RIVERFORD FIELD KITCH EN THE OYSTER SHA CK THE PIG @ CO M B E
A lile slice of foodie heaven
Because they put the petal Why do to the elderflowers metal! drive so fast?
NO.27 SUMMER 2019
B EA C H
s H S IG
Y BMEO ET NOEL
MADLAIGGHATSSCAANT DE LEPOD LITT
NORT G CHEF SURFIN
THE GINGE RFED MAN
BEST WINE ! R E V E EYARDS,
COOKING UP A STORM WITH
LOCASLTINVING TIPS + TA LARKE’S ANTDOYPCPICKS
RE S PECT
PETER MUNDY SU M M E R SU P P E R SENSAT IONs!
THE ELDER SCROLLS
s R E EL D
FROM OUR FA
s ' R E W O L F R E D L E IGN S
V O U R I T E CO O
And ’s surprisiitng versatilely too!
S U T S O E R I R G E F R E M , S O H U M T D E L I C IO G OF SU
CRUMBS DEVON NO.27 SUMMER 2019
FLOwer POwer Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to River Cottage for the launch of a new handbook, Outdoor Cooking, written by Gill Meller. (Yup, I know; it’s a hard life sometimes!) Gill rustled up all manner of stuff for us to eat – mussels fired in hay and pine needles, a spit roasted lamb, slow cooked cuttlefish and bacon… All, as expected, were amazing. It got me dwelling on the joy of outdoor cooking, the primitiveness of it and the connection with nature. Not only that, but its universality. People the world over have, for centuries, cooked with nothing but fire, a pot and a few basic ingredients. Thinking about it, there are few things I enjoy more than setting up a fire, hanging up my Dutch oven, throwing a few ingredients in and waiting for the magic to happen. It’s rustic and it’s real. Lucky for us, then, that this issue we’ve got recipes from Gill (page 26) and Devon’s BBQ king Marcus Bawdon (page 32) to help inspire us all to cook alfresco. Going back to nature is something that chef Noel Corston knows something about too (page 52). He downsized from a 100-cover restaurant to a tiny 10-cover one in a bid to create a greater connection between the customers he serves and the food that they eat. This isn’t just about using local produce, but about stripping back the whole dining experience to good, simple food and great company. Nothing demonstrates this more than the 16-year-old sourdough starter he uses to make his bread, which he serves to welcome each guest into the restaurant. Creating connections through food; now isn’t that something we can all get on board with? I hope you enjoy this issue.
Melissa Stewart, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Contents
NO.27 SUMMER 2019
MELISSA STEWART email@example.com DEVELOPMENT EDITOR
MATT BIELBY firstname.lastname@example.org ART DIRECTOR
TREVOR GILHAM DEPUTY ADVERTISING MANAGER
ALISTAIR TAYLOR email@example.com ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE
NATALIE BRERETON firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION MANAGER
SARAH KINGSTON email@example.com DEPUTY PRODUCTION MANAGER
KIRSTIE HOWE firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION DESIGNER
GEMMA SCRINE email@example.com CHIEF EXECUTIVES
JANE INGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org GREG INGHAM email@example.com
STARTERS 08 HERO INGREDIENT Summer’s fragrant flower 18 ASK THE EXPERT Sweet talking with LittlePod
CHEF! large version
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AMAZING REGIONAL RECIPES
26 Beef burgers with bacon and cheese, by Gill Meller 28 Chicken with peas, asparagus and wild garlic, by Scott Paton 31 Chilled summer tomato soup, by Matt Mason 32 Red mullet with pea shoot cream, by Marcus Bawdon 35 Chicken, herb gnocchi, pine nuts, tenderstem broccoli and creamed leeks, by Five Bells Inn
09 Cured salmon with elderflower, by Mitch Tonks 23 Chicken, cinnamon and sweet tomato orzo, by Georgina Hayden
KITCHEN ARMOURY 38 COOKS WITH Making supper with Bella Given from Longlands
MAINS 47 ON THE GRAPEVINE The inside scoop on Devon’s growing wine scene 52 GRILLED A chat with Noel Corston in Woolacombe
NEW & NOTABLE RESTAURANTS, CAFÉS, BARS
58 Riverford Field Kitchen 61 The Oyster Shack 62 The Globe Inn 63 The Pig at Combe 64 The White Hart 66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK With Angus Lugsdin from Salcombe Gin
START E Rs
Enjoy scrummy salmon at England’s Seafood Feast
INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
6 JULY PLYMOUTH VEGAN FESTIVAL
Now that we’re becoming more conscious about the food we consume and where it comes from, more and more of us are opting for plant-based diets. This one-day festival promises to showcase the best of vegan eating, with cooking demos, nutrition talks and, of course, plenty of gourmet meat-free goodies to try. Entry is £3 on the door. Under 16s go free. veganeventsuk.co.uk
9 JULY & 5 SEPTEMBER WINE COURSES AT WAKEHAM FARM
Are you a wine enthusiast who wants to take your knowledge to
See YOu TheRe? POUR US A GIN, PASS US A BURGER AND SEE YOU AT ONE OF THESE SUMMER FOODIE SOIREES…
the next level? South West Wine School are running Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 courses at their headquarters just outside Kingsbridge this summer. You’ll explore wine through sight, smell, and taste, while also gaining the basic skills to make food and wine pairings. A day’s course is £155. southwestwineschool.co.uk
strength to strength. As well as the usual raft of artisan producers showcasing their wares, there’ll be a gin festival and also the Devon Street Food Awards, so lots of opportunity to have a tipple and sample some tasty street food flavours from around the world. Entry is free. nourishfestival.org
20 SEPTEMBER6 OCTOBER ENGLAND’S SEAFOOD FEAST
This isn’t your standard food festival. Instead, local businesses across Brixham, Paignton and Torquay will be hosting events that make the very best of locally landed seafood. Expect set menus, specials, guest chefs and
31 AUGUST NOURISH FESTIVAL Brush up on your wine skills
This food, crafts and music festival in Bovey Tracey is going from
Artisan produce at Nourish Festival
Make a day of it at Powderham
more on offer at this celebration of fantastic fish and shellfish. Check the website for a full programme of events. theseafoodfeast.co.uk
5-6 OCTOBER POWDERHAM FOOD FESTIVAL
Er, okay, you rumbled us; this one isn’t in summer. But the reason we’re telling you about it now is because early bird tickets have just gone on sale – and they’re a bargain! Nab your tickets now for your chance to sample produce from a host of fabulous exhibitors, plus there’ll be four mini festival villages under the themes of fire and spice, gin and fizz, chocolate, and wellness and superfood. Adults £6; children £2.50; under 5s go free. powderhamfoodfestival.com
S T A R T E R S
OH, TO BE IN ENGLAND, NOW THAT ELDERFLOWER’S THERE…
ELDERFLOWER LOWER 008
ew things say ‘English summertime’ like the pretty elderflower – that early summer flower of the roadside-found elder tree (okay, it’s more like a big bush, if we’re honest), with its lacy blossoms and floral, creamy scent. If summer ends in late August, as the berries ripen, then it starts with the arrival of elderflower. Pick them whenever you see them, but they’re at their best on a dry, warm, early summer day, far away from the busier roads and their traffic fumes (the pollen smell can vary from tree to tree, so make sure you pick from a good one). Late May through early July is when to look – you’ll usually be able to track them by their rich, sweet scent. As well as roadsides, hedgerows and woodland are good places to start, but keep your eyes open everywhere, as the opportunistic elder will happily grow in far less romantic locations – even wasteland. This unfussy plant has the power (and lowmaintenance attitude) to transform any scruffy little corner of the country into something glorious. We tend to think of elderflower as a very Victorian ingredient – and, indeed, the Victorians loved it – but our history with this stuff goes back way further than that, with (guess who?) the Romans spreading it across their empire. It’s the peoples of central and northern Europe (Germany, Austria, Hungary and so on, as well as the Brits), however, who became especially enamoured of it. The spectacular hermaphrodite flower heads are what you want, as the leaves and so on are quite bitter, even toxic. You get lots of tiny individual blooms, each one creamy white or a very pale yellow with five petals; these things grow in clusters, and a large, decidedly non-compact spray of them can be up to 25cm across. Ideally, collect your elderflower early in the season, when the many tiny buds are just starting to open (and some are still closed). Be a good sport, though, and make sure to leave some to develop into elderberries for picking later in the season. Prep is easy – shake your sprays free of any insects and rinse briefly in cold water – but then what? The obvious thing to make, of course, is elderflower cordial: all you need is a bunch of freshly gathered elderflowers, plenty of water, lemon, sugar, and tartaric or citric acid. The result? The perfect non-alcoholic summer drink – refreshing and unmistakable – and a great addition to sauces, jellies and cream desserts. Alternatively, you could make a more pokey, alcoholic version – Mrs Beaton was a big fan of the liqueur we call elderflower wine, which is great drizzled over fruit salads, or added to Prosecco or another sparkler for a none-more-summery cocktail. Or, try making the wine’s close cousin, elderflower Champagne (be careful about exploding bottles, mind!), or simply adding the cordial (plus, perhaps, some cucumber) to more traditional ingredients for a summery take on the classic G&T. Introducing elderflower to the kinds of sharp fruit you might use in tarts – things like gooseberry (handily in season at the same time), raspberry and rhubarb – gives everything a boost, lending the result a heavy, grape-like fragrance. The thing to do is add the elderflower while you’re cooking the fruit, then remove it before you combine fruit with pastry. Alternatively, elderflower makes for many a tempting slips-down-easy dessert – think yoghurt ice, sorbet, jelly or fool. Other great elderflower combos see it chumming up with blossom honey, strawberries, vanilla, mint, and – perhaps most commonly – lemon and lime. Elderflower even has savoury applications too, though they’re few and far between: still, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see it making a great addition to the dressing for a classic English summer salad – think lettuce, sugar snap peas, asparagus, radishes and other good stuff – and we’ve even seen people combine it with chicken and duck, too. Elderflower’s not only delicious, but also quite good for you: it’s long been used in traditional medicine all over the world, chiefly for its antiseptic and antiinflammatory abilities – helping with colds and flu, or sinus infections – but also for its laxative properties. It’s thought that it may help alleviate some allergies and boost the immune system too, and even be beneficial for arthritis. There’s no single killer app here, but elderflower seems to be a happy, healthy all-rounder: some use it as a mouthwash, for instance, while others reckon it reduces blood sugar levels, in a similar way to insulin. Whatever you do with it, elderflower is one of the glories of the English summertime. Make sure you’re collecting the genuine stuff (the flowers of rowan trees or cow parsley look quite similar), but if in doubt, follow your nose.
