good times will be able to drop in for a great meal.

The restaurant will open on Longbrook Street in November 2015 and will seat 150 diners. The spacious unit will be decorated with contrasting wooden benches and neon lights, with hand drawn illustrations featured throughout the decor. The cool and casual bar will be distinct from the restaurant area, so people looking for a drink with friends will feel welcome even without ordering food.

This level of creativity and, some might say, obsession, wouldn’t come from just anyone. One of the founders of Base + Barley is local Devon boy Joe Hill. Joe already has a successful portfolio of Espresso and Wine Bars with Artigiano, which has five locations across England and Wales. The foodie entrepreneur has had great success with his day to night hybrid concept, and is hoping to stamp his personality on this beer and pizza venture with an ambitious national expansion plan.

Base + Barley Managing Director Joe Hill said:

“People care more than ever about how their food is made, and our pizzas could hold their own in the back yards of Napoli. I can’t wait to see Base + Barley full of life as diners embrace the laid back and stylish atmosphere. Exeter is becoming known as a foodie destination, and I am very excited to add something fresh and fun to what’s on offer.”

Kräftskiva at Circa 1924

So you are probably thinking – what is the connection between a 1920s, prohibition-inspired, restaurant and bar, and the humble crayfish? Well, the answer is Circa 1924’s head chef Lauri Hilli, whose Swedish roots have inspired the team to celebrate the tradition of Kräftskiva on Thursday 29th October, a feast of crayfish and schnapps, and its inviting Exeter residents to join them.

Following the threat of the crayfish population being wiped out in Swedish waters around the start of the 20th century, a fishing restriction was imposed, limiting catches to just a few weeks in August. And thus, crayfish became an exclusive and much sought-after delicacy and the crayfish party was born.

Rob Weeks, Circa 1924 co-owner, says: “We had planned on holding our crayfish party in August, as per tradition, but it turned out that all UK suppliers were out of stock, keeping up with Scandinavian demand. So, as we like to do things properly, we have delayed our celebration until October, so that we can provide our guests with copious amounts of crayfish, backed up with a generous helping of schnapps.

“We are taking bookings now and hope to attract a good crowd, so that we can celebrate in true Scandi style. Other than steak, Circa 1924 is all about great seafood and we are really excited about our seafood banquet, which is quite possibly a first in Exeter.”

The Circa 1924 Kräftskiva will follow the usual format: tables will be adorned with brightly coloured tablecloths, candles and guests given paper hats (much like a British Christmas dinner). The meal will consist of big bowls of steamed crayfish, bread and cheese, topped off by song and shots of schnapps.

Schnapps is another Swedish favourite, and Lauri explains: “The alcohol is referred to as ‘moonshine’, because traditionally it is illegally brewed and flavoured by locals at home. Our cocktail bar is decked out just like an American prohibition-style moonshiner bar, and so serving Scandi moonshine schnapps seems very apt.”

Circa 1924, the new independent steak and seafood restaurant, with cocktail bar, is located just off Exeter High Street at 6 Northernhay Place. The team has put together a calendar of mouthwatering events for 2015, with one food and one drink evening each month.

To book a place at Circa 1924’s Kräftskiva or to find out about other event call: 01392 438545 or visit the website

Festive feasts fit for the Lord of The Manor

On Tuesday 24th November, Exeter Cookery School will host the first in a series of exclusive new pop-up cookery courses at Bridwell Park, the home of Lord Ivar Mountbatten in Uffculme. Surrounded by far-reaching views over rural Devon and with its very own deer park, Bridwell offers a sumptuous setting for these intimate cookery courses, which promise to educate and entertain in equal measure.

The first will focus on creating a magical Christmas feast for friends and family, and will take students through a range of classical and modern cooking techniques. Over the course of the day, you will learn how to create three sensational dishes, starting with Sautéed Duck Liver on Toasted Brioche with Onion Marmalade and a Glass of Chilled Monbazillac, closely followed by roast loin of Bridwell venison with confit shoulder, creamed mash, Savoy cabbage and venison chorizo. The piece de resistance, a Louis XV – the decadent multi-layered celebration of chocolate, hazelnuts and meringue – will round off the meal in style.

Lucy Fisher, MD of Exeter Cookery School says: “We are really excited to be launching this collaboration thanks to the generosity of Lord Ivar. We hope this will be the first of several pop-up cookery events we host at this splendid location, where guests will learn how to prepare, cook and eat some tasty alternatives to those Christmas favourites. Jim will also show you how to cook certain elements ahead of time, so you get to enjoy more time with family and friends.”

Students will learn a wide range of culinary skills, from understanding foie gras and its preparation, seasoning, pan-frying, making onion marmalade and presentation of the dish. For the main course, students will discover the art of preparing and cooking venison, including making confit and roasting lean meat, as well as producing perfectly smooth and unctuous creamed mash and creating a flavour-packed venison sauce. For a suitably Royal end to this festive feast, Jim will teach you how to make a Louis XV – from the hazelnut dacquoise, white chocolate croquante and white chocolate mousse to finishing the dessert off to perfection, draping it with chocolate and using gold leaf for an elegant final flourish.

The brainchild of Jim and Lucy Fisher, who recently returned from running a successful residential cookery school in the Dordogne, Exeter Cookery School is set to open its doors after Christmas in a Grade II Listed building on the city’s historic Quayside, currently the focus of a major regeneration strategy. Once open, Exeter Cookery School will offer a host of exciting culinary courses – each packed with cheffy tips, tricks and techniques honed in busy restaurant kitchens, but adapted to use in your home and designed to make cooking for family and friends fun, easy and stress-free.

