The first ever South West wide Cream Tea Festival will take place in Bideford this May.

Cream teas of all kinds will be fetaured at the first ever Cream Tea Festival in Bideford on May 17, 2020. Picture: Tony GussinCream teas of all kinds will be fetaured at the first ever Cream Tea Festival in Bideford on May 17, 2020. Picture: Tony Gussin

Bideford Town Council is inviting businesses from right across the region to enter their finest scone and jam creations into the festival on Sunday, May 17 for the chance to be crowned South West supreme champion.

Councillor Peter Lawrence, who came up with the idea, said as far as they were aware it was the first one of its kind on this scale.

The Pannier Market will be bursting with cream tea creations as businesses from small to large compete in several categories to catch the eyes of the judges.

Mr Lawrence said: "Along with fish and chips and ice cream, the cream tea is one of the favourite meals for holidaymakers when they come to the South West.

"Whether they put cream or jam first or even go to the dark side and use cream cheese and chutney, we want to celebrate that.

"We want to make it an annual event and are looking for people to join us and others across the South West to celebrate one of the country's favourite summer time treats."

It is hoped the contestants will come from Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and beyond, but spaces in the categories are limited and people are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

The event will be free for the public and on the day they will have the chance to browse the entries as well as to buy their own cream teas plus a range of local food and drink related products from vendors.

The provisional competition categories so far are Best Devon, Best Cornish, Best savoury, Best Presented and Best Takeaway as well as the supreme champion.

Local baker Graham Blight of Country Cottage Bakery Ltd, which three shops in Bideford and Westward Ho! said it was a brilliant idea and Bideford did events really well.

He added: "I should imagine there will be quite a lot of competitiveness as they are trying to encourage entries from far and wide.

"I think the ambition is to create a monster!"

The town council would like to hear from any businesses that want to take part, large or small, and enter their cream teas into the competition.

It would also like to hear from any vendors that would like to be a part of the Pannier Market event and sell their products on the day.

For more information go to https://bideford.tcg.org.uk/cream-tea-festival/ or to get in touch with the council, email admin@bideford-tc.gov.uk .