Mitch Tonks shows us how to use elderflower to bring a scent of summer to salmon
CURED SALMON WITH ELDERFLOWER AND MIXED PEPPER “This recipe is based on a recipe we use at the Seahorse,” Mitch says. “It’s a lovely cure for salmon that’s sweet and peppery. We use Nepalese peppercorns in the cure for this dish. They have a distinct, intense smell of grapefruit which works really well with the sweetness of elderflower. If you can’t get Nepalese peppercorns, replace with pink peppercorns. Look for the Scandinavian syrup brands as they’re good and not too sweet or, better still, make your own! There are plenty of recipes out there; the key ingredient is finding yourself some lovely local elderflowers. To serve, slice thinly like smoked salmon or cut through the fish crossways to give a nice ‘D’ slice.” 1 salmon fillet skinned and pin-boned For the cure: 12g star anise 12g fennel seeds 12g Nepalese peppercorns 375g rock salt 250g caster sugar 125g elderflower syrup 375ml white wine
To serve: good olive oil lemon juice celery, finely diced chives, finely chopped
1 Begin by making the cure. Put all cure ingredients except the white wine and elderflower syrup into a food processor and blitz for 20 seconds to mix the ingredients and crack some of the spices. 2 Spread ½ this mixture in the bottom of a non-reactive container that will snuggly hold the fish. 3 Place the fillets of salmon on top of this cure mix in one layer. Sprinkle over the remaining cure to completely cover the fish. 4 Pour over the wine mixed with the elderflower syrup, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. 5 After 12 hours turn the salmon and return to the fridge for a further 12 hours. 6 After curing, remove the salmon from the brine and gently wash under cold water, pat dry the fillets and place back into a clean container. 7 Serve by slicing thinly, drizzling with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and sprinkling with the celery, chives and a few flakes of salt. seahorserestaurant.co.uk
HOME COOKS WANTED! ARE YOU A BUDDING cook, talented at rustling up culinary feasts from home? The South West Chef of the Year competition is looking for amateur chefs to enter its home cook category. Entrants are asked to create a two-course menu for two people, incorporating a small number of compulsory ingredients. The judges then select those they’d like to invite to the final to prepare their meal. Previous winners have gone on to enjoy exciting food-related opportunities, including restaurant reviewing, food blogging, judging, cookery demonstrations, radio work and more. Entries open at the beginning of June and close on 31 July. Finalists will be invited to Ashburton Cookery School in Devon on 5 October, and to the awards dinner on 22 October where the winner will be announced For more info, head to southwestchef.co.uk/ the-competition/home-cook/
GATHER AROUND TOTNESʼ BUSTLING FORE STREET has added another new edition to its foodie address book with the opening of Gather. This fine dining restaurant is the brainchild of three 20-something friends – Harrison Brockington, Declan Wiles and Oli Rosier – who met while studying at Exeter College. Under the guidance of restaurant manager James Skeffington, the trio are knocking out modern dishes centred around Devon’s shoreline, fields and hedgerows. “With a focus on less favoured and underused cuts of meat, forgotten fruits and vegetables from the hedgerows, and fish and seafood from the shorelines and rivers of Devon, we believe we can create a regional style of cooking on a par with any of the finest French, Spanish and Italian giants,” says James. Gather is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday. gathertotnes.com
GONE VEGAN AN ANIMAL-LOVING Torquay family, conscious of their ecological impact, have revamped their fine dining restaurant into a purely vegan offering. Terra Marique, which is run by Hollie Adams, her sister Abi, and parents Steve and Caroline, serves up breakfast and lunch Tuesday to Saturday, with the menu updated every few weeks. Breakfasts include smoothie bowls with homemade gluten-free granola and sweet or savoury pancakes. The lunch menu has a selection of wraps and hot dishes like curry and chilli. We love the sound of the BBQ pulled jackfruit wrap and the buffalo cauliflower. “Our goal is to provide a safe space for vegan diners to know their food is being handled with care and by knowing hands, and also to try to get the curious or even the most doubtful of omnivores to try vegan food and go meatless for one meal,” says Hollie. terramarique.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
WHAT: ZERO-WASTE FOOD AND LIFESTYLE STORE WHEN: MON-FRI 10AM-6PM; SAT 10AM-5PM WHERE: 56 FORE STREET, TOPSHAM EX3 0HW
hen Sarah Martin started thinking about her environmental footprint and cutting down on household waste, she struggled to find any shops locally that could offer what she was looking for. So the environmental sciences graduate decided to take matters into her own hands and open her own; a zerowaste shop selling a range of food and drinks, minus the packaging. “We stock a wide range of nuts, pulses, grains and pasta, over 50 herbs and spices, hemp seed, flour, dried fruit, sea salt and sugar,” she says, “and also vinegars and oils, tea and coffee, and occasionally fiery dried chillies from Stallcombe House in Woodbury – handle with care! Loose products are sold by weight and customers can buy as much or little as they need.” Nourish is proving extremely popular with customers, so much so, Sarah has recently opened a second branch on Exeter’s hip Magdalen Road, capitalising on the hopefully long-term trend of people ditching over-packaged supermarket foods for zero-waste alternatives. “Events like the Extinction Rebellion protests in London keep the issue in the forefront of people’s minds, and highlights that concerns are crossgenerational. It’s not just the ‘Attenborough effect’ any more; our awareness has moved on from there. There are zero-waste shops opening weekly, and it’s great to see that
there’s a real call for a different way of shopping,” says Sarah. “We welcome everyone, from young shoppers, students, workers on their lunch breaks to retired people. And we always have time to talk about the ethos of the shop.” One of the niftiest pieces of kit in-store is the NutraMilk machine, which allows customers to blend their own milk-based concoctions: “It allows customers to make their own milk using nuts, seeds or oats. Basically, they add their key ingredient – or mix of ingredients – add water, push the button and hey presto! It takes around 10 minutes or so to make almond milk from scratch.” As well as blending their own milk, customers are also mad about Nourish’s chocolate honeycomb, but it’s the store-cupboard basics that people come back for time and again. “It’s mainly staples that customers buy to avoid plastic-wrapped supermarket options, such as rice, pasta and noodles, as well as flour, which we don’t sell loose (think of the mess!), but in paper bags,” she says. So, what’s next for Sarah and her burgeoning brand? “I’ll be looking at growing the consultancy side of Nourish, and maybe even thinking about franchising. I’m really excited by what’s happening in Devon and across the UK right now, and I believe what Nourish stands for is absolutely right for this time.” nourishoftopsham.com
A NEW RESTAURANT has opened at one of Devon’s most iconic venues, Burgh Island Hotel. The Nettlefold will have a seafood theme and on the menu you can expect plateaus de fruits de mer, dressed Brixham crab, oysters, Falmouth mussels, razor clams and fresh prawns. The hotel, once a holiday haven for Agatha Christie, Noel Coward and Winston Churchill, was originally built in 1929 and has been given a new lease of life since being taken over by millionaire investor Giles Fuchs last year. “It will be an authentic seafood restaurant offering a more relaxed atmosphere compared to the fine dining at The Ballroom, and I’m confident the excellent food will match the beauty of the view,” says Giles. burghisland.com
PASS THE SALT FANS OF MASTERCHEF will be pleased to hear that three of its contestants are teaming up to launch a series of foodie pop-ups across the South West this summer. SALT Kitchen is the creation of 2019 contestants Stephen Ford from Caerphilly, Wales, who came 11th; Alex Talbot, from Hindon, Wiltshire, who came sixth; and Thomas ElsonKnight, from Plymouth, Devon, who reached the final five. Guests can enjoy dishes like risotto nero, fillet of hake with a dill emulsion, pan-seared duck breast with a panko hen yolk, dressed in orange and a duck Vincotto sauce, and for dessert, a cocoa bean bombe filled with chocolate mousse and a raspberry core. Yum! Tickets are £75 for a four-course dinner, drinks pairings and a welcome cocktail. For dates and venues, visit saltkitchen.co.uk
S T A R T E R S
2. GAM E, SET , MAT CHA !
In the Larder
3. ECT RESP R U YO RS ELDE
4. ON THE PROWL
1. NOW , VOY AGE R
5. A SHO RE THI NG
DEVON-MADE FOOD AND DRINK WE’LL BE PACKING IN OUR PICNICS… 1 Salcombe Gin ‘Island Queen’ (50cl/£65) Continuing their ‘Voyager Series’ of limitededition gins, those entrepreneurial chaps at Salcombe Gin have teamed up with celebrated chef Monica Galetti to produce this tropical-tasting tipple. With notes of coconut, pineapple and mango and a spicy finish, you can close your eyes, sip on this and imagine you are in the Caribbean. Ideal for summer soirées. Available from Salcome Distilling Co. salcombegin.com 2 Kineta Organic Matcha Protein Energy Bar (35g/£1.99) Adventure-loving Leane Tilly was travelling in Japan when she discovered matcha tea. Inspired by its energising properties, she returned home to Devon and set up her own tea brand, Kineta. Working with an organic farm just outside of Nishio, Japan, she produces a selection of teas and drinks. New to the range are these yummy protein energy bars. Containing matcha, maca and guarana, they’re completely raw
and free from added sugar. We particularly like the cacao orange bar. Available from Darts Farm, Greenlife in Totnes and Ben’s Farm Shop. ilovematchatea.co.uk 3 Quicke’s Elderflower Clothbound Cheese (200g/£5.30) Those clever chaps at Quicke’s know a food hero when they see one and have incorporated this issue’s cover ingredient, elderflower, into their latest cheesy offering. Made in collaboration with Bello Fine Food in Cornwall, which forages across the South West for the elderflowers, this is a rich, buttery cheese with delicate floral notes. Tastes delish with charcuterie. quickes.co.uk 4 Black Cat Honey Spiced Rum (70cl/£25) Apparently 2019 is all about the rum and this animalistic new number from Courtney’s, the cider makers from Whimple, is the newest blend on the block. Infused
with honey from their own hives in the Exe Estuary, they recommend you serve it over ice with Fever Tree Smoky Ginger Ale or Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale. Available from Stoke Gabriel Stores in Totnes and Wildmoor Fine Food in Bovey Tracey. courtneys.online 5 Seaspoon Seaweed ‘The Captain’s Collection’ (£17.95) When you get the thumbs up from Mitch Tonks you know you’re onto a winner. Seaspoon make a range of products using seaweed foraged from the South Devon coast, including a seasoning exclusively for Rockfish. We adore this cute gift box, which includes a pouch of Seaweed Boost, a Seaweed Umami Blend, a Seaweed Herb Mix and Seaweed Seasoning, all of which can be added to stews, omelettes, soups and meat for a flavoursome boost. Available online or from The Oyster Shack at Bigbury and the Deli at Dartmouth. seaspoon.com
( advertising feature )
Trencherman’s Pub of the Year 2016
The Swan is the oldest pub in the charming historic town of Bampton, near Exmoor National Park, an area well known for its hunting, fishing, shooting and popular with ramblers and cyclists.
We have a passion for food and with this we like to embrace the use of local produce, keeping menus simple, yet bursting with flavours and imagination. We take pride in our well kept, locally sourced ales and fine wines, to whet the appetites and suit all tastes.
It’s not just refreshing pressés that elderflower’s good for – it also makes a rather splendid cider!
nything to do with elderflower seems to be increasingly popular these days. Indeed, some of the Ashridge team spent the month of June busily picking tray after tray of the flowers: you can’t miss their huge, frothy, creamy blooms in the hedges. We are often asked where we gather them we have to be fussy and only harvest from certified organic farms, well away from any sprays or traffic fumes. We’ve had adventures with curious pigs and pushy cows and the hedges are prickly and full of nettles. Mainly we pick when the sun is shining so you get the full fragrance, and we’re out in the peace and quiet of the fields and hedgerows, so it’s a welcome break from the usual day-to-day business. We make tanks full of cordial with organic lemons and a wee bit of sugar added. This is then diluted with water and some Ashridge sparkle added to make our delicious Sparkling Elderflower Pressé. It’s good in gin or vodka too and is definitely our most popular soft drinks. Catching up fast on the cider front though is our fragrant, easy-drinking Artisan Elderflower Cider. At this time of year it’s flying off the shelves: a must-try summer cider.
ashridgecider.co.uk; @AshridgeCider; 01364 654749
Eat, Drink & Sleep At the Swan, Bampton
T. 01398 332248 E. firstname.lastname@example.org www.theswan.co Bampton | Tiverton | Devon | EX16 9NG
S T A R T E R S
Chocolate, Amarena Cherry and Sicilian Pistachio have been bestsellers from day one, while the Dark Belgian Chocolate (vegan) is also flying out the door. “It's just the richest and smoothest Cioccolato Fondente this side of Turin,” says Johan. facebook.com/delphinisgelato
2 DARTINGTON DAIRY
The inside sCOOp
BYE BYE, MR WHIPPY. THESE DEVON FROZEN DESSERT MAKERS ARE SHOWING US HOW TO CREATE SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT AND DELICIOUS…
2 1 DELPHINI’S GELATO
Forget chintzy British seaside ice cream parlours, Delphini’s in Totnes is a much more artisan affair. This cute emporium on Fore Street knocks out all kinds of delicious gelato, freshly made each day. Owner Johan’s ethos is to make the business as sustainable as possible. Many of his ingredients are sourced within a five-mile radius, and at least three of the flavours are entirely plant-based. “We have vegan and gluten free waffle cones. We use only 100% biodegradable tubs, spoons and take-home containers,” explains Johan. Rather than class themselves as ‘ice cream makers’, where milk is the main ingredient, Johan prefers to be called a gelato maker. “Great gelato can contain milk and cream, but need not,” he says. “People who don’t identify as vegan often try our vegan gelati and find it tastes as good or even better than the milk-based ones. We simply want to create the best gelato we can, and much of it happens to be vegan. This reflects the preferences of our customers, especially in Totnes, and the way our society’s values are developing.” When it comes to flavour, Belgian
Jon and Lynne Perkins took on the tenancy of the Old Parsonage Farm on the Dartington Estate back in 2015. Since then, they’ve founded Dartington Dairy and have a herd of over 180 goats, producing milk which is made into small batches of yoghurt, kefir and ice cream. “Our ice cream is lower in fat and lactose and more easily digested than cows’ milk ice cream, which makes it a great alternative for people with a dairy intolerance or sensitive tummies,” explains Lynne. In-keeping with Dartington’s ethos of ethical farming, all the goats are kept with the nanny until natural weaning and are free range. “We aim to share our passion for ethical farming and high animal welfare with consumers looking for premium quality dairy products,” says Lynne. Dartington Dairy offers milking experiences and you can even sign up to be a farmer for a day, but, if you’d prefer to forego the hard work and just consume the produce, crowd pleasing flavours include Gin, Elderflower and Honeycomb and Dark Belgium Chocolate. Stockists include Darts Farm, Lifton Farm Shop and Ben’s Farm Shop. dartingtondairy.com
3 SALCOMBE DAIRY
Salcombe Dairy has pedigree, having been knocking out artisan ice cream for a whopping 40 years. Still based on Island Street in Salcombe, they’re famous for their ice cream, premium vegan sorbets, luxury frozen yoghurts and last year launched a bean-to-bar Peruvian chocolate range, all of which are made using only the finest natural ingredients. “The factory is entirely nut, gluten, egg, palm oil and artificial colour and flavouring free. Everything we make is 100% natural. That’s probably why our customers have been asking for our ice cream for the past 40 years,” says owner Dan Bly, who runs the business with his wife, Lucia. Salcombe Dairy now makes over 50 flavours, using milk straight from the same local farm the guys have used from the beginning. “We’re exceptionally proud to still use the same base ice cream recipe created back in 1979, with only the best ingredients added, such as Arabica coffee and Alphonso mangoes,” says Dan. Popular flavours include Honeycomb, which Dan reckons has “achieved almost a cult fan base”, and Alphonso Mango sorbet. Stockists include Darts Farm, The Shops at Dartington and National Trust properties across Devon. salcombedairy.co.uk
Hi Janet, nice to meet you. Give us a quick lowdown on the history of vanilla. The Totonac people of Mexico have always respected the native vanilla plant and called it xanath – ‘a gift from God’. During the Aztec Empire in the 1400s, the Aztecs taxed the Totonacs for part of their yearly crop and considered it more precious than gold. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquered Mexico and became intoxicated by it, naming it vania, meaning ‘sheath’ or ‘pod’. Such was the desire for vanilla that, in 1601, Queen Elizabeth I demanded it be used in practically everything she ate. By the 18th century, the French began growing it in their colony of Reunion, and this is where the vanilla industry really began. It is now grown in Madagascar, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Tahiti, the West Indies and parts of mainland Africa. Vanilla growing in Mexico sadly ceased in the ’50s, after a series of poor harvests, and has since become a rarity.
