Everyone’s a winner…

This year’s exhibitors have been busy – launching new products and winning a whole raft of awards.  As you can see from all the news below, whatever you’re looking for, at whatever time of the day, you’ll find it at the show:

Let’s start with breakfast, shall we?  Well they do say it’s the most important meal of the day!  How’s about the traditional British bacon & eggs?  Well Denhay Farms have launched Denhay Direct!  They’re now delivering the best bacon direct to the customer – be it restaurant, hotel, B&B or caterer!  Denhay, producers of multi award winning dry cured bacon, only use British outdoor bred pigs from RSPCA Assured Farms.  They use traditional hand crafting methods and their own special cure, resulting in bacon that tastes exceptional and that will remind you of how bacon used to taste.  That probably explains why they’ve been finalists in the Taste of the West Awards Best Bacon Category for the last 3 years.  And not only do they win awards, they also have a Royal Warrant from HRH The Prince of Wales!

That’s the bacon sorted…on to the multi award-winning free-range eggs from The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, which was named Taste of the West’s South West Producer of the Year 2017, for its innovative and entrepreneurial approach to business development, efforts to minimise the company’s carbon footprint and its continued work to ensure a sustainable future for independent family-run farms.  Owners Dan and Briony Wood have achieved critical acclaim for their Free Collection of Rambling Free hen eggs, Waddling Free duck eggs, Foraging Free quail eggs and Dabbling Free goose eggs in recent years, and in 2017 launched The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s ground-breaking Birds & Herds free range eggs, which are produced in a mob grazing system, as happy herds and traditional birds restore the South West’s pastures, one acre at a time.

Maybe you’d prefer something a little lighter than a cooked breakfast? Based on the Dartington estate in south Devon, Dartington Dairy have a new product to go alongside their range of goats’ milk ice-creams.  Kefir is a super tasty cultured goats’ milk drink with a long list of health benefits to match. This probiotic is a superb alternative to yogurt and has more probiotic strains. Good news for your gut, a route to a good immune system and a boost to start your day.  It’s available in Natural, Honey & Cinnamon and Blueberry.  Why not start your day with kefir, and then round it off with their dark Belgian chocolate ice cream, which is the proud owner of a Guild of Fine Food Gold Star?

After a decent breakfast, how’s about something a little lighter for lunch? Mevalco, the fast-growing importer and wholesaler of super-premium Spanish fine foods, has been busy!  Not only have they launched a tip top range of Tapas products, but they have also launched their new winter range offering caterers a unique and innovative line-up of authentic meats, including Ibérico acorn fed free range pork, 100% sustainably sourced wild boar and 100% Ibérico Bellota Belloterra hams from Los Pedroches (Córdoba).  Mevalco has sourced the range from artisan producers specially chosen to deliver flavour and texture.  Available in a range of formats and pack sizes, the Mevalco Winter range has been specially created to respond to the growing need for authentic Spanish products.

Maybe a fresh Cornish yoghurt would do the trick? Based in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, Trewithen Dairy won three Great Taste Awards for their Clotted Cream, Salted Butter and Cornish Spreadable, as well as receiving 3 Golds (Clotted Cream, Natural Yoghurt and Toffee & Apple Yoghurt) and 1 Silver at this year’s Taste of The West Awards (Dairy Salted Butter). Trewithen Dairy has always been a family business and proud of it.  They keep their products as close to nature as possible, and as a result, their taste is full of Cornish deliciousness.  With natural goodness, and the care, attention and expertise you can taste every time, their dairy products are truly lovely stuff!

On to afternoon tea, which wouldn’t be complete without the tea!  The Leafy Tea Company was started by April Collins in 2016 when she was 16 years old and should have been busy studying for her GCSE’s!  Fed-up with the taste of many commercially available teas and infusions and desperate to produce some that actually taste as good as they smell. she researched intensively and finally sourced products to fulfilling her quality and taste requirements and ethical ethos.  Over the past two years her tea has progressed from paper tea bags to high quality bio-degradable pyramid bags containing large leaf teas and infusions, all blended for her by a master-blender in the UK.  Her small specialist range suits all palates and her new clear tube packaging is both innovative and allows the products to be seen.  Unsurprisingly April has won several awards for her entrepreneurship, including being named Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Bristol Post and Bath Chronicle Women in Business awards in 2017.

