Family Fun at the River Cottage Summer Festival

FAMILY FUN AT THE RIVER COTTAGE SUMMER FESTIVAL

Under 16s go free when accompanied by an adult

Fun galore awaits children and adults alike as the River Cottage Summer Festival draws near. Taking place across the August bank holiday weekend (26th – 27th August) the Festival offers visitors a packed schedule of family friendly activities and foodie delights. The whole family can enjoy top music acts and great children’s entertainment, all in a beautiful East Devon setting.  Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult making the Summer Festival a fantastic, affordable day out for the whole family and a perfect way to celebrate the end of the summer season.

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Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities and entertainment, from watching performances by Swamp Circus and Rainbow Gecko Giant Bubbles, to getting hands on with Play Art Junk Modelling or taking a foraging tour with John Wright. Littles ones can enjoy baby massages, kids yoga, the hands-on mud kitchen, sandpit, felting and flower workshops and the Marine Monster making. Other workshops include pottery, jewellery making and clay modelling. Nature lovers can immerse themselves in the wonders of the stunning countryside with guided geology walks with local butterfly experts as well as star gazing after sunset.

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Take part in one of the masterclasses to find out how to make your own sushi or cook over a wood fire. The little ones can get stuck into pizza making or creating their own ice cream sundae masterpiece with prices starting from just £20.

When thoughts turn to food, visitors can enjoy a veritable feast of tasty homemade dishes on offer throughout the weekend with delectable street food from local artisan producers. Treat yourself to a Farmhouse Feast and immerse yourself in the River Cottage atmosphere. The two-course sit down meal is served in the iconic Farmhouse for just £20 and offers a mouthwatering menu designed using fresh, seasonal and local produce from the farm, garden and local suppliers. There will also be a selection of bars located across the Festival serving a variety of sumptuous drinks from Chase Vodka cocktails and English sparkling wine from neighboring Castlewood Vineyard to locally sourced beers, ciders, wines and seasonal cocktails.

A team of chefs and experts will be on hand to share their culinary tips throughout the two-day weekend on the Garden Stage hosted by Steven Lamb. On the Saturday, visitors can enjoy a mix of chefs, speakers and activists including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, forager John Wright, Bake-Off star Chetna Makan and herbalist Katie from Pukka Teas. On the Sunday, award-winning blogger Ed Smith will take to the stage alongside Satish Kumar, Michelin-starred Adam Byatt and Hugh.

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Festival goers can enjoy music throughout the weekend with a variety of brilliant musicians on the line-up. There is live music from midday until 10pm on both days, with entertainment for the whole family. On the Saturday, Sound of the Sirens will headline alongside The Jack Daniels Band, Them Voices Poor, Sadie Horler, Hungry Bentley, Nicky Swann and DJ Diggz. On the Sunday, visitors can enjoy music from The Travelling Band, Mr Tea and the Minions, Melissa Bel, Mark McCabe, Tori Reed and the Troubadours and DJ Diggz.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the website: www.rivercottage.net/festival/2017. River Cottage is running a free park and ride service to and from the Festival or add to the experience with VIP parking onsite available for just £5 per car.

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Upcoming courses at Exeter Cookery School

At Eating Exeter, Dining Devon we are massive fans of the Exeter Cookery School. We have seen them develop and flourish from their launch, and they’ve continued to grow from strength to strength. We recently went down to help them celebrate their 1st birthday in their current premises with the owners, Jim and Lucy Fisher.

For more information visit http://www.exetercookeryschool.co.uk or click on the title of each course!

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The sheer range of courses that are available is mind-boggling, from seafood to sugar-spinning, you can sharpen your culinary skills whilst admiring the beautiful surroundings on Exeter’s historic quayside.

Exeter Cookery School Launch - read more at www.eatingexeter.co.uk

One Day Vegetarian/Vegetable Cooking Course

Are you a seasoned vegetarian looking for some fresh inspiration to pep up your repertoire?Maybe you’re new to vegetarianism and want some guidance and are keen to learn a few key veggie techniques.

Or perhaps you’re an omnivore, but are thinking that you’d like to be able to cook for your vegetarian friends or family members.Well, whichever is the case, this is the course for you. You’ll learn how to prepare and cook vegetables and vegetarian dishes from scratch in a fun and friendly environment.We’ll teach you all manner of professional cookery tips including cook-ahead and pre-prep methods.

Dishes might include the tower of riddled Mediterranean vegetables, the classic Greek Spanakopita, or freshly made raviolis.


What do you do on the first morning of your long-awaited French holiday? If you’re anything like us you seek out a popular cafe or patisserie, pull up a chair, sit down in the sun and order your first croissant of the year!
 

If you’ve been to France before you’ll know that the locals eat theirs just as they are, or dunk them into a bowl of hot cafe crème. We Brits like ours with a knob of butter and a spoon of jam, but either way there’s no denying the exquisite pleasure that is the archetypal French breakfast. 

But, returning home for work on Monday, France seems a million miles away. So what better than to knock up a batch of croissants in order to relive your moment in the sun? And while you’re at it, you may as well make some other staples as well. 

That’s where we come in: we’ll show you how to make authentic croissants and, using the same dough, you’ll also create some pain aux raisins and pains au chocolat. While we’re on a roll (pun intended), we’ll also make some crusty baguettes to have with lunch.And who knows, maybe we’ll even get to sit in the sun!

One Day Advanced Dessert Cookery Course

Taking things up a notch or two from our Classic French Dessert Cookery Course, the Advanced Dessert Cookery Course takes you into the realms of the professional pastry chef.Taking two complex restaurant-quality desserts as springboards for some pretty advanced techniques, we cover many facets of the Patissiere’s art:

Dessert Louis XV (pronounced “Louis Canze”)

Dessert Louis XV is the invention of Alain Ducasse of the three Michelin-star restaurant Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo.It is a many-layered chocolate extravagance: the base is a thin Dacquoise (hazelnut meringue) followed by a crunchy feulletine layer, then a rich sumptuous chocolate mousse. The whole is then draped with liquid chocolate and topped with a hazelnut spun-sugar droplet and a flutter of gold leaf.

Lemon Posset

Lemon Posset with Raspberry SorbetStrawberry LeatherStrawberry & Black Pepper Shortbread – Our chef’s signature dessert.

Half Day Ice Cream & Sorbet Making Course

Let’s get one thing straight: eating ice cream is about experiencing that luxurious cool texture and rich tongue-coating flavour we never forget from childhood. And herein lies the secret to making and serving great ice cream: it’s about using full-fat cream, free-range egg yolks, sugar and strong natural flavourings.