Ask the Expert
TOp Of the pOds DEVON’S VANILLA QUEEN, AND FOUNDER OF LITTLEPOD, JANET SAWYER TELLS US WHY SHE RECKONS IT’S TIME WE ALL CHAMPIONED REAL VANILLA
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Wow! That’s ridiculous. Is all that why artificial vanilla flavourings became so popular? Unfortunately, yes. Most vanilla essence found in supermarkets doesn’t come from a vanilla pod. It is made from the byproduct of a petro-chemical used in the wood pulp industry. Real vanilla has 250 complex compounds; artificial vanilla only has one, vanillin, which gives only the scent. 95% of the baking industry uses synthetically produced vanillins. LittlePod launched the Campaign for Real Vanilla; what is it, and why is it important? Vanilla production is labour intensive and farmers in Madagascar, where 80% of vanilla is grown, were deforesting to grow palm oil. Farmers only plant when the price is high, as a cash crop to supplement their income, therefore it has always been a boom and bust industry. Vanilla is a slow food and requires long term planning. Orchids need host trees to grow. Deforestation needs to be reversed, to save the ecosystems and the environment and combat climate change. Indigenous farmers can do this if we buy their produce. There is a paramount need to stabilise the industry by offering vanilla farmers a fair and consistent price for their pods, and for us to produce natural vanilla products that can compete with artificial ones. Where does LittlePod source its vanilla? LittlePod sells vanilla pods from Madagascar. Our vanilla paste was developed to utilise all the farmers’ pods – not just the long, straight ones – in order to give a value to all their harvest. Using the paste is just like using a vanilla pod, as it includes the seeds, but cooks find it more versatile. One teaspoon of paste is equivalent to one pod, so our 100ml tube is equivalent to 20 pods, and can be kept in a cupboard for up to two years. It is manufactured for us, and we do the end manufacturing and processing in Devon. In 2012, we started working with our own vanilla farmer, Made, in Bali, and encouraged him to work with the Indonesian government to start vanilla growing again. It was Made’s dream and, this year, the collaborative LittlePod orchard has finally produced its first pods.
Clockwise from left: a Madagascan vanilla pod; Janet Sawyer BEM (left) showcases her produce with Tahlia Waller from NFU Mutual; the core LittlePod range
Interesting stuff, but what exactly is vanilla – and how’s it grown? Natural vanilla is the most labourintensive agricultural crop in the world, making it the second most expensive spice after saffron. The vanilla orchid vine takes around three and a half years to flower. The vanilla flowers only last one day, and each has to be hand pollinated. Once the flowers are pollinated, the ovaries swell before being transformed into fruits called ‘pods’, which look a bit like runner beans and contain thousands of tiny seeds. The pods then need to stay on the vine for at least nine months, before they are picked, gathered and wrapped in wool, ready to be cured. The curing process is broken into four stages: killing the pods; sweating them; drying them out to release the vanillin components (which takes about five months); and then storing them away from sunlight for around 18 months. During this period, the pods reduce by 30%, and this is when the flavour is achieved.
Sweet! So, what can we do with real vanilla? As well as being used as a flavour in its own right, it has four basic attributes. It tempers bitterness (so removes unwanted bitterness from chocolate); adds to fruitiness; enhances sweetness (and can act as a substitute for a certain amount of sugar in cooking); and is the perfect flavour partner for a wide range of herbs, fruits and spices. Finally, what’s the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla paste? To extract vanillin from vanilla pods, they have to go through several processes to reduce water and oil content. The vanillin is then extracted through water and alcohol to bring out the all-important vanillin aromas, giving vanilla extract, a liquid which lasts for three years. Vanilla paste has a thicker viscosity, thanks to the addition of the seeds. The taste is so intense that only a tiny amount is required, but it rounds out flavours – and is the chef's secret ingredient! littlepod.co.uk
i t a l e G Bien st n o v e D The
FREE EXTRA SCOOP for CRUMBS readers!
ert Simply bring this adv op! to claim your extra sco
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that everyone who lives locally – and visitors too – realise what’s on their doorstep.
NUTS aBOUT FOOd
WE CHAT WITH PETER MUNDY, EXEC HEAD CHEF AND MD AT BOTH THE GINGER PEANUT IN BAMPTON AND PETER MUNDY CATERING, ABOUT WHAT TICKS HIS FOODIE BOXES So, Peter, what are the fondest foodie memories from your childhood? Mum’s classic roast dinners – just the best! And what first inspired you to cook professionally? I started working front of house at home in Derbyshire, but soon decided it wasn’t for me, so I transferred to the kitchen. My passion for food began, and I started assisting chefs with buffet work and prep. How would you describe your style of cooking? Classical French with a twist and modern English cuisine. I aim to keep up with changing trends, and keep it current. What’s the toughest job you’ve tackled so far? The two businesses both present different challenges. Peter Mundy Catering involves sorting the logistics of multiple weddings – we sometimes have four or five events on the same day! Luckily we have superb teams and chefs, so – with careful management – this is possible. Peter Mundy at The Ginger Peanut presents different issues. We always aim
to please, so if we’re asked for last minute special requests, we do our best. Proudest career achievement? We were very proud to win South West Wedding Caterer of the Year 2018, and we have consistently been among the finalists for this award at the West Country Wedding Awards. The Ginger Peanut won Devon Life Best Newcomer Award and has received many superb reviews, too; I’ve been very proud to see both businesses grow. Which other Devon restaurants do you like to dine in? The Masons Arms, The Elephant in Torquay and The Pig at Combe. We often eat out as a family, so we choose more family-oriented places to eat. What makes the local foodie scene so great? We are very lucky locally that we have a variety of places to eat, so there is something for everyone. There is also a great passion for food in the Devon area, with many food writers, blogs and magazines championing local businesses, which is fantastic. It’s so important
What are your favourite ingredients at the moment? Wild garlic, lobster, scallops, asparagus, aged beef – all wonderful ingredients at this time of the year. Current favourite flavour combination? Roasted butternut squash, lemongrass and coconut cream. Do you grow anything yourself? We grow herbs, and have plans to possibly grow more ingredients – a work in progress! Top 5-a-day? Bananas, oranges, mango, long-stem broccoli, baby carrots. Foodie heroes? Michael Caines, Mark Dodson, Nathan Outlaw, Marcus Bawdon, Sat Bains, Tom Kerridge. Favourite suppliers? Bampton Fresh Fruit & Veg, Bampton Game, Forest Produce, Fenton Farm Eggs, Devon Quality Fish, Polly’s Goat Farm – and local farms, where possible, for any seasonal ingredients that we use. Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without? My Gustav knife. What kind of meals do you cook at home? There isn’t a huge amount of time to cook at home, as you can imagine! I enjoy cooking barbecues with the family, fish and roasts. What and where was the best meal you’ve eaten? Secrets Hotel in Riviera Maya. We ate at a street food festival, and the food was amazing – grasshoppers, tacos, Mexican mole… Just the best Mexican food, all fresh and fabulous flavour combinations. petermundycatering.co.uk
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BOOK OF THE MONTH
THIS MONTH’S INFLUX OF RECIPE BOOKS IS INSPIRING US TO CLEAR THE DIARY AND SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME IN THE KITCHEN, FOR THE BENEFIT OF MIND AND BODY THE JOYFUL HOME COOK
LITTLE GREEN KITCHEN
The name of the game in this new book by food writer, stylist and cook Rosie Birkett is teasing out as much joy and satisfaction as possible from the daily task of cooking. Whether we’re dishing something up for a group of friends, a weeknight family dinner or just for ourselves, Rosie encourages us to prepare food with care and attention, to ensure we enjoy the process as well as the end result. The domestic kitchen is a space for experimentation, learning and building confidence, she says, as she looks to reignite practices that have disappeared from many homes with recipes from simple sourdough loaf (no proving basket needed) to fermented green chillies, which look right up our street, and even spirit infusions. While some techniques may sound daunting, we’re reminded they all began in home kitchens. The spring chicken and wild garlic puff pie, asparagus, pea and lovage croquettes, and elderflower fritters with lemon posset, are all on our to-cook list this season. JESSICA CARTER
Swedish-Danish couple David and Luise are vegetarian bloggers, writers and photographers bringing up three suitably blonde and healthy-looking kids on a diet of simple, family-friendly plant-based recipes. This a colourful book, full of bright red tomatoes, glowing yellow peppers and vibrant green broccoli presented in as tyke-friendly a fashion as possible: spinachand-pea patties are rebranded as ‘dino burgers’, and chard and butternut squash is disguised inside a crusty filo dough ‘snake’. With cool illustrations of fruit and shots of cheery Scandi-poppets waving earthcovered carrots, Little Green Kitchen paints an appealing picture of a too-good-to-betrue world where no-one would consider scoffing Quavers or Lion bars when there’s celery to dip in humous. Plenty of stuff here is worth trying, though, from omelette rolls with broccoli pesto to frozen banana and chocolate pops, spiralized roots with baked eggs to easy and tempting all-in-one lasagne. MATT BIELBY
There is plenty about Cypriot food that appeals – its versatility, broad-ranging influences and those exotic, Mediterranean flavours that remind you of holidays and sunnier climes. In the follow up to her first book, Stirring Slowly, Georgina – who lived above her grandparents’ Greek Cypriot taverna in North London as a child – explores the Cypriot traditions, events and lifestyles that put food at their heart. Having adapted recipes to make them achievable for home cooks in the UK (she notes that trying to make her grandma’s exact taramosalata would be “near impossible” here), Georgia still manages to maintain their integrity, using hacks, shopping advice and notes on storing and prepping ingredients that have been passed down to her from her family. As well as that adaptation of the “addictive” taramosalata, there is spicy sausage and pepper stew, tomato mussels with feta, and fennel-stuffed flatbreads, as well as the familiar likes of souvlakia, moussaka, stuffed vine leaves and sweet baklava. JESSICA CARTER
Rosie Birkett (Harper Non-Fiction, £20)
David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant, £20)
Georgina Hayden (Square Peg, £25)
RESTAURANT NATHAN OUTLAW
Nathan Outlaw (Bloomsbury Absolute, £45) There’s something slightly annoying about Restaurant Nathan Outlaw (the book). Beneath the pleasantly tactile rubberised scales of its cover lurks a heap of promo material for Restaurant Nathan Outlaw (the restaurant). There are rave reviews of it from the great and the good (Jamie, Mitch, Rick, Tom), as well as profiles of suppliers (of everything from crabs to crockery). But all this can be forgiven, really, seeing as the recipes (once you get to them) are so bloody good. Inspired by Nathan’s two-Michelinstar fish restaurant – the only one in the country – the 80 seasonal dishes he presents may be ambitious and fine-dining pretty, but they’re not unachievable. Monkfish is served with ceps and oxtail sauce; smoked mackerel fritters come with gooseberry pickle; turbot is paired with Champagne and caviar; and Dover sole buddies up with clams, parsley and garlic. Fresh ingredients, of course, are emphasised here, as is their seasonality. Tips to take the mystery out of fish are welcomely abundant too – I now know that delicate lemon sole is best grilled skin-on to protect it, for instance. MATT BIELBY
THE DOCTOR’S KITCHEN: EAT TO BEAT ILLNESS
Rupy Aujla (Harper Thorsons, £16.99) This is the second book from NHS GP, lecturer and bestselling author Dr Rupy Aujla, and it’s out to champion the healthgiving power of food. This isn’t airy-fairy stuff, either – Rupy uses both medical studies and anecdotal information collected from his patients to inform his writing, meaning there’s real weight behind his principles, which involve eating mostly plants with a variety of colour and lots of fibre. Tips for eating to support different elements of health – from your immune system to skin and even mood – precede the 80 globally inspired recipes. Dishes span breakfasts, small plates, mains and puds, with some handy ‘rapid’ recipes thrown in for good measure. Expect to see lots of veg (obvs), pulses and spices here, in recipes such as Sri Lankan cashew curry, aubergine and walnut ragu, scallops with asparagus, peas and tarragon butter (an in-season winner), speedy gazpacho (which we have our eye on for summer) and glazed peaches with thyme. JESSICA CARTER
CHICKEN, CINNAMON AND SWEET TOMATO ORZO (KOTOPOULO KRITHARAKI) From Taverna by Georgina Hayden (Square Peg, £25); photos by Kristin Perers There are so many versions of kritharaki (orzo) in Greek and Cypriot cooking – it is a huge staple for us, and almost always cooked with tomato. This chicken dish is the sort of family one-pot recipe all households should have up their sleeve. I’d put a bet on it being a winner with all ages. SERVES 4-6 1ltr chicken stock 2 onions 2 garlic cloves olive oil 1 cinnamon stick 1 tbsp tomato purée 5 ripe tomatoes 400g orzo 6 chicken thighs, on the bone and skin on ½ tsp ground allspice 250g cherry tomatoes on the vine 6 sprigs fresh oregano 75g halloumi (or salted anari or ricotta) 1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. Heat the chicken stock. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Pour 3 tbsp of
olive oil into a wide casserole pan and add the chopped veg. Place on a medium-low heat and sauté for 10 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the cinnamon stick and tomato purée to the pan and stir for a minute. Coarsely grate in the large tomatoes, give everything a stir, then stir in the orzo and hot stock. 2 Toss the chicken thighs with the allspice and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the orzo, skin side up, and dot around the vines of tomatoes and sprigs of oregano. Drizzle everything with olive oil and place in the oven for around 30 minutes. 3 Towards the end of this cooking time, boil a kettle. When 30 minutes is up, remove the casserole pan from the oven. Carefully pour 150ml of boiling water all around the orzo (not over the chicken skin) and return to the oven. Cook for a further 25 minutes, or until the chicken skin is crisp and golden and the meat is tender. 4 Remove from the oven, leave it to rest for 5 minutes, then serve, grating over the cheese.
CHEF! WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT â€“ DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
Top tip! Use indirect heat when cooking a whole fish on the BBQ, crisping up over direct heat at the end
HIGHLIGHTS T TS
26 BBQ BURGERS
GILL MELLER'S SUMMER STAPLE
31 CHILL TIME
COOL SOUP FROM MATT MASON
32 MIGHTY MULLET MARCUS BAWDON'S FISHY DISHY PLUS!
DO CHICKEN (P35)
HOMEMADE BEEF BURGERS WITH BACON AND CHEESE MAKES 4 400g skirt steak 100g fresh beef suet or beef fat 1 tbsp chopped thyme 1 heaped tsp fine sea salt freshly ground black pepper To assemble: 8 rashers of streaky bacon 150g good Cheddar pickled cucumbers or gherkins 4 soft burger buns, lightly toasted
DITCH THE SHOP-BOUGHT BBQ FODDER AND RUSTLE UP THESE BEEFY TREATS, COURTESY OF GILL MELLER Landing just in time for summer, River Cottage’s latest handbook is all about making the most of outdoor cooking. Written by RC alumni Gill Meller, it details all the different types of outdoor cooking, from wood smoking to spit roasting and everything in between. We were particularly taken with this burger recipe, and reckon its one even amateur barbecuers could try. Gill says: “Beef burgers are easy to knock up and always so much better than anything you can buy. These burgers are made with skirt steak, a flavoursome open-grained cut. I like to mince the steak with some beef fat or suet to give it extra moisture and a richer, beefier flavour. A crank-handled mincer works well – you see them at car boot sales all the time. If you don’t have a mincer, ask the butcher to mince the mix for you or, if push comes to shove, chop the meat and fat in a food processor. “Get the fire really hot so that the bars of the grill char the burgers. This gives them character; it also helps to cook them fast and keeps them juicy. I serve them in buns with streaky bacon and Cheddar – the perfect partners in crime.”
1 Mince the skirt steak and fat or suet together, place in a large bowl and season with the thyme, salt and plenty of pepper. Use clean hands to mix the meat and seasonings thoroughly and bind the mixture together. Divide the seasoned beef into 4 portions and shape into burgers, each about 125g and no thicker than 2cm. 2 Slice the cheese and pickled cucumbers thinly. When everything is ready to go, get your fire going; you want a good deep bed of really hot embers. Set a grill over the fire. 3 Once everything is glowing super-hot, and you can hover your hand above the grill for 1 second at most, lay the burgers carefully on the grill. They should start to sizzle and smoke immediately. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. I like to serve the burgers just under medium, but you can leave them on a minute or two longer. You need a searing heat, to ensure the burgers take on lots of colour and stay juicy. 4 A minute or so after turning the burgers, add the bacon to the grill. (At this point you should be able to hover your hand above the grill for a maximum of 4 seconds.) Cook until crisp on both sides. When the burgers are almost done, lay the cheese slices on top and let them melt. (Move the bacon to one side if it’s done.) 5 Pop the burgers into the soft buns with the bacon rashers and pickled cucumbers and serve.
From River Cottage Handbook No.17: Outdoor Cooking by Gill Meller (Bloomsbury Publishing, £16.99); rivercottage.net
C H E F !
BREAST OF CHICKEN WITH PEAS, ASPARAGUS AND WILD GARLIC SERVES 4 4 chicken breasts 100g salt 1 egg 100ml double cream 200g caul fat 500g frozen peas 8 large asparagus spears salt and pepper, to season fresh picked wild garlic
winner, winner, ChiCken dinner MAKE THE MOST OF SEASONAL WILD GARLIC AND ASPARAGUS WITH THIS TASTY SUPPER FROM SCOTT PATON
Chef Scott Paton has come a long way since his humble career beginnings, washing dishes at The Jack in the Green near Exeter. As head chef at The Galley Restaurant at Boringdon Hall Hotel he has achieved threeAA-rosette status and opened two new restaurants, the Mayflower Brasserie and Spatisserie at Gaia Spa. He recently cooked this dish at a special chef’s dinner event at Lympstone Manor and says: “it’s the perfect alternative to a roast on a summer Sunday”.
Note: Caul fat is traditionally used as a casing for sausages and is a thin, moist membrane that surrounds the internal organs of a pig. You can buy it online from Heal Farm, based in South Molton.
1 Prepare the chicken by removing the skin and setting aside. Trim off the wing bone and tidy the edges to make a slimmer chicken breast. (Keep the trim to one side.) 2 Make a brine by dissolving 100g of salt into 1 litre of water. 3 Place the chicken in the brine and put it in the fridge for 1 hour. 4 Remove the chicken from the brine and dry with a cloth. 5 To make a mousse to spread on top of the chicken, blitz the chicken trim in a food processer with the egg and 30ml of double cream until smooth. Now season with salt and pepper. 6 Once blitzed, spread the mousse evenly over the chicken breasts. 7 Unravel the caul fat and lay it flat on a work surface, cut into four large squares, approximately 20cm x 20cm. 8 Place the chicken, mousse facing downwards, on the caul fat and carefully wrap with the caul fat. 9 Once wrapped in caul fat, wrap in cling film to form a tight cylinder. 10 Leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour. 11 Take the chicken skin and lay between two sheets of parchment paper on a baking tray, with another baking tray on top to keep flat, and place in the oven on 160C for approximately 12 minutes, or until crisp. 12 To make the pea purée, cook 300g of frozen peas. Once cooked (approximately 6 minutes) add to the blender with the remaining peas and the remainder of the double cream and blitz until smooth. 13 To cook the chicken, unwrap the cling film and place in a semi-hot pan and colour all over. Transfer to the oven and bake on 160C/325F/gas mark 3 for 10 minutes. 14 Trim the woody ends of the asparagus and boil for 3 minutes and roll in the chicken juice. 15 Finely shred the wild garlic and set the chicken on top, dressed by the rest of the ingredients. boringdonhall.co.uk
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TOP TIP! Serve with a buttery Chardonnay
A pub for locals & visitors alike We are proud to support local suppliers and serve a delicious range of locally grown produce and drinks.
The Bear & Blacksmith The Main Road, Chillington, Kingsbridge, South Devon, TQ7 2LD www.thebearandblacksmith.com 01548 581 171 f a x
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1 Place everything into a blender taking extra care not to overfill. Blend on a high speed until very smooth and pass through a fine sieve, making sure to extract as much of the liquid as possible. It really is that easy! 2 Transfer to the fridge to cool. To serve the chilled soup, pour into bowls and garnish with some sliced or wedged tomatoes – go for as many different types as you can get. There are plenty of red, yellow, cherry, green, striped and plum varieties, to name but a few. 3 Scatter over a few freshly blanched and podded peas, broad beans and asparagus. For a touch of real class, finish with some basil leaves, nasturtium flowers and pea shoots. 4 A great accompaniment would be this classic pesto recipe, which I have adapted to include some of the stunning organic nasturtiums that are grown locally. These give it a powerful, peppery kick. Be sure to make plenty, as it keeps really well in the fridge and works brilliantly on pasta. For the pesto: 2 garlic cloves, peeled 100g basil leaves, stalks removed 60g nasturtium flowers and/or leaves (or more basil) 350ml olive oil 120g pine nuts, lightly toasted 120g Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated 200ml extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper
JUst chiLLin’ A SUMMERY SOUP WITH AN OPTIONAL PESTO TOPPING FROM MATT MASON AT THE JACK IN THE GREEN INN This is a smashing soup for balmy summer days and offers a real taste of the Med. “I have to admit that I rarely use a recipe for this soup, it’s all about taste and balance,” says Matt. “Simple and quality ingredients need little or no intervention by the cook. The local tomatoes, the oil and the vinegar all emulsify to produce something quite spectacular, and perfect for a warm summer’s day. The soup should be made using icy water and is best served very cold. In fact, it’s a not too distant relative of that well-known Spanish classic, Gazpacho.”
1 Add the herbs, garlic, olive oil, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and pine nuts to a blender or food processor and blitz until a coarse paste is achieved. 2 Transfer to a bowl and adjust the seasoning. Personally I quite like it when it’s not too smooth, so it still retains a lot of its original character. TIP! This soup keeps really well, but remember to cling film to avoid the heady garlic aroma filling your fridge for weeks.
CHILLED SUMMER TOMATO SOUP SERVES 10 1.4kg very ripe tomatoes (under-ripe cheap supermarket tomatoes will produce a significantly inferior product) 200g cucumber, approx ½ 200g red pepper, approx 1 small 100ml Jerez Sherry vinegar 700ml ice water 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, depending on your personal taste 200ml extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper
From The Jack Cook Book: Volume One (£25 + £2.50 P&P, with £5 from every sale given to FORCE Cancer in Exeter). To buy, call 01404 822 240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
my favourite fish to cook on the grill, having a wonderful, subtle, shellfish-like flavour when super-fresh, plus the skin crisps up to make one of the nicest things I’ve eaten. “These mullet were lovely, small, and plump, around the same size as sardines, but coral-pink in colour. While shopping, I also noticed some fresh pea shoots, and so knocked together a creamy, pea-flavoured sauce to drizzle over the top. This worked a treat, as the sauce was delicate and didn’t overpower the subtle and amazing flavour of the red mullet.”
GRILLED RED MULLET WITH PEA SHOOT CREAM SERVES 1 olive oil, for brushing 2–3 small red mullet coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper For the pea shoot cream: 2 tbsp crème fraiche 2 small handfuls of pea shoots squeeze of fresh lemon To serve: 2 slices of good-quality bread (such as rye sourdough) 2 handfuls of pea shoots couple of slices of fresh lemon
FISh ON FiRE
Recommended heat: Red-hot grill using lump charcoal
DEVON’S KING OF THE BBQ, MARCUS BAWDON, TREATS US TO A FISHY DISH FROM HIS LATEST COOKBOOK
Does anything scream summer in Devon more than freshly cooked fish on the barbecue? Preferably with a glass of fizz or a cool beer in hand. This red mullet recipe from Marcus Bawdon’s new book, Food and Fire, is the business – and he was kind enough to share it with us lucky lot… “When I visited my local fishmonger in Devon to pick up the ingredients for a grilled fish dish, I had a totally different recipe in my mind, involving mackerel and fennel,” Marcus says. “But I spotted these beautiful red mullet and the price was too hard to resist. Hopefully, you won’t mind missing out on the mackerel recipe. If you haven’t tried red mullet, then you really should – it is one of
1 Make the cream sauce in advance by blitzing the crème fraiche, pea shoots, and squeeze of lemon in a food processor or using a hand blender. Taste, and check the sauce has a subtle taste of pea and lemon. If not, add some more pea shoots and lemon juice, until you are happy with the flavour. 2 Brush the grates of the grill and the skin of each mullet with a little olive oil, and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Cook for a few minutes on each side, ensuring the mullet reach an internal temperature of 145F (63C) and that the skin is nice and crisp. 3 Pop the slices of bread on the grill to toast them slightly. 4 To serve, place the pea shoots and red mullet on top of the toasted bread and drizzle over the pea shoot cream. Garnish with the lemon slices.
From Food and Fire by Marcus Bawdon (Dog ’n’ Bone Books, £15); countrywoodsmoke.com
C H E F !
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SUNDAY ROAST SUNDAY ROAST SERVED 12–3PM | ALL YEAR ROUND COCKTAIL CLUB 2 FOR £10 ALL DAY SUNDAY & 5-7PM WEEKDAYS 30 HIGH STREET
A village pub celebrating food and drink
Tel: 01409 231888 email@example.com www.blackriverinn.co.uk Broad Street, Black Torrington, Devon, EX21 5PT
01803 864682 @RUMOURTOTNES
C H E F !
TOP TIP! Tastes great served with a glass of Sharpham Dart Valley Reserve
add the flour, Parmesan, chives, parsley and a generous pinch of salt. Beat the egg and add to the mixture. 3 Using a wooden spoon, start to mix and – once the mixture resembles a dough – flour a work surface and turn out the mixture. 4 Knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth and a little stretchy. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll into a long thin sausage. Cut approx 1cm square pieces and place on a floured tray. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
with beLLs On
RUSTLE UP THIS SEASONAL FEAST FROM THE TEAM AT THE FIVE BELLS INN AT CLYST HYDON
It’s been 18 months since James and Charlie Garnham took the reins at The Five Bells Inn in the village of Clyst Hydon, and in that time it has become a proper foodie destination again. Following recent collabs with Luke Fearon from the Devon Food Movement and Carol Becker from Life is Good Nutrition, they’re breaking away from the standard country pub fodder to offer punters something a little bit different. This dish is one of the Five Bell’s most popular during the summer, and we’re about to learn how to make it…
FREE RANGE CHICKEN BREAST, HERB GNOCCHI, PINE NUTS, TENDERSTEM BROCCOLI AND CREAMED LEEKS SERVES 4 400g potato 120g pasta flour 50g Parmesan 1tsp chives, chopped 1tsp parsley, chopped 1 egg 4 free range chicken breasts 1 bunch thyme 2 garlic cloves 100g butter 200g tenderstem broccoli 1 lemon (juice and zest) 1 tsp capers, chopped 2 big leeks 1 bay leaf 100ml white wine 200ml single cream For the gnocchi: 1 Bake the potatoes at 180C/350F/gas mark 3 for 1 hour, remove and allow to cool. Once cooked, mash the potato (a potato ricer is best for this) into a bowl. 2 Make a well in the centre of the mash and
For the chicken: 1 Trim any excess fat and skin and season with salt and pepper. 2 Heat a pan with a little oil and add the chicken skin side down and leave for 2-3 minutes, until the skin is lovely and golden. 3 Turn the chicken, add 50g of butter, a sprig of thyme and 2 garlic cloves crushed with the palm of your hand. Once the butter begins to foam, spoon over the chicken, then put it into the oven at 180°C/350F/gas mark 3 for 7 minutes. 4 Turn and cook for a further 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. For the leeks: 1 Slice as thinly as possible. Heat a pan with 50g of butter, add the leeks and sweat for 5 minutes on a medium heat. 2 Then add 1 tsp of picked thyme and 1 bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and add the wine. 3 Turn up to a high heat and cook until almost all of the wine has evaporated, then add the cream and simmer for 10 minutes. To serve: 1 Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the broccoli and cook for no more than 2 minutes. Remove and dress with the chopped capers, lemon zest, juice and a little olive oil. 2 Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook until the pieces are floating at the top (approx 3 minutes). Drain and add to the dressed broccoli. 3 Place a generous spoonful of the creamed leaks on each plate, then arrange the broccoli and gnocchi randomly around each plate. 4 Slice the chicken in two lengthways and place on top of the broccoli. Garnish with some toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil. fivebells.uk.com
CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS
s sNacKING KING uP THIS ROYAL THRONE OF KINGS, THIS SCEPTRED ISLE, THIS EARTH OF MAJESTY, THIS SEAT OF MARS BARS, MILKY WAYS AND SNICKERS (ALL FUN SIZE). OR, SAYS MATT BIELBY, OF CRISPS AND TWIGLETS, IF YOU PREFER
You’re not going to mention the B-word, are you? The one that means a lady dog? No, the other B-word! Ah, the one that questions an individual’s parentage? No no, the really bad one. The one everybody’s sick of, the one that – all too often – makes family mealtimes a minefield. Oh, that one. Goodness me, no. Absolutely not. Well, that’s alright then. What I’m going to do instead, though, is look at all the things that unite us, not divide us. The belief in queuing. The cups of tea. And eating out of a big dish shaped like mainland Britain – skinny at the top and fat at the bottom, just like many mainland Britons themselves.
Speak for yourself. (I was.) There’s one thing the B-word is good for, of course. Oh, I know: economic uncertainty. Which might be why Formahouse’s oven-safe and dishwasher proof Brit Bowl by Sagaform has just had £5.50 knocked off the price, taking it down to a belt-tightening £22. (It’s also gained a new nickname, one we’re not going to mention here.) Not bad for a dinnerparty ready 36cm x 26cm stoneware serving bowl, guaranteed to get the conversation flowing.
And hackles rising, and voices raising, and fists swinging, no doubt. Dear me, I hope not. So what would you serve in it? Local produce: so put a Cornish pastie down in the toe, and haggis up at the top. And I know what I’d drink with it too. What’s that? British bitter!
Sagaform’s Brit Bowl is now £22 from Formahouse; formahouse.co.uk
THIS MONTH GLAMPING GLAMOUR + FLORAL FANCIES
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HIDDEN AWAY IN THE DEPTHS OF NORTH DEVON IS A LUXURY GLAMPING SPOT MAKING THE MOST OF LOCAL PRODUCE, AS MELISSA STEWART DISCOVERED WHEN SHE COOKED UP A SUMMER SUPPER WITH ITS HAPPY HOSTESS… PHOTOS: JOHNNIE WALKER
orth Devon is awash with glorious hidden valleys, and the one I’m winding and weaving my way down to today is pretty spectacular. It’s the location of Longlands, an award-winning luxury glamping site near Combe Martin. Five very cool safari lodges cling to the edge of the hillside with glorious views out to the mouth of the Bristol Channel. I’m here to meet Bella Given, the owner of Longlands, who has very kindly offered to cook supper and tell me a bit more about what food the site has to offer. Bella, a warm and welcoming hostess, moved to North Devon from London a few years ago. Having worked in marketing and then as a landscape gardener, she was keen to relocate with her family to a more rural setting. As we wander through her kitchen garden picking chard, French sorrel and wild rocket for our summer soup, she tells me where the idea for Longlands came from: “We were always having friends down from London to stay, and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to create somewhere where everyone could come, stay and have their own space?’ The luxury safari lodges are ideal, as they sleep six and are great for families, friends, couples.” Each lodge has its own bathroom facilities, proper comfy beds, an indoor living space, wood burning stove and outdoor seating area, where you can take in those breath-taking views. Of course, being off the beaten track, it also made sense for the site to provide food for hungry guests. “Food was always a really important part of our glamping offering, because it’s not really a holiday if you have to cook. If you feel like you have to, it can take away some of the enjoyment from it. But, once you’re
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here, it’s not always practical to go out the pub, particularly if you have kids or you want to have a couple of drinks,” explains Bella, as we wander back to her farmhouse to prepare the first course. Her solution was to create a menu of family-friendly meals that guests can pre-order the night before and then pick up the next day. The menu includes a range of seasonal soups, breakfast items, freshly-made scones for a Devon cream tea, plus meals like lasagne, chilli, curries and stews. “We batch cook the meals and then freeze them, so when people order, we defrost them in the fridge overnight and then they just have to reheat it,” explains Bella, as she stirs her herbs into the pot in her bustling farmhouse kitchen, teeming with shelves laden with ingredients. “We learned the hard way that it’s not viable to deliver food hot to the lodges; it’s much easier if they’re in charge of the heating themselves.” Guests can also make their own pizzas, which Bella then fires in the outdoor wood-fired oven. Or, they can fish for trout in the Longlands lake and barbecue it for supper. Larger groups can also take over the ‘party barn’ so that they can dine together. The barn has its own kitchen and magnificent oak tables, which were specially made for Longlands by a local carpenter. Soup simmering, Bella puts our roasted vegetable lasagne in the oven. This has been pre-made in advance by Pam, Longland’s operations manager and Bella’s righthand woman, who cooks at Longlands one day a week. “I’m queen of soups, curries, chillies and desserts,” Bella explains, “and she’s the queen of the lasagne and all things vegetarian. We try to cater for all dietary needs, so there’s always veggie, vegan, gluten and dairy free options.” For breakfast, guests can order DIY breakfasts kits, which includes fresh eggs from Longlands’ chickens and
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bacon and sausages from nearby Beeshill Farm Shop. Bella also makes her own pastries, such as croissants and pain au chocolat. Again, these can be picked up in the morning ready for you to prepare yourself in the luxury of your lodge. Longlands also has an on-site shop filled with local produce, and tipples like Wicked Wolf Gin made on nearby Exmoor. Guests can help themselves and just have to write down what they’ve taken, then settle up at the end of their stay. “We try to keep things as relaxed and flexible as possible. We want our guests to be able to enjoy their stay and do things to their own timetables,” says Bella. As we head from the farmhouse over to the barn, soup terrine in hand, I coo over those solid oak tables, tastefully decorated with summer blooms in glass jars and vintage crockery. As we take our pews for supper, Bella pours us a glass of Cremant de Loire, the house fizz, which she sources from Bray Valley Wines in South Molton. This is followed soon after with a bowl of that refreshing summer soup and then a hearty helping of Pam’s veggie lasagne, which is deliciously packed with aubergine, peppers and mozzarella, and served with mizuna, wild rocket and baby salad leaves, freshly picked earlier from the kitchen garden. We end with Bella’s homemade gluten-free baked vanilla cheesecake. It’s light and sweet, with a fluffy sponge bottom. The meal isn’t overly fancy, just properly nice homecooked food using fresh, quality ingredients. Ideal family fodder. Afterwards, as I wind my way back home across the rolling North Devon countryside, it strikes me that what makes Longlands special is that home-from-home vibe. Yes, it’s a luxury glamping venue – but it’s also totally relaxed and informal, and that’s down to Bella and her stress-free approach to catering. longlandsdevon.co.uk
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A R M O U R Y
The Want List CHECK OUT THESE BLOOMIN’ GORGEOUS PIECES OF KITCHEN AND TABLEWARE WITH A FLORAL FEEL… 3 2
Cath Kidston Oven Glove, £16 Protect your mitts from hot pots and roasting tins with this gorge ‘Provence Rose’ oven glove from everyone’s favourite English vintage designer. Available from Cath Kidston stores in Exeter or Plymouth; cathkidston.com
Chilly’s Bottle, £25 For keeping hot drinks hot and cool drinks cool you really can’t go far wrong with a Chilly’s water bottle. Brighten up your on-the-go beverage drinking with this flirty floral number. Available from Dart’s Farm; dartsfarm.co.uk
Floral Mug, £6.95 We love the retro ’70s vibe we get from this floral mug. We reckon it’s the perfect vessel for a mid-morning cuppa. Available from Juul at Home in Ilfracombe; juulathome.co.uk
Flower Bottle Anemone, £45 Bring your alfresco dinner table to life by adding a few stylish summer stems to this flower bottle vase. Available from Dartington Crystal in Torrington; dartington.co.uk
Showerproof Outdoor Cushion, £12 Alfresco dining calls for comfy seating and we’re a tad in love with this watercolour cushion. It’s reversible too, so if you’re feeling a little less flamboyant you can opt for the neutral pattern on the reverse. Available from John Lewis in Exeter; johnlewis.com
The Church House Inn is a family-run pub situated halfway between Exeter and Plymouth. • Sunny beer garden • Family friendly • Dog friendly • Local produce • Separate dining room which can hold functions for up to 40 people
Rattery, South Brent, Devon TQ10 9LD Tel: 01364 642220 • www.thechurchhouseinn.co.uk
Guy Harrop Food Photographer
Fresh, Local and Seasonal Food. An every occasion restaurant
36 Admiralty Street, Plymouth, Devon PL1 3RU 01752 253247 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.thefigtreeat36.co.uk
MA INs CULINARY INSPO, INSIDER KNOWLEDGE AND FOOD PIONEERs
38 MAKE US WINE
EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DEVON'S GRAPE GROWERS
63 SURF AND TURF
NOEL CORSTON ON MAKING THE MOST OF NATURE'S LARDER
Here's one for the pub quiz... Pinot Noir is the most commonlygrown grape in the UK, followed closely by Chardonnay
DEVON VINEYARDS YOU SHOULD VISIT
Come and visit Devonâ€™s largest vineyard Vineyard tours and wine tasting May to September Gift vouchers and booking at pebblebed.co.uk
GRapevine DEVON’S WINE SCENE IS ON THE UP! OUR EXPERTS GIVE THEIR INSIGHT INTO THE VINEYARDS TO VISIT, THE TIPPLES TO TRY AND HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY MOUTHFUL…
Sharpham’s grapevines grow on sheltered slopes overlooking the River Dart
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THE LOCAL SCENE
Wine expert Rebecca Mitchell DipWSET tells us why she reckons Devon is a great place to plant a vineyard…
So, what makes Devon such a good place to grow grapes, Rebecca? England has a growing reputation for producing some great wines, particularly down here in the South West. Although this country has a marginal climate for grape growing, due to our northerly latitude, it benefits from the warming influence of the Gulf Stream from the Atlantic, so we can grow decent grapes here. Devon benefits from a mild, temperate climate which is perfect for viticulture. We tend to experience a little more vintage variation than other parts of England, due to our proximity to the coast with slightly cooler maritime conditions and prevailing south westerly winds. Which grape varieties grow best in Devon? Cool climate varietals grow best here, but viticulture is a rollercoaster ride and it’s a brave soul who chooses to plant a vineyard! Not only due to the enormous hard work that goes into grape growing, but also because it takes a long time to get to know
your micro-climate and terroir, working out what will grow best in your location. If you’re thinking of planting a vineyard or a few vines in your backyard, you might like to consider one of the following ‘cool climate’ varieties: white grapes that thrive here include Bacchus, Madeleine Angevine, Seyval Blanc, Phoenix, Reichensteiner and Chardonnay; and black grapes include Pinot Noir Précoce (an earlier ripening version of Pinot Noir), Rondo and Dornfelder (the latter is often used to boost colour for rosé and red wines, due to its thicker skins). Devon is probably still best known for its sparkling wines, but what other wines should we be looking out for? ‘English Fizz’ has won great acclaim on the international stage, with many Devon wine-makers winning international awards for their sparkling wines (we can’t call it Champagne, even though we use the same ‘traditional method’ of production). Fewer sunshine hours and cooler temperatures than many other wine-growing regions
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around the world makes it more difficult to ripen grapes here than somewhere hotter, like Australia, California or South Africa. So, we end up with lower sugar content and higher acidity in our grapes, which is ideal for making sparkling wine. Other wines to look out for are the aromatic, crisp dry white wines such as Bacchus, Madeleine Angevine and Seyval Blanc. Red wines tend to be lighter bodied, as black grapes struggle to achieve optimum phenolic ripeness. What’s the biggest challenge facing local wine producers? Undoubtably the weather, because this marginal climate is so unpredictable – we’re literally at the mercy of the gods! We might have a perfect growing season, but then heavy rain before harvest can ruin the crop. Other climatic risks include: a late spring frost (as in 2017), which kills the buds containing potential grapes, resulting in significantly lower yields; strong winds that can damage fragile young shoots and leaves during the growing season; and rain
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PICKS OF THE BUNCH
Andy Clarke is a TV producer and writer who has worked on Saturday Kitchen and Gordon, Gino & Fred: Road Trip. We asked him to share his thoughts on a few of his fave Devon wines…
Castlewood NV Brut
A great example of how UK fizz is the drink for summer. Castlewood NV Brut has hints of tangy green apple, accompanied by a soft fizz that tickles the tongue. After a streak of fruit, there are saline undertones that make this great with al fresco nibbles ahead of your BBQ. castlewoodvineyard.co.uk
during flowering in late May or early June, which can cause a poor fruit set. Generally, the mild, damp weather conditions can favour mildew, which slows down photosynthesis in the leaves, resulting in lower grape sugar levels. Another risk is fungus, which can attack the grapes, causing off-flavours in a wine. Hence, organic or biodynamic practises can be a real challenge in our region, so sustainable viticulture may be the way forward here in Devon, treating the vines only when absolutely necessary. What has been the best vintage in recent years, and why? Last year, 2018 was hailed by many Devon wine producers as the ‘best vintage of the decade!’ It was exceptional, both in terms of yield and quality, with Devon vineyards harvesting bumper crops of excellent quality grapes. A brilliantly hot summer, with days of uninterrupted sunshine, gave perfect grape-ripening conditions, resulting in fantastic sugar levels and excellent phenolics.
Lyme Bay Shoreline 2017
This blend of three grape varieties (Bacchus, Pinot Blanc and Seyval Blanc) is a delight. The aroma is like scorched grassy ground on a hot summer’s day. There’s ripe greengage and a hint of white peach and pineapple on the palate. Unlike some single varietal English wines, it has a richer texture and a long finish with a dash of salinity. Really great to drink as the sun sets with local white fish, fresh off the barbecue. lymebaywinery.co.uk
Brickhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2016
The premier vintage of this zingy South West offering has a grassy-green nose accompanied by lemon freshness. On the palate it starts off mineral with a dash of citrus acidity, but then the flavour develops into a rich gooseberry flourish. This sort of wine is great with asparagus, so try the pairing before the end of the season! brickhousevineyard.co.uk
Sharpham Pinot Noir 2018
A delicate nose full of hedgerow fruit invites you into exquisite flavour: a platter of soft berries with blackcurrants at the forefront. There’s a clever use of oak which gives this light red wine gentle depth and texture. The young nature of this wine gives it a pleasing freshness. This is easy drinking English Pinot Noir at its best. Room temp or chilled down? You decide! sharpham.com
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ON THE TAKE THE TOUR NOSE Keen to try some Devon-made wines? Add these vineyards and wineries to your itinerary…
With wine tasting, is there a right way and a wrong way? Jonathan Reynolds, co-founder of the South West Wine School, shares his tasting tips… Do you like the wine in your glass or don’t you? Tasting wine can be as simple as that; there is no wrong or right way, but a slightly more considered approach allows us to examine it in more detail and enhances our appreciation by revealing more about what’s in the glass.
Appearance Eyeing it up provides clues on age or, sometimes, the first warning of a problem. From young to old, red wines range from purple through ruby and garnet to tawny, and whites from lemon through gold to amber. Unless intentionally unfiltered, healthy wine should be clear. Hints of brown appear in sound aged wines, but when accompanied by a hazy or dull appearance, it could be out of condition. Nose Release those aromas by swirling the wine in the glass before taking a good sniff. Is it off and musty, stale or sherry-like (assuming it’s not sherry!), or fresh and fruity? If all is well, how intense are the aromas and can you identify any floral/fruit/spice/vegetable/ oak or other characteristics? Seek out any hints of vanilla, toast or cedar, which indicate oak ageing, or vegetal, gamey, savoury or stewed fruit notes for bottle ageing attributes. Palate Try and coat all areas of your mouth by taking a tasting sip and then slurp air in through your lips. This focuses your sense of taste on the levels of sweetness, acidity, and bitterness (tannins) and the vapours carry up the back of your nose for the flavour characters on your sense of smell. Gauge the body (‘mouth feel’) and the sense of weight – a combination of alcohol, tannins, sugars and flavour compounds. The longer the complex, good flavours linger in the mouth (‘the finish’) after swallowing, the higher the quality. Glassware Go large for red wines, to maximise air contact with the wine surface area and develop aromas and flavours. Medium for white and rosé, to direct fruit characters to the top. And flutes for sparklers, so that bubbles (and aromas) travel through a larger volume before bursting.
This events venue and vineyard 20 minutes from Exeter has been making ripples on the local wine scene since it was taken over by Joanna and Matt Szczepura in 2015. They produce a rosé, using a Pinot Noir and Regent blend, and a Sauvignon Blanc. Most of the bottles produced are sold directly at the vineyard at events and weddings, but you can try it yourself by booking a tour and wine tasting experience. brickhousevineyard.co.uk
This small-scale vineyard in South East Devon specialises in sparkling wines, produced at nearby Lyme Bay Winery. They produce an NV Brut, an NV Rosé and, in exceptional years, a Vintage Brut. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier represent three quarters of the vineyard, with varietals mainly of Germanic origin representing the rest. They don’t offer tours, but you can celebrate the harvest at their annual festival in June. castlewoodvineyard.co.uk
Kenton Park Estate
Ian and Jayne Oliphant-Thompson bought Kenton in early 2017 and have been busy revamping the vineyard, planting 15,000 new vines last year. Grape varieties include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Bacchus, Solaris, Reichensteiner and Pinotin. Plans are afoot to develop a micro winery and provide courses for gap year students to learn about the wine industry. Check online for details of vineyard tours and experiences. kentonparkestate.com
Lyme Bay Winery
This winery in Devon’s Axe Valley produces a range of English wines, ciders, meads and liqueurs. Selling over 150,000 bottles of wine a year, their bestsellers are Shoreline, a crisp white made with a blend of grape varieties, and their Brut Reserve. There’s a shop at the winery, and tours can be arranged by appointment. lymebaywinery.co.uk
Old Walls Vineyard
Legend has it that 2,000 years ago the Romans grew vines on the grounds of Old Walls Vineyard in Bishopsteignton, a tradition that continues to this day. The steep south-facing slopes provide the ideal terroir for vines, and they produce white, red, rosé and sparkling wines. Vineyard tours and tastings are available, plus you can stay on-site in one of the luxury lodges. oldwallsvineyard.co.uk
Based near Topsham, Pebblebed grow eight grape varieties in total, producing five wines: sparkling rosé, sparkling white, still white, rosé and red. Their bestseller is the sparkling rosé, which has a balance of red fruit aromas and flavours and a refreshing acidity. Tours run between May and September on Thursdays and Saturdays. pebblebed.co.uk
One of Devon’s best-known vineyards, Sharpham is located in the stunning South Hams valley by the River Dart. They make an average of 60,000 bottles a year and currently have 11 wines available from seven different grape varieties. Dart Valley Reserve is a consistent bestseller – a carefully blended white wine that’s predominantly made from Madeleine Angevine. Open seven days a week for self-guided wine and cheese tasting flights. sharpham.com
Based near Okehampton, Torview are unique because they only produce red wines from four main grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Rondo, Dornfelder and Acolon. The wines are most similar to the Ahr region in Germany, and the lighter wines compare with Beaujolais. Producing an average of 5,000 bottles a year, you can pick a bottle up online. Tours are available between April and September. torview.co.uk
NOEL CORSTON HEADING UP ONE OF NORTH DEVON'S MOST EXCITING RESTAURANTS IS ALL ABOUT GOING BACK TO BASICS, AS MELISSA STEWART FINDS OUT P H OTO S: G U Y H A R R O P
oolacombe in North Devon has one of the most beautifully pristine beaches in the UK, drawing in crowds from far and wide during the busy summer months. Awash with surf shops, pubs, cafes and fish and chip shops, it’s not an obvious place for a 10-seater fine dining restaurant. But that’s just how Noel Corston likes it. Restaurant Noel Corston is a highly intimate Michelin-recommended restaurant, tucked off the busy main street of Woolacombe. Three nights a week, Noel welcomes 8-10 customers to sit at his chef’s table while he knocks out a 10-course tasting menu. Working alongside his wife Nora, the focus is very much on simple seasonal ingredients. It’s discrete, special and far removed from what the rest of North Devon has to offer. “We did a pop-up restaurant about five or six years ago in Croyde,” he says, “and went with a fixed menu to see if anyone would buy it. It went really well, so we did another. And then I reckoned we could do it in a restaurant. A lot of people thought I was mad opening it in Woolacombe, but here we are.” Prior to opening, Noel ran a 100-cover restaurant, The Courtyard, on the same site. Initially working with his parents and his brother, also a chef, it was hugely successful, winning best restaurant at the North Devon Food and Drink Awards 2011/12. Career flying high, you might think he’d open another restaurant to capitalise on his success, but that’s not Noel’s way. As a surfer and father of two, he realised that success wasn’t necessarily about scaling up, but rather stripping things back and making the most of what was on his doorstep. “We went from a full brasserie to a chef’s table where we cook what we want to cook,” says Noel. “The whole menu is wrapped around where we are. There are some Mexican influences because Nora is from Mexico and we spend a lot of time there, but everything we do is connected to us. “The food here is driven by nature, not by trends. We don’t copy what’s going on in London, we don’t do curly wurly tuille biscuits. It’s not my style. For me, if you cut the duck breast, the fat needs to roll onto the plate while the customer is eating it – that’s how it needs to work. That’s how I cook. Field to plate, or call it what you will – that’s what we’re doing.” A lot of upcoming chefs are following Noel’s lead – switching the focus from sourcing specific ingredients for a particular dish, to crafting dishes using what’s in season and available. The food on the menu is dictated by nature’s larder, rather than a chef’s grand plan. It’s more sustainable and, Noel reckons, a simpler approach to cooking. “For me, cooking really isn’t that complicated. There are four or five critical points on the menu, but the rest of the time you’re plating things. It’s about clever combinations.” He goes on to cite a recent example of when he was out walking with his kids and they saw some elderflowers growing under an apple tree: “My daughter said that I should do a dish using apples and elderflowers, and that’s exactly what we did last year. Nature is literally offering up that pairing. Similarly, rabbits eat carrots and carrot and rabbit go together very well. I’m a vessel of delivery. Everything is here, it’s just
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putting it together. It’s about looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes and an appreciation and respect for ingredients. If you’ve got that, you can cook one piece of lamb perfectly.” Unsurprisingly then, a lot of Noel’s time is spent outdoors foraging for ingredients, be it wild garlic in the woodlands or sea purslane from the shore. He sources a lot of his meat and veg from local farmers, but says he’s not completely wedded to working solely with Devon food and drink producers. Hand-dived scallops from Orkney, Yorkshire forced rhubarb and Exton Park sparkling wine from Hampshire, for example, are some of the ingredients featured on a recent menu. “I’m not afraid to go out of the county to get good ingredients. The quality has to be there,” he says. “What we do like to do, though, is have some form of connection, be that with the supplier or the place they’re from.” Case in point: he traces his Corston ancestors back to Orkney, he was born 20 minutes from Exton Park, and the xocoatl on the menu is a nod to Nora’s Mexican roots. This might all sound a little hippy dippy, but don’t be mistaken, Noel isn’t some laidback New Age chef, spending more time in the surf than in the kitchen. He’s driven and focused, with that steely edge typical of most successful chef-patrons. For all the talk of keeping things simple, each of his dishes are meticulously thought through and planned to the letter. “So much preparation goes into it. It’s all done in such a way that it’s controlled. It’s usually just myself and Nora in the kitchen. We do 10-12 courses in two and a half hours, so I do 80 plus dishes in one night, but it’s calibrated so we can manage that. Doing things on a smaller scale you can get the creative juices flowing. Wednesdays are a full-on planning day – sometimes 9am to 9pm – so you’re tired but you’re prepared. I don’t need to be running around like a headless chicken any more. I’ve done all that.” Thanks to his small but successful operation, Noel doesn’t have the headache that so many restaurants today have: a shortage of staff. But he’s all for helping to change the perception of working in a kitchen as a relentless and thankless slog. To do this, he reckons it’s about moving away from the culture of celebrated chefs and putting the focus back on the food: “We need young people to get on board and see this as a positive career. The only way you can do that is to teach respect for the ingredients, rather than for the person you work for. That sort of draconian authoritarianism doesn’t work any more. That’s not to say people shouldn’t be excellent in what they do and work hard for it, but – because we live in an age where things are super accessible – nobody needs to teach you, you can learn things through repetition. Everyone is doing a pop-up here, there and everywhere. It’s really exciting – but at the end of the day it’s event catering, and you just want these people to settle down, lock in and set an example.” Despite his success, Noel comes across as a modest, down-toearth guy, shying away from the wider food scene – the awards
dos and the chefs’ dinners – preferring to stay local, surf, and focus on the job in hand. It’s a testament to his talent, then, that his restaurant is so successful. Having done very little PR or advertising, he’s booked out most weekends. Looking to the future, he has a few irons in the fire. He’s got the potential to open rooms at the restaurant for diners wishing to stay over, plus he’s considering a new casual dining operation, – but nothing, as yet, is set in stone. For now, his focus is on doing what he does best and spending as much time as possible with his young family. It is, he says, about doing things on his own terms: “Yes, I’d love a [Michelin] star, but I’m 41, been married 18 years, got two kids, I go surfing… This is what we do. We’re busy. My job is to keep relevant. I’m not going to start cooking souffles to get a star – that’s not who I am. I’d like to earn a star on my terms, rather than doing textbook Michelin star cooking. It would be lovely, but it should be because I’m doing something different. That would have value.” noelcorston.com
NEW W RESTA RESTAURANTS T URANTS TA T DEVOURED, NE TS NEW CCAFÉS AFÉS FREQUENTED FREQUENTED, T TED NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
A dish made from leftovers? Yup, it's bubble, squeak – and flippin' tasty
58 FIELD TO FORK
ORGANIC VEG AT RIVERFORD
62 GLOBAL WARNING
MEATY MADNESS AT THE GLOBE INN
64 HAVE HART
TANTALISING TASTERS AT THE OYSTER SHACK
A ROCKIN' REVAMP AT DARTINGTON 057
R O C K I N G R E S TA U R A N T S
RIVERFORD FIELD KITCHEN
FRESH FOOD WITH NO FANCY FRILLS OR GIMMICKS IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY AT RIVERFORD FIELD KITCHEN, AS DAN IZZARD DISCOVERS
omatoes and runner beans were often the spoils of my grandparents’ greenhouse, served-up in an eclectic mix of dishes; a result of my grandmother’s Polish heritage clashing with the availability of ingredients on Slough high street. Salted sliced tomatoes, Pierogi, and a can of Lilt not an uncommon sight. In pursuit of the freshest possible produce, we’d head to pick-your-own farms, gorging ourselves on ‘free’ strawberries straight out of the ground. I still feel a tinge of guilt for that.
Standing in the middle of the Riverford Field Kitchen staff canteen, I feel the eyes of the employees on me. Maybe they know my past as a strawberry thief? Have I been on a producer blacklist since the age of six? More likely I’ve just interrupted their lunch – a perk of working for the veg box household name. Rows of workers tuck into hearty meals of fresh veggies while I stand in the corner like a tourist who’s just stumbled into a happy pub full of locals. My intentions were not to pillage the fields (this time), but to visit the on-site restaurant, Riverford
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Field Kitchen. The concept is veg-first dishes served up on platters. Diners book in advance for lunch or supper, and are assigned spots on communal tables. The menu is (reassuringly) dictated by the produce grown in the field kitchen garden by head gardener Penny Hemming. The restaurant sits in the middle of the site, a giant wedge of glass and wood. Inside, rows of communal tables, walls adorned with wild flowers and foliage from the grounds. The dining experience is a communal free-for-all. Groups split into pairs, tables of eight-or-so getting to know each other in an awkward dance of plate passing etiquette that only the British could achieve. Our table’s timid portions would work out to be a blessing, as platters piled-high with colourful veggies appear at a relentless pace. Plates of freshly baked wild garlic focaccia are soon followed by Jerusalem artichokes with a potent rosemary aioli. An attractive dish of ‘seven spiced carrots’ with cauliflower couscous, pickled red onions and gremolata are as far away from overboiled and under-seasoned ‘greens’ as you can get. A spring salad of radishes, robust spears of asparagus and ribbons of cucumber arrives heaped on a plate. Nothing here is overworked. In fact, the bread is probably the most engineered foodstuff on offer.
There’s nothing ‘three ways’, deep fried, or blackened with squid ink here – a refreshing change. Every dish is something you could, in theory, recreate at home if you had the right ingredients. Which, I suppose, is exactly the plan here, given the wider Riverford business – but it all feels as natural as the produce itself, rather than a PR exercise. Each crunch of carrot or mouthful of cauliflower couscous offers an exciting mix of texture and vibrant flavour, showcasing the best of Riverford veg. (As well as their UK operation, they have a Riverford farm in France and work with other organic farms in Europe to satisfy our insatiable appetite for more exotic items all year round). With so much veg, it was almost a surprise to see pork belly being prepped in the kitchen. Meat here isn’t off the table entirely, and I, for one, am glad. Out of the oven comes a beautiful sight, and the largest piece of pork crackling I’ve ever seen, the sea of crunch protecting the juicy meat. The fat underneath has long melted onto the onions below, softening and infusing sweetness from the meat juices. Apples have been roasted and blended whole to create a thick sauce that kicks the sweetness up yet another gear. To round things off, each table is beckoned up to the kitchen for a game of, ‘How many different desserts can I get away with?’ Cheesecakes, sticky toffee puddings, pavlovas, and tarts, to name but a few of those on offer. I watch as trickles of cream roll down the mounds of pavlova in front of me and wondered if I’d be able to finish my pud. (I could, obviously.) fieldkitchen.riverford.co.uk
We are an independent, friendly coffee and cake rooms passionate about quality local and fresh ingredients. Full menu available with breakfasts, snacks and lunches Vegan menu, cakes and scones • Gluten free menu, cakes and scones • Cream teas and high teas Custom-made celebration, birthday and novelty cakes Regular vegan and gluten free workshops Dog friendly • Child friendly 2 Bank Street, Teignmouth, TQ14 8AL www.perryliciouscoffeeandcakerooms.co.uk
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THE OYSTER SHACK FRESH SEAFOOD IN A GLORIOUSLY RELAXED SETTING? IT’S LITTLE WONDER THE OYSTER SHACK HAS BEEN GOING STRONG FOR 30 YEARS, AS MELISSA STEWART FINDS OUT
visit to The Oyster Shack in Bigbury, Devon, immediately transports you to a sunnier place. The plastic seating, the orange awning, the wax tablecloths, the reggae music and a load of fabulously eclectic sea-themed decorations, all give off a relaxed, holiday vibe. So, as we arrive on a sunny Monday afternoon, we leave all thoughts of work behind and settle into the infectious atmosphere of the place. The Oyster Shack has been going for 30 years, and has proper roots too. Originally an oyster farm, people would rock up to buy molluscs, shucking them there and then, washing them down with a glass of wine. Soon a café was set up, with a rustic indoor restaurant for winter and outdoor seating for summer. It’s still got an authentic, rough and ready vibe. Happily, there’s no stuffy formality here. We’re here to sample the limited edition ‘Shack’ taster menu, which has been launched to celebrate the 30th anniversary. For just £55 per head, you’re treated to 18-courses of oceanic delights, with a few veggies and desserts thrown in for good measure. The menu is divided into three sections and each begins, naturally, with an oyster, a refreshing hit of salinity to prepare
the palate for the next round of dishes. A starter of smoked salmon arrives Heston-style in a glass jar, with smoke wafting out of it to reveal lollipops of extremely smoky salmon. This is followed shortly after by a crab bisque, which is rich, velvety and divine. Other highlights include plump, juicy Lyme Bay scallops with celeriac purée, bacon and micro herbs; and juicy Fowey mussels served in a classic marniere. Special mention also to the three fillets of fish: a delicate turbot with a herb crust; a meaty piece of hake; and my favourite, a light, succulent piece of gurnard, simply dressed with lemon and greens. The showstopper is a half lobster, drenched in chilli and lime butter. Delish. Our desserts begin with an oyster served in rosewater, with a raspberry sorbet. It sounds so wrong; indeed, they tell us it’s the marmite of the menu. It’s certainly surreal – the saltiness of the oyster giving way to the delicate sweetness of the rosewater – but I rather love it. Next, a pleasingly light sticky toffee pud, followed by affogato – the coffee much needed to keep us awake. Not every dish is a triumph: delicate shrimp fritters are overpowered by heavy gram flour, and a veg hummus with crispbreads is a bit of a random distraction. Also, the lobster comes served with spiced potatoes, tasty but heavy after so many other dishes. But who are we to complain? After three and a half hour of eating, we are completely satisfied. It’s a truly memorable gastro experience, and lots of fun. Props to all the chefs who came out and explained each dish – and to the lovely front of house team, who had a great sense of humour. As we drive home, we feel rather sad we’re not staying the night in Bigbury. The Oyster Shack does that to you; it makes you feel like you’re on holiday. Relaxed, no frills dining, with simply stunning seafood – what more could you want?
THE GLOBE INN IF YOU LIKE A PROPER PUB WITH LOADS OF WELL-SOURCED MEAT ON THE MENU, THEN MAKE THE GLOBE INN YOUR NEXT STOP, SAYS MELISSA STEWART
ometimes in life you just hanker for some proper meaty goodness, and this is exactly what you can expect at The Globe Inn, in the quaint village of Lympstone in East Devon. Forget cleaneating and trying to be ‘good’; when you hit this pub it’s all about the hearty cuts of meat and all the sides to go with. Run by the same team behind the Pig & Pallet in Topsham and Good Game charcuterie, these guys know their meat and how to serve it. Unlike the Pig & Pallet, which takes its interior influences from an American-style diner, this is a proper English pub with a log burner, rustic wooden tables and a handful of locals propping up the bar. The menu, however, very much takes its cues from both the Deep South and the Great British pub tradition. Pulled pork, rack of ribs, burgers and steak all sit alongside pub favourites like Scotch egg, ham, egg and chips, steak pie and sausage and mash. As I said, this place is very much a meat eater’s paradise, but vegetarians are catered for too, with macaroni cheese, a honity pie and herbivore burger.
I start with spider crab croquettes – a smooth, sweet combination of crab meat and beshamel sauce – with garlic aioli and sweet chilli dip. My table companion goes for slow roast pork belly with a zingy peanut sauce. Both are devilishly moreish, particularly when washed down with a refreshing beer (in my case, a zero alcohol Heineken which happily hits the spot). For main, I stray from my usual territory and go all out with a Philly cheese steak baguette served with chips. It’s humongous – easily enough for two – but I don’t let it stop me. The highlight is the tangy Philly cheese sauce – a mix of beer, cheese and paprika – which, dare I say it, tastes like a flippin’ amazing nacho cheese sauce. It has a proper kick. The slivers of steak are moist, tender and served in a bouncy soft bread roll, rather than a heavy, crusty baguette, much more pleasing to my already bulging tummy. My dining pal goes down the more traditional English pub route with her venison loin steak, shot locally in Devon, alongside a Chimichurri sauce. It comes with the works; grilled mushroom, tomato, onion rings, mash and peas. The meat isn’t pink but it’s juicy, tender and the knife glides through it. The Chimichurri is fresh and piquant. Fit to burst, we almost avoid pudding but then are tempted by an Exploding Bakery toffee and apple crumble with ice cream. I’m defeated after a few mouthfuls but that’s no criticism of the dish, which is unctuous and sticky and only lacking a few more bites of apple. If you like proper, hearty pub food with a dose of Americana thrown in, then this pub will do the job. Might I just recommend you wear some loose-fitting clothes or do some hearty exercise on the Exe Estuary beforehand, because you’re definitely going to leave feeling full.
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THE PIG AT COMBE
IF YOU’RE AFTER A LAZY LUNCH IN A FANCY PANTS SETTING, LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THIS GRAND HOTEL, RECKONS MELISSA STEWART
he Pig hotel chain has reinvented the quintessential English country house hotel. The brainchild of Robin Hutson – who launched and sold the Hotel du Vin chain – and his wife Judy, an interior designer, they ooze charm and character. They have all the trappings of trad country house hotels – stately buildings, sonnet-inspiring grounds to stroll in and plush bedrooms with fluffy pillows – but all are delivered with an eclectic, modern edge. The term ‘shabby chic’ is bandied about all too often but this is the real deal. Needless to say, they attract a varied and well-heeled crowd. We’re invited to The Pig at Combe – a sprawling Grade I-listed Elizabethan manor house near Honiton – to try their new Plot to Plate menu. This is a new, lunchtime set menu, making the most of the fresh produce grown in the kitchen gardens. Two courses are £22.50 and for three its £26. As we peruse the menu, we’re served a piggy trio of warm sausage rolls with
walnut mayo, crispy saddleback crackling with apple sauce and kale crisps. So far, so good. The dining room is bright and airy with lots of lovely natural light streaming in through the windows. Lush leafy green plants are scattered around the misty green wood-panelled room, and there’s an assortment of different wooden tables and chairs. For starter, I continue the piggy theme with a ‘pinch of salt’ coppa served with garden lettuce and sourdough croutons. The meat is cut into delectable slivers which are quickly gobbled, leaving a plate of spritely leaves and slightly over-salted croutons. I eat what I can but, in the end, the salad defeats me and I long for just a few more shavings of the salted cold cut. Across the table, my dining buddy opts for seared mackerel with purple sprouting broccoli and ‘Willy’s’ cider dressing – a yummy cider-mustard concoction. The fish is fabulously fresh – you can taste the saline on your lips – and pairs well with the sharpness of the dressing and the crunchy broccoli. Hake with caper sauce and garden chard for my main course doesn’t disappoint. The buttery sauce envelopes the delicately flaky fillet and a smattering of pickled red onion offers a zingy counterpoint. Teamed with a crisp glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from South Devon master of wine Liam Steevenson’s Fincher & Co, it makes for a winning lunch. Across the table, a pork rib steak with red wine dressing and jersey royal potato salad is ordered. The meat is cooked beautifully but the dressing proves a little too subtle to add any real impact. Dessert brings a Lyle’s syrup tart, which is homely and nicely stodgy, even in mid-summer, while I opt for an iced lemon balm terrine with toasted pumpkin seeds, which is pleasingly refreshing. The ambience of The Pig at Combe is faultless and the staff friendly and attentive without being overbearing. It’s the ideal venue for a lazy lunch or a leisurely stay. If I’m honest, the food didn’t quite reach my high expectations, but that’s okay, the venue more than made up for it. Well worth a visit. thepighotel.com/at-combe
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THE WHITE HART AFTER A TROUBLED FEW YEARS, COULD THE WHITE HART AT DARTINGTON FINALLY BE HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION? MELISSA STEWART FINDS OUT
hef Eamon Fullalove [wicked surname, BTW] is on a mission to make The White Hart a foodie destination again. After a sketchy five or so years, with varying customer reviews and a lack of identity (was it a tapas restaurant, a pub, or a two AA rosette restaurant?), Eamon, who came onboard as head chef just under a year ago, is simplifying things – and, in doing so, going back to the roots of what Dartington is all about. Rather than go in with a chef’s ego and dictating what the menu should be, he’s reversing the process so that the menus are dictated by what’s grown on the estate and the 21 land-based enterprises that operate on it. Like at Riverford Field Kitchen, Wild Artichokes, The Old Dairy Kitchen and others, the menu here is built around the concept of collaborative dining; people coming together to share food and make conversation. The tables in the main dining room are big and built for mixing things up. They’re also made of solid oak, as befits the restaurant’s grand location next to the main Dartington Hall. That’s not to say you have to share your dining experience with others if you don’t want to, as there’s also a snug room if you’re after a more intimate vibe.
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P H OTOS : MAT T AUS T I N
The snug room is where we sit for our lunchtime visit to try the new midday feasting menu. This set menu is priced £10 for one course, £13 for two and £16 for all three, extremely reasonable given the quality of the food on offer. The menu changes regularly, depending on what’s in season and what’s available on the estate, but there’s a good range of options, including vegan, dairy free and gluten free. I start with butternut and miso croquettes with garlic mayo. These crispy morsels are deliciously gooey inside, with the earthy squash complemented by the salty umami of the miso. Across the table, my friend opts for a roasted squash strip salad with rose petal harissa. This is one of those dishes that’s exquisite in its simplicity. The squash is perfectly roasted, and the sticky sweetness offset by the fiery punch of the harissa and then balanced by a dollop of cooling crème fraiche. We opt to go veggie for our mains too, with a bubble and squeak and a mushroom burger with beetroot relish and slaw. Both are brimming with flavour, so much so that this self-confessed omnivore didn’t miss the meat at all. The mushroom burger is tender, juicy and firm, sitting inside a bouncy brioche bun; it’s a million times better than your typical veggie burger that disintegrates as soon as you pick it up. Special mention to the fiery beetroot relish too, which brought the bap startlingly to life. Meanwhile, the bubble and squeak, made with leftover veggies from the week’s Sunday roast, is wonderful in its no-frills execution. Carrots, leek and parsnip are thrown together with a fried egg on top and mustard mayo to give it a hearty kick. Ideal lunchtime fodder. For dessert we share a panna cotta made with Dartington goats’ yoghurt. It’s creamy, light and a satisfying end to a satisfying meal. Like with a lot of Devon restaurants and pubs, the challenge is now going to be getting people through the door. Thankfully, Dartington has a busy programme of events which should provide a steady footfall over the coming months. Eamon has also
recently launched a Devon O’Clock feasting menu to attract pre-cinema diners for an early supper. In contrast to The Green Table café across the road, The White Hart offers a slightly more formal dining experience and a grander setting, but don’t let that put you off. This isn’t fine dining, just really fresh ingredients executed very, very well – and at an accessible price point to boot.
BEST BREKKIE? I don’t often have breakfast during the week, but I do love a good bacon sarnie on a Saturday or perhaps a full English with black pudding on a Sunday. If I am heading out, I love taking the boat into Salcombe and having breakfast at The Wardroom. FAVOURITE GROCERS? I used to live in Manhattan and would cycle up the Hudson cycle path on the west side to Fairway Market on 125th Street. They had the most amazing chilled storage room for all fresh produce – the whole room was one giant chiller, and they gave you jackets to wear whilst choosing your chilled produce. However, in Kingsbridge it has to be Alan’s Apple or, if I’m near Exeter, then I like to nip into Darts Farm. BEST WINE MERCHANT? Barrel & Still in Kingsbridge is my local merchant and Dom and the team there are great. I still like buying from Majestic Wines in Totnes, and their Parcel Series can occasionally be brilliant value for money.
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SUNDAY LUNCH? If at home then a leg of lamb slow roasted on the Kamado with onion sauce, roasties and all the trimmings. Locally, the Sunday lunch at the Millbrook Inn at South Pool always rates very highly.
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QUICK PINT? The Crabshell in Kingsbridge. They always have a great selection of beers with regularly changing guest beers from all over the South West. CHEEKY COCKTAIL? The Salcombe Gin distillery bar overlooking the water catching the evening sunlight. (I may be slightly biased!)
THE CO-FOUNDER OF SALCOMBE GIN SHARES HIS FAVOURITE FOODIE HOTSPOTS IN DEVON…
POSH NOSH? The Seahorse or The Angel in Dartmouth. Both completely different, but equally fantastic. Lympstone Manor, if we are really pushing the boat out! FOOD ON THE GO? Tricky. Probably a well-made traditional Devon pasty from Lidstones Butchers in Kingsbridge. ALFRESCO FEASTING? At home in the garden, or on the balcony at the South Sands Hotel overlooking the beach.
Quick! Now add this little lot to your contacts book... The Wardroom, Salcombe TQ8 8BU; facebook.com/thewardroomsalcombe Alan’s Apple, Kingsbridge TQ7 1NY; facebook.com/alansapplegreengrocer Darts Farm, Topsham, Exeter EX3 0QH; dartsfarm.co.uk Barrel & Still, Kingsbridge TQ7 1AB; barrelandstill.co.uk Majestic Totnes, Totnes TQ9 5JR; majestic.co.uk/stores/totnes Millbrook Inn, Kingsbridge TQ7 2RW; millbrookinnsouthpool.co.uk The Crabshell Inn, Kingsbridge TQ7 1JZ; thecrabshellinn.com Salcombe Distilling Co, Salcombe TQ8 8DP; salcombegin.com Seahorse, Dartmouth TQ6 9BH; seahorserestaurant.co.uk The Angel, Dartmouth TQ6 9BH; theangeldartmouth.co.uk Lympstone Manor, Exmouth EX8 3NZ; lympstonemanor.co.uk Lidstones Butchers, Kingsbridge TQ7 1PP; facebook.com/Timlidstonesbutchers South Sands Hotel & Restaurant, Salcombe TQ8 8LL; southsands.com The Kings Arms, Salcombe TQ8 8BU; facebook.com/kingsarmssalcombe Gara Rock, East Portlemouth TQ8 8FA; gararock.com Maha-Bharat, Kingsbridge TQ7 1ED; mahabharatonline.co.uk The Winking Prawn, Salcombe TQ8 8LD; winkingprawngroup.co.uk Salcombe Dairy, Salcombe TQ8 8DP; salcombedairy.co.uk
ONE TO WATCH? The Kings Arms in Salcombe. Under new management, the food is superb and it will be absolutely packed all summer. WITH FRIENDS? The private dining room at Gara Rock, upstairs at The Crabshell Inn, or the Maha-Bharat in Kingsbridge for a curry with mates. CHILD FRIENDLY? The Winking Prawn works well with little ones, who can amuse themselves with the dressing up box. And I do enjoy a pint of shell-on prawns and a side of fries with mayonnaise. SOMETHING SWEET? I am pretty easy to please, and a scoop or two of Salcombe Dairy honeycomb ice cream suffices. A good rhubarb crumble with nut topping and proper custard is up there, too. TOP STREET FOOD? I would have to venture further afield for really good street food. When I lived in Manhattan there was an amazing Mexican taqueria that popped up around the corner from my apartment at the weekend. I also love street food places in Asia, particularly chicken satay.