The Bridwell course on 24th November runs from 9am to 4pm, with lunch included and ending with a celebratory glass of fizz. As well as leaving with a host of new skills, participants will be presented with an Exeter Cookery School certificate, recipe information and a goodie bag to take away. No previous experience is necessary, but a love of fine food is a must.

This exclusive day course costs £185 – places are limited, so early booking is advised if you don’t want to miss out on this fabulous opportunity. To book, contact: Jim & Lucy Fisher, Exeter Cookery School, 07534 635302; Email:;

Full details are available on


The multi-award winning Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink returns to Northernhay Gardens and Exeter Castle on Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th April for another year of exceptional food, drink and demonstrations from top regional chefs. With more exhibitors, chefs and local producers expected than ever before the Exeter Food Festival is set to be the ultimate foodie weekend and the region’s leading food Festival. 2016 will be its 13th year.

Championed by Michael Caines MBE, the Festival hosts a packed programme of chef demonstrations, hands on master classes and tastings as well as a dedicated children’s programme including Fun Kitchen cookery classes, farm animals, storytelling and craft activities. The Festival’s charity partners Exeter Foundation and Families for Children will be on hand to help teach little ones more about their food and where it comes from.

Exeter Food Festival

The Darts Farm Taste and Knowledge Teepee’s, Festival Question Time hosted by BBC Radio Devon and the Westcountry Bakery Theatre will return with a packed schedule of informative and fun workshops, demonstrations and talks on topical food and drink themes. New features planned will focus on artisan bread baking and a milk bar – celebrating the region’s many dairy farms and looking at the importance of provenance

Visitors can browse from over 100 artisan food and drink producers from the region who exhibit in three pavilions; providing plenty of opportunities for trying, buying and chatting to the people behind the South West’s delicious food and drink. Local musicians will take to stages throughout the festival grounds and the weekend to entertain visitors

Michael Caines, 2-Michelin star chef and Festival co-founder, says, “The Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink promotes the vibrant food and drink of the region giving visitors the chance to try local food, talk to producers and learn more about cooking and farming. The Festival sets out to educate, entertain, feed and refresh people and is open to people of all ages who want to enjoy the great food and drink of our region.

Visitors can also enjoy three Festival After Dark Party Nights from Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd April 2016. With its unique party atmosphere, the Festival After Dark Party Nights bring a host of exciting and talented musicians to the stage to entertain revellers until late. Producers will be selling local beers, wines, ciders and a wide selection of tempting street food throughout each evening ensuring party goers a tasty combination of excellent food and exciting bands and musicians.

Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink is a not for profit event.

For more information or to buy tickets visit:

Artisan Chai, Fore St. (OPENING 6th NOVEMBER)

Fore St. is without a single doubt my favourite part of Exeter.  It has so much character and it is occupied by a strong community of shop/business owners who are all driven to make this a hub of independent retail in Exeter.  It is the home to the Glorious Art House Cafe and many other excellent places to eat and drink, and it has recently acquired its very own Craft Beer Shop in the form of Hops and Craft which we visited last week.

To add to the eclectic and varied mix of shops we can add Artisan Chai, a business that specialises in hand-made Chai tea. The brainchild of Derry Tydeman, he and his mother Rosie are the owners of The Glorious Art House Cafe which just happens to be across the road.  Derry became frustrated with the poor tasting commercial chai teas that were available when buying for The Glorious, and set about creating his own home-made version.  Now they grind the ingredients themselves, all hand-made in Devon and have started selling it in their own tastefully designed shop.

The end result? A Chai tea, cheaper than Whittard’s version and much nicer.  And not just Chai. Earl Grey and other loose leaf teas will be available to buy from the little shop located in McCoy’s Arcade along with all the ephemera needed to keep the most expecting of tea-snobs happy.

Head over to and see what its all about. You can buy their amazing teas online too.  Fancy serving it in your own establishment? Then they can supply wholesale.  Fancy sitting in their big red chair and reading a book? You can do that too.  They’re really a very friendly bunch.

They are officially opening tomorrow (6th November 2015) so please go and visit, buy some tea, say hello and relish the Chai.

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South West Chef of the Year 2015: The Grand Final

I was invited to attend the first part of the Grand Final of The South West Chef Of The Year 2015 last Thursday.  Upon reflection I most probably could have done some interviewing too, but I was a fly-on-the-wall, an observer with a camera.

This is an experience that foodies don’t often get to be a part of.  In fact, apart from the members of the press that were wandering around observing too and Steve Haywood the pro photographer, I think I was the only blogger (as far as I knew) who had been invited along to this prestigious event.  No pressure.

South West Chef of the Year is a competition like few others.  Helmed by Exeter’s very own culinary guru Michael Caines, whose alma mater is Exeter College (Michael also sits on the Board of Governors and has the exemplary Michael Caines Academy based at the college too) the grand finals were the end of the a long road for the competitors involved and Eating Exeter was there to be a fly-on-the-wall to watch the kitchen mastery of three different classes.

The Competitors:

In the Professional Class:

Dale McIntosh – Chef Patron of Merchant’s Manor in Falmouth

David Kelman – Executive Head Chef, Ellenborough Park Hotel, Cheltenham

Jamie Coleman – Head Chef, Saunton Sands Hotel, Saunton

Jamie Rogers – Head Chef, Langdon Court, Down Thomas

In the Young Professional Class:

Alexander Brownrigg – Chef De Partie, Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe.

James Mason – Sous Chef, The Salutation Inn, Topsham

Steffan Davies – Commis Chef, Gidleigh Park, Chagford.

Joshua Martin – Senior Chef De Partie, Deer Park Country House Hotel, Honiton.

Student/Apprentice Class

Jack Sharland – Apprentice Chef, The Salutation Inn, Topsham

Jamaar House – City of Bristol College

Samantha Smith – St Katherine’s College, Somerset

Stepping in to the kitchen was quite an honour.  Here were eight chefs who were all there to prove that they were the best chefs in the South West, the South West’s finest culinary talent in one vast kitchen.

Competitors were presented with their ingredients.  From these ingredients they would have half an hour to compose a three course meal, that celebrated the the finest produce the South West had to offer.  To quote the website:

“[Competitors] are asked to prepare a three course meal for three people using two compulsory protein elements and a choice of dessert ingredients announced one week before the final.  All other ingredients will be provided in a mystery box on the day.

Upon receiving their mystery boxes, finalists will have 30 minutes to draw up their three course menu before the competition begins.  Basic reference recipes can be referred to during the 30 minutes of preparation time.”

The day started for the Professionals and Young Professionals at 8:30am, they had an hour to get themselves set up, then a Judges Briefing.  Then the fun started.  Ingredient boxes were presented to the chefs, then they had thirty minutes to think of something to cook.  During this time, press were not allowed to disturb of hassle them taking photos, this was a moment of zen that they needed in order to use all their experience and creativity to bring together something that would impress the judges.

So who was doing the judging?  I saw numerous people floating about with clip boards including the following:

Peter Gorton – Gorton’s

Neil Haydock – Watergate Bay Hotel

Paul Ainsworth – Paul Ainsworth at Number 6

And of course Mr Caines himself was MC’ing the event (excuse the pun) keeping the chefs motivated and even taking time to chat to the students that were helping with conveying the dishes to the judging room.

At first, the tension in the room was palpable.  Most of the chefs were involved in basic prep, chopping blanching etc. Timing was critical at each and every stage, and as observers we had to stay as far out of the way as possible.

I was lucky enough to meet Lucy Munday from the Express & Echo and Katie Pathiaki from The Staff Canteen website, who both kept me company as I pottered around the kitchen awkwardly.

Each chef moved in a slightly different way, it was almost like a dance, between chopping, wrapping, refrigerating, cooking, back to chopping, over to the ingredients table, trying to stay completely out of the way was at times a little tricky but generally I managed this relatively well.

The competitors would have to produce three plates of each course.  Two for the judges and one for Steve to photograph and which was taken out to display on the table in the restaurant for display.  In the restaurant anxious partners, parents and friends of the chefs waited to see their loved one come out of the kitchen.

The tension rose as soon as the plating up started.  The chefs moved faster, the calm focus that had been there before turned up a notch or three.  There were no dramas, no disasters, no one spilled anything, the professionalism of all competitors was unshakable.

The judging was done in secret with the results being announced at a fantastic dinner laid on at the Exeter Golf and Country Club in the evening.  The full list of winners can be found here.

The winners were:

South West Chef Of The Year: Overall AND South West Professional Chef Of The Year
Jamie Rogers – Head Chef, Langdon Court, Down Thomas, Plymouth, Devon

South West Young Professional Of The Year
James Mason – Sous Chef, Salutation Inn, Topsham, Devon

South West Student Chef of the Year
Jack Sharland – Exeter College and Salutation Inn, Topsham, Devon

If you would like to use some of the photographs seen here, please contact me via the Contact page and I can provide access to the full library.  These photos can be used but credit must be given to

The Beer & Bacon Festival 2015: Good Game have done good!

My birthday falls on September 12th.  Working in the lovely world of education (as support staff not teaching btw) this is most probably one of the most inconvenient times which to have been born, as quite often the start of the new academic year falls slap bang on the day itself or very close to it.

This also means that one cannot have protracted days off which to celebrate the birthday unless it it on a Saturday.  And this year it was on a Saturday. Even better, it was on the same day that the Good Game organised Beer and Bacon Festival takes place, and this year it was being held on Topsham’s historic quayside.

The easiest way to get to it is by bus.  As of 2015, there is still a semi-regular bus service that goes from the quayside in to the centre of town.  However this is due to change with the reduction of services.  If its 2016 and you’re reading this, double check, it might not be running.

Topsham is one of the easiest places to get to with public transport.  The main road to Exmouth runs through it, and it has a station about half a mile from the quayside.  This is the sort of event you definitely don’t want to have to drive to.

Secondly, there are some excellent food stalls (Eat The Smoke, La Catina, Good Game themselves and others…) and a beer tent.  Its not a massive festival. Its about chilling on the quayside, enjoying fun times with friends or watching the paddle boarders as we did.

The community spirit is very much alive. Topsham is a lovely and welcoming town, and the Topshamites have definitely taken Good Game under their wing.  Exeter’s only charcuterie has really grown from strength to strength over the last few years.

The Pig and Pallet is worth a visit.  Based on the quayside, they are starting to do good food, and recently there have been some nice looking dishes emerging from the pallet based cafe.

The festival was great.  It could be larger, maybe more food, maybe more choice of ales from other parts of Devon, but much of this is about planning and how much of the space on the quayside would be able to cope with the crowds that would appear.  I hope it is able to run next year, and I hope I am able to visit it next year!

Eating Wimborne: Culinary Adventures in Dorset

Back in August we went to visit our good friends & Eating Exeter co-founder, Polly and her lovely other half Rob.  I wrote this post and then got distracted by the arrival of the new academic year, but now I have managed to muster enough energy to finish it!  Last year Polly and Rob moved to Wimborne in Dorset, which I have grown quite attached to.

Wimborne is a small town that lies about 10 miles from Bournemouth.  There are no motorways in this part of the world which makes the 70 mile journey from Exeter is one of the most scenic that we make on a semi-regular basis.  Heading to Honiton you vault over the Blackdown Hills and descend into the beautiful Ax Valley along the curves and undulations of the A35.  Its after Axminster that the countryside starts to change.