Forget your skimmed milk, reduced sugar, yoghurt-based grainy horrors – we’re talking full-on guilty pleasure here!But, making ice cream brings with it a fear of curdling the custard base which can put a lot of cooks off.

So, on your Half Day Ice Cream & Sorbet Making Course, you’ll learn how to make a perfect Crème Anglaise custard base, but with a little twist that makes use of a small amount of natural chemistry knowledge.

Don’t worry, we won’t be using any weird chemicals, but you will gain a fascinating glimpse into the world of proteins, sugars and gels. And it never fails!

We’ll answer a few questions, too – for instance: what makes a custard curdle, and what, if anything, can be done to rectify it; is there a correct temperature at which to serve ice cream; how to achieve that professional smooth finish, but without having to buy expensive gadgets.

One Day Bread Making Course

Our one day bread-making course covers more than just making rolls and loaves: after a brief introductory chat by the chef over coffee and biscuits, you’ll be shown how to choose the correct flour, yeast and other ingredients for each bread type.

You’ll be preparing everything from scratch, which means weighing, mixing and kneading the ingredients to form the various required doughs.

During the day, while you’re kneading and stretching dough around the communal central island, our chef will explain the chemistry involved in making bread and how you can take advantage of this knowledge to achieve consistent results at home. For instance; the reasons why one batch of dough will rise perfectly one day while another might fall flat the next; how temperature affects the rise; how you can refrigerate or even freeze active bread dough; why we choose a high gluten content flour for one type of bread, but a low gluten flour for another.While your breads are proving, you will be making various fillings and preparing tins, etc, prior to baking.

Lunch will be a buffet laid out by us and will include some of the bread you’ve made.At the end of the course, you will be able to take home everything you’ve made in order to show off your new-found skills to family and friends.

Half Day Children’s Cookery Course

Learning all about using fresh ingredients, the basics of following a recipe and the core principals of how to cook should be an integral part of a child’s education.

At Exeter Cookery School, we firmly believe that children should be inspired to cook from scratch so that they can truly explore the joys of cooking as well as giving them a firm founding in food education that will last them a lifetime.
On our half day children’s cookery course we will be teaching children between the ages of 10 and 14 how to cook a basic bread dough, which they will use to create a delicious pizza and garlic pizza bread or dough balls.
The children on our half day children’s cookery course will also learn how to make and pipe Swiss meringues, combining them with a Chantilly cream to form a delicious pudding for the summer. Add handfuls of fresh summer berries and you have the makings of a dessert that will delight the whole family.

Cake baking, the epitome of all that is good in the world. With cake baking becoming ever more popular (and competitive) than ever thanks to TV shows such as the Great British Bake Off, we thought it was high time we offered a half day cake baking cookery course. So here we are…

Cake baking: How to make the perfect Victoria Sponge

Want to learn how to bake a cake for the loved ones in your life? Or have a better chance in your workplace charity bake off events? Or even just love cake and want to be able to recreate it yourself with better results, this is the course for you.

You’ll learn how to make a traditional Victoria sponge with buttercream icing.This classic cake first came to popularity way back in the 1840s, made possible by the invention of baking powder.
The sweet-toothed British public embraced the gloriously patriotic recipe with aplomb. Mrs Beeton’s version of how to bake a Victoria sponge may have been slightly underwhelming as they contained no eggs. However, over the last century and a half there have been many different incarnations of the classic Victoria sponge cake, all baked with love and in many cases accolades. We can help you create your own Victoria Sponge award winner.

Learn how to make chocolate brownies

Cake baking: Learn how to bake gooey chocolate brownies at Exeter Cookery School

Then comes the chocolatey gooey bit, where you’ll learn how to make failsafe chocolate brownies using the melting technique. Whether you want to learn how to make brownies for a school bake sale or are hosting a coffee morning and want to impress your friends, our chocolate brownie recipe will tick all the boxes.

And the best bit…

We can’t really think of a better way to spend the morning or afternoon, and what’s better, you get to take away with you what you’ve cooked.

Local Exeter Food Producer Eat The Smoke Makes it into South West Morrisons Stores

Earlier this year the supermarket Morrisons put out a call for ‘The Nations Local Foodmakers’, a mission to find local producers to stock in their stores within each region or city so that customers can buy more British and local. If successful at application stage, the food or drink producer would have the chance to meet their buyers, local store colleagues and customers at one of four regional events that were held, where a final decision would be made.

The mission stated: ‘At Morrisons, we want to feed the nation with a bigger portion of food and drink that is sourced from local suppliers. That’s why we’re now starting a fresh search for a new crop of foodmakers – who we hope can grow with Morrisons and maybe even become household names in their own right.

When it comes to finding local suppliers, we go further. We’re already doing lots to help regional food and drink suppliers ‘make it’ at Morrisons. And now we’re doing even more to meet local tastes – with our search to find The Nation’s Local Foodmakers, and products that are grown or made ‘just down the road’ from their local communities.’

Now we all have our views on shopping local or which supermarket is best, but this is a great initiative to get the deserving small producers in front of more customers and be able to grow more successfully.

One such producer that has been successful is Exmouth-based Eat The Smoke, owned by Christian Sculpher, who produces a variety of BBQ rubs, nuts and sauces.  Now in his 4th year of business, Devon-born Christian has been an avid BBQ’er for 20 years, smoking for 6 and left his stressful 9-5 job to pursue his passion.

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He is already well known on the food festival circuit, and has his products stocked in local farm shops, London distribution in place and they are available to buy on his online shop. His products have also won various Gold and Silver Taste of the West awards 2016 and he was a Devon Life Food and Drink Winner 2016 in the Best Food Product of the Year category. His range includes five BBQ rubs, two varieties of smoked nuts and two BBQ sauces – all made with natural ingredients, are gluten free and can be used for outdoor cooking as well as indoors and the BBQ sauce works amazingly as a ‘ketchup’ too.

Out of this great product range, two rubs, BBQ Hot Rub and Buffalo Hot Wings and Poultry Rub, will be stocked in South West branches of Morrisons from Bristol down to Cornwall.

Although buying direct from him or a local farm shop may seem the more obvious way to buy your goods, if you buy from Morrisons it could result in a better return for Eat The Smoke on the whole as, the more sold in store the greater the possibility of Morrisons stocking more of his range of products both locally and possibly even further afield.

If you’d like to find out more about this awesome local producer and his products, read our write up and Q&A from last year here. Otherwise – pop to Morrisons and vote with your basket, and help the small guy make it big as he so deserves.

