This is a guest blog written by our Business Support Manager, Lauren Heath, on all things ‘foodie’!

As a full-time Business Support Manager and a passionate advocate of the administration sector, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking I have my hands full five days a week; yet somehow in my other waking hours I am lucky enough to indulge my other passion (aside from parenthood and wifehood) – food!

My working life originally started out in hospitality. I even ran an 11-bedroom hotel, with my now-husband, at the tender age of 21 – I adored it, communicating with customers, enjoying great food and drink. Fast forward over a decade in admin and, thanks to the power of social media, I found myself responding to call out on Twitter in February 2016 from Eating Exeter – an online food blog.

Now called Dining Devon, I feel privileged that I get to have foodie adventures around the county including VIP openings, behind-the-scenes at food festivals, staycations in hotels, trying new food or drink products and eating out. Some of my foodie outings are part of our normal life as, whilst some might come home with new clothing or trinkets, we tend to come home with local food or drink that we discover on our days out around this wonderful county and the rest of the South West – and we love to shout about it. It has certainly helped my social media skills as I am now very well-rehearsed in all facets of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn; this of course comes in handy in the day job too.

Thanks to the exposure and connections I have gained through my blogging, I have also been writing food reviews for Crumbs Magazine Devon since June 2016. It’s amazing to see your writing and photos online, but even more fantastic to see it in print. I have also helped Taste of the West and Food and Drink Devon with the occasional judging for their awards.

What is a food blogger you might wonder? Well, a blogger is someone who documents their life or experiences online for anyone to read. A food blogger is the same but focussed on the food and drink sector – some people might cook at home, then blog their recipes; others visit new openings or try food products and give their opinions. Bloggers have become a fantastic tool and outlet for PR companies and establishments themselves, who invite us to partner with them, to help get their brand or offering noticed by the right audiences.

Some of my favourite and most exciting moments have included being hosted by Michael Caines MBE at a press lunch at his newly opened country house hotel Lympstone Manor, learning how to butcher meat properly with Pipers Farm and Exeter Cookery School and even enjoying an overnight stay in a treehouse at Deer Park Hotel.

Dining Devon loves everything to do with food and drink in Devon; we especially love local and independent businesses. My hospitality background enables me to understand the many behind-the-scenes efforts that go into producing a great food or drink offering. It’s not always about enjoying fancy food either, you can’t beat great home cooking or tasty simple food and drink.