As you head past Bridport, you follow the coast for a bit and eventually hit Dorchester.  Driving past the vast intimidating gates of Charborough House which is occupied by the Tory MP Richard Drax (boo!) and is definitely not a National Trust property, you’re straight on to Wimborne which is only a few miles away from that point.  Fun fact: The brick wall that lines the A31 as you drive past the Charborough Estate is one of the longest in the UK.

Wimborne is a town that has some strict planning laws.  But this has meant that the general feeling of the town has not changed much in the last hundred years.  It has one of the best collections of 15th, 16th and 17th century building fronts around the square which has preserved the character of the town, but this only lasts until you go further over towards the river, where it gets a little bit…well…eighties.

I like this town, its immensely unoffensive.  The people are generally nice, we’ve had some fun times within the walls of some of the 14 or 15 pubs, and many of the pubs offer Badger Ales on draught given the fact its so close to the Badger Ales brewery.

Our little weekend getaway was to be punctuated with a visit to River Cottage HQ’s awesome summer fair on the Sunday afternoon, but before this, we sampled a couple of the culinary delights that Wimborne has kept hidden.  This was ‘hidden Wimborne’

The Riverside Cafe (or The Haunted Cafe) was our first taste of this hidden town.  A small cafe that lies on one of the small rivers that snake through the town.  If you didn’t know it was there, it would be easy to miss but we were in the hands of our gastronomic guides.

TripAdvisor loves this cafe with a lot of excellent reviews.  And its easy to see why.  It has a lovely riverside location, you can eat your fry-up within the rippling of the water, and sit happy in the knowledge you’re unlikely to have to spend too much on your grub here.  I took Robs recommendation for the fish finger sandwich, which was immense and highly satisfying.

It has a large Saxon church called Wimborne Minster and it sits on the confluence of the River Stour and River Allen.  The tourist attractions of Wimborne appears to be the Wimborne Model Town, the minster and the Wimborne Covered Market.  The covered market was a vast sprawling car boot/antiques market that seemed to go on for miles.  So many random knick-knacks and second-hand items, I was very much in my element! :)

After a brief mooch around Wimborne afterwards, Pol took us to one of Dorset’s finest chocolate shops.  ChoccoCake which sits on East Street has won the Taste of Dorset Awards 2013 and is very proud of this fact, it is clear to see why when you taste some of their offerings.

They were not cheap, but the quality of the produce is worth every mouthful. We’re due to go back at the end of October, so I am sure we might pass through here again!

In Exeter, there is a lack of proper Italian restaurants. When I say ‘proper’, I mean the sort of restaurants that are run by actual Italians with straw covered jars on the wall and other rather stereotypical tweaks and quirks.  But Wimborne has the Topogigio Restaurant in Mill Street.

I went for the Diavolo Pizza. It was as spicy and diabolically hot as I had imagined, but not too much that I lept for the nearest glass of milk.  The restaurant is quite compact, lots of rustic red and browns give the place a cosy feeling, but with the seating feeling like it was designed for think people rather than those of us with bellies, it was a relief when we finished and I managed to stand outside of the restaurant, spinning my arms like a lunatic.

Seating aside, I would definitely go back.

Wimborne is due to see us again for halloween this weekend.  It won’t be the last time I’ll see its strange shops and its bizarre residents, and it won’t be the last time its mentioned on this blog either. :)

We’re going back to Wimborne soon.  This won’t be the last time I’ll write about it.

Places mentioned:

Chococake Ltd. – 18 East St, Wimborne BH21 1DT 01202 886563 –

Topogigio Restaurant – Mill Ln, Wimborne Minster BH21 1JQ 01202 841884 –

Eating Exeter Update – October

Well, summer has long gone. As I write this, there is water falling from the sky. I think its called ‘rain’, but I hear people call it ‘catzndogs’ too, so I might rename it something ‘autumnishere’ or ‘sodoff’.

Surrealism aside.  Keep your peepers peeled for some bits coming up on the blog over the next few weeks.

Riviera FM with Steve Price – Tonight I’ll be on Riviera FM at 6:30pm with my mate Steve, talking about all things culinary.  We’re even going to have a go at making some ‘Mug Cakes’.  Should be interesting!

Grand Final of South West Chef Of The Year – Thanks to Abi at OneVoice who offered me the chance to go to this prestigious competition on Thursday.  Its going to be a definite experience and half!

Culinary Adventures in Wimborne – I started writing this post ages ago, but for whatever reason stopped.  We went to visit our dear friends Polly (Eating Exeter co-founder) and Rob her lovely man, so I can finally put the last tweaks on and publish it.

The Beer and Bacon Festival – Another post I never managed to get around to writing.  It was such a great day, so I have some photos and a bit of narration to go up.

Dine amongst the wines: A unique one-off dining event! Tuesday 3rd November

Danish superstar chef Kasper Gaard is joining forces with Robin Rea from the award-winning Rusty Pig in Ottery St Mary to cook a one-off supper at Smiths Wines in Magdalen Road.

Kasper, who took part in the River Cottage series ‘3 Good Things’, is a feted restaurateur in Denmark, and runs the Ilse restaurant on the island of Samso, where he lives.

Iain Smith of Smiths Wines said: “It’s been a long-term ambition of mine to persuade Kasper to cook for the people of Exeter.