Find Eat the Smoke on:

Twitter          Facebook          Website

South West Coffee Festival – by Lauren Heath

COFFEE – a need for some (a drug, some might say), a taste sensation for others. A pick me up, a relaxer, a wake up call, a bedtime warmer. Some like it hot, some like it cold – I’ll have it any which way as long as it’s not instant. Whatever your want or need, the options that are available for coffee lovers now is reaching those of ale or wine – dry, smooth, fruity, dark and more readily available in beans, grounds, bag or pod.

A new event was on the horizon to showcase this delightful drink. We’d known about the South West Coffee Festival since early in the year and I was very intrigued by what it would become – I knew it would be a boutique size event but wasn’t sure about who or what I would discover that I didn’t already know about – turns out quite a bit actually.

I did not see some of the more local coffee producers I had expected to, which I guess is a good thing as it’s always great to find something new. The event was held in a lovely barn at Powderham Castle, with plenty of room for hovering, manoeuvring and sipping coffee.

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I was delighted to discover Littlestone Coffee Roasters – a young team who are based right here in Exeter, in Marsh Barton, and who served me a strong and fruity Rubanda. They had at least 3 more types of coffee on offer.

Having heard of a chai latte, and assuming it was tea related, I have never drunk any (I like tea, but nothing more than a great strong builders brew, not these flower powery sorts of good for you teas..). So I was impressed and surprised to like Bath based Henny & Joe’s chai that was served as a milky drink – it was slightly vanilla, with all the flavours and spices perfectly balanced. I was given a bottle of the chocolate one to try at home and I look forward to giving it a road test!

Great things were on show from ecoffeecup with their natural, reusable bamboo based travel cups in a vast array of exciting designs and colours! More and more coffee shops are allowing you to use your own coffee cup, even giving a slight discount off your latte, in order to bring down the volume of cups going to landfill. These will make a great purchase for yourself or as a gift and I know they sell them in Toot Garook on Queen Street, Exeter (opposite the RAMM).

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Another sustainable and innovative stand was vegware based in Edinburgh; this company are manufacturing all sorts of takeaway packaging including beautifully defined coffee cups, all from plant based materials, that are compostable as well. I was so impressed by the visual quality too – all competitively priced versus the terrible non recyclables like polystyrene. Anyone in purchasing for large stores or restaurants and takeaways please do have a look at this company and consider using them instead.

Speaking of sustainable – I also met a lovely couple from Dorset who own Eco Roast as well as Flaming Dorset Coffee Roasters. Now, apart from their eye catching branding on their Flaming packaging, and their knockout nitro coffee, what was more interesting was how, as part of Eco Roast, they collect the coffee grounds from the companies they supply, and use this as energy to fuel the grinding of further coffee! Thanks to these ethics, clever ways, and zero waste, they supply The Eden Project with their coffee as well as it being available to customers in their retail outlet.

Still in virtual Dorset, Conker Spirit were popular, offering their gorgeously smooth and very satisfying cold brew coffee liquer – certainly a tipple worth having at home. My son took advantage of the cool chair for a rest.

Back to a Devon supplier, and Owens Coffee Roasters did the trick with a smooth flat white to finish off my visit – the boy even got a ‘babycino’. I was even more pleased to notice a bottle of Urban Brew Coffee Stout on their stand – a combination of talents between Owens and Summerskills Brewery – so I snapped one up and it’s awaiting its fate this weekend.

There was a couple of stands I didn’t get to and that was only due to having enough coffee (even by my standards) and the fact my naturally high child (no need for caffeine there!) had had enough after an hour and 15 minutes. There was cupping demo’s, some Q & A’s and music to be enjoyed too. Here’s a full list of who was there – do check them out, discover something new and support these great coffee artisans, whether from Devon or further up the country.

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Overall, a great little event that was small enough to be personal and you could really chat with the stands. Organised by Derry Tydeman, the owner of The Glorious Art House Cafe – the website already alludes to next year’s event – so watch this space!

Traders, potential sponsors or general public – sign up for further info on 2018’s event here.

Presenting Eating Exeter, Dining Devon and a fantastic celebratory competition with Harry’s Restaurant

Since 2011, Eating Exeter has been reporting and reviewing foodie events and restaurants throughout Exeter & Devon.  Six years after the first review was written, the blog is getting a major identity overhaul and a brand new web address to reflect its expanding ambitions.

From the 1st August Eating Exeter will be Eating Exeter, Dining Devon – the new URL will be http://www.diningdevon.com

Co-founded by Chris Gower with his good friend and then work colleague Polly Addison, the team has been beavering away giving impartial reviews to some of Exeter’s best loved restaurants.

The blog was so successful that in February 2016 Chris put a call out for volunteer writers to help out.  Through this process South African born Lauren Heath volunteered and has played a vital role in the running of the blog ever since. The blog is now currently run by Lauren and Chris who often attend events and reviews, bringing their loyal readers the best in foodie news.

In 2016 the blog reached the Grand Final of Food Magazine’s Readers Awards, and although not reaching the glory of overall winner this was a crowning achievement for a small blog that concentrated mostly on Exeter and the surrounding area.  

We’ve been finding ourselves doing reviews in Salcombe and Barnstaple and as Devon is such a big county and with this increased popularity, it makes sense to encompass our larger audience in the identity of the blog.  

There are many great things happening for foodies, with new producers and restaurants opening throughout the year, Eating Exeter, Dining Devon will continue its goal under a new brand that will help appeal to readers across the county.

Competition!

To celebrate the re-brand Eating Exeter, Dining Devon has partnered with one of the team’s favourite local independent restaurants, Harry’s Restaurant, to bring a lucky winner a fantastic prize.

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We are giving away a  £150 voucher!perfect for a dinner for four or more!  Head over to the Eating Exeter, Dining Devon Facebook and Twitter pages to find out how to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize.

Simply follow the instructions on the pinned competition posts either the Facebook or Twitter to be in with a chance of winning this epic prize; it is one of the biggest prizes we’ve ever given away.

By entering the competition you adhere to the terms and conditions – Most importantly remember that this voucher cannot be redeemed for cash.  It must be used in one transaction, and no change can be given.

 

One Day Shellfish Course at Exeter Cookery School

You might have seen over the weekend that I headed down to the Exeter Cookery School to help them celebrate their first birthday.  It was a stonking event which, despite the weather, brought in lots of people all eager to have a peek and eat delicious scones with fresh cream and jam.

A course which is an absolute must for seafood or shellfish lovers is their Shellfish and Seafood Cookery Course. The next one is taking place on the 10th August.

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Have you ever wanted to know how to create a bisque or a demi glaze? How about cooking and dressing a crab?  Under the expert tutelage of Chef Jim Fisher, you will be armed with the skills and know-how which will allow you to get stuck in yourself.

