8 miles north of Tiverton, is the village of Bampton. Home to a great couple of B&B’s, pubs and a well known game butchers, it is perfectly situated for access to Exmoor National Park which is only a further 4 miles away.
For a fairly small town, there are approximately 8 hostelries where you can enjoy a night away, one of which is The Ginger Peanut.
The Ginger Peanut, which is a restaurant with rooms, is headed up by Peter Mundy who has over 20 years experience as a professional chef. As well as feeding people in Bampton, he also owns and runs Peter Mundy Catering Ltd which he originally established in the Midlands in 2006 but have since been in the South West for the past 8 years.
I was delighted to have been invited along for dinner, bed and breakfast to see what they have on offer. I happened to have a day off on the Friday with my son, so chose to take him along with me for a mummy and son dinner and sleepover.
It is definitely a restaurant with rooms; the bar heads up the ground floor area, with a two dining areas split slightly by a fire place. With slightly feminine but homely tartan fabrics, it gives a great ambience and style to the downstairs.
We were shown to our room which was named Grouse; all 5 rooms are named after a different game animal – grouse, quail, hare, rabbit and duck, . There weren’t any refreshment facilities in the room, but in fact a shared area in the hallway with a fridge, nespresso machine, crisps, teas and so on. I quite liked this actually.
The room was petite but perfectly formed. A lovely cozy looking bed, comfy chair, dressing table and a really great en suite shower room. If fact, both my son and I commented the shower was like being in a cave or waterfall, with the very tall and high quality stone tiling and tall shower surround.
After settling in it was dinner time! There is the main menu with a couple of specials up on the board. Unfortunately they were on the cusp of a new menu and some of the items our menu werent available which I found a bit of a shame. nonetheles there were other tasty items to choose from. We started our evening off with the hand picked crab thermidor, tomato dressing and salad. Beautiful sweet crab with a savoury crunchy topping and a full flavoured dressing of intense tomato. They kindly produced a slightly edited version for my son, who wolfed down the sweet meat.
My main of scallops and belly pork duo was accompanied with toasted sesame seeds, summer vegetable broth, and sautéed potatoes. The scallops and the pork were delicious; the pork meat was tender with an incredibly crisp skin but sadly the remainder of the dish was a little blander than I would have hoped. It just needed a little bit more seasoning on the potatoes and more flavour in the broth and perhaps something a piquant to lift it all up. I asked for some more sauce or even some gravy, but was served more plain broth.
My son is a meat fiend, and opted for the 10oz 28 day matured Himalayan salt aged rib eye steak with twice cooked chips. His steak was cooked as he had requested, and you could see it had been griddled. It was very tasty and he was one happy guy.
Dessert was set as soon as I read ‘salted caramel’ – I chose the salted caramel pannacotta, chocolate fudge, coffee creme anglaise. A wonderfully wobbly pannacotta, with the right firm yet creamy consistency. I’m a huge coffee lover too, so I wish they had put more creme anglaise on, or perhaps served extra in a little pot on the side – but maybe that’s just me being greedy.
It was an incredibly warm evening, and there was nothing they could do about that from a weather point of view, but perhaps it’s worth investing in some sort of air con in the dining room. On a positive, I noted how incredibly comfortable and functional the dining chairs were, not to mention the lovely décor.
Dinner complete, I grabbed a cooling gin and tonic from their vast South West selection and we headed up to bed. The room was equipped with a small fan which was absolutely essential that evening due to the very hot weather. We had an excellent nights sleep; the bed was very comfy, we weren’t affected by any exterior noise if there was any, and the blinds and curtains did their job.
Breakfast is something worth clarifying if you are staying as the website states: Some guests prefer not to have breakfast, but for those that love breakfast – you can have a continental or a full Devon cooked breakfast either in the restaurant when open (wed-sun mornings or by special arrangement at other times) or other local cafés any day, both at an additional cost.
We opted for the Devon cooked breakfast, and it was very tasty with great local and flavoursome ingredients. Sadly the underseasoned new potatoes made an appearance again, but everything else was faultless.
All in all, a relaxing and very comfortable night away with good food, although a few tweaks here and there could really push the experience to top notch. After checking out we proceeded to burn off our yummy breakfast with a walk along the gorgeous Tiverton canal nearby.
You can find out more about Peter Mundy and The Ginger Peanut here:
*This was a hosted review: the opinions expressed were not influenced by the restaurant.