The Exmoor Live Cookery Demo

Friday 18th August saw the 2nd incarnation of the Exmoor Live cookery demonstration, in a suitably grand marquee at the 171st annual Dunster Show.

Showcasing their formidable culinary acumen, we were treated to an interesting range of cookery demonstrations, featuring 6 top chefs from across Devon and Somerset.

Dishes on offer included a mouthwatering Venison Carpaccio, the slightly abstract but altogether delicious Pork Schnitzel and an oh so tempting trifle made with a locally distilled gin. 

The event was extremely well attended and well deserved credit goes to Chef Andrew Dixon, ably assisted by Chef Olivier Certain, who together organised this very successful event.


The Dunster Show


On Friday 18th August, the 171st Dunster Show will be held once again in the fields nestling behind Dunster Castle. Always a great success and highly enjoyable, this annual Somerset country fair is set to attract thousands of visitors once again. And there will of course be a cookery demonstration organised and led by Chefs Andrew Dixon and Olivier Certain. Joining them this year for the second year now will be Ed Heard along with newcomers to the cookery demo, Ellis Pannell and Barrie Tucker. See you there!

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Painting the Picture

JOHN RABY meets Anna Fitzgerald, an artist with a unique & refreshing style who is making a real impact on the art scene in Exmouth.

Anna Fitzgerald is a prolific and successful artist living and working in Exmouth. I caught up with her at a seafront exhibition, organised by the Exmouth Art Group, where she had four pieces on sale and by the time I had arrived she had already sold three of them. Anna, it turns out, is quite the leading light on the art scene in Exmouth.

Read the rest of this article on the Devon Life website.


Horse rider highlights road safety issue

Published in the North Devon Journal on April 16th 2015

IMG_9225A North Devon hairdresser based in Braunton has issued a plea for car drivers to slow down, and show more courtesy to horse riders on the road.

Sue Johnson, 41 has suffered several incidents involving inconsiderate motorists whilst out riding her horse, and feels now that the issue must be highlighted.

Sue, who was based at Chivenor Riding Stables said: “It’s people driving too fast and being impatient, just a general lack of consideration really. It’s a regular occurrence to have abuse shouted at you and finger gestures.

“The vast majority of drivers are courteous and patient.  The problem seems to worsen during summer months due to, in my opinion, motorists avoiding congestion on main roads and diverting onto country lanes but still driving at the same pace.”

Despite wearing hi-vis vests and hat covers and using appropriate hand signals asking motorists to slow down, she indicated that incidents of near misses and horses being dangerously frightened on our country roads remains.

However, one North Devon man who did not wish to be named said: “We all know they have a right to be on the road… but on ever more crowded roads – is it sensible?”

Tasha Clarke, 21 from Kentisbury, also complained about car drivers swearing at her and shouting abuse. She also said that an ambulance had driven past her on a quiet country road with blue lights and sirens in operation, which could have easily spooked the horse.

In response, Melanie Glanville of South Western Ambulance Service said, that because of the high hedges and blind blends on these types of roads, it is “imperative in such situations to have audible warnings sounding.”

Horses and their riders are part and parcel of life in here the Westcountry, and the issue is set to become worse as more and more cars appear on our already seasonally congested roads.

Lloyd Harvey-Bryant, a Sales Negotiator from Barnstaple said: “Horses are unpredictable, …so you have to slow down for them because you never know what they are going to do.”

Ms Johnson concluded, “Horses have as much right to use public highways as any other road users, such as runners, cyclists etc.  In an ideal world no one would want to use roads to ride their horses on.”