“Devon is the UK’s only county with two coastlines. Consequently, wherever you start from, you’re never more than 35 miles from the sea! Which means we get the pick of the crop when it comes to fresh sustainable seafood.

Whether it’s mussels from Exmouth, oysters from Salcombe, or crabs, prawns and scallops from the pristine waters of Start Bay, we have access to some of Britain’s finest.

So, how to do it all justice? Come with us on a trip around the two-coast county and learn to select, prepare and cook a variety of maritime fauna and create some classic and modern seafood dishes.

These are examples of the kind of dishes you could be making

  • Tian of Crab with Granny Smith Apple, Lime Vinaigrette, Tomato Concasse
  • Spaghetti Vongole
  • Moules a la Creme
  • Mouclade
  • Seafood Bisque with Rouille Croutons
  • 21st Century Prawn Cocktail
  • Oysters with Devon Cider Sabayon”

If this tempts your tastebuds, take a look on the Exeter Cookery School website

Second limited edition Elmhirst Gin to launch following first edtion sell out!

Elmhirst Gin and Copa hamper 2017

After a staggering response to the first limited edition Elmhirst Gin, The Shops at Dartington is thrilled to announce a second limited edition Elmhirst Gin which is due to launch on Sunday 6th August 2017. 

Officially launched at Dartington Food Fair in May, the 157 bottles of the first edition Elmhirst Gin have already been sold. There has been such demand from The Shops at Dartington’s customers for more of this popular gin, fired by this being the spirit of the moment, that it became apparent that another batch was required.

Barbara King, Managing Director of The Shops at Dartington, comments: “We anticipated a good response for our Elmhirst Gin but have been blown away by our how quickly our first edition has sold out.” Barbara continues: “The ‘Still on the Move’, which is the brainchild of Devon Distillery, was hugely popular at the Food Fair in May, so much so that we have planned our next event on Sunday 6th August. As well as celebrating the launch of the second edition this provides another excuse for a lovely family day out with live music and a range of activities planned.”

Created at Dartington, using ingredients from the estate, Elmhirst Gin blends tradition with a modern twist to produce a unique taste and is a ‘must have’ for any discerning ‘ginoisseur’.  This new premium gin reflects the historical practices of Dartington. It is crafted in small batches in a custom made mobile Italian copper still called Prosperity, which is transported on a vintage truck. Prosperity, which will be present on the 6th August, allows visitors to witness the whole process from start to finish with a chance to be among the first to taste the results. 

Elmhirst Gin is a dry gin which combines the unmistakable flavour of juniper with a carefully selected range of botanicals, including a hint of violet. Its name honours the most significant family in its modern history.

In 1925, Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst purchased the dilapidated 14th century Dartington Estate and poured their resources into restoring the buildings and setting up a host of farming, forestry and educational projects. The Elmhirsts were true pioneers and Dartington rapidly became a magnet for artists, architects, writers, philosophers and musicians from around the world, creating an exceptional centre of creative activity.

Elmhirst Gin will be available from The Shops at Dartington in stunning 70cl oblong bottles complete with glass stoppers (£35.00).  For the perfect present, it is also available in a gift box complete with a Dartington Copa glass (£45.00). 

For further information on The Shops at Dartington please visit
www.shopsatdartington.co.uk, email info@dartington.org or call 01803 847000.  
Follow The Shops at Dartington on Twitter: @shopdartington and ‘
Like on Facebook. 

Summer Lamb – Recipe from Jamie Coleman, Overall South West Chef of the Year & SW Professional Chef of the Year 2016

Earlier this month, Jamie took up the position of head chef at the prestigious Michelin-starred Masons Arms at Knowstone, near South Molton, working under highly respected chef and South West Chef of the Year judge, Mark Dodson.

At the time of entry into South West Chef of the Year, Jamie was head chef at the Saunton Sands Hotel in North Devon.  Twice a finalist, Jamie took the title of South West Professional Chef of the Year in his final, going on to win the overall title of ‘South West Chef of the Year 2016′.

Jamie says that this recipe is “A great crowd pleaser, excellent for a summer version of a Sunday roast with family and friends.  Just plate on a platter, to be enjoyed with a good bottle of wine or a G ‘n T, with lots of mint and cucumber. Let everyone dive in. mmm yummy!!!!”

Slow-Cooked Lamb with Caeser Salad
(serves 4)

Caesar dressing

2 anchovy fillets

1/3 tsp English mustard

1 1/4 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 tsp lemon juice

10g of Parmesan, grated

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of black pepper

120ml of vegetable oil
Slow-cooked lamb

1 leg of lamb

2tbsp mustard

1tbsp honey

1 bulb garlic crushed

1 lemon

2 sticks of rosemary
To serve

2 gem lettuce

30g parmesan shavings

6 anchovy fillets

crispy streaky bacon

croutons

4 boiled eggs
For the lamb

Rub all the ingredients over the lamb. Marinade over night. Pre-heat oven to 160c.

Place lamb on a tray, cover with foil and cook for around 4 hours until tender.

On a preheated BBQ place some Applewood smoking chips.  Once it is smoking, place the lamb leg on the BBQ and colour until well roasted and falling off the bone – it is then ready for serving!

For the Caeser dressing

In a blender add all the ingredients except the oil, turn on blender and blitz until smooth, then add the oil slowly until emulsified.

To finish, dress the leaves in the Caeser dressing and place on a serving platter with the other ingredients.

Serve with a cold glass of white wine.

Enjoy!

Don’t forget! Entries for this year’s South West Chef of the Year close Monday 31st July – read more about it here and get entering! There are amateur and professional categories!

Changes to Eating Exeter, Exeter’s much loved restaurant blog is getting a make-over.

The plans have been brewing now since the beginning of the year and now we are nearly ready to unveil a brand new blog for Exeter & Devon.  We’ve been mixing and concocting for a little while, testing, trialling and ruminating over the direction the blog might take.  I can happily say we’re still going to go in the same direction, just with some go-faster stripes and maybe a big exhaust. Metaphorically…

From the 1st August Eating Exeter will be going through a re-brand which will reflect our county wide scope.  With a new URL, new site graphics and some plans for YouTube content, live video feeds and another amazing podcast!

We also have an amazing competition which we’ll announce on our launch night. We’re dead excited and are proud to say that it is one of our best prizes yet!

Over the next few days you’ll see a few things changing (our social media handles for instance) and some new graphics too.  Pop back next Tuesday for more details and our official ‘launch’.

