7 Strand, Topsham, Exeter EX3 0JB Tel: 07920 527691 Twitter: @pigandpallet
Earlier this year, we found ourselves child-free (don’t worry we hadn’t lost him – it was the blessing of holiday club) and decided to treat ourselves to a bit of brunch. Although we have a fairly well behaved and seasoned foodie version of a 5 year old son, eating sans enfant just adds a bit more freedom to the event.
When in this situation, it can be almost possible to choose where to go in order to make this chance of relaxation worthwhile. We settled on The Pig and Pallet in Topsham; we have been aware of Good Game and their charcuterie for a couple of years now, seeing them at the various festivals we attended
in Devon as well as enjoying their Beer and Bacon Festival in Topsham last September. The guys are always very friendly and warm and evidently appreciative of their customers and more importantly – the taste and quality of their produce is fantastic.
It was a soggy morning, so we were delighted, on entry, to find ourselves almost in another world. It was a wooden shack, like something we had been to in St Petersburg, Florida – a place where the food does the talking. All they are missing is the view to the water. We settled down to a large table near the back; I like to be able to see everything and people watch.
On browsing the menu, we decided on the Full Devon Fry Up. It is one of the higher priced items on the menu but consisted of house sausage, dry cured bacon, 2 Devon free range eggs, BBQ beans (which contain meat), black pudding, sweet potato, fried potato tots and toast. There was a good selection of other meaty options but for the vegetarians among you it also includes a tasty sounding Herbivore bap (smoked halloumi, portobello mushroom, and tomato with cheese).
The Pig and Pallet has a real rustic charm to it; seats made out of recycled pallets, cushions made of coffee bean sacks and sailcloth from a neighbouring company, books on the shelves, lightshades made out of veg crates and glass jars –simple and non-fussy yet cool and calm. There were some smaller tables but plenty of large bench tables, perfect for group or family gatherings.
Our breakfast arrived in good time and looked well stacked. What I would say is a bigger plate would have been good, and this is not a negative, but the food had been layered and looked smaller than I anticipated but was actually hiding a lot of loveliness underneath! Perhaps that is part of the plan, the element of surprise.
The eggs were perfect with wonderful sunshine yellow yolks, very tasty petite sausages, some incredibly tasty bacon with even tastier and crispier pieces on top which just made you close your eyes and think of bacon heaven. The beans were an absolute triumph – a variety of beans coated in a southern type smokey BBQ sauce with even more meat in them in case you didn’t have enough on your plate and the sweet potato was a clever addition to this very savoury dish. Another delightful addition was the crispy potato tot.
All in all, we loved it! Knowing this produce hadn’t come far, and we were supporting a local company and enjoying something totally different just adds to the satisfaction and it was money well spent.
I have recently seen posters by P&P explaining their price structure to justify to some customers why they charge what they do. If you want real food, produced locally, with care and without preservative junk that you get elsewhere, this is the place for you. As their posters says, “why ask what’s in a £10 burger…you should be asking what is in a burger that costs 99p?”
They also sell some of their produce near the entrance if you wish to take something home with you.
Strangely, I also recommend using the facilities (translation: toilets) – I recall chuckling whilst in there, perhaps it was the sink made out of a metal bucket – I can’t quite recall. We shall definitely be back again…perhaps even let the boy in our on little secret.