taste of the
Dartmoor is well known for its beautiful landscapes, moorland walks, cycle paths and of course its ponies. Driving through the moors is just breathtaking from every angle and it’s easy to see why it’s a travel hotspot. But unknown to many Dartmoor is also a fabulous foodie destination with a number of renowned resident chefs, afternoon tea spots and amazing food producers. We went on a search of the best Dartmoor had to offer and have created our very own taste of Dartmoor map! Join us on our journey and discover some of Dartmoor’s hidden culinary gems.......
Dartmoor Dartmoor covers an area of 368 sq miles and contains the largest and wildest area of open country in the south of England. An area of outstanding natural beauty, Dartmoor is home to all manner of wildlife, from ponies wandering the moor, to the rare marsh fritillery butterfly. Dartmoor is famous across the world and attracts tourists mainly for its beauty, its hiking, its tors and its wildlife. Steven Spielberg chose these windswept moors as the location for his film War Horse and was astounded with the abundance of natural beauty. But where will you sleep and where will you dine and what will you do....
Photo Credit: Thanet Tourism Unit
our food spots.... Horn of Plenty
Gulworthy, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8JD My only regret about our visit to The Horn of Plenty is that we didnâ€™t stay overnight as I absolutely fell in love with this hotel on arrival. A beautiful Georgian building perched on the side of a hill with spectacular views across Tamar valley and within 5 acres of the most magnificent gardens. The owner Julie joined us for pre-dinner drinks in the garden and with great animation told us the story of how her and her husband left their corporate careers to buy this grand Georgian hotel just two years ago. We warmed to her immediately and also to the non intrusive welcoming group of staff. Most of the staff have worked at The Horn of Plenty for years, a true indication this hotel generates real loyalty. A vast majority of their guests we were told also return regularly to stay and to dine.
For us dining at the Horn of Plenty was heavenly. Head Chef Scott Paton certainly deserves his fine reputation for fabulous food. Each dish was presented with delicacy, artistic flair and culinary genius. To start Seared Scallops with glazed chicken wings and toasted sesame excited all of my taste buds at once. Followed this by a flawless Roasted venison lion with smoked pork belly, figs & celeriac and finishing with a perfect Peach parfait, raspberry ice-cream and vanilla panna cotta. Key Lime pie with lime yoghurt and brown sugar ice-cream which my husband ordered was also excellent. Scott himself was such a likeable chef, no airs or pretentions just someone who loves what he does and does it exceptionally well.
Scott Paton Did you always want to be a chef? My first memories of cooking were back in primary school. We had a “French” day where we baked baguettes and dipped them in hot chocolate, after that I started amusing my family with my culinary ambition Have you been inspired by any particular individual? Many individuals have inspired me from a cooking point of view, Micheal Caines and Pierre Herme have probably been the biggest inspirations. From a personal point of view, my family is my biggest inspiration now i have twins on the way; they are without doubt my new driving force. What has been your most memorable moment as a chef to date? My most memorable moment as a Chef was winning “Dessert of the Year” in 2008. I had spent 18 months working on my dessert for that one day, and I walked away with the gold medal. It was a fantastic moment. In your opinion what makes dining at The Horn of Plenty so special? Dining here at the Horn of Plenty is special for many reasons: our care and attention to detail; our fantastic front of house staff ; the fact that we all pull together as a team to create an environment which is formal but relaxed and unpretentious. Our food philosophy is that eating should be enjoyed
and be fun. Our food reflects that; we aim to bring a touch of class and fun to every dish; we want it to make you smile.
“We don’t have a signature dish as such, because our dishes are constantly evolving.” Where do you source your ingredients from? 90% of our ingredients are locally sourced. That means fresher, tastier food, and we’ve probably some of Britain’s best producers down here in the South West. We have a very good relationship with our suppliers; they let us know what’s good and what’s not. On top of that, our kitchen garden is now producing some great produce. It’s lovely to be able to say to the guys “go and pick something from the garden and make an amazing demi tasse for tonight” How do you go about planning your menus? Our menus are planned here by the seasons. My Sous Chef Rob Gibson and I will sit down and brainstorm seasonal ideas. Usually we go with proven flavour combinations and we give it a twist. Our “peach melba” dish is a great example of this.
You won ‘Dessert of the Year’ from the Association of Pastry Chefs in 2008, can you tell us your top tips in creating a show stopping dessert? My tips for creating a top dessert are: A great dessert needs to have a good balance of acidity, sweetness, and fat. Textures and temperatures are key. Here at The Horn of Plenty, we aim for every mouthful to be hitting different parts of your taste buds. What is your signature dish? We don’t have a signature dish as such, because our dishes are constantly evolving. At the moment the dish I am most proud of is our peach melba Is there a kitchen gadget you could not live without? Favourite kitchen gadget ? It’s my team, plain and simple! I could have 10 water baths, 3 thermomixes and 5 combi ovens , but the team is what makes things happen! What do you think makes someone a Kitchen Goddess? A kitchen goddess is someone who tries as many times as they need to, in order to succeed at a recipe; someone who learns from their mistakes and can then go on to share with others what they’ve learned. www.thehornofplenty.co.uk
chefs we love
Whilst relaxing in their lounge after a first class meal, I was tempted to come back for breakfast when I spotted Slow roasted tomatoes on crispy potato & onion rosti with balsamic glaze on their breakfast menu..... next time! The Horn of Plenty Country House Hotel & Restaurant, Gulworthy, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8JD 01822 832528 www.thehornofplenty.co.uk