Chris (Editor)

Byron Burgers, Princesshay by Chris Gower

26 Bedford St, Princesshay, Exeter EX1 1GJ – T:@byronhamburgers 01392 433340

We visited Byron Burgers a couple of years ago when it first opened in Princesshay.  It was quite delightful; the burgers were meaty and the beer was crafty & beery.

Byron Burgers is a name that many burger fans will recognise instantly as being a name synonymous with gourmet burgers and that subtle Americana.

It was started in 2007 by Tom Bing and has grown exponentially ever since.  In 2007, Princesshay itself was built too… fancy that!

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It was an enjoyable evening but we hadn’t been back since.  We were recently invited to give Bryon Burgers another go as part of the Princesshay’s Summer Eats promotion which is worth checking out.

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One of the things that I admire about Byron Burgers particularly is the interior.  Big windows give diners a vista across a busy precinct, perfect for people watching and ensuring lots of natural light in to the restaurant.

The first thing I did when we sat down at our window seat was to order a Brooklyn Beer. With the subtle Americana theme, comes the urge to fully embrace the USA-ness of Byron. I’d had this hankering for some sort of American lagery beer thing, so this was a perfect choice.

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Tori went for a Coke (we’ll let her off as she wasn’t feeling up to scratch that evening).  A quick perusal of the menu shows an attractive offering for burger lovers.

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We both went for The Cheese which is Byron’s ‘better-than-standard’ cheesy offering.

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Byron Cheese, shredded iceberg, pickles, onion, American Mustard and Byron sauce combined with sides of Bacon and Cheese Fries and Sweet Potato Fries were a perfect set of foods.

We really enjoyed the meal and would recommend The Cheese as a burger worth going for with its Bryon Cheese and in-house sauce making up a big part of the flavour.

Byron Burgers is still a firm favourite of Exeter’s diners, and despite the competition from other burger chains is still as popular as ever.  For a subtle dose of Americana and a chance to win a prize by spotting all of the cows in the restaurant, pop down next time you have that burger urge!

This meal was paid for by Byron Burgers. The opinions expressed here are independent of influence from the restaurant.

Heritage Tomato Salad courtesy of Timothy Kendall, South West Young Professional Chef of the Year 2016

Timothy is the Senior Chef de Partie at The Idle Rocks Hotel in St Mawes, Cornwall, working under Head Chef, Guy Owen. At the time of entry into South West Chef of the Year, Tim was working at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.

As South West Young Professional Chef 2016, Tim went on to compete in the semi-final of the Craft Guild of Chefs National Young Chef of the Year competition last month.

Of this delicious salad recipe, Tim says “this is a great recipe which transports you to the Mediterranean. The tomatoes are amazing this time of year as they are so sweet, the watermelon and cucumber give it freshness and the feta gives the dish a great fat coating. For someone who doesn’t like tomatoes I would eat this dish all day long with a nice Pinot Grigio!”

Heritage Tomato Salad – Watermelon, Pickled Cucumber, Shallot and Feta Pannacota

Ingredients

Mixed heritage tomatoes – skins removed

Watermelon balls

Pickled cucumber balls

Pickled Shallot

Sliced radish

Micro red basil

Borage

Feta Pannacota

100g Soya milk

100g Double cream

100g feta

½ lemon zest and juice

Salt

1 ½ gelatine leafs

Method

  • Bring the soya and double cream to the boil
  • Take off the heat and add the feta, gelatine leaf and lemon
  • Place the liquid into a blender until smooth
  • Pour in to your mould and place into the fridge until set

Pickling liquor

50g white wine

50g white wine vinegar

50g sugar

Method

  • Place all of the ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil
  • Remove from the heat and cool slightly
  • Pour over your ingredients

 

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Don’t forget! Entries for this year’s South West Chef of the Year close Monday 31st July – read more about it here and get entering!

La Petite Bouchée Wins Gold

JUST months after arriving in its new mid Devon home, French restaurant La Petite Bouchée, has won one of the region’s most prestigious dining awards.

The bistro, which began life in south east London as a vintage French Camper van seating just four people, has been awarded the gold Taste of the West gold award for Best Restaurant in the South West.

Following their move to Devon, owners Anita-Clare and Caroline Field, opened up a 20 cover supper club in the dining room of their beautiful home in Witheridge in May.

Anita-Clare, who is also the restaurant’s chef, said they were thrilled to have won such a prestigious award.

She added: ‘To have won the Taste of the West gold award is just fantastic. It’s still sinking in. We have worked so hard since moving to Devon and we’re very proud to have won this.’

‘This is very much a team award. There are so many people involved in making sure that La Petite Bouchée runs like clockwork. From our amazing in house team Linzi, Nigel and Daniel and to our PR team Eleanor and Sue, and not forgetting all of our amazing suppliers who have all made this possible by providing us with some of Devon’s finest ingredients’

Anita-Clare Field
Anita-Clare

The restaurant, which had previously won the Time Out award for Best Restaurant in Sydenham, serves traditional French cuisine, with all produce sourced from within a 25-mile radius.

The move from south east London, was something that Anita-Clare and Caroline had dreamed of doing for some time.

Anita-Clare said: ‘We had built up a very loyal following in London since we started in 2014. But we’d always longed to move to the west country, and so far, it’s been everything that we hoped it would be. This really is the icing on the cake.’

For further information about La Petite Bouchée’s mailing list, contact Eleanor Yeo on eleanor@mcmu.co.uk.

*Photography courtesy of Nick Hook

Wagamama, Weekday Work Lunch Style – by Lauren Heath

Many of you know that I am lucky enough to work in the city centre; surrounded by all these food options is both a blessing and a curse, as it can be hard to choose where to go for a catch up with a friend or have a business meeting over lunch.

The former is always time sensitive so choosing the right venue is important. I was delighted to be invited by Princesshay, as part of their #EatsForTreats campaign, to try Wagamama’s during my work lunch hour – I hadn’t thought of this for a speedy lunch destination, and yet it seems so obvious as everything is cooked to order and yet doesn’t take too long – fresh and fast!

I have been to Wagamamas quite a few times over the years, and it is one of my favourite chains; you know what you’re getting, it tastes great and with good portion sizes – their squid starter is one of the best, most consistent servings of squid I have ever had and consistency is something we want when spending our hard earned cash.

I took Miss #DevonFoodHour with me as my lunch date; we had much to talk about and she hadn’t been to Wagamamas for quite a while so was also intrigued about fitting this fast, fresh offering into her busy day.

We opted for some interesting juices to start, as it was hot outside; I chose the peach iced tea and my foody buddy opted for the positive fresh juice. Both were flavoursome, large and refreshing – perfect!

