Tell me about a street food festival and I am there, no questions asked. As a self-crazed foodie, food is on my mind around 90% of the time; I organise my day around when I eat and I even decide where I go on holiday based on local cuisine and foodie recommendations.
Yet when I heard there was a Devon Street Food Festival in Ilfracombe, I wasn’t expecting much. You see, while I am shouting about all the things I love in North Devon, throughout August, one thing that lets Devon down is how ‘back and beyond’ it is. We don’t get a lot of ‘trendy’ things happen around these parts (you’d be hard-pressed to find somewhere selling avo on toast around here), it’s not multicultural at all and when a ‘festival’ is advertised, you can expect only a handful of mediocre stalls and perhaps a bouncy castle. It’s all very ‘village fete’.
So when I turned up, I was pleasantly surprised.
While, compared to other food festivals in much bigger towns and cities, this was relatively small in size (about 15 or so vendors), the quality made up for the quantity and it was the first time North Devon has probably ever served so many different foodie options.
Paella, posh toasties, luxury mac & cheese, loaded fries, waffles, wood fire pizza, falafels, Mexican buns and Indian pakora, samosas and bhajis made it impossible to know what to have for our lunch.
In the end, we both made a beeline for the Lebanese van; mine charcoal grilled aubergine with flatbread, slaw, minty yoghurt, pomegranate and dukkah, and David, the carnivorous boyfriend, opting for the chicken shish. The amount of flavour was, insane; every mouthful was filled with a new texture and flavour and it had the perfect balance of freshness from the mint, against the charred aubergine and sweetness from the pomegranate against the nutty dukkah.
Of course, with the sweet tooth that I have, I had to go for dessert. While I was tempted by some hot, honey roasted nuts, I couldn’t resist a Nutella filled churro. Because, well, churros though.
After filling our bellies, we hopped on over to spoons for a glass of Pimms to wash it all down.
An afternoon with plenty of food and a rooftop drink is what life is all about, wouldn’t you say?
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