If it’s a proper cream tea you’re after, then whether you put the cream on first or last, you’ll be needing jam.  Boddington’s Berries produce a range of high quality, natural, high fruit content conserves with no additives or pectin, and supply a wide range of wholesalers, caterers and retailers.  Strawberry conserve is their mainstay, going to cream tea specialists, hotels, restaurants and shops as well as garden centres and holiday parks.  Their products regularly win awards, with three from the Taste of the West Awards this year alone.  Their Apple Chutney won a Gold, “Texture is spot on! Smells very appealing and shouts ‘eat me’!“.  Their Strawberry Vinegar also won a Gold “A lovely colour, a very natural strawberry smell, delicious!”, while their Raspberry Conserve won a Silver “Lovely soft set jam, a very pleasant, tart, raspberry flavour“.

If you’re busy and on the move, how about a sweet treat to get you through the afternoon?  Cake Aspirations were delighted to win a three star Great Taste Award this year for their Salted Caramel Fudge.  “Light and delicate with a salt crystal explosion on the palate, this fudge from Gloucestershire’s Cake Aspirations is buttery and slightly crumbly, with a lovely texture and just the right level of salt to balance the sweetness“.  They also came in the top 50 out of 12,366 entrants and they are the first ever fudge producer to get in the top 50!!  They were also finalists in the Taste of Gloucestershire Food and Farming Awards.  Cake Aspirations sell their fudges at food festivals and markets and have just started selling to large shops/delis etc.  Flavours available include Lemon Meringue, Expresso, Banoffee, Baileys, and Peanut Butter amongst many others, so you’ll be spoilt for choice!

We reckon you can’t go far wrong with a good pie for dinner, and you can’t get much better than a Champion pie can you?  West Country pie-maker Jon Thorner’s is celebrating award success with a Champion win at the National British Pie Awards!  Their Steak & Kidney Pie was awarded the highest accolade in its category and named the Class Champion – beating hundreds of other contenders. The British Pie Awards success came just few weeks after an equally successful haul at the Smithfield Awards, which is organised by the Q Guild of Butchers, an organisation representing the best butchers in Britain. Thorner’s walked away with an impressive 18 Golds, for a predominately new range of flavours introduced this year. Would you prefer new potatoes or mash to go with yours?

If you have room for dessert, and you like ice-cream, you’ll have plenty to choose from at the show. The range of flavours on offer is impressive, and it’s no wonder so many of them have won awards this year!  Dunstaple Farm has won Devon County Show’s Ice Cream Champion for the past 2 years running, receiving many prizes for flavours chosen from over 40 available in their Farmer Tom’s range of luxury ice creams.  They also have a Milk Maid brand, introduced in 2016, which is a soft scoop ice cream. All their ice-creams are produced on the farm using the herd’s fresh, whole milk and cream from local dairies with quality natural ingredients. They offer a full point of sale service and their products are packaged for both catering and retail outlets, whichever you may be.

Three of Treleavens Luxury Cornish Ice Cream‘s products won awards at this year’s Great Taste Awards. Their Chocolate and Salted Caramel Ice creams both picked up a Gold Star while their newly released Cider Sorbet was awarded 3 Gold Stars, the highest award possible. Their chocolate ice cream is super smooth and extremely creamy, and always a popular choice both with adults and children, while swirls of rich caramel and Cornish sea salt make their salted caramel ice cream irresistible. The brand new cider sorbet is the latest addition to the Treleavens family. Made using Cornish Cider, it is intensely appley, deliciously refreshing, and full of character. It’s a perfect dessert in its own right, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not try it with a Ploughmans or cheese and biscuits?

Salcombe Dairy operates from Devon’s southernmost town, set in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the Kingsbridge estuary.  With innovative concepts, marvellous recipes and first quality ingredients, their products win awards every year, and this year was no exception.  Four of their products won Great Taste Awards – with 2 stars for both their Coconut & Lychee and Chocolate Orange ice-creams, and one star apiece for their Raspberry Sorbet and Clotted Cream Vanilla ice-cream.  Their Honeycomb went on to win yet another award, winning a Gold at Love the Flavour.  Salcombe Dairy uses only the finest natural ingredients to make the highest quality dairy ice creams, premium sorbets and luxury frozen yoghurts, and it shows.  How’s that for quality indulgence to round your meal off with?