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Now for food – there were so many interesting dishes to choose from, and some old favourites I was honing in on but I wanted to try something new. Thankfully Miss DFH and I will eat most things so we agreed to share whatever we chose.

For starters we ordered the pork belly and panko apple hirata steamed buns and the lollipop prawn kushyaki. Cloud like buns filled with crunchy and slightly sweet rosti style fillings and the juiciest prawns on a stick you could ask for – look at the caramalised lime to sexy it up even further; both starters were really yummy and flavoursome.

Now to the mains; grilled duck donburi (tender shredded duck leg in a spicy teriyaki sauce – served with carrots, mangetout, sweet potato and red onion on a bed of sticky white rice, finished with a crispy fried egg, shredded cucumber and spring onions with a side of kimchee) and one of their new dishes, seared nuoc cham tuna (tuna steak on a bed of quinoa with stir-fried kale, sweet potato, edamame beans, red onion and peppers, garnished with coriander). Now – the descriptions are a mouthful in themselves, and thankfully so were the portions.

Both of these meals were so delicious and textural – crunchy, soft, savoury, sweet, spice, bang, pow – just so vibrant. The duck was soft and tender yet crispy in places and the tuna was cooked to perfection, ever so slightly under so it was moist, juicy and fell apart.

We actually left a little bit as we were full and, apart from enjoying a great double espresso each to finish, managed to say no to pudding…were were tempted but we were very content (and I didn’t want to go back to my desk and fall asleep!)

A really satisfying and swift meal, in an airy open plan restaurant – there are also benches to sit outside if you wish and of course you can sit for longer if you prefer.

With an open plan kitchen, not a microwave in sight, and fresh tasty asian style dishes in the middle of Princesshay’s shopping centre – I’d highly recommend them for any type of lunch or dinner outing but it certainly suits me for my weekday work lunch window.

Thanks to Princesshay, we also have a competition running to win a wagamama cookbook – check it out here!

And, if you eat out at any of the Princesshay restaurants from now until 26th August, check out the #eatsfortreats campaign competition on their website here where you can win a cruise just by tweeting and hashtagging as per their T&C’s!

Visit Wagamama in Princesshay, 16 Bedford Street, Exeter EX1 1LL – Exeter’s Website has the latest menu and offers!

Win a Wagamama Cookbook!

Inspired by the delicious dishes sampled at wagamama? Enter our competition to win the wagamama cookbook which includes fresh and nutritious recipes suitable for meat-eaters, seafood lovers and vegetarians alike. There are 120 recipes to choose from, all made with fresh, flavoursome and nutritional ingredients. Perfect for cooking for one person, or friends at a dinner party.

For your chance to win the wagamama cookbook, simply enter the competition as below.

Terms & Conditions

  • In order to enter, retweet the pinned post on Twitter or like, share and comment on the pinned post on Facebook
  • Closing date midnight 31.07.2017
  • Prize is the wagamama cookbook
  • Open to residents of the UK aged over 18
  • Prize is non-transferable or amendable
  • No cash alternative
  • Additional costs incurred are payable by the winner
  • Winner will be required to collect the prize from a given location in Exeter

Good luck!

Smokin’ Summer Pop Up on Exeter Quay – by Lauren Heath

Exeter Quay is currently blooming into a real destination for foodies, as well as those seeking an escape from the busy city and their work life.

Night markets, cookery school, outdoor and indoor activities, arts and culture as well as the growing restaurant scene. At the weekend it comes alive with tourists and locals alike seeking the relaxed waterside vibe.

Recently, The Boat Shed (brainchild of the Bike Shed Theatre) has just docked, ready to provide many arts and social activities for everyone and breathing life into another beautiful stone building.

Alongside this eclectic new venture is an additional food offering for the summer – The Smoke Pit and Grill by Beer and Vittles. Paul Manville, owner of Beer & Vittles was asked by The Boat Shed to come up with a food offering to compliment their cocktail caravan that serves cocktails, beers and organic soft drinks, alfresco style. Paul has over 15 years of professional catering experience and jumped at the chance to do something different on weekends for Quay punters over the summer season.

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So aside the stone wall, with high quality wooden tables and benches to eat al fresco, The Smoke Pit and Grill serves items such as low and slow brisket, BBQ’d jerk chicken leg and even a homemade vegan burger – all items homemade or bought from local farm shops, bread rolls so local they are from the Boatyard Cafe and Bakery across the river and the brisket is smoked overnight to bring you juicy soft meat on the day.

We visited on Sunday lunch and enjoyed a bit of everything – the brisket was tender, the chicken juicy and I must admit the black bean and chestnut vegan burger was excellent (I’m very carnivorous and was impressed!). Even the sauces on the side have an added twist, making them extra tasty too.

Too lovely to sit inside one of the fab restaurants on the Quay? Dine casual bbq style with The Smoke Pit and Grill; maybe even treat yourself to a delicious Dartington ice cream after from The Boat Shed. Here’s to a smokin’ summer!

You can find The Smoke Pit and Grill by Beer and Vittles on social media:

Twitter         Facebook           Website

Recipe: Favis of Salcombe Summer Crab Burger

In this warm weather, we find we’re still pretty hungry, working hard to stay cool! But the last thing you want is a hot and heavy dinner – thanks to Favis of Salcombe for sharing this lovely and easy crab burger recipe.

Favis of Salcombe have been fishing the waters off the South Devon coastline since 1972. Their hand-picked crab meat has won a series of awards and is delicious, fresh, easy to cook and good for you too! 

BBQ Crab Burger with Pickled Cucumber & Lime Mayo

Serves 4

For the cucumber

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 small cucumber, cut into thin ribbons

For the burger

454g (1 tub) Favis white crabmeat

50g fresh white breadcrumbs

Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon

1 large egg

Plain flour, for dusting

4 ciabatta buns, toasted

Small handful rocket

For the mayo

4 tbsp mayonnaise

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

Juice of ½ lime

Pinch of salt

  1. For the cucumber, pour the vinegar into a shallow dish. Add the sugar and stir together until the sugar dissolves. Add the cucumber and toss to coat. Leave to stand while you make the burgers.
  2. For the burger, place the crabmeat, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and egg into the bowl of a food processor and pulse together until mixed. Season with crushed sea salt and ground black pepper
  3. Divide the mixture into four and shape into burgers about 9cm in diameter. You can either do this by hand or press the mixture into a 9 cm round cutter or chefs ring to help shape. Place the burgers on a plate lined with greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the grill to high and cook the crab burgers for 4 minutes on each side. To barbecue, place each burger on a double thickness sheet of foil and cook for 8 minutes, turning half way through cooking.
  5. For the mayo, mix the mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice and salt together in a small bowl.
  6. To serve, drain the cucumber in a sieve. Split the buns (toast or griddle them if preferred) and spread the top and bottom with the lime mayo. Put some rocket on the bottom then sit the crab burger on top. Top with the cucumber, then the bun lid.

