Friday, 18 February 2011

Enjoy the authentic taste of Dartmoor…

Farming in the heart of Devon is all about a passion for food, from the landscape it comes from to the way it is nurtured. That's why Dartmoor Farmers Association is the proud owner of three new awards, praising its methods and results in authentic beef and lamb production.

The association was recently crowned Gold and Silver Winner at the prestigious Taste of the West Awards and was given the inaugural ’Business of the Month Award’ from Dartmoor First. To receive the latter, entrants must demonstrate high regard for ‘a sense of place’, relating to landscape and diversity, for ‘a precious resource’, which covers waste, energy and water use, and for a ‘living landscape’, relating to the economical, social and transportation impact of their work.

The association’s 50 individual hill farms produce high quality beef and lamb, available at local butchers and in many of the pubs and restaurants throughout the area. Dartmoor Farmers ‘real beef and lamb’ can also be delivered straight to your front door throughout the UK by a courier meat box scheme.

For Dartmoor visitors wanting to sample a variety of tasty local produce, the Moretonhampstead Food Festival on 5th March is an unmissable showcase. Highlights include support from celebrity chefs Michael Caines (from the two Michelin star Gidleigh Park) and Jane Baxter from Riverford (author of many books and regular columnist in national newspapers). There’s also a 'Ready Steady Cook' event involving chefs from local restaurants and cooking demonstrations, including a children’s event in the 'Riverford Kitchen'. Click here for a list of exhibitors.

If you’re inspired to watch life on a farm, Weddicott Barn (pictured) in Chagford is perfect. It sleeps ten, so bring family and friends to enjoy the 70 acre traditional Dartmoor farm with its wildlife, wild flowers and half-acre pond. The indoor heated pool is an added bonus! You can take sourcing local food to the extreme with private brown trout fishing on the river Erme included in the price of a stay at lovely Clock House, near Ivybridge. Or how about a spot of classy dining-in after a shopping spree at the local farmers’ market? The ornate dining area and well equipped kitchen at luxurious Maristow Barton in Milton Combe are ideal for self catering in style.

We’ve over 80 holiday cottages on Dartmoor and good food is never far away.