“He’s previously dazzled the folk of Ottery St Mary with his cooking, and I decided it was our turn next. I’ve known Robin for many years too, and I’m looking forward to seeing what these two exceptional chefs concoct between them. ”

Both chefs are committed to ethical dining with sustainable aims and the dinner will be based on seasonal local ingredients. On Samso, Kasper Gaard is an expert at foraging for ingredients to use in his cooking, whilst in Ottery St Mary, Robin Rea has strong ties with local suppliers for fish, game, beef, vegetables and salad. He also raises his own Oxford Sandy and Black pigs on a nearby smallholding.

Iain regularly hosts suppers for small numbers in the shop, which is equipped with a long dining table that nestles between the shelves of wine, and armchairs for customers to use in between browsing the shelves at Smiths Wines. He and his team have a comprehensive knowledge of wines and Iain will be choosing the varieties to complement the meal created by Kasper and Robin.

The supper is on Tuesday, November 3. With space limited to 20 diners, the four course set meal costs £80 including wine. To book, call Iain on 01392 426550.

A magical meatstery tour…


Nick Hook is one of my favourite food photographers, plus he’s a very nice chap to boot. Marcus Bowden is a meat genius, the combination is magical…

Originally posted on nickhookphotography:

65 day, dry aged steaks. 65 days. 65. Sirloin.Dirty hanger steaks…

It’s fair to say that Marcus BawdonofCountry Wood Smokefame, is a meaty genius. He cooked me one of the most memorable steaks of my life, I’llrepeat “65 day old, dry aged steaks. 65 days. 65. Sirloin. Dirty hanger steaks…” If seeing is believing, then you must taste this uber complex, umami packed wee beastie of a cut to understand.

Seek it out, don’t be scared, do not go quietly into your local butchers.

Cheers Marcus, thanks for lunch!

What follows is more of a dream than aphoto-journal. Maybe I lumbered down the rabbit hole, after an enchanted Aberdeen Angus…


View original

Exeter Golf and Country Club: The Wear Park Restaurant

Exeter Golf and Country Club, Topsham Rd, Exeter, EX2 7AE
01392 874139 Lunch menu: One course (£9.95), two courses (£12.00) or three courses (£15.00)

To a lot of Exonians (excluding the 4,500 members who currently pay money to use their lovely facilities) the Exeter Golf and Country Club is a little bit of a mystery.  Like me, most residents of Exeter have been here for a wedding or two, maybe a conference or to use the wonderful spa facilities.  The sumptuous Georgian building (take a peek at the club’s history here) that overlooks some of the nicest greenery in Exeter, is home to the Wear Park Restaurant.  Last year Adam Little (ex-Harry’s Grill) was appointed as Head Chef.  Adam brought some of his team from Harry’s as well; the winning combination that attracted diner’s to their previous haunt is back to weave the same magic at the Exeter GCC.

But did you know that the gorgeous Wear Park Restaurant is also open to non-members as well?

We were invited down have a some lunch and take peek at this hidden temple of fine food, admire the greens and peer at the golf caddies.  I’ve only ever tried to play Golf twice, both times I managed to lose the ball, annoy other golfers and chew a large hole in an exquisitely manicured green.  So the idea of going to a golf club had me slightly worried that I might need to get my ‘Bluffer’s Guide to Golf’ out, but thankfully it isn’t all greens and golf carts at the Exeter GCC.

The Club has two restaurants.  The Hub is their family space where families can go and eat cheaply, children are allowed to be themselves and there is an attractive kid friendly menu on offer, no problem.  Many families will come and use the facilities multiple times a week and have their evening meal at the club after the kids have had their lessons and Mum & Dad have been at the gym or catching some squash in one of their courts.  Then for those nicer meals, there is the Wear Park Restaurant.

The lunch menu is fantastic value, choose from one course (£9.95), two courses (£12.00) or three courses (£15.00) OR one of the light bites from the other side of the menu.  Alternatively why not drop in for Afternoon Tea?  There is even a Prosecco Afternoon Tea available which just sounds decadently nice.

When we arrived, we were taken over to the Restaurant (located on the ground floor of the large Georgian house) by a lovely lady from reception as we had no idea where we were meant to be.  The Georgian propensity for the neo-classical gives the building quite an imposing feeling, but the warm welcome we received was in contrast to the austere yet beautiful architecture.

Adam has created a really nice lunch menu to tempt members and non-members alike.  We were looked after by the lovely Richard, the Food and Drinks Manager at the Wear Park who gave us a insight in to life at this busy restaurant.  As we waited in the lounge area, we were able to order our food as we sat in comfort with our coffees. As this was a Saturday lunchtime, I couldn’t quite bring myself to start on the wine quite yet.

Although the temptation to have a full three course meal sat on my shoulder for quite a while, I managed to keep it at bay (one has to think of the waistline) so I went for a main and a pudding.  I started things off with a Pan Fried Fillet of Salmon which came served with beautiful butter boiled vegetables, and Tori went for the Chicken Chasseur with Fondant Potato.  The Salmon skin was crisped perfectly, the flesh flaked with little effort from me and tasted amazing.  Tori commented on the fact her chicken was beautifully moist.

The service throughout the dinner brilliant, we didn’t wait too long before our next course arrived.

For the pudding I stuck to the classic Sticky Toffee Pudding (with clotted cream) and Tori, being the chocolate fiend she is endulged in a Chocolate Delice with Stewed Cherries.  My pudding was soft where it should have been, with a sweet butterscotch sauce and a creamy dollop of clotted cream which was a gorgeous addition.  Tori’s chocolate delice looked like it should have been heavy, but it was light and smooth and inspired many happy noises from her side of the table.

