Despite having lived in Devon for over 25 years I have only been to the Devon County Show on a handful of occasions.When the opportunity arose to attend this year, I was keen to go along to search out local South West businesses for a series I am planning on the blog called Spotlight SouthWest. Primarily an agricultural show dating back to 1872, it is now much more. Not only is it all that is great about Devon's farming community, but also including many local businesses from cheese makers to a company promoting Foster care.
The show takes place at Westpoint arena in Exeter over 3 days and includes every kind of agricultural event. Showcasing angora goats, cattle, a livestock arena, pigs, sheep, horses and much more. There are alpacas, woodland walks, vintage tractors,vintage cars, trade stands, the Devon eye, bees and honey, fur and feather ! The list goes on and on. Although in my opinion its pricey to get in at £20 per person, there is certainly a lot to keep you entertained. I would certainly recommend either taking a picnic or going with a full wallet as it is expensive to eat there and even the cash machine charged us £2.50 to withdraw cash !
I was on the lookout for Devon lifestyle businesses and certainly found a good selection of talent. I absolutely loved this stand called Devon Reclaimed. Specialising in Vintage and Industrial lighting and antiques. They had a wonderful selection of lights salvaged from ships and some stunning original porthole mirrors. I wanted everything.
Imagine the hours of work involved cleaning these beauties to get them to look like this !
Plenty to keep the children (large and small) amused and of course I obviously missed the memo about wearing the compulsory tweed and Ariat Braemar Country boots !
County Fairs are always wonderful places to see up close the work of artists you might not normally come across. I particularly loved the work of fine artist Mark Edward Coombe. His portraits of animals were truly stunning.
Another wonderful discovery was the work of Emily Gladstone of Peaceable Kingdom who specialises in hand printed lino block art on Scottish linen. I will be featuring Emily in my Spotlight SouthWest feature soon.
Stopping to admire these majestic horses, you just don't realise how HUGE they are until you see them close up !
This incredible sculpture was the work of J P Ironwork. Sadly my photograph does not do it justice. Next door to this stand there were men shoeing horses and oh ! the NOISE !
Its always great to see the innovative ways people showcase their products. This clever company transformed an old double decker bus into a showroom for their bathroom products.
Another local business I will be featuring on Spotlight SouthWest is Sara Corcoran from Ashridge in Totnes. I couldn't resist buying a selection of her local ciders. Well, it had to be done. The food and drink pavilion had us parting with most of our money ! It was full of local businesses showcasing and selling the finest food and drink.
Home after a long day, we cooked these amazing pies from Wessex Pantry in Bradworthy and cracked open a bottle of cider from Ashridge.
Settling down to rest I decided it was time to try out the Ease it oil from The very lovely Katy Hancock at the Oil Hut. I will also be featuring Katy and her products on the blog very soon.