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South East Cornwall enjoys Taste of success

Taste South East Cornwall sponsorsA month long gastro-extravaganza staged in South East Cornwall last autumn is to return this year to feed the area's taste for success as well as good food.

Taste South East Cornwall ran from 11 November to 11 December in 2005 with huge success. With a programme of daily food-related events and special festival menus, it was a unique proposition which organisers believe generated in the region of £500,000 for the area. This week it's been confirmed that the main Taste Fest will return in the same format this year. Again, it is being devised and planned by local restaurants and businesses to raise the profile of local food, connect consumers with producers and generally celebrate south east Cornwall's food culture.

"It's really put South East Cornwall on the food map," says one of the Taste organisers Nick Love of Trawlers Restaurant in Looe. "Having food-related events happening every day for a month made it unique, and encouraged locals and visitors to indulge over a longer period. The great thing is that any local business can add value by associating itself with the festival. At the core of Taste is the will to promote local food to the benefit of the whole local economy."

The restaurants involved in Taste South East Cornwall all reported an increase in trade of around 20 to 30 per cent compared to the same period the previous year. Similar benefits were enjoyed by festival partners, such as accommodation business Wringworthy Cottages near Morval which highlighted festival events in its winter marketing campaign.

Kim Spencer, owner of Wringworthy Cottages and vice chairman of the South East Cornwall Tourism Association says: "We took advantage of eating out ourselves a number of times and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the festival, as did our guests. We can't wait to start marketing this year's events and expect our tailored foodie breaks to attract interest from all over the country."

Taste 2006 will run from 10 November to 10 December and planning is already well underway. In the meantime a number of initiatives are being run under the Taste banner to maintain year-round momentum and keep local food in the public eye.

In January the Sunday Cornish Brunch Club got underway. These events rotate around fine dining restaurants in south east Cornwall on the last Sunday of each month, offering the chance to enjoy the Sunday papers over the best Cornish produce. The next brunch is planned for 28 May at Trawlers on the Quay in Looe, preceded by an optional morning boat trip around Looe Bay and St Georges Island.

Early summer sees the launch of Taste Surf 'n' Turf fortnight, planned to coincide with the Looe Festival by the Sea – 29 May to 9 June. Participating restaurants will be serving special menus celebrating the best food from Cornwall's land and sea, including a special 'Grazing on the Quay' event in East Looe on 3-4 June when tasters from 10 of the area's top restaurants can be sampled.

The main Taste South East Cornwall festival will include an extensive programme of events for each day of the month long initiative. These will include special menus at some of the region's best restaurants, cooking demonstrations and workshops. There will also be wine tastings, trips out to sea, two food fairs and guided walks over the region's moorland and coastal landscape.

The Festival website is already up and running with all the latest information, plus visitors can post comments or request email updates on events as they're confirmed.

The ambitious Taste initiative is being backed again by Bateman Financial Management and Cornwall Taste of the West. Its aim is to establish South East Cornwall as a fine dining destination for both visitors and locals, which will help sustain year round business for restaurants, food and drink producers, tourism businesses, accommodation providers, local shops and services.

The main Taste organisers are Nick Barclay of Barclay House Hotel and Restaurant, Nick Love of Trawlers on the Quay, Andrew Treleaven of the award-winning Treleaven's Luxury Cornish Ice Cream and Iain Shillito of the Bywater Restaurant, all based in East Looe, plus Richard McGeown of Couch's Restaurant in Polperro and Jackie Taylor of Herodsfoot Webworks.

To get involved or for further information email or phone Nick Barclay on 01503 262929, Andrew Treleaven on 01503 220969, Richard McGeown on 01503 272554 or Nick Love on 01503 263593.

For further information please contact Veronica Newport at npr on 01363 866927 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Cornwall Taste of the West through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and land based industries project is advised to speak with Martin Butler, at Government Office South West on 01752 635134 before commencing development as there are now only limited funds available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.


Editor's notes:

Taste South East Cornwall main joint sponsors: Cornwall Taste of the West and Bateman Financial Management.

Principal Sponsors: Barclay House Hotel and Restaurant; Trawlers on the Quay Restaurant; Treleavens Luxury Ice Cream; Couch's Restaurant; the Bywater Restaurant; South East Cornwall Tourism Association and Herodsfoot Webworks.

Taste of the West in Cornwall is a £5million Objective One gateway project, funded by the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and private matched funding. It is part of the Taste of the West regional food group. Taste of the West's Cornwall project includes a trade development programme, a marketing grant scheme and a capital grants scheme, available to small and medium sized food businesses which produce, sell or process foods in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. For more information log on to


Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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