Whether it was the opulent surroundings, the fact it was a Saturday or possibly the beginning of a lifetime’s addiction to Prosecco, Tori took the plunge and had a Blueberry Prosecco cocktail to finish the whole thing.  And I had a cup of tea…it is a well known fact I know how to party.
These fizzy cocktails are a new addition to the menu with exciting combinations available, the strawberry and blueberry liquers that are used have real fruit within the spirit which give it a wonderful fruity nose.

Wear Park Restaurant also do a Sunday Lunch menu, but if you want to try it out, best book in advance!  And that goes for other times as well.  The venue and the value add a special something to the experience for diners, so why not give it a go? It is not just members who can experience the exquisite dining and surroundings of this proper hidden gem.

EE Recommends

Exeter Golf and Country Club,
Topsham Rd,

01392 874139

Dartmouth Food Festival is nearly here! Friday 23 – Sunday 25 October 2015

Friday 23 – Sunday 25 October 2015

Dartmouth’s annual food festival is back from Friday 23rd October for three days and two evenings of exceptional regional produce, exciting foodie talks, workshops, tasting events, family friendly activities and much more.

Festival Advocate, restauranteur, food writer and chef Mitch Tonks says: “I can’t wait for the Dartmouth Food Festival to open again this year. The event is a real celebration of truly exceptional produce and great British cooking. It’s the perfect place to explore food and drink, talk to the people who produce it, watch a cooking demo and eat well – bring the kids too, there’s fun for all the family!”

Now in its 13th year, the festival takes place in various locations across the town of Dartmouth in South Devon including the Embankment, Royal Avenue Gardens and Market Square. The majority of the festival is free with some ticketed events including Eat Your Words talks at the Flavel Arts Centre and Flavel Church and Drinks Seminars at Browns Hotel among other venues. Tickets are priced from just £5 and can be purchased online at

With over 100 producers, the festival attracts visitors from near and far to browse from a wide selection of sumptuous food and drink and buy direct from the growers, makers, bakers and brewers. Stands selling breads, cheeses, meats, drinks, wines, beers, chocolate, flapjack, cake, chutneys, oils and much more will be available from 10am each day.

The festival plays host to over 20 chef demonstrations including Mitch Tonks and Angela Hartnett MBE, TV chef Matt Tebbutt and Gelf Alderson of River Cottage among other talented, inspirational figures and local food heroes. Susy Atkins, wine writer and broadcaster will host a series of drinks seminars at Browns Hotel, accompanied and co-hosted by top speakers including Tom McLaughlin-Green, Master of Wine Liam Steevenson and sommelier Rebecca Mitchell.

Susy Atkins said: “’We are especially excited about the great drinks seminars this year, again held in the comfortable and modern surroundings of Browns Hotel, Victoria Road. Here’s a great opportunity to learn from (and be inspired by) tutored tastings from top wine experts such as Master of Wine Liam Steevenson, renowned merchant Tim McLaughlin-Green and Exeter’s top wine educator Rebecca Mitchell. We’re looking at everything from Sherry to Rioja, New Zealand’s latest releases and spicy food matching! I’ll be on hand throughout and am especially looking forward to showcasing top South-west English wines on Saturday evening. Do come and join us!”

Exeter Cookery School: Day course on the 14th November at Sapphire Spaces

The first session from The Exeter Cookery School looks absolutely amazing!

Saturday 14th November 2015

A hands-on cooking course with an autumnal flavour packed with cheffy tips, tricks and ideas designed to make cooking at home for family and friends easy and stress free.

When: 9am-4pm on Saturday 14th November 2015
Where: Sapphire Spaces, Unit 3, Dart Business Park, Topsham, Devon, EX3 0QH
Cost: £149 (see what’s included below)

Autumn Menu

Couronne aux Herbes (twisted herb bread)
with Baked Mont d’Or Cheese

Braised Beef Cheeks with Clotted Cream Mash, Braised Savoy Cabbage with Bacon and Apple, Heritage Vegetables and Beef Sauce

Pear and Frangipane Tart with Ginger Ice Cream


9.00am: Coffee and introductory chat with Jim and Lucy
9.30am: Hands-on Prep & Cooking
11.00am: Coffee & biscuit break followed by more hands-on prep & cooking
12.30pm: Lunch
1.30pm: Hands-on Prep & Cooking
2.30pm: Coffee & biscuit break followed by more hands-on prep & cooking
4.00pm: End of cooking. Glass of fizz. Presentation of Certificate. A jute shopping bag in which to take home any goodies you made.

Skills Learned

  • Working with yeast
  • Kneading and proving bread dough
  • Making fresh pesto
  • Cooking, blending, passing and setting meat parfait
  • Trimming meat in preparation for cooking
  • Searing and braising beef cheek
  • Making roasted meat stock
  • Making a reduced sauce base
  • Sauce finishing and seasoning
  • Flavour enhancement through seasoning, reduction, flavour extraction
  • Prepare ahead techniques, i.e. blanching vegetables
  • Sweet shortcrust pasty
  • Making frangipane
  • Poaching fruit
  • Making a Crème Anglaise
  • Making ice cream
  • Modern presentation

What’s Included During the Course

  • Hands-on tuition by an experienced patient chef
  • All ingredients
  • Lunch (eat what you cook)
  • Wine with lunch
  • Exeter Cookery School apron
  • Tea, coffee and snacks throughout the day
  • Farewell glass of fizz

What You Take Home With You

  • Exeter Cookery School pen
  • Exeter Cookery School jute shopping bag
  • Exeter Cookery School folder containing info and recipes cooked that day
  • Take-home bag of dishes cooked during the day
  • Exeter Cookery School certificate

Introducing: The Complete Dining Club

For a limited time Eating Exeter is selling cards at half price (£10 opposed to £20!), just click the link at the top right of the page and it will take you through to our link page.  If you go through the main site instead, just remember to mention that it was Eating Exeter that referred you over!