When the working day is done…it’s time to settle down for the evening and your drink of choice.  A pint of Hunt’s Cider would hit the spot nicely.  This Devon cider maker has a long tradition and heritage, stretching back over 200 years. They use the highest quality Devon cider apples, fermenting fresh bitter-sweet apple juice each Autumn, on the cider farm near Totnes. Their Andsome Bay cider (available in a 50 litre draught keg and 500ml bottles) and Thrasher (available in 500ml bottles) were both awarded Gold from Taste of the West this year.  Their delicious handcrafted Wobbler (available in 500ml bottles, 1 litre bottles, 3 litre pouches and 20 litre Bag in Boxes) was awarded Gold from Devon Food and Drink and gained a National Trust Fine Farm Foods Award this year, and it was only launched in March.  It’s looking like a golden age for Hunt’s Cider!

If you’d prefer something a little stronger, then the Curio Spirits Company was recently nominated as one of the top five gin producers in the UK, which is a huge endorsement of their drinks and ethos. This year they also picked up a silver and a gold medal for their gins from the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC), a gold medal from The Gin Masters and a 3 star award from the Great Taste Awards.  As if that wasn’t enough, Curio have launched two new spirits in 2017 to tempt the curious.  Cornish Cup is inspired by the traditional punch used in the British Navy during the 17th century. The spirit is blended with bespoke botanicals to create spirit infused with malty Assam tea with exotic cardamom pods and cinnamon, and honey.  Fly Navy Gin is a new hand-crafted gin made in small batches from carefully selected botanicals, including organic Madagascan vanilla, Sansho peppers and local Cornish wild heather to create a floral, citrus gin that is unique, full of character and can be enjoyed neat, as a G&T or in a cocktail.

Gin is enjoying a real surge in popularity at the moment, and at this year’s show Devon Distillery will be presenting ‘Still on the Move’ – the UK’s only mobile gin distillery!  They will be making gin with their beautiful bus ‘Ginny’ and their still ‘Prosperity’.  Definitely a first for the show and we can’t wait to see it!  Devon Distillery are also the UK’s first and only micro distillery creating grape-marc-spirit, Dappa. Like it’s Italian counterpart ‘Grappa’, it’s a smooth after-dinner tipple with a beautifully warming effect.  It’s won many awards, including a Gold Award at the Devon Food and Drink Awards this year.

If we’re talking about G, then we should definitely talk about T!  The handcrafted premium tonics and mixers brand Franklin & Sons received no less than six Great Taste Awards, for the second year running. Wild Strawberry & Scottish Raspberry with Cracked Black Pepper, British Dandelion & Handpicked Burdock with Star Anise, Natural Indian Tonic Water, Natural Light Tonic Water, Scottish Soda Water, and Sicilian Lemon Tonic Water, all received a prestigious star at the world’s largest quality food awards.  Their success comes on the back of a number of other endorsements by industry experts, including the New York International Spirits Competition and the Quality Food Awards.

If you’d prefer something a little softer, but still with a sting in the tail, then James White Drinks will have a range of non-alcoholic juices and cordials at the show, including their new Acai Caffeine Zinger (available from January 2018).  Perfect for first thing in the morning, or anytime the juices are flagging, their Zingers are a pocket sized and healthy alternative to sugar and caffeine-loaded energy drinks with no preservatives or artificial colours, and only natural flavourings.  Their Golden Turmeric Zinger won awards at Great Taste 2017, the Free From Food Awards 2017 and also the AFMCP-UK 2017 Food & Drink Awards. It’s packed with an abundance of health benefits – turmeric (which was first used a dye) has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Talking of dyes – their Turmeric Zinger is the perfect way to build curcumin into your diet, without staining your hands (and your clothes) yellow!

And now to bed…  If you’re looking for somewhere to lay your head, then Barton Reed & Co have launched an evocative new range of bedroom furniture. ‘Loft’ is a range of recycled hardwood furniture that’s handmade in Vietnam. The off-set wooden and painted planks are eye-catching with a rugged, seaside feel.  This new range has been installed in fifteen brand new bedrooms over the border in Cornwall, at Jamaica Inn, Bodmin.  Built in the 1750’s and standing proud and magnificent on Bodmin Moor, the legendary Jamaica Inn is famous for stories of smuggling and ghostly experiences. With such well built, stylish furniture, these tasteful new bedrooms have set a high standard for West Country hotels in 2018, and we’re thinking a weekend break after this year’s show is over sounds very attractive!

See, we said our exhibitors had been busy, didn’t we? Which of these lovely companies would you like to see?  We’re really looking forward to seeing all of them in February, and we’d like to see you there too.  If you haven’t registered yet, click here to get your hands on your free trade entry badge.  See you soon!

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