 

For more information or ideas, visit Favis of Salcombe’s website

Credit – Becca Watson Food Styling

It’s boom time for Devon drinks companies!

Devon-based Luscombe Drinks Ltd and Kineta Drinks Ltd are delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Soil Association’s BOOM Awards (Best of Organic Market Awards).

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The BOOM Awards are the UK’s only dedicated organic awards celebrating people, producers, restaurants and brands working to produce food and drink as they should be. This year the BOOMs are set to be bigger and better than ever, with the judges impressed with two of Luscombe Drinks’ range and a new drink recently launched by Kineta Drinks:

  • Best of Organic Non-Alcoholic Drinks – Raspberry Crush
    Crammed with sweet and succulent organic raspberries, this tongue tingling crush is made with Devon spring water and a touch of Madagascan vanilla. This gently sparkling drink is bursting with fresh taste and multi award-winning zing.
  • Best of Organic Alcoholic Drinks – Devon Cider

A traditional Devon cider made with organic apples – such as Sugar Bush, Quench, Devon Crimson & Pigs Snout – and Devon spring water to create a young light, yet full flavoured medium dry cider.

  • Best New Organic Product sponsored by Abel & Cole –
    Kineta Matcha Green Tea – Sicilian Lemon

A joint venture between local entrepreneur, Leane Bramhall of Kineta Drinks Ltd and Gabriel David of Luscombe Drinks Ltd, this natural energy drink is a perfect blend of organic Matcha green tea, Devon spring water and organic Sicilian lemon juice. A tasty twist on a traditional Matcha green tea presented as ready-to-drink.

Chairman of Luscombe Drinks, Gabriel David, said: “I am very pleased that Luscombe Drinks has been shortlisted for the BOOM Awards in three different categories. Our customers are drawn to the superior quality, taste and sophisticated flavour combinations our award-winning drinks offer.”

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He continued: “Luscombe Drinks is proud to use organic ingredients from our own orchards and trusted accredited growers. We use the highest quality natural ingredients to make the very best drinks with minimal processing. All our drinks are made, bottled and delivered by us. This is what makes us unique. We are fanatical about using natural ingredients to create our drinks; and do not use additives, artificial flavourings, preservatives or concentrates.”

Leane Bramhall of Kineta Drinks Ltd said: “This is really exciting! We have only just launched the Kineta Drinks ready-to-drink range, so to already be shortlisted for a Soil Association award is fantastic – and will help us spread the word further.

“As well as being organic, Matcha green tea is a well-known super-food with significant levels of antioxidants. There is a clear demand for organic natural energy drinks as an alternative to the fizzy sugary ones that are currently available.”

More people than ever before are choosing organic – confirmed by recent research from England Marketing1 which revealed 39 per cent of shoppers buy organic food on a weekly basis. Certified organic means food that has been produced to the very highest standards. It means fewer pesticides, no artificial additives or preservatives, always free range, higher standards of animal welfare and absolutely no GM. Now in its fifth year of continued growth and worth £2.09 billion, the organic sector has never been healthier.

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Soil Association Certification Business Development Director, Clare McDermott said: “The organic market grew a fantastic 7% last year and more and more people are looking for, buying and talking about organic. With hundreds of new and innovative products launched last year alone, the BOOMs give us an opportunity to make some noise about organic and help more people understand the benefits.”

The winners of the BOOM Awards will be announced at a ceremony in London on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017.

Foozie is bringing the Gin Bus and Prosecco Bus to Exeter

Teaming up with 6 O’Clock Gin and Scavi & Ray, Foozie is heading to Exeter for two very special, and one-off events!

Bursting with events celebrating the popularity of gin and prosecco, Exeter has yet to experience these delicious drinks on an open-top bus! That is until Foozie, Bristol’s leading experimental ‘foodie and boozie’ events agency, decided to bring its Gin and Prosecco Bus Series to Exeter for the Summer of 2017.

After a huge success in Bristol (with 600 tickets selling in 4 hours), Foozie is venturing out of its hometown to bring the Boozie Bus Series to Exeter! With two dates in August, each event will accommodate 50 guests aboard an open-top bus. Taking them on a 2-hour long scenic tour of the city, the events are completed with gin cocktails and prosecco.

The first event will take place on the 12th August with an exciting collaboration with 6 O’Clock Gin – one of the UK’s finest gin distilleries. Based in Thornbury, Bristol, the distillery has crafted four gin-based cocktails for guests to enjoy whilst taking in the most beautiful sites around Exeter.

gin bus

Roll on 26th August and Foozie brings you Exeter’s first Prosecco Bus: The Bubble Decker. Teaming up with Italian prosecco heavyweights: Scavi & Ray, guests will be offered a drink on arrival and 5 glasses of prosecco throughout the event.

● Saturday July 22nd – The ‘Bubble Decker’ Prosecco Bus

● Saturday July 29th – The 6 O’clock Gin Bus

Foozie’s founder and food and drink fanatic, Thom Whitchurch, said of the event:

“We’re so excited to be bringing these events to Exeter. I come to the city regularly and it was the natural next step for us. The cocktails that 6 O’Clock have created are incredible, and Scavi & Ray make one of the best proseccos in the world! We can’t wait to serve these on our buses and take in the sites of the city.”

Foozie offers a free membership to ‘Club Foozie’ where members receive exclusive discounts and priority on all of their events. Guests who signed up to Club Foozie will receive a 10% discount on the Exeter Bus Series and notified 24 hours before they go on sale to the general public.

Tickets will be available to Club Foozie members on Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July to the general public. Club Foozie members will be emailed at 10am on Friday 30th to buy tickets.

Sign up here: www.foozie.co.uk/club-foozie/

Strawberry Roulade courtesy of Sue Stoneman, South West Home Cook of the Year 2016

Over the next few weeks we’ll be presenting a series of exclusive recipes from South West Chef of The Year past contestants.  The South West Chef of The Year is the competition to get yourself in to if you reckon you have what it takes to go up against some of the best in the region.  Entries close 31st July.

Previous winners have included Jamie Coleman, Simon Hulstone and Dean Westcar to name a few in the Professional Category.  Read our account of the 2015 competition.

We asked Sue Stoneman, winner of the 2016 South West Home Cook of the year, to give us a recipe to kick us off.  A perfect sweet dish for a summer’s day!