Click here to buy a card

An innovative business designed to encourage more diners to eat at some of Devon’s best independent cafes and restaurants.

Exeter is quite a lucky city in some respects.  We have an array of places to eat, most of them branches of larger chains, and intermixed there are a select number of independent places that are really good.  Some are recognised on a national level (Devon Coffee, The HubBox etc.) and on the whole, any good restaurant going bod in Exeter will be able to name at least three or four Indy places that do good food having been to them.  But diners are often creatures of habit, and many like the big chain restaurants that Exeter is filled with.  This can make things tricky for independent restaurants and cafes who don’t have the same marketing budgets or the buying power a large corporate entity might have.

From stage left, let me introduce you to Will Baker and John Peterson, (scroll down for a brief interview!); the founders of The Complete Diner’s Club (TCDC).  The founders are passionate about independent restaurants, low food miles and through my conversations with them in person and over email, they are dedicated team who have been meeting and promoting themselves to indy restaurants and cafes since the business’s creation earlier this year, and now after a busy week at the Exeter University Fresher’s Fair and at foody events, they can be found proselytising the ‘eat local, support local’ mantra that CDC embodies and promotes.

So, what is CDC?

As many regular readers might be aware, I’m passionate about local produce, independent restaurants and the ‘eat local, buy local’ mantra, so this concept has got me very excited.  In fact I got so excited, I accidentally posted this blog post a couple of weeks ago and frantically had to delete it afterwards! Why? Well… there are two things that are guaranteed to put a spanner in the works of any well laid plan.  The first thing is technology, and the second thing will be the lawyers of a large American corporation.  Will and John have had two weeks to rebrand from The Complete Diner’s Club to The Complete Dining Club after an nasty email from Diner’s Club International, who felt that the TCDC name was a little too close to their own.  So after some frantic rebranding, the business if finally ready to launch officially.

The Complete Dining Club is a unique (only one of its kind in the UK) card scheme that gives club members offers, discounts and unique experiences from independent restaurants  and producers.  So far there are twelve restaurants on-board in Exeter, Exmouth and Crediton, all of them giving Complete Dining Club members something special.
And they are adding more to the list, so make sure you check the website regularly!  As the number of establishments that sign up grows, the website will become a directory of excellent independent businesses, and with the information on the website it will help aid decision and will help diners discover new places to eat.

But it isn’t just the benefits to diners.  In the future, with a combined buying power, CDC hopes to make things cheaper for restaurants too with costs of such things as maintenance, finance and even down to printing menus etc.

its a really fantastic concept with Will and John promoting and negotiating with businesses to get member offers that are worth signing up for.  The business is relatively young, but there is already a buzz amongst the mavens in foody circles I move amongst.

So why should you? Have a look at the members page to see more, but there are some awesome discounts including:

  • A minimum of 10% off at all supporting stores
  • A variety of different exclusive offers (Free glass of wine, 50% off the food bill etc)
  • An easier time finding places worth exploring when going out to eat with friends and family

This is one project that I firmly believe is going to be beneficial for independent restaurants in the long-term, not just for the diners that eat at them but for their owners too.  In a recent article in The Caterer, the struggle of independent restaurants was clarified:

“Figures from the NPD Group show that sales at independent outlets have dropped by 22.8% since 2008, while business in chain restaurants has increased by 15.5% during the same period. As a result, independents accounted for 43% of the eating-out traffic by the end of 2014, compared with 53% in 2008″

These depressing statistics say to me that a scheme like CDC will only help to boost the chances of getting bums on seats and why we all need to ‘Eat Local and Buy Local’.

I was lucky enough to get Will and John to answer a few questions about starting the business and how things were going.

What gave you the idea to start Complete Dining Club?

John: The initial idea came to us while Will and I were having a meal in ‘Lloyds Kitchen’ in Exeter once. We were sitting there chatting about how we all have that one independent restaurant that we love but there’s no place to find more independents like it; so we set up Complete Dining Club, a place to find some of the best and unique independent restaurants, pubs and cafes in your area that we believe must be explored.

What’s the benefit to diners that sign up to be a member?

Will: Members of Complete Dining Club get access to exclusive discounts/deals at some of the best independents in town. Some deals are suited to groups (for instance, a bottle of wine between 4) whilst other deals can be enjoyed when you’re out in town on your own. One card gets you access to one Complete Dining Club deal per sitting. There is a variety.

John: The way to use your card is by firstly looking on the website to find independent diners in your area that you like the look of and then checking the individual pages of those diners to find out what deal they are offering. Some places, like Bumble and Bee in Exmouth, do a daily deal which means that there will always be a deal available but sometimes it will be different to the one on the website, as it changes daily. Other places, like Lloyd’s Kitchen in Exeter who are offering 50% off the bill at breakfast, have a permanent deal in place and this deal won’t change for at least 30 days but it will have terms and conditions such as not available on Saturdays and must be ordered by 11:30am.

How much does it cost?

John: Membership to Complete Dining Club costs £20 per year. In return you get exclusive access to Complete Dining Club deals in all the independents that we support. The membership card will be valid for a year and gets you a year’s worth of discounts at some of the best independents in town!

Will: The membership cards are definitely worth the money. If you use your card at The Oddfellows in Exeter which currently offers of a free glass of prosecco (worth £4) when you buy a main course, then you can get your money back when you use the card 5 times. We have more places in Exeter that also deserve a visit such as Real Food Store or Lloyds Kitchen. All stores offer at least 10% off so you know that when you buy a card, there’s definitely money to be saved at places worth going to!

