Devon has long been known as a county of good food. Much of its meat is home-reared in small-scale and ‘happy’ conditions; and the seafood is exceptional, with Exmouth mussels sold throughout the UK and the ‘crab’ said to be at its biggest and juiciest along Devon’s coast. For a while East Devon lagged South Devon but now there’s a rapidly growing enthusiasm and expertise in food; with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his River Cottage making it home. Also, top chef Michael Caines, who has had such a positive impact on Devon’s food scene, is now planning a luxury hotel and restaurant in Lympstone on the Exe Estuary.
Most seaside towns and villages have their own fish stores, selling whatever the day’s catch has provided: straight from the sea and glisteningly fresh. The region is very proud of its fine restaurants and farm shops, and hosts several food fairs including the huge one in Exeter each April.