This recipe reminds me of my Mum who taught me how to cook and inspired me to follow my passion in cooking and it was also the start of the cooking adventure that has brought me to where I am now.

My Mum always made a wonderful pavlova, it was always crunchy on the outside and had that lovely marshmallow chewy middle. I made a meringue roulade for my first cookery competition a few years ago, using mango and passion fruit, making a passion fruit curd for the filling as well.  Making a roulade is quick as you don’t need to cook it for an hour in a very low oven like you would for a normal pavlova.  This only takes 20 minutes to cook. Everyone who has eaten my roulade says it’s the best they’ve ever tasted!  I then started making the roulade with seasonal fruits – strawberries go very well and are of course in season and taste delicious.  It’s quite quick and easy to make and is a great dessert to serve up for alfresco dining. It looks fantastic, it is lovely and light and tastes of summer. There is “always room for roulade!”

Strawberry Roulade

3 large egg whites
175g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp malt vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml double cream
Icing sugar for dusting
300g strawberries

Strawberry Roulade 1

  • Quantities above are for a standard swiss roll baking sheet
  • Oven on at 140C.
  • Line baking sheet with baking parchment/silicone sheet.
  • In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until doubled in size.  Slowly whisk in sugar until thick and shiny.  Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract and whisk again.  Spoon into the prepared tin and spread out with pallet knife.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. You are looking for a soft, marshmallowy meringue with a light, thin and crispy top. (While this is in the oven, get on with the filling).
  • Wash and cut the strawberries.  Leave some whole for decoration.  Whip the cream.
  • When the meringue is baked, remove from oven, place over a sheet of damp greaseproof paper. (Tear off a sheet larger than the baking tin, put it under the cold tap and wring it out). This helps to keep the meringue soft and cracks the top which gives a lovely texture and helps the icing sugar to stick to it later on. Leave for a few minutes.
  • Remove the damp greaseproof paper and carefully turn the tin (with the baked meringue still in it) upside down onto some parchment paper dusted with icing sugar.  Carefully peel off the paper you used to line the tin. This is the surface you are going to put the cream on – the marshmallowy side – spread over the whisked double cream, followed by the cut strawberries.  Then use the paper to help carefully roll up the roulade. (start rolling at the short side and make sure the join is on the underside).  Don’t worry if it cracks, this gives it the homemade look.
  • Carefully transfer onto a serving plate, dust with icing sugar and decorate with the leftover strawberries.
  • Serve with a strawberry puree – put a punnet of cut up strawberries into a saucepan with a tablespoon of caster sugar and a drop of vanilla exact. Cook over a medium heat until the strawberries are soft (about 5 minutes).  Cool a little and put into a blender or use a stick blender to puree.  Pour into a jug.  Serve this with the roulade and with extra cream if you like.You can use any seasonal fruit.

Follow Sue on Twitter

All photos are courtesy of Sue

High Tea at Salcombe Harbour Hotel by Chris Gower

Cliff Rd, Salcombe TQ8 8JH Tel: 0844 858 9187 – T: @SalcombeHHotel ‏ 

http://www.salcombe-harbour-hotel.co.uk/

South Devon gets left off the radar quite a bit on Eating Exeter.  We’ve done reviews in all parts of Devon but nothing towards Plymouth or the South, so I was over the moon when we were invited to touch down the historic port town of Salcombe for a spot of Afternoon Tea at the prestigious Salcombe Harbour Hotel.

We compiled a quick video of our afternoon including a walk around Salcombe afterwards.  Camera was jiggling around so apologies for the wobbles.

The first thing that hits you about Salcombe is that there are, in fact, two Salcombes in Devon.  One of them lies just outside Sidmouth and the other one – the one which is much better known – is Salcombe in South Devon.

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There are two things about both Salcombes, is that most of the infrastructure relies on lanes and hedgerows.  To navigate the lanes and roads of this end of Devon requires a good dose of ‘single lane driving knowledge’ which I have perfected over the years living in this funny and beautiful county.  Parking in Salcombe is tricky, in fact the Harbour Hotel has its very own park and ride service.

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But this is to be expected at the peak of summer at the busiest times in one of the UKs most desirable places.  Our fuddy little Skoda wasn’t the naffest car in the car park though, although it was definitely second.

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Nestled snugly on the Kingsbridge Estuary, or as some refer to it as the Salcombe Estuary, the inhabitants have historically lived off smuggling and fishery.  There are a number of historic wrecks that lie just beyond the estuary including one of three known UK bronze age wrecks. Although I am certain smuggling doesn’t continue, fishery and tourism is now the mainstay of this little town.  One of the bigger attractions is the Salcombe Harbour Hotel.

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Owned by Harbour Hotels, they have other hotels in attractive Harbour locations across the UK.  The Salcombe Harbour Hotel is a four silver star rated hotel and spa, and food is served at The Jetty restaurant and bar which has fantastic views over the estuary.

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We had been invited along to sample their Jetty Afternoon Tea, a light tea with the classic sandwiches and cake options.  A little bit of each.

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There are grander and more expensive options available for Afternoon Tea with champagne or sparkling wine, but you are going to be hard pressed to find a nicer location to have an afternoon tea in Devon.

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Parking was, despite my initial worries, a total breeze.  There was space in the car park and even if there had not been, the park and ride service would have catered for us. Once parked up the front desk look after your keys and you’re taken through to the Jetty Restaurant, a large open plan restaurant with big windows overlooking the beautiful Kingsbridge estuary.

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The hotel provides its guests and visitors with sumptuous fine dining as well, in fact Co-Editor Lauren visited not too long ago, look out for her review!  But for us today, we were going to do Afternoon Tea!

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The tea arrives on a platter, a three tiered tray of treats towering over the table.  Starting at the bottom with a small selection of sandwiches, moving up to a Devon Cream Tea and then finishing with a selection of small fancies at the top.

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We were particular fans of the home-made scones that Tori had likened to her own ones she bakes at home.  They were warm and fresh, with lashings of cream and jam to spread.

It all went too quickly, so we decided to go for a walk around Salcombe.  The day was bright and the tourists had gone home to leave a few stragglers enjoying a quiet Sunday evening rambling among the narrow streets and alleys.

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We ended the day in the pub. The Ferry Inn to be precise, having a swift half before heading back to the hotel to pick up our car.

Everything about the Salcombe Harbour Hotel is about making life easier.  From the car turntable outside the hotel entrance to the little touches.  The service was, throughout our visit, completely dedicated to making us feel welcome and the Afternoon Tea was delicious.  A perfect escape from the city!

This meal was paid for by Salcombe Harbour Hotel. The opinions expressed here are independent of influence from the restaurant.