Independent restaurants face tough competition from chains, how would Complete Dining Club benefit restaurants that sign up?

We publicise some of the best independent restaurants, pubs and cafes in Exeter, Exmouth and Crediton on our website. Our goal is to have all the best and most unique independents in one place so our members and non-members alike looking for places to eat out in can look for the hidden gems of the city with ease.

We also give our supporting stores, The Complete Dining Club certification badge so if anyone sees our badge, they know that a certain place is worth exploring when going out to eat with friends or family.

We want to create a buzz around the restaurants that are participating.  John and I have designed our website and added content that specifically works with Google’s SEO rating system. This will mean that our website (the hub for great and unique independents) will rank highly on google. Increasing overall internet traffic to our supporting stores.

What are your personal connections to independent restaurants, pubs and cafes? Any favourite places you remember?

John: On our journey with this business we’ve visited some really cool places. One place that stands out is a coffee house in Crediton called the ‘Crediton Coffee Company’ that roast their own coffee in-store. We actually made a video ( of Dan ‘The Coffee-Man’ (Ex World Championship Coffee Barista judge) roasting some coffee beans in-store and we learned loads about how coffee is made whilst doing so. Did you know there is a bigger spectrum of Coffee flavors than all of the different flavors of wine in the world!?

Will: My connection with independent business sprouted from my Dad. He runs a medium sized bespoke wardrobe design and fitting company in London. He taught me that “small businesses are the heart and soul of the country” So I have always gone out of my way to find independents, from hair dressers and dry cleaners to cafes and restaurants. I feel you are truly looked after at an independent.

I have actually just finished a meeting with ‘The Glorious Coffee House’ on Fore Street in Exeter. This place has impressed me as one of the most unique places in Exeter. When an art lover and a coffee lover combine, you get ‘The Glorious Coffee House’. It’s just brilliant.

What are the plans for the future for Complete Dining Club?

Will: We want grow the business all over Devon by increasing the number of independents we have on our website so our members have more choice when they want to use our Complete Dining Club card. We want to be an alternative to the “safe” routine of chains. The combination of CDC badge and the innovative website layout will help eliminate the risk of trying somewhere new, or encourage someone to explore some of the hidden gems we find on our travels.

We want to bring out a mobile application that lets members and non-members alike find the best independent restaurants in their local area. It would also give members the chance to look at all the different deals available at all the different independents in the town.

We want to help our partner stores reduce their costs which ultimately means they can lower their price to the customer. We want to include helping them with different things. For instance, the printing of menus etc.

Follow The Complete Diner’s Club on Twitter and don’t forget to check out their website too.  Also find them on Facebook

For a limited time Eating Exeter is selling cards at half price (£10 opposed to £20!), just click the link at the top right of the page and it will take you through to our link page.  If you go through the main site instead, just remember to mention that it was Eating Exeter that referred you over!

Click here to buy a card

Getting All Fired Up for National Curry Week

CURRYAlthough it was not used in Indian cooking before the Columbian Exchange of the 15th and 16th centuries, it is difficult to imagine the nation’s favourite dish without the chilli pepper in at least one of its almost 2,000 varieties. Today, having swiftly taken this fiery fruit to its culinary heart, India is now the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of chilli peppers. Guntur in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh produces 30% of all the chillies produced in India. Andhra Pradesh as a whole contributes 75% of India’s chili exports.

Early native Americans had been using chillies for a long time and archaeological evidence has been found that chillies were gathered from around 7,000BC and cultivated from around 3,000BC, predating the ancestors of the Mayans, the Olmecs, by about 1,000 years. The Mayans, whose civilisation occupied the area between the two Americas – now known as Guatemala, Mexico and Belize – are known to have used chillies medicinally for stomach disorders. There are more than 1,600 varieties of chilli plants, and it is closely related to the tomato, the potato and deadly nightshade.

The heat of the chilli can be affected by the climate and soil where it is grown and by its ripeness and this is measured using the Scoville Scale, devised by German chemist, Wilbur Scoville, at the beginning of the 20th century. In 2011, the Dorset Naga hit the headlines when it was declared the world’s hottest chilli by the Guinness Book of records. However, the drive by chilli growers to increase the fire-power of their product has meant that it has rapidly slipped to mid-division in the chilli heat league.

The current top ten are:

Country of origin Name Scoville Heat Units
1. USA Carolina Reaper 2.2m
2. Trinidad Trinidad Moruga scorpion 2.0m
3. India Bhut Jolokia 1.58m
4. USA 7 Pot Primo 1.47m
5. Trinidad Trinidad Scorpion Butch T 1.46m
6. England Dorset Naga Viper 1.4m
7. England Infinity chili 1.2m
8. Trinidad Seven-Pot Habanero 1.1m
9. Bangladesh Naga Morich 1.0m
10. India Bhut Jolokia Chocolate 0.95m

However, chilli is not just a pretty sting. Nutritionally, it is high in vitamin A and a source of vitamins B1, B2, niacin, sodium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc and, by weight, capsicum peppers contain between 6-9 times the amount of vitamin C than a tomato. This is good news indeed, as both vitamins A and C are powerful antioxidants, believed to protect against various forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Researchers at numerous universities around the world, such as Oxford, Harvard, Washington, Purdue and Adelaide, have discovered that the chilli can help combat heart attack and stroke, as it appears to extend blood coagulation time, preventing harmful blood clots, and that it may also help to cut triglycerides and decrease bad cholesterol levels, when used in conjunction with a diet low in saturated fats. That should heat up your National Curry Week!

More chilli facts can be found at:

The 18th National Curry Week will take place from 12-18 October 2015 supported by Sainsbury’s, Amira Rice, Bhai Cider and Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer.