Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Powderham Food Festival

Held on the 4th October at Powderham Castle (pictured above, a fantastic venue overlooking the Exe estuary), this year's Powderham Food Festival invites you to bring out your inner caveman for a feast of outdoor cooking over traditional fire.

We’re sponsoring the festival again this year making it 3 years in a row, and we're looking forward to sampling some local Devon meat cooked in fire-pits, charcoal filled wheel barrows and flaming tandoori ovens. And all washed down with fabulous West Country ales and cider.

Over 100 producers will be exhibiting in the castle and grounds, plus there will be fascinating demonstrations, talks and tastings from a host of notable names including:

- Tim Hayward, Guardian writer and broadcaster
- Jane Baxter, ex head chef Riverford Field Kitchen
- Ben Bulger, Devon Chef of the year at Magdalen Chapter Hotel
- Peter Greig, co-owner with wife Henrietta, of Pipers Farm
- James Strawbridge, proprietor “Posh Pasty Company”
- and Patrick Fogarty of Bronx Grill and Bar in Teignmouth

Fabulous West Country food is very much a part of our guests' self-catering holiday experience and we are happy to be involved again.

The festival runs from 10am-5pm on Saturday 4th October. Admission is £6 for adults, free for children under 16.


Photo credit: giborn_134

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Chagford Film Festival

We're extremely lucky to have a film festival each year in our home town. Now in its fourth year, the Chagford Film Festival features a fantastic line-up of eclectic films, events, talks and workshops, from 22nd to 27th September 2014. We're proud to sponsor this unique event.

Events take place throughout the day and evening, at a range of venues across the village - one event is a special screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel, starring Ralph Fiennes.

It's a wonderful week, culminating in the grand closing ceremony with the “Chagford Golden Globe Awards” at the Globe Inn on Saturday 27th September.

If you're not familiar, Chagford is situated in the heart of the stunning Dartmoor National Park in Devon, SW England. Often called 'the jewel of Dartmoor', it's close to the beautiful River Teign and has an exciting and vibrant history.

You can find details on how to get tickets here, and the full festival programme here.

All other details can be found at: http://chagfordfilmfestival.com, or if you're a social media fan - @ChagfordFilm on Twitter and ChagfordFilmFestival on Facebook.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Great British Beach Clean

Watch out for the Great British Beach Clean, coming to a beach near you, from 19th to 22nd September 2014.

With your help the Marine Conservation Society can take Britain’s beaches back to a time when litter was the exception and not the rule. They’re aiming to get a record breaking 10,000 people cleaning at least 400 beaches around the UK. 

It's a real and growing problem. Last year the South West had well below the national average in terms of litter levels, even though in last year’s beach clean more items of litter were found per kilometre of beach cleaned than ever before. The Marine Conservation Society makes a compelling case for clean beaches:
  • Clean beaches could save the lives of some of our best-loved marine wildlife.
  • Clean beaches will protect our kids when they are building sand castles.
  • Clean beaches will show the world what's really great about the British seaside.
Register now for the Great British Beach Clean and let's get our beaches back to their litter-free glory days!

No event organised on your favourite beach? Then why not organise a clean up of your own?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Watch out for Wiggo!

Or to put it more correctly, watch out for Sir Bradley Wiggins as the Tour of Britain cycle race is returns to Devon for stage 5 on Thursday 11th September. Sir Bradley will defend his Tour of Britain title after being named as the leader of Team Sky’s squad for the eight-stage event.

The Tour of Britain is the UK's biggest professional cycle race, with some twenty teams competing. Stage 5 starts in Exmouth at 11am, winds and climbs its way right across Dartmoor, then heads up to Okehampton, before the pedal pushers turn for home and the finishing line in Exeter. The near circular route means there’s a great opportunity for spectators to watch the both the start and the finish of this great race, with many of Europe’s and indeed the world’s finest cyclists taking part as the leading teams battle it out for sprint, climb and line honours. The Exe Estuary Trail (a cyclepath and walkway constructed by Devon County Council as part of the National Cycle Network Route 2 ) links Exmouth and Exeter so spectators will be able to cycle to Exeter in good time to see the frantic sprint for the finishing line.

The tour is the country's largest free-to-spectate sporting event, and there are plenty of excellent spots to locate yourself along the route - see this ETA Guide for approximate timings so you can plan your day and pick your spot accordingly. See this spectating guide for details of fixed road closures in place at the start (Exmouth) and finish (Exeter) locations and rolling road closures all along the route of the stage.

After Devon the tour moves east along the south coast before heading into London for the final stage on 14 September.

If you happen to catch the tour flying by and manage to take any snaps, do post them to our Facebook page, we'd love to see them!


Photo credit: Robert King

Monday, 1 September 2014

Our latest catch up with Gorgs Geikie

As readers of this blog will know, Helpful Holidays sponsors Georgina (Gorgs) Geikie, British number one ladies pistol shooter. Here's the latest from Gorgs:

What an experience the Glasgow Commonwealth Games were for me. Obviously I was very disappointed not to be selected back in January, but sometimes that's just the way it goes. 

Therefore I made the most of the opportunity for the first time to watch my opponents from afar and learn from their mistakes and positives in their preparations and performances at a major championships. Having a backstage job made this very interesting and informative as I look forward and prepare for next season.

My job at Glasgow was in Sports Presentation, liaising with the technical officials that ran the events and the media/broadcast/announcers etc. Ensuring all ran smoothly in the eyes of the spectators at the event and watching on TV.

Also to support the TV coverage, I did a lot of the BBC commentary which I know many people heard and hopefully enjoyed. For the spectators on the day I also spoke to the crowd for each event, preparing them for what was going to happen and building the atmosphere.

Having this role behind the scenes was great fun, but there is obviously nothing like actually competing. Glasgow has helped me build my CV content and importantly fuelled my enthusiasm for Rio 2016.

To find out more about Gorgs, visit Gorgs’ website or follow her on Twitter.