July has been a busy old month. In between sweltering in heat, and being rained on we’ve been out and about. July 19th saw many restrictions being lifted, including the requirement for face masks and compulsory table service in restaurants/pubs. Slowly, it seems, people are starting to venture out with more confidence. But there is still a long way to go. Many places are still keeping restrictions and given the widespread staff shortages across the sector, remember to be kind and treat everyone you meet dining out with respect.
As with previous highlight posts, some of these are gifted or invited opportunities and in the spirit of transparency and honesty, we’ll make this clear. Click on the title for each highlight to be taken to the website for the business mentioned in the segment.
Good Sixty is special delivery service that brings together independent businesses and customers via a sustainable and eco friendly methods of delivery. They’ve been introducing themselves across the UK in select locations, and now their services are available in Exeter. With some of our best known local independent shops and restaurants on-board, Co Delivery Electric are providing the muscle and the bikes.
Ordering from your Good Sixty is simple. Visit www.goodsixty.com and sign up for an account, when you order make sure you’re mindful when the delivery slots are!
We were going to have an ‘Exeter Independents based picnic’ with bits and pieces from some of our favourite names. In the end, it was too hot (my Scottish genes have a lot to answer for…) so we had an indoor picky-nibbly lunch instead.
We ordered from Bon Gout Deli in Magdalen Road, Apple Blossom Deli in Cowick Street, The Ginger Cat Deli in Exminster and Ebdon’s in Sidwell Street (we really made our delivery driver work!). This was a partially gifted experience.
We don’t often get contacted by Plymouth based businesses (was it something I said?) but I was so glad that Cakewhole reached out to me! They’re launching a mail-box service with which they’ll deliver their gloriously delicious brownies and blondies across the region and beyond.
We were lucky enough to be gifted a Brownie & Blondie box to try out for ourselves. And, with no shadow of a doubt these were some of the nicest brownies I’ve ever tasted. (yeah but they were free…) – even had I paid for these, I would be buying another box. It’s my birthday soon, so if anyone wants to buy me something then heading to this link might help.
If not, I’m buying some more anyway! We were able to taste a range of flavours in the box, my favourite being the Salted Caramel Brownie and then Raspberry & White Chocolate Blondie.
Being able to tick off places that I’ve always wanted to go from the ‘Restaurants and Pubs I Would Love To Visit’ bucket list is satisfying experience. I recently had the pleasure of doing this when we visited The Lamb at Longdown, a gastropub that is clearly in touch with it’s roots.
With an ingredient focused menu, the strive for quality is evident in their food offerings. But they’re not out of touch with the fact they are a pub and this integrity of identity really shines through.
With a ‘Pub Favourites’ section alongside their main menu, and their very own craft lager called – wait for it – Baa’ger, you feel at ease for just popping in for or a drink or a special meal.
For me the highlight was ‘Ed’s Chicken Burger’ which resounded with me perfectly. With smoked garlic, oozing from inside, it was a glorious marriage of chicken, burger and bun.
Sue went for brunch at the newly opened Winslade Manor at Clyst St Mary, near Exeter when her sister came to visit to celebrate missed birthdays. Headed up in the kitchen by award winning chef Matt Mason, previously at Jack in the Green, he has been working his magic along with his team in the kitchen producing some outstanding dishes using locally sourced, top quality ingredients whether it be brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, cocktails or Sunday Lunch.
There is also a large lawn with events lined up for alfresco dining and entertaining. A stunning 19th century listed building which has been lovingly restored is worth a visit – and to taste the food too. They enjoyed a brunch of freshly squeezed orange and mango juice, sourdough toast topped with avocado and chilli oil, smoked streaky bacon and fresh poached eggs and creamy scrambled eggs on sourdough with crispy bacon. A very relaxed dining experience and Sue is already eyeing up the amazing pastries for their Afternoon Tea menu.
Sue took a trip out into the woods to sample a day at fire school at High Grange, Devon. It is based in Dalwood, East Devon. Fire Feasting days – where Chef Luke Mackay will cook for you; also fire building and cooking days are available to book too. This was a gifted experience.
A day at the fire school you will teach students how to build and start your own fires, cook breakfast and tuck into a wonderful grazing feast during the day using the freshest of ingredients; using fish caught locally and veg picked from the vegetable garden which you help prepare and cook over an assortment of fire pits, BBQs and a pizza oven.
On the menu was fish tacos, with chargrilled salsa, salt baked sea bass, hogget and vegetables cooked in the ground and a delicious piece of ex-dairy beef and marrow bone. A fun filled hands on day (apron provided) and a chance to learn new skills, butchery, fish prep. Already an enthusiastic BBQ queen, Sue came home inspired to cook even more food outside on her many BBQs after a day spent with Luke.
Dining Devon has always been about covering the best Devon has to offer, and this sometimes includes chains too. We hope you know that we love, support and shout about independents all the time BUT these chain venues are still a big employer in the area they reside and offer something to please the masses. Who wouldn’t want to dine in a shiny tropical paradise anyway?
We recently popped in for a business lunch early in the month and enjoyed the roasted scallops, crispy potato rösti, pea purée, parmesan sauce and grated truffle – it was delicious. The rest of the table dived into fish dishes too, service was efficient, and the interior was phenomenal (we hear the loos are a selfie destination alone!).
They offer an array of menus including a dedicated vegan and vegetarian menu and have terrace seating overlooking the Cathedral, as well as a private dining room for up to 8 people, perfect for a small celebration or business meeting.
No one likes spam in the DM or inbox… but on the menu, yes! The Agi Inn as it’s affectionately known (or at least what we call it for short) has been on Lauren’s radar since early lockdown when their socials were filled with amazing dine at home kits, but she couldn’t visit to buy one as, at the time, they were out of the reasonable travel distance for essentials that was imposed. So it’s been high on her must-visit list.
She was not disappointed! Have you ever been so blown away by the starters on offer that you just order them instead of a main? And add some naughty fries to go with it?….
- Spam Fritters with Dandelion & burdock reduction to start
- Truffle Shiitake Arancini with pea shoots, mushroom ketchup and parmesan
- Crispy Chicken Terrine one a bed of fresh lettuce with curried yoghurt, apple salad, cashew and mango chutney
- Plus millionaires fries (fries topped with parmesan, truffle, mushroom ketchup and black garlic mayo!)
She dined with friends and their mains looked fantastic too (and tasted great they said), but she was so happy with her combo! The menu had tantalising selection of meat and vegetarian options, and also some scrummy desserts. The Agi Inn has a mix of dining options – you can enjoy their menu inside their lovely pub, outside under covered pergolas (as she did), or in a private ‘A frame’ dining pod perfect for six people.
You can also go into the ‘secret garden’ under their giant tipi where you can enjoy Asian inspired dishes from their food truck. The Agi Inn is dog friendly too (outside we’re certain, but please check about inside). Get this venue on the top of your dining destination list!
Lyme Bay Winery, based near Axminster recently sent Lauren some of their wines, including their latest release Shoreline Rosé 2019. She couldn’t resist taking them down to the river, not quite a shoreline, but close enough!
Described as a delicate blend of pinot noir, pinot précose, and dornfelder grapes, it is blended to give delicate fruit notes with a lingering mouth watering acidity and a balanced finish. A suggested pairing is with barbecued foods, so a great wine for summer sippin’. As Lauren opens these beauties up, she will share on our socials. #gifted
Eaten something local and super tasty? Found a great farm shop? Bought a great local beer? Let us know!
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