La Petite Bouchee – by Lauren Heath

*Header image courtesy of Nick Hook Photography

Bonjour mes amis, bienvenue a La Petite Bouchee! Hello my friends and welcome to La Petite Bouchee! La Petite Bouchee you say, what does that mean? Well translation equals The Small Bite but small bites we did not have. In fact this hearty English venture with a full on French twist fed us good and proper.

What once started out in London as this 4 seater bijou mobile dining room in a beautiful Citroen HY van with maximum tantalising turquoise, parked up in various public areas has now moved to the village of Witheridge, Devon and found a beautiful old butchery building for its owners to live in. So now, not only do you get to enjoy a boutique banquet in the van, they can host 20 more diners inside their pop up restaurant too.

Said owners are Anita-Clare and Caroline; Anita-Clare enjoyed childhood adventures in France and this is where her passion lies.

A lucky bunch of us food bloggers/influencers/very hungry people got to escape to the old butchery one very drizzly Friday evening and see what was on offer.

A charming trail of twinkling lights guided us to the door, and we were greeted by very welcoming front of house team who made us feel right at home, whilst Anita was hard a work behind the scenes.

So on to the cuisine! We were going to be trying a mix of items on this occasion so we could get a good feel of their food offering.

We started of with moules gratinees, ham hock terrine with pickles, smoked goats cheese and tapenade tartine. The mussels were covered in sandy like breadcrumb topping and were delicious. The ham hock was well cooked, tender and full of fresh flavours thanks to the herbage.

For mains we were treated to Cote de boeuf, salade nicoise, vegetable cassoulet and confit duck leg with lentils. The beef was melt in the mouth and so tasty, and the duck and lentils were delicious with the creamy lentils working well with the gamey meat.

We also enjoyed amuse bouche of gazpacho provencal and roasted red pepper soup with fines herbes oil, dessert of tarte au framboise and creme fraiche served with apple and calvado sorbet and then followed by a delightful regional cheeseboard which included fromage fort – made by mixing different cubes of cheese with white wine, garlic and herbs. The tart was delicious with an incredibly fresh full on apple punch, and the fromage fort was a revelation of its own!

Thanks to the casual, personable and well humoured serving staff, you really are made to feel welcome. We had a chat with Anita after dinner, and she was incredibly passionate and charming with a great sense of humour and this definitely translates into her food.

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening, so for a different type of night out, do give them a try! If you are travelling far and want to make a night of it, they have already made friends with the local accommodation so they can recommend a boudoir for the night too.

Cheers to you Anita-Clare and Caroline! Wishing your pop-up and turquoise 4 wheels a jolly adventure here in Devon. Au Revoir et Bonne Chance!

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Open Fridays and Saturdays for bookings only; visit them on their Website, Facebook, or Email them hello@lapetiteboucheebrasserie.co.uk – they are already proving very popular!

La Petite Bouchee, Witheridge, EX16 8AE   –   Tel: 01884 860654  –   Mob: 07738 703450

 

 

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Dr Ink’s Curiosities, Quayside

38 Commercial Rd, Exeter EX2 4AE Commercial Rd, Exeter EX2 4AE

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We visited Dr Ink’s a few weeks ago after an event and although it was only a brief visit, I’ve been eager to write something about this lovely establishment for a while.

There are quite a few places in Exeter that do cocktails now.  They range from the pre-made stuff in cartons, to fine concoctions made by men with beards.  A good cocktail is easy to come by in Exeter these days but an exceptional one is even harder.

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I could name a number of places that are ‘must-go’ and you must go, because the cocktail landscape of Exeter is a varied and complex thing.  Nuances, differences, things done in a slightly different way in one bar and not in another, quirks.

But here is Doctor Ink’s Curiosities on the Quayside, tucked in behind the Customs House it makes little impression on the Quay from outside.  But step inside and you are presented with a classic styled cocktail bar with a wall of brightly lit spirits and lots of red velvet.

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This is the quirkiest of them all, this is just theatre.

Doctor Ink’s isn’t the cheapest place in town but you’re not coming here for special offers – There is a lot of pride taken in the stories behind each drink and the authenticity of the ingredients used.  The menu is presented in a hardback book  and there is, when they are quieter, a table service.

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Proudly independent, their cocktails each have a story.  They are created with an attention to detail which only goes to show the passion that their mixologists put in to every drink.

We loved it, so did Exepose – Read their review here. and so does Instagram too!

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River Cottage announces Spring Food Fair dates – 27th, 28th, 29th May 2017

River Cottage has announced dates for its Spring Food Fair – held across the late May Bank Holiday. This hugely popular event is a real treat for the senses and a must-visit for foodies and gardeners. It’s a chance to get the family down to River Cottage, to explore the farm nestled in gorgeous East Devon and to indulge in the sights, sounds and tastes of spring in the heart of the Devon countryside.

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The Fair is packed full of activities and family fun – from chef demos, artisan food stalls, kids’ workshops, talks and live music to garden and foraging tours from River Cottage foraging guru John Wright.

Little ones go free and will be thoroughly entertained throughout with a huge choice of child- friendly activities including falconry displays, donkey rides, felting and lucet braiding workshops, animal area, candle making, demonstrations by local craftsmen, bubble workshops, face painting, skittles and hula hooping – to name but a few.

Grab the chance to take a peek behind the scenes at River Cottage HQ and – new for 2017, visitors can enjoy a sit down meal in the pop up restaurant, located in the famous farmhouse itself. The special Farmhouse Feasts feature a delicious menu designed using fresh, seasonal and local produce. River Cottage street food will join forces with local producers to make sure no-one goes hungry as they enjoy the festivities. As well as delicious dishes from the street food stands, there will also be a fully licensed bar serving local ciders, beers, wines and exciting seasonal cocktails.

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A team of experts will be on hand to share their culinary tips and seeds of gardening wisdom throughout the three-day weekend. The Main Stage will be packed with cookery demonstrations from guest chefs, while green-fingered visitors can head to the Garden Stage to listen to expert talks on a huge variety of topics related to horticulture.

River Cottage has confirmed an exciting line-up of chefs. Taking to the Main Stage are Gill Meller, Matthew Fort, Signe Johansen, Tom Hunt, Mark Hix, Louise Gray, Naomi Devlin and Rachel De Thample to name a few. Organic kitchen gardener, chef and writer, Stephanie Hafferty will speak on the Garden Stage with Charles Dowding, market gardener, author, teacher and ‘no dig’ advocate alongside River Cottage’s head Gardener Will Livingstone and many other garden experts. Talks hosted on the Garden Stage will cover all aspects of organic, sustainable and unique horticultural methods including; seed-saving, biodynamics, market gardening, no dig, soil and compost and much more.

Those keen to learn something new can book onto one of the popular masterclasses.

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Starting at just £15 these include Bread & Butter from scratch in an hour, Wild Cocktails and Super Salads and Ferments, whilst kids can learn the secrets behind Cookies and Doughnuts.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the website:

www.rivercottage.net/springfoodfair. River Cottage is running a free park and ride service to and from the Fair or add to the experience with VIP parking onsite available for just £5 per car.

Photos courtesy of River Cottage/OneVoice PR

URBAN DELIVERY GOES LIVE

urbanburger is launching a new URBAN DELIVERY service in Exeter on Friday, 24th February 2017. Their mission is to deliver high quality food straight to their customers’ homes, by delivery drivers on motor bikes.

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Simply download the app at https://urbanburger.app4food.co.uk and place your order for delivery. You can even pre-order a delivery for a specific time. And you can also book a table at urbanburger via the app.

URBAN DELIVERY is available on Fridays and Saturdays, from 5pm to 10pm and on Sundays from 5pm to 9pm.

Areas covered include Exeter City Centre, Exwick, St Thomas, Alphington, St David’s, Duryard & St James, Newtown, Pennsylvania, St Leonards, Mincing Lake & Whipton, Pinhoe, Heavitree, Priory and St Loyes.

Owner, Garth Pearse, says, “We’re very excited about our new URBAN DELIVERY service. As well as our delicious burgers, customers can order a large selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to be delivered straight to their front door.”

All URBAN DELIVERY orders will receive a 10% discount until 31st March 2017.

Eating Exeter Update – August (No.2)

Good Game TopshamSo I thought I’d just put out a little update before going downstairs and making a brew.

The last few months have been the busiest in the history of the blog, I’ve spoken to more people and been to more events than ever, and just when you think its about to stop, something else appears in the inbox 🙂

Good Game Topsham – We visited the newly opened Pig & Pallet on Saturday and took photos.  Pete and Steve have done good with their rustic decorated ex-sail loft, and it looks amazing.

Deliveroo – Looking forward to revealing a restaurant food delivery service that’s coming to Exeter in the form of Deliveroo!

Pizza at Artigiano – We were lucky enough to have been invited to the launch of Artigiano’s Cocktail Experience launch, and part of the evening was spent eating some very nice Pizza.  So a few nice photos of Pizza at Artigiano to come up too!

River Cottage HQ: Summer Fest – My first visit to River Cottage HQ!  The summer festival is happening next weekend, and we’re passing it as we come back from a couple of nights in Dorset with Eating Exeter co-founder Polly and her wonderful chap.  So why not pop through and say hello? I thought.

Exeter & Devon Food Blogs – I’m on a personal quest to read more food blogs, and I’ve compiled a list of local food blogs that I read regularly.  This is going to go up tonight as a conversation starter for #devonfoodhour on Twitter.  I am always up for suggestions too, so if there are anymore that I need to follow, please let me know via the contact form!

10 Questions for Exeter Cookery School – I put ten questions to Jim and Lucy Fisher, founders of the soon-to-open Exeter Cookery School. This is a really exciting venture, and after meeting them both at their launch event, I can’t wait to pick their culinary brains!

The Complete Diner’s Club – I’ve been doing some work with Will and John (founders of The Complete Diner’s Club) who are out to get more diners’s in to independent restaurants across Devon.  Post is mostly written, but I have some exciting updates to put in, so this will be published towards the end of August.