What a roundup we have for you this month, August was actually quieter on the eating out front; we all had various commitments with work, summer holidays and also judging for various awards in the South West. The month ran away so we didn’t publish any highlights then, so have included a couple along with this month’s sumptuous September foodie adventures.
So from baking on the BBQ to grappling grapes, blitzing blackberries and feasting at food festivals… take 5 mins, grab a cuppa or a glass of something and read on…
Lauren visited Mickeys Beach Bar and Restaurant recently for Exeter Living Magazine and the write up is in their latest issue! You can read it in print if you grab a copy or in their online magazine here.
Sue has been lighting fires and clicking her tongs running her first lot of BBQ Baking and Cooking Classes at the UK BBQ School. Recently built and opened in May with Marcus Bawdon, AKA Mr CountryWoodSmoke at the helm, this site is adjacent to Fordmore Farm Shop in Cullompton. Sue’s courses involve bread baking, flatbread making, a meaty main course and vegetable sides using produce from the farm shop and of course there is a cake to bake too – all cooked on the BBQs! Marcus runs BBQ Basics and an Intermediate Course and if Indian food tickles your taste buds, Nila Ross-Patel, the Indian Cookery Tutor previously of Exeter Cookery School, is running courses where you will learn all about delicious Indian cuisine – also on the bbqs and fire pits.
Sue will be running a course at the beginning of December which will be festive baking on the bbq and there will be cake of course! For information about bbq courses, contact www.ukbbqschool.com
Grape harvest season is upon us, and Lauren headed out to one of the first pickings in the county, which was at Old Walls Vineyard, Teignmouth. Alongside the vineyard is a popular bistro serving breakfast and lunch everyday, with dinner on selected evenings. They also have luxury lodges overlooking the vines. She helped, along with a group of volunteers, to pick their pinot noir grapes, followed by a tasty reward of lunch and tastings of their wine. Other vineyards are yet to pick start their harvest – keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram post if you want to get involved.
A long awaited rendez-vous with family since Christmas to celebrate missed birthdays and having visited The Church House Inn about three years ago, Sue knew she wanted to return, not just for the perfect panna cotta her husband keeps reminding her about which he said “was the best he had ever eaten”, but for the charm of the inn, friendly staff and wonderful food.
Still as charming and now with lots of covered outside area where they enjoyed drinks and sharing plates of delicious food before heading inside to the barn where they reserved a table for dinner. Plenty of choice on the menu – showcasing local produce and local ales. All the food was delicious and well worth the drive out to this lovely pub. They ate venison, beef burger, belly pork and desserts of sticky toffee pudding, chocolate mousse and panna cotta – not the same panna cotta as the last visit, but just as delicious.
The Church House Inn has recently been shortlisted in the Food and Drink Devon hospitality Awards 2021.
Lauren and her family love to go on weekend adventures and discover new fantastic walks all around Devon. The bonus is the pit stops they find! Perched above the estuary at Noss Mayo is The Swan Inn, with alfresco dining area above and also riverside seating below, the menu was simple showing off local produce and they just couldn’t ignore the pint of prawns to go with their ale – they were sweet and super tasty, perfection!
The 8th Ottery Food and Families finally took place in September after a year away due to Covid. This was held in a new location this year – the field adjacent to Otter Nurseries and was free to attend. This was the first Food and Drink Festival Sue had been to in two years! Live music entertained the 3,000 visitors and local producers were selling tasty food along with local breweries with refreshing tipples. There was a demo stage too with cookery demonstrations given by Michael Caines MBE of Lympstone Manor, Jazzi Curley from Devon Cookery School, Tina the Samosa Lady and Dan Gavriilidis from The Pig at Combe. Hopefully the sign of local food and drink festivals starting to return to the county soon – a great day out!
A mid week birthday, and with plans falling through, Lauren headed to nearby Darts Farm so a nice simple fish and chip supper. With the sun setting above their play field, and a glass of pebblebed rose in hand from the shack, she and her family enjoyed battered cod, grilled plaice, grilled scallops and bacon, plus some Thai fishcakes for good measure! It was absolutely delicious all round, the grilled fish is restaurant quality so it’s a really satisfying high quality yet simply pleasing takeaway.
Sue was invited along to Darts Farm one evening for the launch of Taste East Devon thanks to Marcus Bawdon, (Mr CountryWoodsmoke). This event took place in their nearly finished new Farm Table Restaurant. Founding members of the Festival include The Pig Hotel, Otter Brewery, The Jack in the Green, Michael Caines of Lympstone Manor, Mazzard Farm Cottages, River Cottage, Deer Park Country House, East Devon AONB Partnership and the Donkey Sanctuary. Top chefs and producers joined forces and formed Taste East Devon Festival – a nine day series of events taking part across the county. Events included farm feasts, brewery open days, seafood tastings, bbqs and parties including the Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival. Some events were ticketed and available to book online, some were free to attend.
Guests feasted on delicious farmhouse cheeses, charcuterie from the award winning deli, seasonal vegetables fresh from the fields and locally produced meat cooked over charcoal on the new grills. Along with a tipple or two from Pebblebed Vineyard, Otter Brewery and Sandford Orchards. To finish off, there were also samples Darts Farm new homemade gelato and artisan chocolate truffles.
In Season – Blackberries
Lauren’s blackberry bush (thornless thank goodness) has been working hard and producing plenty of fruit this year. She and her family don’t eat the fruit in it’s natural form, but instead they have made sorbet, blackberry infused gin and even ‘adult’ blackberry sorbet with the gin infused fruit! For the sorbet, they used Delicious Magazines recipe, but didn’t do the final churning bit… it is so easy!
Lauren had a lovely visit to Heron Farm, which is just outside Honiton. This venue is a vineyard with cafe set over two floors, walled garden and small produce shop, plus a children’s play area, fairy trail and farm animals.
She treated herself and her son to a peanut butter creme doughnut, and a cream tea plus a glass of their own rosé – it was one of the best doughnuts and scones they’ve ever tasted. The rosé was excellent and they found out they even make their own gin. They kept eyeing up the mains as they went out and they look very good too and if you’re vegan, there are some equally delicious cakes in the cabinet.
Their alfresco area is so beautiful, full of foliage and there is an accessible ramp up to the cafe, and a good amount of parking as well. Dogs on leads welcome in the shop, ground floor of the Kitchen café, and Walled Garden. Be sure to book a table, they get very busy, but you can turn up as well. You can also book a vineyard tour followed by wine tasting.
Feeling hungry? Let us know where or what you have been eating and drinking! We’d love to hear from you or be tagged on any of our socials: