CRUMBS Devon NO.17 july 2017
T s O P I h h C WHAT MAKES
A little slice of foodie heaven
FOR THE PERFECT CRISP?
COMING NO.17 juLy 2017
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CITY GaTe hOTEL
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DEVON’S TOP SPOTS FOR ALFRESCO FEASTING
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? WITH EDIBLE
FLOWERS ALL IN A ROW
(IF YOU’RE JAN BILLINGTON)
FROM OUR FAV E LOCAL FO ODI ES
INSIDE THE UK’S ROSÉ RENAISSANCE
FRUIT OF THE BLOOM
GR ASP T HE PE TAL!
PRETTY IN PINK
IN FLAVOUR, ADVENTURO US R, RE U O L O C IN D L O CIPE S B
ERPEPS EDARIEBTHLEE NFEWLOWAW Y TO UP YOUR PLATE
BUILd me Up BUTTercUp ercUp REMEMBER THE DINING DAYS of the ’80s, when flowers at the dinner table were restricted to carnations in mini vases and, if you were super-posh, a couple of nasturtiums in your salad? How colourless were they! These days you can’t get through summer without ingesting all sorts of vibrant blooms – borage, calendula, violets, elderflower, cornflowers, plus all the herb and veg flowers we like to chow down on now – as chefs across the nation jump on the snowballing trend of edible flowers. Planning a wedding? It’s not just the button holes and bouquets you have to plan, it’s what coloured petals to dress your puds and prettify your cake with, too. Although, just don’t make like wellness cook Deliciously Ella who, earlier in June, got slammed by legendary TV botanist James Wong for putting flowers from a toxic plumeria plant on her wedding cake... Yes, you must take some care if foraging for your own. We’re no experts here, but we can tell you the story about morning glory: their seeds can be poisonous, provoking hallucinations in some. Yikes. Lesson is, check a reputable online guide before you go a-picking, or order from a trusted company. We’ve been down to Cullompton to meet one such flower guru, Jan Billington from Maddocks Farm Organics, who’s currently scoffing as many nigellas as she can to test whether the flowers of this cottage garden bloom are okay to eat, as well as the more familiar seeds. She hasn’t keeled over yet, she says (read more on p32). Down on the farm, the flowers are waiting patiently for the sun, as are we – so while we wait, check out our features on alfresco dining and Devon drinking. That way, as soon as that big yellow orb in the sky deigns to even reach for his hat, you know where to head to and what to order. It’s my last issue as editor, but I leave you in the capable hands of a new skilled Devon team who love to prop up a bar and hog a top table just as much as me. Happy eating!
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NO. 17 JULY 2017
08 HERO INGREDIENT Flower power! 10 OPENINGS ETC Hot foodie gossip 12 ASK THE EXPERT The spud’s greatest guise? 18 TRIO Alfresco ovens
32 HOUSE CALL We take a turn around the garden of edible flower expert Jan Billington 37 THE WANT LIST Set the scene with some gorgeous table decs
CHEF! Amazing recipes from the region’s top kitchens 24 Sea trout with warm salad, by Edgar Vitenburgs 26 Crab salad, by Scott Paton 28 Roast duck breast, by Matthew Mason
MAINS 42 OUTSIDERS Alfresco feasting across delightful Devon 48 ROSÉ TINTED We look into the resurgence of rosé and pick out some must-try varieties
50 HUNGER PANGS How we Devonians can do our bit to help Action Against Hunger’s life-saving projects 52 FANCY A BEV? Some of the best locally made drinks to sup on this summer
New & notable restaurants, cafés, bars 60 City Gate Hotel 62 Meat59 64 Thurlestone Hotel PLUS! 66 LITTLE BLACK BOOK Café owner and food pro Derry Tydeman shares his favourite foodie hangouts
START E RS INNOVATIONS, REVELATIONS AND TASTY AMUSE-BOUCHES
J O N LE W IN
FILL ’ er uP! SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BOTTLES constitute the largest proportion of plastic bottle waste in the UK, don’t cha know? Only 57 percent are collected for recycling, with the rest ending up as landfill. Faced with this stark statistic, safe water charity Frank Water has made a decision to ditch its plastic bottles in favour of more sustainable, reusable glass. The stuff that Frank is filling its snazzy new bottles with is, as ever, fresh Devon spring water; it’s supplied by Torrington’s own Tarka Springs. Managing director Neil Folland, who started the family business in 2001, is pretty chuffed to be working with Frank, and is right behind its new plastic-free promise. “We will continue to support Katie [that’s chief executive at Frank, Katie Alcott] and the team in their endeavours to provide clean, safe water to marginalised communities in India and Nepal, and in their mission to help reduce plastic waste,” he says. But Katie reminds us that Frank is “small fry when compared to the bigger fish in the single-use plastic ocean.” She hopes that Frank’s #PledgeToRefill campaign will encourage other organisations to take ethical steps forward, too. In the meantime, we can all get involved! By committing to reusable water bottles and coffee cups we can help make a difference. Plus, Frank will receive bonus funding when supporter pledge milestones are reached – so spread the word! frankwater.com/pledgetorefill
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EdibLe flOwers NOTHING JOLLIES UP A MEAL LIKE AN EDIBLE FLOWER OR TWO. BLOOMING MARVELLOUS, THEY ARE. THE ONLY PROBLEM IS THEY LOOK ALMOST TOO GOOD TO EAT…
ook around the flowerbed, and you might be surprised at how much you can happily stuff in your gob. (Not everything, though: poppies, marigolds, sweet pea and wisteria, for instance, are poisonous to varying degrees, and tulips and even daisies are risky, with many having a strong allergic reaction.) There are plenty of innocents in the flower garden, though, and the idea of eating flowers is certainly not a new one. There was a heavy petal influence on Chinese cuisine 5,000 years ago, for instance, and the Romans chomped on the likes of roses and violets with abandon. Though they go in and out of favour, right now edible flowers are on a roll. (A roll with cheese and tomato in some instances; see opposite for details.) For the recent edible flower renaissance we must thank those restaurants which have been using them to add colour, texture and a surprising range of delicate-but-distinct flavours to their dishes. But here’s the thing: edible flowers can be a fun and versatile addition to the repertoire of home cooks, too. You don’t need much space or talent to grow most edible flowers, making them an excellent way to get kids involved in preparing their own food. Their seasons tend to be long and obvious – spring to late autumn, basically – and as long as you don’t have too many pets pooing near them, those from your own garden will be best of all. (Bought flowers are fine too, but double check they’re labelled ‘for culinary use’ to ensure a minimum of pesticide exposure. Similarly, if you buy a plant from a garden centre, keep it for three months before eating to ensure it’s ‘clean’.) The other option, of course, is foraging, though there are certain practical considerations. Most importantly: are you sure you know what it is you’ve found? (If in doubt, don’t eat it, yeah?) Also a good idea: pick on dry mornings, before the sun gets too hot, for the most intense flavours and colours. We mainly eat the petals – especially with big flowers, like roses or lilies – as the pistil, stamen and so on are pretty yucky, as is the bitter ‘heel’ at the base of each petal. (There are exceptions, however, and some smaller flowers, like dill or fennel, are totally fine gobbled whole.) What follows is a run-down of some of our favourites, but there are well over a hundred good ones out there for those with a love of fun and colour – and, of course, an open mind…
Want to try growing your own edible flowers? Here are some of our favourites, and ideas for what you can do with them…
Many of your regular garden-type flowers are perfectly edible, like these guys… Alpine pinks (Dianthus) Amazing as a cake flavouring, they taste a bit like cloves. Begonia (Begonia x tuberhybrida) Brightly coloured, crisp and lemony, these are great dipped in yoghurt. Bergamot (Monardia didyma) Strong and spicy on the nose, they make a smashing tea, and pair really well with chicken or pasta. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum) The petals add flavour and colour to fish chowder and egg dishes. Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) No smell, but they look good and are another that tastes a bit like a sweet and spicy clove. Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) A classic. Makes amazing wines and cordials – but can even be dipped in batter and deep fried. (They’re at the end of their season now, so look sharp and forage with haste!) Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia) Very versatile: lavender adds flavour to cakes and biscuits, but you can also pop a few sprigs in the oven with roast pork, lamb or chicken.
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) These brightly-coloured fellas have a peppery flavour similar to watercress, so pop ’em in salads and pasta (or that cheese and tomato sarnie). Use the petals for a mild flavour, or the whole flower for something stronger. Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana) These taste like lettuce, funnily enough, so are great for salads – but work equally well to garnish a dessert, too. Primrose (Primula vulgaris) Great for decorating cakes – both crystallised or fresh flowers do nicely – or as a salad garnish, but they also look great frozen in ice cubes for cool summer sip. Rose (Rosa) Though you can eat all roses, the smellier varieties are best. (As a rule, if it smells nice it’ll taste nice.) Rose petal jam is lovely, or the petals can be crystallised and used to flavour drinks or cake icing. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) The petals are great in stir fries and salad, or you can blanch whole buds and serve them with garlic butter. Sweet violet (Viola odorata) Delicately favoured (so often used in teas), sweet violets work in savoury dishes too, or can be candied and used as a garnish for cakes.
Lots of herb garden denizens grow flowers too, y'know, which are usually more delicately flavoured than the leaves… Borage (Borago offincinalis) The pretty blue flowers taste like cucumber and add interest to cakes, salads and pâté. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Sweet and clover-like, these go well with Mediterranean tomato-based dishes. Dill (Anethum graveolens) They taste like aniseed, and sit well with salads, vegetables and fish dishes. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) Like a lighter onion, they work in egg dishes, fish sauces, and salads. Courgette flowers (Cucurbita pepo) Lovely hot in a tomato sauce or cold with cooked rice, cheese or meat. Garden pea (Pisum sativum) The flowers and young shoots taste – surprise, surprise! – like peas, so they go great in salads. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) The sweet flowers taste a lot like the more familiar leaves, and can be used to garnish salads and tomato dishes.
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instA FEED ROCKIN’ WITH ROCKFISH
P E T E C A S S I DY
Rockfish is hosting its Crab Festival in Dartmouth for the sixth year running, and this time will be welcoming celeb chef extraordinaire Angela Hartnett to co-host with Mitch Tonks. There’ll be local crab to feast on, a kids’ crabbing competition, and prizes for the bestdressed table – all this will take place to a soundtrack of music by Mark Ely and Gavin Cox. It’s happening on 30 July, so if you want tickets (£35 per person) then get cracking! rockfishevents.co.uk
@southsandsboutiquehotel Spider crabs caught off Hope Cove are on the menu
FISHY BUSINESS Good news for fish lovers: the brilliant Lynbay Fish & Chips in Ilfracombe has just become the second chippie in North Devon to become MSC certified, after The Pelican in Barnstaple. So, not only do they get the all-important ‘blue tick’ label on their menus and shop front (the best branding when it comes to fish), but it also means all their cod, haddock and plaice has been responsibly caught using sustainable methods. “Supporting our local community is really important to our business,” says co-owner Fleur Prideaux, “and having MSC certification is just another way of doing that. By serving sustainable fish, we’re helping to protect fish stocks, too.” lynbayfishandchipsilfracombe.co.uk
@naomiannedevlin Broad bean hummus from this River Cottage regular
IN THE DIARY... (2 July) A YEAR OF PRESERVING This day course in Musbury covers smoking techniques as well as making pickles and condiments and preserving veggies to make the most of the midsummer harvest; £110 per person. olddairykitchen.co.uk
THE IVY LEAGUE
With plans hotting up, it seems we can start getting excited about The Ivy Brasserie coming to Exeter. The company has lodged plans with the city council to transform the Waterstones at 19-21 Cathedral Yard into a brasserie version of the high-end London brand, which will span over two floors and also have an outdoor seating area. We think it’s reason enough to start searching out your DJ or best frock and heels because, with oversized gilded mirrors, chandeliers, leather seating and deco tiling, it’s going to bring a wonderful bit of ritz to the city. ivycollection.com
(9 July) LAZY SMOKY FAMILY LUNCH Following the success of the first event at Windout Farm, Tedburn St Mary, the second lunch event has been announced. It’s hosted by Gill Meller and Benedict Quinn; tickets cost £30. canteencornwall.com (18 July) EVENING WITH MICHAEL CAINES The chef extraordinaire is heading back to The Coach House by Michael Caines to put on a six-course taster menu at this Kentisbury Grange restaurant; £110, including paired wines. kentisburygrange.com
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GUESS whO’s BACK, BACK AGAIN
WATCH OUT, BEN PALMER’S COMING HOME! HE’S TAKING UP THE REIGNS AT GLAZEBROOK HOUSE HOTEL’S KITCHEN ONCE AGAIN... Hi, Ben! After helping launch Glazebrook House Hotel in 2014, you left to open The Greedy Goose in Plymouth – but now you’re back. What’s your plan? From the very first moment I got involved with the hotel, I’ve had an affinity with the place. I was there for the opening, and welcomed the very first guests into the restaurant when they arrived. Now that I have an incredible team at The Greedy Goose, I feel that I’m able to give other projects, such as Glazebrook, my full attention and help to drive it forward. So, will you be changing the menu? You’ll have to come in and find out, won’t you? But yes, my stamp will be firmly put on the place, with some of my own signature dishes finding their way onto the menu. I will also be working on some really exciting dishes that encapsulate the whole Alice in Wonderland theme that runs subtly throughout the hotel. How would you describe your style of cooking? There will be no surprises here; I am without doubt modern British in style, with plenty of coastal influences. How many of you are there in the kitchen team? For me, it’s not so much about the numbers in the kitchen as about the passion – and that’s where I’m so lucky. We have six full-time, highly motivated individuals who will be working with me to drive the kitchen and deliver amazing food. What are your favourite ingredients at the moment? My love of seafood always shines through, and at the moment is has to be razor clams, for sure. They’re brilliant to work with, very versatile, and they have a taste to die for! Do you grow anything yourself? At Glazebrook House we do grow some wonderful produce in our kitchen garden, from fruits and herbs to edible flowers. I also personally love to forage, and the fantastic gardens at Glazebrook are great for discovering ingredients. What are your top 5-a-day? Avocado, tomato, apple, peas and spinach. Current favourite flavour combination? This is a tricky one – there are so many amazing taste combinations, after all – but if I had to pick one, at the moment it would be asparagus with duck egg.
Who’s your foodie hero? Easy: Nathan Outlaw. I am in love with the simplicity that he demonstrates in every dish that goes out, and I believe that it is his food that sets the bar for the South West. What about a fave cookery book? My favourite is simply inspiring and is written by Sat Bains – it’s called Too Many Chiefs, Only One Indian. Take us back to the beginning. What first inspired you to cook professionally? I have alluded to it before, but living on the coast on the South West means that I have access to some of the best, freshest, local ingredients – this is a chef’s dream! So, really, I ask you: what else would I want to do? When did you begin cooking? From the age of 14. I wanted to earn some extra money, so had a few jobs in and around the beautiful Cornish seaside town of Looe, where I was living at the time. Fondest foodie memories from your childhood? I remember well that, as a kid, we would go out fishing, often landing ourselves a healthy bucketful of mackerel. We would make our way home, fire up the barbecue and cook it up as a family – then devour the lot! Proudest career achievement? There are two notable moments in my career that stick in the mind. First, it has to be the moment my wife Francesca and I opened the doors of The Greedy Goose for the first time. The other is more recent, and promises to be another milestone in my career: returning to Glazebrook House! Watch this space, as I’m sure there will be more proud moments to come... Glazebrook House Hotel, South Brent, Devon TQ10 9JE; 01364 73322; glazebrookhouse.com
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THEY’RE A STAPLE SNACK AT PARTIES, THE NIBBLE OF CHOICE AT THE PUB, AND, QUITE FRANKLY, A SANDWICH ISN’T COMPLETE WITH OUT A PACKET OF ’EM ON THE SIDE. YES, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE POTATO PRODUCTS – THE CRISP. WE QUIZ JOHN JOSEPH, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR AT BURTS CHIPS, ON HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT DISC OF CRUNCHY, CARBY DELICIOUSNESS… Hi there, John! We hear you’re quite the authority on crisps. But first, tell us about your background in food. I’ve been in the food industry, one way or another, for the last 30 years. When I was 16 I studied for an OND (Ordinary Level Diploma) in Food Technology at my local agricultural college. I then continued studying the subject at The University of the South Bank, in London. My first job in the industry was with United Biscuits, making Chocolate Digestives – yum! Since then, I’ve worked with products as diverse as pork pies and fresh salads. I joined the Burts team in December 2005; the company had placed a job ad in our trade journal and I thought, ‘Wow, this is my perfect job’ – a premium product, and a business that really wanted to grow. I sent my CV in, and was fortunate enough to be offered the role. The rest is history. Speaking of history, what do you know about the history of the crisp? Apparently, the original potato chips (or crisps, as we mainly call them in the UK) were created in New York by a cook called George Crum, back in 1853. After getting complaints from a customer about thick, soggy fried potatoes, Crum decided to slice a new batch of potatoes as thin as he possibly could, and then fried them until they were hard and crunchy. Finally, he seasoned them with salt and, to his surprise, the dish ended up being a hit with his customers, and a new snack was born... So why is it, then, that we call them ‘crisps’ here in the UK? Once the whole potato chip concept was transported overseas, British people decided to rename the snack ‘crisps’ to avoid confusion with our national dish of fish and chips. Good job, too, as that’s still as popular now as it was back then (and, funnily enough, is why we’ve just launched our new Fish & Chips limited edition flavour!). Here at Burts, though, we mainly call our product chips,
rather than crisps, because of our focus on ensuring that we select the best potatoes, and fry using the traditional batch method originally developed in America. Care to elaborate on said method? Specially selected potatoes are sorted, peeled and sliced, before being cooked in the finest sunflower oil, one small batch at a time. We are proud to say that our potatoes, which are all Red Tractor accredited, are grown to the highest standards, produced by farmers who are committed to improving the environment for the benefit of wildlife and the countryside. It’s these potatoes, as well as our authentic seasonings, which make sure our hand-cooked snacks always deliver on flavour and crunch. After the potatoes have been cooked they are carefully inspected, before being evenly seasoned and packaged whilst still warm. This commitment to artisan cooking techniques is something that remains integral to our business today. Let’s talk ’taters. What kind do you need for the perfect crisp? Potatoes, as I am sure you know, contain a lot of starch. What is less well known is that they also contain sugar. Sugar is not a good thing for making crisps, as it caramelises and causes the cooked crisp to go black. We therefore need to use very specific varieties that are high in starch, but low in sugar. Unfortunately, this type of potato is not really much good for anything else, which is why you will rarely see crisping varieties on your supermarket shelf. Once harvested, the potatoes need to be stored in just the right conditions to ensure that the starch does not convert to sugar. Also, as potatoes are delicate, you need to choose varieties that are not susceptible to bruising, to ensure that you have a perfectly pale gold and blemish-free result. The length of the growing season has the largest effect on fry colour, with shorter seasons producing much poorer fry
Ask the Expert
what the Crisp maKer KnOwsâ€¦
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colours. There’s a narrow window for optimal quality of a crisp, which is why we work closely with our farmers to ensure the storage conditions are perfect. How many crisps, on average, can you get from an average potato? Good question! We use about 375 tonnes of potatoes each week to produce about 150 tonnes of bagged product, or 1.5 million individual bags. One average-sized potato will produce about 15 individual crisp slices. We’re glad that wasn’t us doing the maths, there! Tell us about the dreaded green crisps; are they okay to eat, and why do we see them so often? These are just from potatoes where chlorophyll has started to form. This can happen when potatoes, which grow underground, are exposed to too much light in the field or in storage. By itself, chlorophyll is nothing to be worried about – it’s tasteless and nontoxic. At Burts we have an optical sorter that’s programmed to reject any crisp that’s not the correct colour, though. Crisps are all about the crunch, right? So, we want to know what factors contribute to the perfect crunch, please! There are a few: getting the correct thickness in each potato slice; the size of the batch you cook them in; the temperature of the oil; and, lastly, the cooking time. If you get all these parts right, you have the secret to that unique crisp texture. How about ridges, then? What exactly are their purpose? Ridges often help a crisp retain more seasoning, so we choose this slice if we are looking for maximum flavour impact – like the ones we make with Levi Roots, who produces our unique Caribbean Coconut Curry and Reggae Reggae flavours. That leads us nicely onto flavourings; how do you decide what varieties to make? Tastes change and people are constantly looking for new flavours to try. As such, we regularly review our portfolio and adapt to new trends and consumer insights that we receive, and decisions are often made to remove certain flavours from the portfolio to make way for new and exciting ones that are more in keeping with today’s taste preferences, and which will be popular amongst our loyal customer base.
We’re big on product innovation, and use information from snacking category data, plus we carry out desk research, and talk to our fans and customers when launching unusual tasting snacks. We make them with authentic ingredients and, where possible, partner with the highest quality producers to showcase our provenance and Devon roots. How do the flavourings start life? Are they actually made from fresh produce? Yes – we start with raw ingredients, but need to ensure that they can be turned into a form which is suitable for crisps. Whether meat, vegetable, spice or oil, by the end they need to become a dry powdered blend. Take a relatively simple flavour, like salt and vinegar: it’s got two core ingredients, right? But there’s one obvious problem: vinegar is a liquid and, unless you enjoy your crisps soggy, we have to find a way of transforming it into a dry powder. For our Salt & Malt Vinegar flavour, we use a technique called ‘spray drying’. Vinegar is pumped through a nozzle under pressure, atomizing it into a fine mist in much the same way an aerosol works. That mist is sprayed onto a neutral-tasting corn, rice or potato starch, which absorbs all the flavour of the vinegar. Dry heated, the solid is easily ground into a powder and, voila, you have your seasoning.
Sounds very sci-fi! Tell us more: how do you turn other produce into flavourings? Take our Devon Roast Beef flavour, as an example. Having sourced a fine cut of Devon fore rib from local meat producers The Well Hung Meat Company, we can’t just cook it, grate it and sprinkle it onto our potato chips; in that state, the meat would deteriorate in the packet. And, although it may seem counter-intuitive, the fact is that most of the flavour is held not in the meat, but the fat. Now, fat is also prone to deteriorate, so we have to create an extract. Essentially, we cook the beef, extract the delicious flavour and blend it with oil to create a beef infusion that captures the flavour in a form that is stable over a long period. It’s a challenging process, honed over many years! Finally, John, what difference is there between fried crisps and baked crisps in terms of the end result? Baked products have less fat, but it’s often argued that the frying method produces crunchier and tastier crisps. Ultimately, it comes down to pleasure – whilst the baked product might contain less fat, we all know that a fried product gives you that truly satisfying crunch when you eat it! burtschips.com
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In the Larder
SUmmertime S mmertime sCran
THINGS ARE HOTTING UP IN OUR LARDER THIS MONTH AS SUMMER KICKS INTO GEAR... 1 LICKING GOOD Ollylolly Ice Lollies, £2/60g Made at Ocean Studios in Plymouth’s Royal William Yard using just fresh fruit, these kids’ lollies come in cool and summery flavours, like Mango and Raspberry, and Rhubarb and Apple. We’re even bigger fans since we learnt they come wrapped in a marine-safe, compostable film made from wood pulp rather than nasty plastic. Find them in restaurants, cafés and markets all over the county, including Rockfish restaurants and Dartmoor Zoo. ollylolly.co.uk 2 BEFORE YOU CO CO Coldpress Coconut Water, £3.99/750ml These new drinks are a great mid-way option between coconut
water and juices. With more fruity flavour than the former and less sugar than the latter, they’re great tasting and packed with the good stuff. As Coldpress’s name suggests, there’s no heat involved in making these, as is so often the case, meaning that the ingredients’ natural goodness isn’t compromised. There are two flavours, Raspberry Lemon Apple and Blood Orange Mandarin. Available at Waitrose in Exeter, Torquay and more. cold-press.com 3 POP NEWS Portlebay Popcorn, 79p/25g Summer is all about heat and daring exotic flavours, which is why Portlebay Popcorn has released its newest flavour, Sweet Thai Sriracha. A fiery blend of sun-ripened chillies and
aromatic herbs and spices, it’s best enjoyed with an ice-cold beverage (we like ours with Bays Devon Rock lager) in the Devonshire sunshine! It joins 10 other original flavours in the collection, like Crispy Bacon and Maple Syrup, and Wasabi and Sweet Ginger. Not only is this tip-top popcorn, but it’s Devon born and bred, hand-popped in Plympton. Buy from Darts Farm and other independent retailers. portlebaypopcorn.com 4 MUE-TUAL BENEFITS Pimhill Original Muesli, £3.45/850g There’s all sorts going on in this muesli; think jumbo organic oats, wheat flakes, almonds, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, as well as sweet currants, sultanas, raisins, and apple, which provide bursts of
fruit among all that earthiness. You can cook it as porridge, but we’ve just been digging in with fresh whole milk poured over. Available from Riverford. riverford.co.uk 5 SOUP-ER! Tideford Organics Summer Soups, £2.99/600g No need to push the idea of soup aside ’til winter; Devon’s Tideford has launched two new flavours that are perfect in the heat. The Summer Pea with Coconut and Turmeric is super-thick with lots of rice, making it almost like a thin risotto, while the Gazpacho Andaluz with Cucumber and Red Pepper is served chilled and makes a zingy and refreshing lunch. Available from Ocado and at indie stores. tidefordorganics.com
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Ask the Waitress Who knows the menu best? Who makes the greatest impact on your experience? Who knows the menu best? Who is makes the greatest impact on your Front-of-house your friend! experience? Front of house is your friend!
If you were a customer today, what would you order? Everything! All the food is amazing – the thinking and the planning that goes into designing each dish is mind-blowing. If I had to choose, though, it would be the langoustine raviolo with sauce vierge, lovage and celery salt to start; the main course would be Cornish cod with leeks, truffle and chive beurre blanc; and I’d finish with a pistachio soufflé served with pistachio ice cream and hot chocolate sauce. What’s the most challenging part of the job? A busy service can be fairly challenging, as we have three different menus, including five- and a six-course tasting options. Our menus change very often too, depending on local, seasonal produce, but this keeps things interesting. Often guests have wine flights paired with each course, so keeping pace with all the tables can feel hectic! And what have you learnt since starting? The Coach House by Michael Caines is very different to anywhere I have worked before, and this is my first role in fine dining. Learning some of the terminology for the dishes and cooking techniques was challenging at the start. I have passed my WSET [Wine and Spirit Education Trust, for those of us not in the game] level 2, and I’m about to start my level 3, which has enabled me to get a more thorough knowledge of the wines.
Where have you visited locally of late where the customer service was excellent? My favourite local restaurant is Relish in Ilfracombe; it is very informal, but the food and service are amazing. It’s a lovely place to eat, and they certainly make the most of the local harbour.
LOOK, IT’S SARAH LEWIS FROM THE COACH HOUSE BY MICHAEL CAINES
Where do you like to eat on your days off? I live in Challacombe and regularly eat at The Black Venus Inn – it’s great for lovers of local produce. We also have some brilliant seaside eateries, such as The Quay in Ilfracombe, which serves amazing oysters and Lundy crab.
So, Sarah, how long have you worked here? Since February 2016 – well over a year! Wow, time flies… And how long have you been in the hospitality game? I’ve always worked in hospitality, and have held various roles in the kitchen and front of house teams, as well as the management team. I previously lived and worked in Spain for nine years, working in a hotel as part of the entertainment team. What’s the best thing about being at The Coach House? The people I work with here are fantastic – from reception to housekeeping and the grounds staff . We’re really close.
What makes the restaurant a special place to visit? When you arrive at Kentisbury Grange, you travel up the driveway to be met by the beautiful main house and impressive gardens and ponds. The restaurant itself is light and spacious, with eclectic décor and an intimate and cosy atmosphere. We also have a lounge area, where guests can kick back and enjoy a drink before or after dinner – or both! As it’s right on the edge of Exmoor National Park, nature is all around, making it even more special. The Coach House by Michael Caines, Kentisbury Grange Hotel, Kentisbury EX31 4NL; 01271 882295; kentisburygrange.com
You’ve got a new head chef? What’s he like to work with, then? James Mason is very talented – but he is also approachable, and happy to help the front of house team understand the dishes he’s created. I think he’s great for The Coach House, and I’m excited to see what he brings to the restaurant this year.
THIS COULD BE YOU! Contact email@example.com
S T A R T E R S
M A I N S
COOKING ON Grass
WE DON’T NEED IT TO BE GLORIOUS TO GET OUR COOK ON OUTDOORS (BUT IT DOES HELP); THESE TOP OUTDOOR OVENS AREN’T AFFECTED BY THE WEATHER, SO NOR SHOULD WE BE… LARGE BIG GREEN EGG £950 at Darts Farm We challenge you to find something you can’t cook in this bad boy; it loves everything from a Sunday roast to paella and pizza. The ceramic oven and grill uses charcoal – but, thanks to its great insulation, requires less fuel that your standard barbie, and will cook for way longer. Not only can you bake, roast, grill and slow-cook in here, but it’ll also impart a subtle smoky seasoning, and you can even tailor the flavour with different woodchips. Check out Darts Farm’s regular demos to see it in action. Darts Farm, Topsham, Clyst St George, Exeter EX3 0QH; 01392 878200; dartsfarm.co.uk
MORSO FORNO OVEN £1,099 at Hearth & Cook This bit o’ kit not only looks the part, but it’ll effortlessly see to all your barbecuing – and wood-firing – needs, too. It’s great to gather around and warm up with on those chillier evenings as well. All that from a surprisingly compact oven which won’t take up half the garden, but will take up a good proportion of conversation time over dinner. You can buy the oven on its own or with accessories; Hearth & Cook have designed special kits for them. Hearth & Cook, 14 Oaktree Place, Manaton Close, Matford, Exeter EX2 8WA; 01392 797679; hearthandcook.com
STREET FOOD 100 BLISTERING OVEN £1998 (+VAT) at The Fire Engine These beasts – which come in a range of modern colours, from ‘aubergine’ to ‘faded grey’ – are pro bits of kit. They can handle high-volume cooking, and will see to it that your pizza is ready in just 90 seconds. That’s not all you should use it for, though; have a go at wood-roasted chicken, or get a good leg of lamb in there. These modern alfresco ovens arrive ready made, so are good to go right away. Robust, easy to maintain and handily portable, they are used by food traders and caterers, so are certainly good enough for us. (Okay, one of these doesn’t come cheap, but it’ll be a sound investment for the garden, we reckon.) The Fire Engine, Unit 7, Daddon Moor Business Park, Clovelly Road Industrial Estate, Bideford EX39 3HN; 01237 420904; thefireengine.co.uk
A contemporary farm to fork restaurant
Open: Tuesday-Saturday | 6pm - late **subject to seasonal variation**
Available for weddings, functions & private hire. Please contact for details. Pattard Farm, Hartland, Devon EX39 6BY Tel: 01237 441444
We are a seafood fish and chip restaurant selling local in-season Brixham fish and shellfish for lunch and dinner with an option to take away if you wish.
Simply Fish bar & grill Since opening our first restaurant in 2011 things have only gone from strength to strength – this March we re-opened our newly revamped Simply Fish Bar & Grill, where we are promoting breakfast, lunch and evening meal.
We cater for & food allergies es nc ra le into
t our Please ask abou r gluten free batte
All fish can be grilled to order
“If you’re not su re what fish to ch oose, why not ask the chef what’s best”
All fish supplied by:
The Nation’s Favourite Local Brixham Fish & Chips
72-74 Fore Street, Brixham, Devon Tel: 01803 883858 www.robertsfisheries.com
Fresh Brixham ﬁsh
B O O K
T H E
M O N T H
HOTLY ANTICIPATED DEBUTS, AND BOOKS WE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WE NEEDED; MARK TAYLOR HAS ROUNDED THEM ALL UP FOR US…
30 MINUTE CURRIES Atul Kochhar Absolute Press, £26
Indian chef Atul Kochhar may be best known for his Michelin-starred dishes, but this book shows readers how to create simple curries at home in just half an hour from start to finish – or in the same time it might take you to reheat a ready meal curry in the oven. With stunning photos from Bristolbased photographer Mike Cooper, this collection of 90 recipes includes Kochhar’s trademark style of using the best British produce for fresh and modern Indian cuisine. From aubergine and lentil curry, and spiced potatoes and coconut, to chicken with coriander and spinach chutney, and Hyderabadi lamb curry, this is a book packed with vibrant, spicy dishes. Cooking restaurant-quality curries at home will surely never be daunting again.
ANDHRA PRAWN CURRY Andhraiites typically eat fiery hot food, but this prawn curry packs a lot of flavours too! SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS
500g raw peeled tiger prawns 6 green cardamom pods fresh coriander sprigs 2 tbsp vegetable oil 4 cloves 1 tsp fennel seeds 4 tbsp onion paste 4 tsp ground coriander 1 tsp red chilli powder, or to taste 125ml passata 250ml water METHOD
1 Remove and discard the prawn tails. Lightly crush the cardamom pods to loosen the seeds. Rinse and chop enough coriander sprigs to make about 2 tbsp, and set aside a few sprigs for a garnish. 2 Heat the vegetable oil over a mediumhigh heat in a large sauté or frying pan. Add the cardamom pods and the seeds,
the cloves and fennel seeds, and stir until the spices crackle. Add the onion paste and stir it into the oil for 30 seconds. Add the ground coriander, chilli powder and passata. Season with salt and stir for 30-60 seconds to cook the spices. The mixture will have a paste-like texture. Watch closely so the spices do not burn. 3 Add the chopped coriander, prawns and water. Bring to a simmering point, stirring for 30 seconds, or until the prawns turn pink. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Garnish with coriander sprigs to serve. Atul’s time-saving tips Buy raw prawns that have already been shelled, and this warming and satisfying curry will be on the table in less than 15 minutes. That’s quicker than the time it takes to heat the oven and cook a ready meal. If the prawns need thawing, however, put them in a large colander or sieve and run lukewarm water over them until they thaw.
M E D I T ERRANEAN
Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99
Although there is no author credit for this book, a full list of contributors at the back includes a number of wellknown writers and chefs including Ursula Ferrigno, Jenny Linford, Ghillie Bassan and Matt Follas. These 150 summer recipes are divided into ‘snacks and plates to share’, ‘salads and summer soups’, ‘best-ever BBQ’, ‘sunshine lunches’, ‘al fresco’ and ‘desserts and drinks’, and they are all certain to provide plenty of inspiration for every occasion over the summer months. Highlights include squid, chorizo, feta and asparagus salad; orzo with courgette and tomato dressing; orange and apricot gelato; and panna cotta with rose petal syrup. This book is brimming with sunshine flavours and simple dishes ideal for al fresco meals this summer.
ON THE SIDE
THE LITTLE BOOK OF BRUNCH
Ed Smith Bloomsbury, £20
Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing Square Peg, £16
One of the most eagerly awaited cookbook debuts of the year, On The Side arrives with plenty of celebrity endorsements from the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi and Nigel Slater. Former lawyer Ed Smith retrained as a chef and is the author of highly regarded food blog Rocket & Squash. The book certainly lives up to all the hype, the simple premise being that Smith makes innovative side dishes the star of the meal. The 140 recipes are eloquently written and his methodical style recalls the likes of Simon Hopkinson. Chorizo roast potatoes; red wine, anise and orange lentils; black bean, coriander and lime rice; and sweet potato, celeriac and porcini bake are just a snapshot of why this is one of the most important cookbooks of 2017.
Following The Cornershop Cookbook and The Little Book of Lunch, food writers and stylists Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing now turn their focus on the increasingly popular meal that is brunch. Brunch encapsulates everything a meal should be – easy, delicious and adaptable – and, according to the authors, it is still the most fun meal of all. From Middle Eastern shakshuka and Indian-style potato bhaji with chickpea chapatis to traditional English savouries like eggs Benedict and sausage and egg muffin, the 100 quick and easy-to-follow recipes cover the globe. And for those with a sweeter tooth, try the blueberry and rhubarb muffins or the porridge with rum-caramelised banana, perhaps washed down with a boozy marmalade Martini.
Laura Santtini Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99
Just when you thought you had all the pasta recipes you could possibly need, along comes another book bursting with new ideas and twists on old favourites. Award-winning Italian writer and chef Laura Santtini has pulled together over 70 recipes here, from authentic Italian classics to contemporary dishes for people leading busy lives but still looking for healthy eating. Santtini’s photographer husband Christoper Scholey has provided the beautiful images for the book; every page screams ‘cook me’ and ‘eat me’, from the creamy carbonara and spaghetti to the light and summery asparagus and peas with garganelli pasta, both of which are child-friendly. More grown-up dishes include a vodka-flavoured sauce with penne, and a super-healthy wholewheat fusilli with olive, anchovy and kale.
RENDEZVOUS WINE BAR This award-winning basement wine bar and restaurant in Southernhay with its wonderfully secluded, sunny gardens has been a firm favourite for discerning diners and wine lovers alike since 2006. Enjoy the warm, friendly welcome from Jemma and the team… the delicious daily menus of fantastic local produce prepared by Tim and the chefs… the extensive wine list with yummy suggestions to tempt every palate… and when the sun shines, relax with a glass of wine or a bite to eat in the alfresco paradise of the beautiful, walled gardens at the back! Open Monday – Saturday 12pm until late, food served lunchtimes and evenings. Rendezvous Wine Bar, 38-40 Southernhay East, Exeter EX1 1PE
T: 01392 270222
CH E F ! WHAT TO MAKE AND HOW TO MAKE IT, DIRECT FROM THE KITCHENS OF OUR FAVOURITE FOODIES
H I G H L I G H T S
Picking crab meat from the shells may be a bit of a tedious task, but the rewards make it well worth the effort
A warm summer salad makes the perfect bed for fresh sea trout Page 24
A dreamy crab salad that couldn’t be simpler to make Page 26
JUST MY DUCK
Tangy pickled blackberries are the perfect pals for this duck breast Page 28
C H E F !
TROUT ABOUT IT EDGAR VITENBURGS OF THE ODDFELLOWS HAS A TOP SUMMERTIME DISH FOR US, FULL OF SUNNY FLAVOURS
FILLET OF SEA TROUT WITH A SALAD OF WARM POTATO, PEACH, FENNEL AND SAMPHIRE SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 4 large fillets of sea trout, scaled and pin boned (you can ask your fishmonger to do this) For the chilli vinaigrette: 30ml red wine vinegar 2 tbsp olive oil 1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced 1 fresh green chilli, finely sliced 100g ripe cherry tomatoes on the vine, chopped 4 mint leaves, finely chopped pinch of ground cumin 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped For the potato salad: 500g new potatoes knob of butter 2 shallots, finely chopped 3 peaches, chopped ½ bulb of fennel, finely sliced 150g samphire To serve: black caviar tendril pea shoots METHOD 1 To make the chilli vinaigrette, mix together the red wine vinegar with the olive oil in a medium mixing bowl. Add the sliced chillies and chopped cherry tomatoes and mint. Add the cumin and garlic and mix well, seasoning with salt and pepper. 2 For the potato salad, boil the new potatoes until they’re a little soft but not close to crumbly, and leave to cool down before slicing them in half. 3 Heat some butter with a glug of olive oil in a shallow pan. Add the shallot and potatoes, season, and sauté. Add the diced peaches followed by finely sliced fennel, and cook until potatoes are golden. 4 Pan fry the samphire with a small knob of butter until a little soft, or steam if preferred. It only takes a minute to cook. 5 Heat a non-stick fryng pan on the hob. Score the skin of the sea trout with a sharp knife and season with white pepper and salt. Place the trout, skin side down, in the preheated pan. Fry for 6 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden, then flip and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes. 6 To serve, place the samphire in a bowl, followed by the potato salad. Add the fish, skin side up and spoon over the vinaigrette. Add a spoon of the caviar and place the tendril pea shoots on top.
Edgar is head chef at The Oddfellows in Exmouth, the second site for this indie Devon-based bar and cocktail lounge. Serious about their food, these guys source all their meat from nearby Crediton, fish from Brixham, and fruit and veg from Topsham – meaning the menu is Devonian through and through. This dish is one of Edgar’s favourites at the moment. “It’s seriously tasty, fresh and perfect for summer dining,” he says. “Also, it’s pretty good for dinner parties, as its fairly simple to execute.” We’re sold.
The Oddfellows, High Street, Exmouth, Devon EX8 1NP; 01392 277030; theoddfellowsbar.co.uk
C H E F !
FRESH CRAB IS THE STAR OF THE SHOW IN THIS SUPER-SIMPLE DISH BY SCOTT PATON… Scott is head chef at Boringdon Hall in Plymouth. This may be a fivestar hotel with a three-AA-rosette restaurant (thanks to Scott’s fine work), but the dishes he serves up are all refreshingly down to earth and fuss-free. “People here want to be fed, to have something substantial on the plate – not just mousse and air,” he comments. “I am less a fan of the theatre of food than the taste. I cook what I would love to eat, and what I know the guest will love.” At the age of just 29, Scott has a well-honed cookery style and stack of accolades to his name – the most recent of which being an Acorn Award, which seeks to throw the spotlight on hospitality pros under the age of 30 who are making real waves in the industry. This crab dish would make a great lunch, or a simple starter at a summertime dinner party.
CRAB SALAD SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 200g picked and cooked white crab meat (no shell or cartilage!) 20g chives, chopped juice of 1 lime 2 tbsp Madras curry powder 60ml vegetable oil 100g mayonnaise 40g Greek yoghurt 1 ripe mango 1 red chilli METHOD 1 First, mix together the crab, chives and lime juice with a pinch of salt. 2 Mix the curry powder into the oil, and and heat in a pan to 80C. Set aside to cool. 3 Combine the mayo and yoghurt, and season. Once the oil is cool, add 15g of it to the mayonnaise mixture, and mix until it’s glossy and yellow. 4 Finely chop the mango and chilli, and combine to make a salsa. 5 Serve the crab meat mixture alongside the mayo and salsa. We garnish it with micro basil, coriander and fennel. Or, you can always serve simply with crusty bread and gem lettuce.
BORINGDON HALL, Boringdon Hill, Colebrook, Plymouth PL7 4DP; 01752 344455; boringdonhall.co.uk
C H E F !
dUCK and COveR
MATTHEW MASON, HEAD CHEF OF 23 YEARS AT THE JACK IN THE GREEN, SHOWS US HOW TO WHIP UP AN IMPRESSIVE DUCK DINNER… In the West Country we have some great suppliers, and I would list Creedy Carver near Crediton up there with the very best, writes Matthew. My advice would be to check out your local farmers’ market or farm shop for a specialty product or, indeed, ask your local butcher, who should be more than happy to help. Be sure to ask what breed of duck they are supplying, and take a keen interest in its provenance. For practical reasons we are using only the breasts for this recipe, but confit duck legs make a great snack if you prefer to buy a whole bird.
OVEN ROAST CREEDY CARVER DUCK BREAST WITH PICKLED BLACKBERRIES AND FONDANT POTATO SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS For the pickled blackberries: 1 ltr white wine vinegar 500g caster sugar 3 star anise 2 cloves 1 cinnamon stick 1 tbsp white peppercorns 1 tbsp coriander seeds 1 tbsp fennel seeds 2 bay leaves 500g blackberries For the potato fondants: 150g butter 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into barrel-shapes using a cookie cutter 100ml reduced chicken or vegetable stock 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed lightly 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme For the duck: 4 duck breasts olive oil 1 tsp local runny honey
Recipe taken from The Jack Cook Book, which has now raised over £2,000 for FORCE Cancer charity in Exeter since its release in Feb 2016. On sale at Jack in the Green, Darts Farm and Christopher Piper Wines; jackinthegreen.uk.com
METHOD 1 For the pickled blackberries, place all the ingredients, apart from the blackberries themselves, in a large pan, bring to the boil and stir occasionally. Simmer for 5-10 minutes then leave to cool completely. Pass the mix through a fine sieve and into a sealed container. 2 Cover the blackberries in the pickling solution and refrigerate until required – this should be done at least 1 week before serving, and they can be refrigerated for up to 3. 3 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 4 For the potato fondants, heat the butter over a medium heat in a saucepan. Once the butter is foaming, add the potatoes and fry until golden brown on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Do not move the potatoes as they cook. 5 Turn over the potatoes and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. Carefully pour in the stock and then add the garlic cloves and thyme sprigs. Caution: the hot fat will splutter when it comes into contact with the stock. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 6 Cook in the hot oven for 10 minutes, then gently turn the potatoes over and cook for about another 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the stock has all but evaporated. Leave to cool in the pan and let them absorb all the buttery goodness left behind. (If the potatoes are not cooked but the liquid has gone, simply add a little more liquid until the potatoes are done.) 7 For the duck, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. 8 Season the duck breast all over with salt and pepper. Then in a suitably sized oven-proof sauté pan, heat a little olive oil and sear the duck breast, skin side down, until the fat becomes rendered golden and begins to crisp. Then turn over and colour the other side briefly. 9 Turn back over and cook, skin side down, in the oven for a further 5-6 minutes (at work we aim to achieve a core temperature of 52C for a perfectly rare duck breast, and at home, to replicate this, I recommend you use a meat probe). 10 Remove from the oven and brush all over with the honey. Glaze under a hot grill when ready to serve, then rest the meat somewhere warm before carving into neat slices. 11 I would serve this with some seasonal vegetables, perhaps a little red wine apple purée, and a few spoonfuls of duck stock reduction.
Trenchermanâ€™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.
Eat, Drink & Sleep At the Swan, Bampton
T. 01398 332248 E. firstname.lastname@example.org www.theswan.co Bampton | Tiverton | Devon | EX16 9NG
Quality, fresh seafood, straight from our boats to your door We are a small, friendly wholesale fish business in Exmouth. All our fish is sourced locally with sustainable fishing methods. We also carry an extensive range of frozen goods. Our customers range from retail fishmongers, pubs, cafĂŠs and restaurants. We find a personal service between ourselves and the head chef ensures top quality fish and shellfish at the right price.
Devon Quality Fish
01395 266000 email@example.com www.devonqualityfish.co.uk
Choose your weapons
The BIG red One
KITCHENAIDS HAVE LONG SENT US WEAK AT THE KNEES. WE’D SELL OUR HOUSES FOR THEM. AND NOW THAT’S OKAY, SAYS MATT BIELBY, ’COS HERE’S ONE BIG ENOUGH TO LIVE IN… Blooming ’eck, that looks like a phone box! A little bit, yes, but thankfully without the broken widows, interesting literature, and, you know, less-thanpleasant smell. It’s actually a fridge, and a damn posh one. I know, I saw the writing on the handle. That means I won’t be able to afford it, right? Maybe yes, maybe no. KitchenAid’s new Artisan Fridge sells for £1,300, which isn’t cheap, but imagine all the oohs and ahh you’ll hear when green-eyed visitors spot it in your pantry. It comes in three of the most popular colours for KitchenAid’s iconic mixers – black, cream and this vibrant fella, Empire Red – and you can get it with the door opening to either side, so it’ll slot right in whatever your kitchen layout. These guys have been making mixers for almost 100 years, so they’ve taken their time branching out, haven’t they? In fairness, they’ve also been making kettles and coffee machines for a bit now, and even dishwashers and fridges, but this is the first time one of their major appliances has aped the distinctive lookand-feel of the mixers quite so closely. KitchenAid stand mixers as we know them were first introduced in the ’30s, designed by the celebrated Egmont Arens – one-time art editor of Vanity Fair magazine, and a lover of bright reds on much of what he designed, whether it was for Coca-Cola or Anheuser-Busch (makers of Budweiser) – and the style of this thing mirrors his aesthetic perfectly. It looks a bit basic, though. No, no, no! It’s big and sturdy, yes – very much so, with 221 litres capacity inside – but you’ll also find it bristling with up-to-date innovations, like a touch user interface, and a sophisticated temperature and air monitoring system. Plus, it has the very clever Fast Cool, which lowers the inside temperature immediately when you need it to (like, say, when you’ve just filled it with an Ocado delivery). Sounds good. And, unlike its street corner lookalike, I imagine it doesn’t smell of… you know. No, though occasionally it might reek of something worse. (You do know about my obsession with Stinking Bishop cheese, don’t you…?)
THIS MONTH • BIG RED • FLOWER POWER • SCENE SETTING
The new KitchenAid Iconic Fridge costs £1,300. Find it at Garton King Applicances in Exeter, or branches of Currys; kitchenaid.co.uk
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COmING up rOses
KEEPING DEVONâ€™S POSH DINNER PLATES AND BOTANICAL COCKTAILS LOOKING SPLENDIFEROUS ARE JAN BILLINGTON AND HER ORGANIC EDIBLE FLOWERS. AND SHE GROWS THEM ALL OUT THE FRONT OF HER BEAUTIFUL CULLOMPTON HOME. WE WENT DOWN TO HELP HER PICK SOME. (READ: GET IN THE WAY) WORDS: CHARLIE LYON PHOTOGRAPHS: BECKY JOINER
fter a week of glorious Devon sunshine, the summer was washed away at the start of June by 50mph winds and 40mm of rainfall a day. There were 156 blackouts in Devon, caused by the very same Atlantic front that also played havoc with this very Crumbs House Call visit – which had to be postponed three times. Jan Billington didn’t fancy parading us through her farm with only horizontal plants, and pickers donned in macs and wellies, to photograph. (And we thought we’d prefer to stay in the office on those days, too.) However, we eventually got lucky with the weather, and it was all systems go to catch her and her crew members, Daisy and Chloe, at work in pretty much idyllic conditions. Jan was in high spirits, a few freak storms not dampening her sunny disposition, despite the fact that “all the cornflowers got absolutely trashed on Monday”. Today is a Wednesday, and they’ve got lots of orders for cornflowers. “It’s okay, though,” she says. “They all fall down, but they all grow up again quickly.” The team are picking these, as well as a lot of other bespoke mixes, to send out nationally. One customer wants all blue flowers to use in ice cubes. “They have to be there tomorrow,” Jan says. “I wonder if it’s an election thing?” (Today is 7 June.) They’ve also got to pick a lot of red petals, although this is for a Chinese marriage rather than a potentially political event. “Red is such a lucky colour at Chinese weddings,” she says. “But it has to be the right red – a bright red, not burgundy.” When it comes to popular wedding orders for cakes and confetti petals, blush is another common choice in the summer, reckons Jan. Although working out what exact shade of blush a bride wants can be challenging. Still, with over 100 varieties of flower grown over the season, she can usually accommodate. Anyway, she’s used to particular requests. She’s been running the farm – which also includes a Green Tourism award-winning holiday let that sleeps 12 and overlooks the edible flower field – for over 15 years now. Her husband, a philatelist for London auction houses, is hoping to cut down his hours in the city to help out more with the business, but in the meantime she’s got Daisy and Chloe, both organic junkies with qualifications in ecology and organic growing, working with her. Jan’s love of flowers as fodder began many years ago, and was kickstarted by her grandma. “For me, eating flowers was just a normal part of going to stay with Granny,” she recalls. “She was always a bit eccentric, but then she got very bad dementia and became obsessed with the colour cream. In fact, she painted the whole of the inside of her house cream, including the surround of the television and all of the furniture.” Jan’s Granny, who was a rector’s wife, has now died and her ashes rest by the house, under a climbing rose. “To find a rose called Rambling Rector that was also cream was amazing,” says Jan.
Jan first started supplying Christopher Archambault at what was then Hotel Barcelona in nearby Exeter. Julie Hall of Posh Nosh caterers dined in the restaurant once, and admired the flower salad so much she got in touch with Jan, putting in an order, and the business grew by word of mouth from there. Now, as well as individual online orders for private customers and local chefs, Jan also is supplying Sipsmith for their festival season, as well as other mixologists. In fact, Dorshi restaurant in Bridport has even named a cocktail after her. “It’s called The Lady Garden,” she laughs.
SEWING THE SEEDS
There are around five acres of land here with five polytunnels, as well as two acres of orchard. As we roam around admiring the stunning crops, neatly partitioned into beds with the rolling Devon countryside in the distance, Jan talks practicality over prettiness. “Some customers want specific types of flowers, things like daisies, but if you put them out on a cake at 8am and they aren’t going to cut it till 8pm, you’ve had it, they’ll be dead,” she explains. “But roses hold well, and cornflowers hold well,” she goes on. “Tagetes, like tiny little marigolds, are good; dianthus and carnations are too.” We arrive at a big patch of nigella. These are dainty blooms in white and blue, with pointed petals and lots of feathery fronds. “It’s the first time we’ve grown this,” reveals Jan. “All of the Australian, American and international flower growers have it down as an edible flower and they sell it, but I can’t find any research in this country to say whether it is or not. The seeds are, but I’m not sure about the flowers, so all I’m doing is eating them, a lot, and I don’t seem to have had any adverse effects or keeled over yet… “The thing is, I can’t say it’s fine just because the Australians are doing it. I mean, they eat things like witchetty grubs – it’s not like they’re particularly discerning! – so I’m thinking of sending some off to Kew to have them analysed. In the meantime, though, I thought I’d see how well they grow – beautiful, aren’t they?” They are indeed, as is what she calls the ‘scruffy’ mix inside one polytunnel nearby. It’s full of lavender-blue pansies with bright white
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cheeky faces, pretty purple violas, calendulas and lots of stalky borage (apparently this tastes a little bit like cucumber, and is great for a beginner grower as you don’t have to resow, thanks to its magical selfseeding qualities). “I want to move away from block planting and do far more of this,” Jan says about the mishmash of varieties. “It works better for the flowers. It’s more of a palaver to pick, but it works better for wildlife and we end up getting fewer pests and diseases. It makes sense in an organic system to do this. If you’re growing cabbages or beetroot it seems sensible to grow in a block that can be harvested by a tractor, but for what we’re doing, this works well.”
It’s no mean feat keeping the pests off and the weeds out at Maddocks Farm, especially when the growing is organic. But Jan wouldn’t have it any other way. “Because we’re certified organic it gives us a place in the edible flower market, because we’re the only ones who are.” She uses calendulas as a companion plant for the roses, as they’ll attract hoverfly and ladybirds. They’ll lay their lavae on the calendulas, which will then help keep the roses clean, the bug much preferring to eat an aphid off a rose – which has large, easy to reach petals – than the densely packed petals of a calendula. Today, the honey bees are enjoying the calendula too, much to Jan’s delight. “If they weren’t organic we wouldn’t have so many bees,” she says, as we stop by her ‘bee hotel’. It’s a big homemade structure full of bamboo cane where mason bees and parasitic wasps can lay – and
it’s currently fully booked, as far as I can tell. By the bee necklace and earrings she wears, it’s clear Jan is a big bee supporter; indeed, she sometimes hosts days here for the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust. “This year we found nine different species of bumblebee, including the heath bumblebee, which hasn’t been spotted in this part of Devon before,” she says, excitedly. “We’re just a tiny little oasis in a lot of big agricultural land here, and we have a huge number of bees and we have a lot of swarms. I had a big swarm fly down when I was watering the lemon balm the other day. Apparently it’s like bee heroin.” The honey bees like borage and cornflowers too, apparently, and bumblebees with long tongues – like the garden bee – go for some of the salvia, as they’re the only ones that can reach the pollen. And what does Jan do with the lemon balm? This plant that grows like weeds? “I give it to chefs. It’s nice for garnishing pavlovas, and it’s really nice in gin. Everything is nice in gin now.” Here Jan reveals her third love, after flowers and bees: gin. In fact, she’s been sending up roses to the Isle of Jura to be used in Lussa gin. “You can taste the roses in it,” she says. “Last year they had a crop failure, and needed organic roses. I sent some up and they sent me gin. It was bartering of the best kind.” Because of her organic status, Jan has been able to start selling to the organic cosmetic industry too, although it’s all top secret as to which roses go where. The only things we can get out of her is that the Shropshire Lad rose is one of the most amazingly fragranced flowers you can find – soft, peachy pink heads with a bold, fruity scent – and that she uses the deep red Munstead Wood rose to make jam.
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C A L L
ROSE PETAL JAM The roses you use for this jam must be organic and unsprayed, says Jan. Roses that you buy from florists or supermarkets are covered in toxic pesticides and herbicides and are definitely not okay for eating! Rose petals gathered from the garden are perfect to eat as long as they haven’t been sprayed; just make sure they are clean, dry and have no damage or insects on them. If you gather them on a warm day there will be more fragrance. You can use any colour of rose petals, but dark pink or red is best for the colour. White or yellow roses will produce a soft brown coloured (although equally delicious) jam. INGREDIENTS 250g jam sugar (with pectin) 300g fresh, organic rose petals 500ml water juice of a large lemon METHOD 1 Layer the sugar and rose petals together in a bowl, then cover with cling film and leave overnight to let the flavour infuse into the sugar. Put a saucer into the fridge to chill. 2 Put all the ingredients into a heavybottomed pan and, on a gentle heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to a very soft rolling boil and continue until the jam is ready, which will be about 10 minutes. 3 To test whether the jam is ready, put a drop onto the chilled saucer. After a couple of seconds give it a small nudge and, if the drop wrinkles and holds its shape, it is ready. If not, try again in a couple of minutes. 4 Sterilise jam jars by washing them in hot, soapy water and putting them in a warm oven until bone dry. 5 Strain the jam through a muslin or sieve – the colour will have leached out of the petals, leaving them translucent. Snip a few fresh petals back into the hot jam at the last minute. 6 Pour the hot jam into the hot jars and leave to cool. 7 To serve, spoon onto Devon scones, eat on toast for breakfast or even warm back a small drop to a liquid state and add to a glass of chilled Prosecco for a summer treat.
HAVE A BREAK
It’s this perfumed Munstead Wood rose jam (recipe to the left) that we spoon huge, juicy dollops of onto scones with lashings of Devon clotted cream when we stop for tea. Chloe and Daisy have a break too, and they talk about the big pick they’ve got coming up for the weekend. It’s nearby pub Jack in the Green’s 25th birthday, and head chef Matthew Mason has put in a big order. He’s Jan’s favourite customer, and puts in special veg and salad requests to her, as well as ones for flowers. In fact, she’s got whole area set aside specifically to grow for Jack in the Green. He wants orange-heavy flowers to go with a marmalade panacotta, and some mini courgettes that still have large flowers to tempura. Jan talks non-stop about this, and more exciting plans for the business. We wonder, when the girls have gone and her husband is in London, who she talks to. Does she ever talk to the flowers? “Of course I do,” she retorts. “You’ve heard me, I never shut up!” Maddocks Farm Organics, Aller, Kentisbeare, Cullompton EX15 2BU; 07935 268744; maddocksfarmorganics.co.uk
K I T C H E N
A R M O U R Y
The Want List WHETHER IT’S A WEDDING BREAKFAST OR JUST ONE OF YOUR REGULAR SOIREES, THESE TABLE DECS WILL SET THE SCENE
1 DITSY BLOSSOM TEA POT £21.99 Don’t want your guests nodding off after lunch? Then an afternoon tea pick-me-up is a real essential. Serve it in floral print pots from Lakeland in Exeter. lakeland.co.uk 2 LANTERN AND CANDLE £20 Pop it on the table or hang it in nearby trees; these soft brass frames and glass sides look sophisticated anywhere. Plus, they come with a realistic LED candle, so are risk-free! From South West-based homeware retailer Cox & Cox. coxandcox.co.uk 3 CHAMPAGNE FLUTES £45 (FOR A PAIR) These Dartington Crystal Romance flutes are the only way for Devonians to celebrate. They come with an engraved heart and crystal bling, and you can even add an engraved message. Find them at The Shops at Dartington. dartington.co.uk 4 PLACE SETTINGS £16.95 (FOR EIGHT) These stylish bell-shaped place settings in antique silver will add a touch of rustic glamour to a wooden dinner table. You can buy online, but don’t pass up the opportunity for a trip to the hip Nkuku lifestyle store and café in Harbertonford, Totnes. nkuku.com
1 2 3 4
5 EMMA BRIDGEWATER CAKE PLATE £44.95 You might have noticed we’re celebrating all things floral, so we couldn’t not include something from Emma’s Wallflower range. This cake plate will set off any sponge treat perfectly. Buy from Olivia James Design in Crediton. emmabridgewater.co.uk
The Lamb Inn Sandford Crediton
Superb food and luxury rooms in a real pub
Food & Drink Devon, Best Pub 2017 Function room available for private party celebrations, weddings and other functions.
Gluten Free, Full of Flavour. Church Rd, Lympstone, Exmouth EX8 5JT Telephone: 01395 222156
01363 773676 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thelambinnsandford.co.uk
Local, Independent, fresh Gastro Pub & Speakeasy Cocktail Bar
Proper cocktails • Event bars Outdoor dining • Dogs welcomed Fixed Price Lunch 2 couses £10 3 courses £12 Monday - Saturday Monday Steak Night 2 westcountry steaks 2 Glasses wine £25 Tuesday Mussels Night kilo Riverexe Mussels, sides, two glasses prosecco £20 Epic sunday Roast 12 - 6pm
High Street | Exmouth EX8 1NP Tel: 01395 27 70 30 exmouth@ theoddfellowsbar.co.uk
60 New North Road | Exeter, Devon | EX4 4EP Tel: 01392 20 90 50 exeter@ theoddfellowsbar.co.uk
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Cocktails with a crunch Raise a glass to adventurous snacking: Burts Chips lead the way in the savoury crisp cocktail trend.
risps and a pint is a tried and tested snacking occasion in the UK, but Burts Chips are encouraging Brits to think outside the crisp packet and enhance their snacking with the latest trend: savoury crisp cocktails. The artisan hand-cooked crisp company has created six ‘Burtender’ crisp cocktail recipes which are available on its website and across social media for fans to try out. You’ll never look at a humble packet of crisps in the same way again. Experts in adventurous snacking, Burts Chips know that a good cocktail is the same as a good snack – it has to have the right balance of ingredients and textures to be satisfying. Burts have teamed up with an expert mixologist who has selectively combined great cocktail ingredients with Burts’ distinct hand-cooked crisp flavours to ensure each cocktail carries its signature big bold taste. There is a drink for all palates and preferences – from the joining of two classics with Burts' vintage cheddar & spring onion martini, to a margarita sprinkled with Burts' Sea Salt & Crushed Peppercorns crisps atop a sea salt foam, and Burts' smoked crispy bacon Manhattan. For the first time, the crisps aren’t just the wingman to your favourite drink; these adventurous cocktails put crisps centre stage, where they belong! Take a sip of this new cocktail trend by making one of the Burtender crisp cocktails yourself.... Crisp lovers should visit burtschips.com for the full recipes and for more information on where to buy Burts Chips nationwide
Vintage Cheddar & Spring Onion
50ml gin 10ml dry vermouth 3 - 4 slices of spring onion muddled Method: Shake and double strain into a chilled martini glass Serve with cube of mature cheddar on a stick Enjoy with Burts Chips’ Vintage Cheddar & Spring Onion crisps Tasting notes: Initial aroma of spring onion, clean and wet on the palate, gin wash, then rising bite of spring onion and vermouth. Strong onion aftertaste, dependent on level of spring onion in drink. If you’re feeling a little indulgent, serve with blanched almonds fried in melted butter, or Hollandaise sauce.
Smoked Crispy Bacon
Burts Bacon Manhattan
50ml four-day bacon infused bourbon 10ml sweet vermouth 5ml dry vermouth 2 dash angostura bitter 5ml cherry syrup from jar Method: Stir until ice-cold, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherry on a stick and Burts Chips’ Smoked Crispy Bacon crisp on rim of glass Tasting notes: Strong bacon aroma, mellowed with the sweetness of the vermouth and strong flavours of bourbon. Cherry sweetness comes through on the finish.
Devon Roast Beef
Burts Smoky Mary
50ml smoked potato vodka 200ml spiced tomato juice 1/2 bar spoon grated horseradish Method: Shake and strain into ice-filled long glass and garnish with celery stick and a Burts Chips’ Devon Roast Beef crisp Tasting notes: Rich spiced tomato nose, pleasant heat on lips, then intense smoke warmth, zesty bitterness and heat towards the end of the mouth. Tomato lingers.
Sea Salt & Crushed Peppercorns
Burts Peppered Margarita
50ml tequila 15ml agave nectar 25ml fresh lime juice Method: Shake, strain into rocks glass Top with sea salt foam and sprinkle with crumbled Burts Chips’ Sea Salt & Crushed Peppercorns crisps Tasting notes: Sweet and light salt foam, acidic and bitter, meets a sweet challenge from the agave nectar and strong tequila. The salt battles with the margarita, leaving a well-balanced finish. Moreish.
M AI N S TOP CULINARY CAUSES, FAB FOOD DESTINATIONS, AND PEOPLE THAT MATTER
H I G H L I G H T S
We check out some of Devon’s best alfresco feasting spots Page 42
We’ve got summer feasting (and drinking!) down to a fine art
MADE YOU BLUSH
All you need to know about the return of rosé Page 48
DRINK IT IN
Devon produces some top slurps; here’s our pick of some of the best Page 52 P L U S
Do your bit for Action Against Hunger
BUena vista, baby M A I N S
WHEN IT COMES TO EATING ALFRESCO, YOU AREN’T STUCK FOR LOCATIONS IN DEVON. SO WHETHER IT’S FULL-ON GARDEN GLAMOUR OR A KLLLER VIEW, HERE ARE OUR TOP 30 HOTSPOTS
If you can think of a better way to spend the summer than alfresco feasting among scenery like this, at South Sands, we’d like to hear about it
FOR PUB GARDEN GURUS
THE CLEAVE (LUSTLEIGH)
This 15th-century longhouse’s lovely cottage country garden is ideal for sunny afternoons. Tables out front and back are snapped up quickly by walkers and day-trippers, and you’ll find regulars chomping on top-value meals – think blackened aubergine starters, pork belly mains and excellent Sunday lunches. thecleavelustleigh.co.uk
THE ELEPHANT’S NEST (MARY TAVY)
There’s bucket-loads of English charm at this 16th-century Dartmoor pub, and a great deal of it is in the garden. Pretty geraniums, roses and lavender line the neat green space with colour, and over the top of the dry-stone walls you’ve got those impressive views of Brent Tor and down towards Cornwall. elephantsnest.co.uk
THE LAMB INN (SANDFORD)
This former coaching house, dating back to the 16th century, is a textbook English country pub, with all the features we’ve come to expect from such a joint – think lush fireplaces, low ceilings and, of course, a lovely
garden. The Lamb’s sits over three levels, and is a gorgeous setting for a drink on a warm summer evening. lambinnsandford.co.uk
THE NOBODY INN (DODDISCOMBE)
Well loved by walkers as well as foodies, The Nobody Inn rewards those who can find their way through the myriad country lanes you have to navigate to reach it with a choice of over 250 whiskies (and 260 wines) and great homecooked food. The garden is peaceful, with the tables well spread out. nobodyinn.co.uk
THE PIG ON THE HILL (WESTWARD HO!)
Once a cowshed, this rural pub may not have the swankiest of exteriors, but the big garden is a great spot to stop and dine when the sun’s shining. It’s not far from the headland (if you need a stop to break up your north coastal stomp), and if you’re heading there on a Sunday you may well find a barbecue fired up and live music playing. On the menu is a hearty mix of burgers and sardines, fresh fish and sharing boards, plus lots for veggies too. pigonthehillwestwardho.co.uk
THE ROCK INN (HAYTOR VALE)
You’ve got the whole of Dartmoor on your doorstep here, giving plenty of
M A I N S Blackpool Sands (below) makes a pretty impressive setting for some alfresco action, while you’ll find the Riverford Field Kitchen’s garden hummning with activity come summer
opportunity to work up an appetite before filling up on the brilliant fodder at this twoAA-rosette pub. Us? We love it outside in the sweet little garden. rock-inn.co.uk
THE WARREN HOUSE INN (POSTBRIDGE)
With no mains electricity, the team here rely on generators to run the kitchen. The ‘Warreners Pie’ is a popular choice (a rabbit pie with the meat cooked and picked onsite), especialy teamed with Otter ale or farm scrumpy from Milton Abbot. It’s a feast that you can take across the road and devour on one of the picnic benches on the open moor. warrenhouseinn.co.uk
It can get a little lively at Appleby’s, but it’s a local favourite for a beer or wine in the sun, with unrivalled views across the sea. If you need something to soak up the drink, the steaks, burgers and sardines from the food menu will do the trick. applebystorquay.co.uk
THE KINGS ARMS
The views from the terrace at this family-run hotel and restaurant are pretty special – it sits above the little fishing village of Hope Cove, looking out over the sea. If you want to get among the wonderful coastal landscapes, then pre-order a picnic from the hotel to take out with you. hopecove.com
There’s a nice bit of raised decking at this cool village pub in tranquil, historic Georgeham, near the north coast. Pull up a pew and grab a bite to eat (Moroccan-spiced slow-cooked lamb, perhaps?) and a decent local ale while you contemplate how writer Henry Williamson penned his novel Tarka the Otter near here. kingsarmsgeorgeham.co.uk
THE ODDFELLOWS (EXMOUTH)
Sat right on The Esplanade, this restaurant with rooms is buzzing on a sunny day. In the kitchen you’ll find lots of fresh and local grub, including plenty of top seafood. Enjoy it on the large outdoor terrace, where you can also take in the amazing ocean views. dukessidmouth.co.uk
THE JUBILEE INN (SOUTH MOLTON)
Originally a family home, this building is now a quaint country house hotel, located among some blinding rural scenery. The south-facing terrace sits 800ft above sea level, so alfresco diners can enjoy miles of elevated views while they feast on the likes of Exmoor lamb with wild garlic purée and piquillo pepper jus. thejubileeinn.co.uk
This independent bar on Exmouth High Street has plenty of outside seating across two different levels, letting guests make the most of the warmer months. So choose a drink (the Coconut and Basil Smash, with Koko Kanu, basil and lime sounds like a good shout), select your seat, and get your chill on. theoddfellowsbar.co.uk
THE OYSTER SHACK (BIGBURY)
Years ago people would simply pitch up their own deck chairs in the Avon Valley to dine on fresh oysters from the rows and rows of purification tanks this former oyster farm housed. They’d bring their own wine and crusty bread and, hey presto, The Shack was born. Nowadays you can eat more formally
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(though the vibe is still very relaxed) in the outdoor space, which is housed under a bright orange sail. Food is rustic, fresh and delicious – lobster, crab, mackerel and, of course, oysters, all ethically sourced. oystershack.co.uk
This modern village bar-restaurant not only has an outside terrace with plenty of pretty greenery, but also a bloomin’ huge stash of wines (handily available by the glass), ideal for supping outside under the summer sun. redwingbar-dining.co.uk
FOR SEA JUNKIES
THE BEACH HOUSE (SOUTH MILTON SANDS)
Simple picnic benches outside a basic blueand-white hut make the perfect setting to chow down on your bacon butties first thing in the morning, or your cracked crab in the evening. There’s takeaway too, so you can wander just a few steps nearer sweeping Thurleston Bay and sit on the beach admiring views of Thurlestone Rock (more on this on p64 ). Local specials include seafood linguine, and sardines on toast. beachhousedevon.com
DUTTONS CAFÉ (PLYMOUTH)
Naval history abounds in Plymouth, and here’s one of the best spots to appreciate it from: a dinky café situated right on the dramatic Barbican walls. There are views over Mount Batten, and the menu is full of home-cooked favourites like Devon crab, sardines, French onion soup and homemade burgers. duttonsplymouth.co.uk
THE PILCHARD INN (BURGH ISLAND)
If you want to experience exclusive Burgh Island, where Agatha Christie penned two of her great novels, then the Pilchard Inn is a great place to do it (access to the hotel is exclusive to residents and black-tie diners only). It first served fishermen who lived on the island and mainland shores, then the
smugglers and wreckers. There’s no kitchen, but a fresh crab baguette and pint of local ale is definitely worth the stomp over at low tide, then you can take the sea tractor home if the water rises. burghisland.com
RIVER EXE CAFÉ (EXMOUTH)
Every part of your visit to this cool café in Exmouth is an adventure. Make sure you’ve got your sea legs on, as you’ll need to take a water taxi from the marina to this water-locked barge. It’s the most amazing venue in which to enjoy Devon’s finest produce, including the freshest fish direct from local fishermen. riverexecafe.com
You’re not stuck for dining spots with top waterfront views in Brixham, but Rockfish has it nailed with its decked seating area overlooking the harbour. There’s room for 80 diners, who can nosh on the fresh seafood – fried or grilled – while watching the small boats land from 5pm in the evenings. A brilliant wine and beer selection mean it’s perfect for a drink and a snack, too. therockfish.co.uk
SAUNTON SANDS HOTEL (NEAR BRAUNTON)
This family friendly hotel looks out onto a fine stretch of coastline, popular for water sports such as surfing and paddle boarding. It’s a fine view to enjoy over AA rosetteawarded food out on the terrace of the
M A I N S
hotel’s flagship restaurant. If you're after a more casual affair, check out the chilled out Beachside Grill, which also has an alfresco dining area. There's a pretty, preened garden to take a stroll around too, if you need to work on that appetite before dinner... sauntonsands.co.uk
SOUTH SANDS (NEAR SALCOMBE)
Here’s a laid-back hotel that’s as plush as it is friendly. It’s got an idyllic setting, right on South Sands bay, and the cool curved wall of pristine French windows gives amazing views of the sea and dinky beach from the restaurant and bar. Outside is a similarly curved terrace, an unbeatable spot for a Lyme Bay sparkling wine and small plates like Salcombe brown crab mousse or an open steak sandwich. southsands.com
(BLACKPOOL SANDS) Well known and loved by tourists and locals alike is this cool, independent caff that stacks up national accolades for both its food and setting. There’s an incredible view of the Blue Flag beach, sheltered by evergreens and pine trees, which you can take in as you fill up on hearty breakfasts, and organic burgers and sandwiches at lunchtime. There are local wines and ales, too. lovingthebeach.co.uk
SOME STATELY SPLENDOUR
BOVEY CASTLE (NORTH BOVEY)
There aren’t many venues in Devon – no wait, the country – that can boast five AA stars,
but it’s true of this hotel and restaurant. So if you’re looking to mark a special occasion, this is the place. The estate spans 275 glorious acres with expansive gardens and lakes. The hotel’s South Terrace has panoramic views of the entire estate and towards Dartmoor National Park. Could you ask for more? (No, don’t be greedy!) Classic Bovey Castle main courses include homemade Dartmoor beef burger and Brixham day boat fish pie. boveycastle.com
BUCKLAND TOUT-SAINTS HOTEL (NEAR KINGSBRIDGE)
As if there isn’t reason enough to visit this impressive South Hams 17th-century manor house, with its swanky terrace overlooking some of the four acres of garden, they’re now serving up a new ‘his and hers’ afternoon tea. It includes a real ale, glass of bubbly and sandwiches, cakes and scones. (Plus, there’s no ruling to say who has what!) tout-saints.co.uk
THE PIG AT COMBE The Folly at The Pig (above) paints a quirky rustic picture, while Buckland Tout-Saints Hotel (below) has expanses of preened gardens
There’s a fancy dining hall at the newest incarnate of The Pig group of English country hotels, but if you’re in the area (or even lucky enough to be staying over), and want something more informal, The Folly in the hotel’s gardens will do the trick. Indulge in the wood-fired pizzas while admiring the ‘derelict chic’ decor, then afterwards wander through the lovely herb and vegetable gardens that encircle the main house. thepighotel.com
ANCHORSTONE CAFÉ (DITTISHAM)
From the cool terrace at this cute café you have panoramic views across the River Dart.
It’s located in the small village of Dittisham, but it’s pretty much the go-to venue for the whole of South Hams if you’re after the freshest seafood, including crab, oysters, scallops and mussels. Got little ones? This place is also renowned for being one of the best crabbing spots in Devon. anchorstonecafe.co.uk
MILL ON THE EXE (EXETER)
In summer the big charcoal barbecues draw in the crowds to this pretty pub next to Blackaller Weir and the Millstone footbridge. It’s a popular place to escape to in the summer for city workers, who wash away their stresses with pints supped on benches on the paved or grassed areas. But Sunday brunches pull in the punters, too. millontheexe.com
STEAM PACKET INN (TOTNES)
This restaurant, bar and inn has a riverside terrace overlooking Vire Island and the River Dart, surrounded by the rolling hills of the Devonshire countryside. See the river boats heading up to Stoke Gabriel, feed the ducks, and watch the tide ebb and flow in the sunshine. The Steam Packet offers classic and tasty pub meals, using local ingredients such as Brixham crab. steampacketinn.co.uk
THE TURF (EXMINSTER)
It’s not accessible by car, and is only open from spring to autumn, but this friendly pub is definitely worth the schlep by foot or bike (or even canoe) for its great location on the River Exe and its big, bustling pub garden. Menus change regularly throughout the season, and you’ll see good local suppliers on the board. Homemade cakes, chutneys and jams are made onsite, and everything’s fairly priced. turfpub.net
THE JUBILEE INN Reservations 01398 341401
THE HOLT Pub, Restaurant & Smokehouse
Enjoy alfresco dining this summer combining the finest seasonal West Country produce with our fine dining, gastropub and light menus. Our luxury rooms include the use of a private guest terrace where you can bask in glorious Devon sunshine during your visit. For table reservations and best room rates, please telephone Sam or Claire. Showcasing exquisite and flavoursome dining, with a classic French twist, prepared by Head Chef Sam Salway, see our website for details of all special offers and upcoming events. Booking essential ~ DINING TUESDAY TO SUNDAYS ~ See website for further details.
email@example.com www.thejubileeinn.co.uk West Anstey, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3PH
Try o one of out cooker ur coursesy See our web si for detai te ls
Eat · Drink · Learn · Share For all restaurant bookings and enquiries call 01404 47707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For cookery course information email@example.com 178 High St, Honiton, Devon EX141LA www.theholt-honiton.com
M A I N S
IT’S OFFICIAL: ROSÉ IS BACK, AND WE’RE GOING TO BE MAKING IT THE SIP OF CHOICE THIS SUMMER. HERE, ROSALIND COOPER TELLS THE STORY OF ROSÉ, FROM FALLING FROM GRACE TO RETURNING TO OUR WINE RACKS…
Rosalind Cooper began her wine career in California and since then has been a wine importer, broker, journalist and editor, as well as the author of several books on wine, including The Wine Year (Merrell). She’s a great enthusiast for pink wines, and is currently setting up a new and authoritative website on the topic: Rosé Report.
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PINK WINE LIST
Get these top-class pink wines at the ready for some summertime slurping…
ell, it was a long time coming, and much touted everywhere in the media for a few years, but, at last, it arrived. No, not the recent election, something far more joyous: the return of rosé wines to people’s good books. It’s not just the glitterati of West Hollywood or the Riviera who are getting to sip the best of the pink stuff, though; thanks to modern winemaking methods and some inspired use of varietals, we can all enjoy quality pink wines from all over the wine world – including here in the UK. So how did rosé succeed in breaking out of its rather fusty closet and transforming from a preferred drink of maiden aunts to the epitome of cool? Well, for once, the media has had a positive influence. Wine writers spotted the trend some time ago and have spent many column inches talking up the versatility of pink wines and sparklers. Also, wine lovers have been discovering some great, modern wines on their travels in Greece, Spain, Italy and Australia, which has led to a desire to experiment with rosé at home and in restaurants. The subsequent new demand has meant that more pink wines have been appearing on wine lists, and so the cycle continues. Now the statistics are incontrovertible: pink wine is seriously popular. As such, there is now a wealth of delectable pink wine available to enjoy. For less than £8 a bottle, there are stunning examples from Chile, Gascony, Navarra, Anjou, La Mancha, Languedoc-Roussillon and even Moldova and Hungary. If you fancy fizz, there is excellent pink Cava from Spain, glorious pink Champagne and English sparkling wine, even Lambrusco from Italy (honestly – it’s not the sickly cliché it once was!). Not just a standalone sip, pink wines are great for accompanying food of all kinds. They’re forgiving with spicy food, accommodating to barbecues, and adaptable for buffets. This remarkable versatility is a great USP for rosé, and a huge help for people looking for something to match a range of dishes.
HOW ROSÉ IS MADE Many wine drinkers might be at a loss as to how pink wine is produced. Quite justifiably, some would venture that it’s the result of blending red and white wine – a practice not unknown to winemakers of old. Today, while that does still occur, the best rosé, for me, is always the result of a process known as saigneé. This ‘bleeding’ of the red grapes is a way of extracting just enough colour and maximum flavour to create a well-tempered rosé. Too much extract, and the wine will be too dark and too tannic in the mouth; too little, and you have a wishy-washy pink that lacks colour and substance. For a truly pale rosé, some winemakers simply crush and lightly press grapes (as they would for white wine) and put the juice into a fermenting vat. Contact with the skins is very brief indeed, making this wine a lighter shade of pink. It’s a skilled practice. In certain regions, making rosé is the logical choice. In cooler climates such as parts of Germany, French Alsace or Champagne, gaining depth of colour in red wine poses a challenge; English winemakers have found the same thing. A rosé or pink fizz is the ideal way to maximize the appeal of grapes that have seen just enough sun to ripen, but not enough to yield a hearty red. Winemakers in hotter climes, though, have to keep a close watch on their pink, to ensure it doesn’t suddenly turn too red. The paler red wines of Bordeaux, called clairet, were highly prized by our ancestors (this is the origin of our modern day term, claret). Pallor added sophistication, it seems. So, no longer flooded with the dark, sickly varieties that many of us will have experienced, the rosé market is ramping up and getting serious.
1 Langham Rose 2013 This English version of Champagne is produced from 12 hectares of vines in lovely Dorset, using the traditional Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes. As in Champagne, a red wine made with Pinot Noir is added in small quantity to create the pink version (in France, the red wines are made in the village of Bouzy!). This sophisticated fizz has a pale cranberry tint in the glass and there is a full ‘summer pudding’ of berry fruit on the nose, with an excellent finish: very highly rated in a recent Decanter Magazine tasting. Buy direct from the vineyard or at M&S, £25 per bottle. 2 Freixenet ICE rosé, Spain This is a sparkling number for those with a sweeter tooth. If you love to sit out with your friends in the garden with ice and Champagne flutes, then this is your wine; it’s been designed especially to withstand a little icy addition. Why not freeze berries into those ice cubes, too? Find it in Waitrose, £12 per bottle. 3 Mas de Longchamp rosé, Provence This part of France is synonymous with pink wine – for good reason. Years of experience yield up the most delicate, subtle versions of rosé you’ll find anywhere. This example is 100 percent organic, and is a real explosion of fruit, including (surprisingly) grapefruit notes as well as a hint of pineapple, alongside cherries and berries. Buy from Devon supplier Riverford for £8.85 per bottle. 4 Domaine Begude Pinot rosé, Provence I make no apologies for featuring two wines from Provence! They are both stunning examples and quite different in style. This one would pair ideally with poached salmon; it’s a perfect match in terms of both colour and the delicacy of the cranberry and strawberry fruit, which would complement the rich oiliness of the fish. £9.95 at Riverford. Again, totally organic. 5 Domaine des Tourelles 2016, Lebanon Grown high in the hills above the Bekaa Valley, the grapes for this complex and unusual pale ruby rosé include Cinsault, Syrah and Tempranillo. There’s a mix of lychee and berry fruit on the palate, and an excellent, long finish. Around £12 per bottle from kwoff.co.uk. 6 Belvoir Rosé Without the Hangover This brand of non-alcoholic beverage is already familiar to many of us, for good reason, as their lemonades and ginger beers are fab. Now they’ve spotted a gap in the market for an elegant alternative to pink wine at events, so this juice is labelled in wine style, with the rather provocative ‘without the hangover’ tag. Cheeky! But does it taste good? Yes: it has a touch of orange and jasmine to zap up the grape juice and, served well chilled, this sparkler would make a fantastic treat. £2.99 per bottle at Ocado.
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liGhts, CameRa, aCtiOn! ACTION AGAINST HUNGER IS GEARING UP FOR ITS LOVE FOOD GIVE FOOD CAMPAIGN, WRITES JESSICA CARTER, AND IT KNOWS THE SOUTH WEST WILL DO IT PROUDâ€¦
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t’s almost time for Action Against Hunger’s annual fundraising campaign to kick off. Each year, the months of September and October see restaurants from all over the South West – heck, all over the country – join forces to help support the vital work that this 40-year old charity does in more than 50 countries. Devon might be small in comparison to some of those regions, but it has the potential to be bloomin’ mighty when it comes to doing its bit to help fight against hunger and malnutrition. This is why Action Against Hunger is calling on local restaurants and punters to get involved this year – and they couldn’t really have made it simpler (or more tempting) to do so. The concept of the Love Food Give Food campaign is that restaurants sign up to add a voluntary £1 donation to each food bill throughout the two-month-long campaign. Customers donate, and the staff ring the money through the till (question: do any tills actually still ring?) as a non-VAT item, so they can track how much they take over the entire period. This then gets transferred directly to Action Against Hunger. For each £1 that gets donated, 87p is injected straight into the charity’s global projects, which include everything from helping to create food security to providing safe drinking water and responding to crises such as droughts and earthquakes – basically, wherever it is needed the most. Right now, that’s probably in and around the Syrian war zones, and in East Africa which is currently effected by famine. Think that £1 ain’t gonna go far? Well, that depends on how far you think £470,000 could go – ’cause that’s what the Love Food Give Food campaign raised last year, thanks to the 400 restaurants (and, of course, their punters) that got involved across the UK. Right about now, the guys in Action Against Hunger’s South West team are busy telling restaurants all about this initiative and getting them signed up, ready for September. There are plenty of joints getting involved across the West Country – and we’re calling on all you wonderful Devonians to jump aboard, too. Adding an extra £1 to the bill isn’t the only way you restaurant owners can help, though; instead, you could allocate £1 per serving of a best-selling dish to the charity. That’s exactly what Bravas in nearby(ish) Bristol has done. “We’re aiming to raise £10,000 this year,” says Kieran Waite, co-director of Season and Taste, the South West-born outfit behind Bravas. “The famine in South Sudan, in particular, caught our attention in the news earlier this year. When we heard from Action Against Hunger that they needed immediate funds to respond to the crisis, we knew we could help. The customer response is fantastic; people get to eat their favourite thing on the menu, and know that they are giving back at the same time.” South West chef Romy Gill is another food hero who has been inspired to take action for the cause, and has raised funds in several different ways, from selling samosas to organising ticketed banquets, gathering celebrated chefs from all over the country to cook at them. She has seen, firsthand, where the funds go. “We went to Burma and saw how the work done by AAH helps and builds communities,” she says. “For instance, with clean water tanks, and projects to help new mums.” We’re fortunate here in Devon, with our farmland and coasts, that good food is readily available to us – but not everyone is in the same boat. Whether it’s due to a natural disaster, climate, war, or lack of education, many people across the globe simply don’t have access to this kind of sustenance – in fact, it’s estimated that one in eight children go to bed hungry each night. That’s a problem that we can not only help solve but, thanks to Action Against Hunger, help solve by keeping our own bellies full, too...
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED • Like to eat out? Choose restaurants supporting the Love Food Give Food campaign during September and October and donate with your bill. • Own a restaurant? Sign up to either offer customers the chance to donate with their bill, or pledge a donation for each sale of a particular dish. • Love to host? Hold a dinner party with a difference as part of The Great Get Together. Gather your friends and family, serve them a tasty meal and get them donating in return. (For more information and to receive your digital dinner party pack, e-mail community@ actionagainsthunger.org.uk) actionagainsthunger.org.uk
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DRIN K U P! TEAM YOUR DELISH DEVON FARE WITH THESE TASTY TIPPLES FROM LOCAL PRODUCERS AND STOCKISTS WHO KNOW A THING OR TWO ABOUT BOOZE...
“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘good people drink good beer,’ which is true, then as now,” said Hunter S Thompson. We good people here at Crumbs HQ very much agree but, in fact, we like to guzzle a whole host of top-quality drinks – beers, wines and spirits – especially when it’s summertime. And the closer to Devon they’re made, the more we love them. We know you readers are good people too and that you’ll want to drink only the best, so we’ve rounded up the top drinks from local producers to help your summertime celebrations side by in style.
BRILLIANT BEERS 1 FOR THE TRADITIONALIST Yellow Hammer, Hanlons, from £2.50/500ml Best drunk: at summer parties, barbecues and all and any sunny social gatherings. ● The Hanlons family-run brewery is just five minutes from Exeter St Davids. It’s definitely worth checking out; as well as a top shop there’s a bar serving great grub and drinks on Friday nights – and there’s live music, too. The bar looks out over the brewery floor where the Hanlons range is created, including Yellow Hammer. This light, golden ale is fruity and
brilliantly refreshing and citrusy, thanks to a good dose of Cascade hops which give a top citrusy character. Pick it up at the brewery shop or independents like Darts Farm in Topsham, Greendale, Topsham Wines, Grape & Grain and Quicke’s Farm Shop. hanlonsbrewery.com 2 A PUNCHY BITTER Stormstay, Hanlons, from £2.50/500ml Drink with: meaty stews and traditional roast dinners on cooler evenings or indulgent Sundays. ● Stormstay is Hanlons premium bitter; a strong, smooth amber ale with hints of toffee. Mind you, it’s not all rich; there’s a nose of floral scents and even hints of tangerine, thanks again to those Cascade hops that cut through the alcohol sweetness. See above for where to buy. hanlonsbrewery.com 3 US STYLE Speak Easy, Powderkeg, £2.20/330ml Team with: Thai or Mexican food: this ale has a punchy hop flavour that’s great with hot spice. Alternatively, drink alongside sticky barbecue pork – the malty sweetness will handle the lightly charred flavours nicely, while the big, juicy hops will add to the tangy sauce.
● This pale ale is from Powderkeg, a newish microbrewery in Woodbury Salterton that’s only been running for two years. It’s a transatlantic pale ale, which aims to ‘bring a little British reserve to the somewhat brash US pale ales.’ It has robust malt and big tropical fruit aromas, but keeps the bitterness in check and the finish clean. Pick up at Darts Farm, Smiths Wines in Exeter, Grape & Grain (Crediton), Greendale Farm Shop (Farringdon), Topsham Wines and other indie retailers. powderkegbeer.co.uk 4 NEW KID Cut Loose, Powderkeg, £2.20/330ml Drink it: chilled, but not ice-cold, and the sweet bready malt and higher carbonation will make it a great partner for pretty much anything plucked straight from the barbecue and popped in a bun this sunny season. ● This lager from the husbandand-wife team at Powderkeg was winner of ‘World’s Best Lager’ at the International Beer Awards (run by IWSC, the International Wine & Spirit Competition) last year. It’s a crisp German pilsner pepped up with a twist of the Motueka hop from New Zealand. Conditioning at the brewery for over six weeks turns it into a dry, super-refreshing
lager with heaps of citrus fruitiness. Stockists as above. powderkegbeer.co.uk
DEVON WINES 5 SMALL-SCALE SPARKLING Castlewood Vintage Brut, Castlewood Vineyard, £28/75cl Serve with: seafood or soft, lacticstyle cheeses; perfect for toasting with at big occasions. ● Here’s a pretty special vintage sparkling wine created at Castlewood Vineyard – a picturesque vineyard not far from Axmouth that holds a yearly music and food festival. The wine is made up of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunièr grapes, the Pinot Noir giving it elegant and buttery undertones, with lemon sherbet on the midpalate and layers of tangerine. Owner Rob Corbett is proud that all Castlewood wines are made without filtration or the use of any fining chemicals. Available online, at Ex Cellar in Exeter and at selected restaurants. castlewoodvineyard.co.uk 6 BRAND NEW WHITE Bacchus Block, Lyme Bay Winery, £15.89/75cl Drink with: warm smoked gurnard, tomato tapenade and heritage tomato salad – Allister
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Bishop, head chef at the South Sands Hotel, is a big fan of this wine and reckons this is the dish to complement it perfectly. ● This 100-percent Bacchus wine, new from Lyme Bay Winery at Shute, Axminster, was created for its intense grapefruit freshness, broad tropical-fruit notes and herbal undertones. It’s a dinner-table wine that means business. The Bacchus Block grapes are from some very ripe fruit. After crushing and destemming, the juice is left in contact with the skin before being gently pressed and cold settled for over 48 hours. It gives the wine a clear, pale lemon colour and a rather powerful flavour. Buy it from all good wine merchants. lymebaywinery.co.uk 7 THE BIG LAUNCH Blanc de Noirs, Lyme Bay Winery, £24.50/75cl Drink with: pan-fried guinea fowl, fondant potato, heritage carrots and crisp rock samphire – another recommendation from Allister at South Sands Hotel. ● Lyme Bay Winery has been busy recently, not only releasing the new Bacchus Block (above), but also three new sparkling whites – this Blanc de Noirs is one of the trio. Made using 100 percent Pinot Noir grapes,
it will appeal to discerning wine audiences. The red fruit characters have a strong presence, giving it a light copper hue in its appearance with fine, consistent bubbles. On the nose it is rich and earthy, with forward strawberry and cherry notes. A delicious richness on the palate is offset by a crisp acidity and a light toast finish. Buy from all good wine merchants. lymebaywinery.co.uk
LOCAL LIQUEURS 8 JUICY FRUITS Cherry and apricot brandies, Lyme Bay Winery, £12.49/350ml Use for: the Cherry Fizz cocktail (below), with smoked salmon blinis (if making your own blinis, you could even add a dash of the apricot brandy to the batter). ● These two summery drinks are part of a range of fruit liqueurs from Lyme Bay Winery. Want something smooth and scented? The apricot brandy is sweet and silky with a fresh finish, while its sibling is bursting with sour cherry, almond and brandy flavours. Add them to a cocktail, drink on the rocks, or sip as an aperitif or digestif on those long summer nights. To make a Cherry Fizz cocktail, pour 25ml cherry brandy into a cooled, long soda
glass, then top with equal parts of freshly squeezed lime juice and Luscombe Sicilian lemonade. Drop in a sugar cube for an extra fizz, then serve with lots of ice, a slice of lime and a garnish of fresh mint. Buy from independent retailers, including delis, farm shops, butchers and grocery stores thoughout Devon. lymebaywinery.co.uk
ALL ABOUT GIN 9 BESPOKE BRAND Elmhirst Gin, The Shops at Dartington, £35/75cl Drink as: an aperitif before a fancy country picnic, or while undertaking any quintessentially English activity – gardening, boating, or watching the cricket, maybe, or as a post-tennis sip. ● Created only recently at Dartington, this gin features ingredients from the estate. The premium spirit blends tradition with more contemporary elements, in order to produce a unique taste that the creators reckon any ‘ginoisseur’ will love. There’s juniper and other carefully selected botanicals here, as well as undertones of rosemary that’s been freshly picked from the grounds. Buy from The Shops at Dartington. dartington.org
10 BOATY MCBOATGIN Salcombe Gin, Salcombe Distilling Co, £37.50/70cl Best drunk: in the Salcombe Distilling Co bar overlooking the sea; or aboard your own boat – preferably a yacht, but a RIB will do, if need be. ● The two keen sailors behind this swanky brand of gin, launched this year, traced back the history of the 19th-century Salcombe Fruiters to inspire their choice of botanicals. These fast boats were used in the fruit and spice trade, inspiring the grapefruits, lemons and limes that give this gin its fresh taste. There are a further 10 botanicals, apparently none mass-produced, that the owners can trace back to source. Best served with lots of ice, a Fever Tree tonic and a twist of grapefruit. Buy from the Salcombe Distilling Co shop in Salcombe, or any good wine merchant or independent shop. salcombegin.com 11 THE EXMOOR BEAST Exmoor Gin, Wicked Wolf, £35/70cl Serve: neat over ice with a good selection of charcuterie, or with a fiery ginger beer as a long drink to accompany a curry. ● This small-batch gin with 11 botanicals is distilled and blended on the banks of
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the picturesque River Lyn in North Devon. The husband-andwife team blend hibiscus and kaffir lime leaves with traditional botanics for a familiarly traditional flavour with hints of the new. It’s made by hand in 35-litre batches, with each aromatic infused and distilled separately resulting in 11 individual distillates which are then blended. This approach gives them complete control over the strength of each flavour, giving a perfect spirit every time. Buy from Regency Wines in Exeter, John’s of Instow and Majestic in Tiverton. wickedwolfgin.com
CIDER TALKING 12 EASY ELDERFLOWER Artisan Elderflower Cider, Ashridge, £3/50cl Drink with: good old crusty bread and some creamy Devon Cheddar cheese. ● The Ashridge team spend June among the hedgerows, foraging for elderflowers. They’ve been known to have run-ins with pigs, cows and horse flies, and suffer many a nettle sting while collecting the big creamy blooms from the hedges. They time their picks for when the sun’s nice and warm, to get the elderfowers at their best. Their foraging endevours are followed by the process of syphoning,
filtering and pasteurising the results, which are what gives the elderflower ciders and organic sparkling elderflower soft drink that edge. Buy online or from all good drinks shops. ashridgecider.co.uk 13 FRUIT STORY Devon Red, Sandford Orchards, £2.50/500ml Best served with: pizza. In fact, it goes so well with stonebaked sourdough pizza that the makers have created a special bar and pizza restaurant at The Cider Works, Sandford Orchards, which serves every Friday night. ● With vivid red soil, the ancient orchards that are used to produce Sandford cider are all within a 30-mile radius of the press. The ciders are always produced from freshly pressed juice, extracted in a lush green corner of Devon near Crediton. There’s a whole range, including Devon Mist – a cloudy medium session cider – and Fanny’s Bramble – a fruit cider blended with blackberry. Newly stocked in Morrisons. sandfordorchards.co.uk
SUPER SOFTIES 14 SUMMER SLURPS Raspberry Crush and Cool Ginger Beer, Luscombe Drinks, £2.20/32cl Best drunk: on British picnics.
● Here are a couple of drinks that are picnic-perfect, capturing the taste of the countryside for alfresco eating and summer parties. Raspberry Crush is a crisp fresh blend of raspberries and lemons, with a slight sparkle to lift the delicate flavours. The raspberry sits well with game terrine, smoked chicken, cheeses such as Brie, and salads that include berries. The Cool Ginger Beer packs a punch and goes great with crab or prawn sandwiches. When it comes to satisfying a sweet tooth, serve with slabs of moist crumbly fruit cake. It’s also a great match with spicy chicken drumsticks, as the mild coolness will combat the heat. Buy from good independent retailers and farm shops, plus cafés and restaurants. luscombe.co.uk 15 JUST THE TONIC Tonic waters, Luscombe Drinks, £1.20/20cl Try: on their own with ice and a slice – as well as, obvs, with gin, or, in fact, any top-of-the-range white spirit. ● With craft tonic water becoming just as important as gin these days, Luscombe has released three new varieties. The traditional mix is enhanced with the zingy citrus taste of Japanese yuzu; the elderflower tonic water is infused with wild English elderflowers, resulting in a light
floral flavour; and the third uses the finest pink grapefruit to create a delicate citrus finish. They’re all made with Devon spring water for an extra crisp and refreshing result. Buy from good independent retailers and farm shops, plus cafés, restaurants and the like. luscombe.co.uk 16 CORDIAL BEHAVIOUR Lemon and Mint, Sloe and Raspberry, and Peach and Lychee cordials, Frobishers, £3.25/365ml Best drunk: with Devon spring water, or use them to create refreshing cocktails. ● These high-quality, all-natural cordials have been scooping awards recently, all achieving highly commended in the 2017 Taste of the West Awards. For a lemon and mint mojito, add your measure of Lemon and Mint Cordial to white rum and top with chilled soda water and ice (crushed or cubes, it’s up to you). Decorate with a few sprigs of mint on the top, or muddle the mint down further into the glass. Or, mix 50ml Sloe and Raspberry cordial with 50ml lemon and mint cordial. Add 100ml gin, 60ml bitter lemon, sparkling water and ice. Buy Frobishers cordials from Waitrose, Ocado and independent farms shops and delis in Devon. frobisherscordials.com
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M OV E We are the only mobile gin still in the country. Â You can create your own batch of gin and bottle with your own label. All done on site wherever the client/customer is located. The bus is called Ginny and the still called Prosperity.
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f stillonthemove T @stillonthemove
stillonthemove17 Tel: 01803 812 509 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.stillonthemove.com
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ELDERFLOWER POWER It’s not just refreshing pressés that elderflower’s good for – it also makes a rather splendid cider!
lderflower seems to be all the rage these days. Right about now, the Ashridge team are out in the hedgerows gathering this year’s flowers; you must have seen the huge, creamy blooms in the hedges recently? They’ve battled with pigs, nettles, brambles, curious cows and horse flies to get their mitts on them, picking when the sun’s at its best so they capture the full fragrance of an English summer’s day. Tanks of cordial follow, as do many sticky days syphoning, filtering and pasteurising the results. All for an excellent cause of course, since the results are what give their Elderflower drinks the upper hand. There’s bottled Artisan Elderflower Cider (Gold award winner at Taste of the West 2017); the bag-in-box Devon Bloom (their most popular craft cider); and, last but not least, the Organic Sparkling Elderflower Pressé (another Gold award winner at Taste of the West 2017, and great mixed with gin or vodka!).
Pop in for a coffee, light meal, take away goodies or a touch of coastal Deli retail therapy. Fabulous food and drink made in house and by local artisan producers. It’s Devon and Dorset on a plate!
44 High Street, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6LQ T 01395 44 31 82 E email@example.com
ashridgecider.co.uk; @AshridgeCider; 01364 654749
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NEW RESTAURANTS DEVOURED, NEW CAFÉS FREQUENTED, NEW BARS CRAWLED, AND THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WE THOUGHT OF THEM
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Find out if we were converted by City Gate Hotel in Exeter Page 60
WHAT’S YOUR BEEF?
We have a bit o’ trouble choosing between all the different burgers at Meat59 Page 62
FOOD WITH A VIEW
We hardly know where to look at Thurlstone Hotel – out at the views, or at our plates Page 64
CITY GATE, EXETER THIS MIGHT BE A BIG CHAIN PUB AND HOTEL, BUT IT HAS A BRILLIANTLY INDEPENDENT FEEL, FINDS CHARLIE LYON 60
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oung’s is having its time in the sun again. Founded in 1831, this British pub chain has been battling against the decline of the traditional watering hole since the turn of the 20th century. But it recently revealed revenue for the 2016-17 financial year to be up by 9.4 percent – and with some pretty healthy profits to boot. The chief exec announced that part of the company’s good fortune was decent weather encouraging ‘staycationers’ (their lodge hotels are now a big part of the business), but ultimately, he said, it was their strategy of running ‘individual’ and ‘differentiated’ pubs with well-trained and motivated teams that was driving business. This can definitely be said of the new City Gate Hotel at Iron Bridge, Exeter. Unlike the unbranded Waterstones bookshops that popped up at the start of 2017 – big chain outlets in disguise as rural independents – the Young’s flag flies proudly here, but it still feels very boutique. The big, sprawling space is cleverly broken up into different areas, keeping things cosy throughout. There’s a bar area with craft drinks as well as the Young’s range on tap, and interesting gins and spirits as well as traditional favourites. A nearby snug is furnished with wooden tables and mismatched chairs, powder blue banked seating and shelves stacked with vintage curiosities – embroidery spools, copper jugs and early 20th-century tea trays. There are two more dining spaces, furnished in much the same way, plus a
light and airy conservatory that’s full of colour and botanical-splashed fabrics. Everything’s the perfect balance of contemporary style and nostalgia. Apart from downstairs, that is, wherein the cellar tables are set out in the muraled room for a football match later. The garden is modern too, and huge, with a burger shack at one end. However, you can’t escape the history of the pub, which was originally a 16th-century inn, as the lofty city walls run along one side. There are 14 bedrooms, but today we’re just here to check out the food. We kick off in the busy garden with Italian Malfy gin, made zesty with Sicilian lemons. There are all ages here, from young groups washing their day’s work worries away to couples in their 60s out for a celebratory dinner – the lovely mix of clientelle creates a real buzz. We move inside to the airy conservatory and chomp on thick slices of sourdough bread, from Shauls Bakery down the road. Their malted, chewy crusts and delicious springy centres are totally worth the £4 price tag, especially with a side of whipped and salted Devon butter. We’ve been assured that, despite Young’s central control, the chef here is trying to keep things as local as possible, complementing the independent spirit of the pub. The food definitely has a home-cooked feel, and what it sometimes lacks in presentation it makes up for in taste. My crab cake (£7) is packed with white and brown meat, peppery and warmed with a hint of chilli. There’s a lack of potato filler,
which suits me perfectly. Across the table, crispy duck (£7) comes more like chunky rilettes on top of a simple salad, the deep flavour cut through by pickled root veg. Mains are pub classics with a hint of restaurant suave, and tonight range from £11 to £19.50, excluding sides (although these are not always needed). As it’s such a hot day, I bypass the tastysounding meat dishes and pick a lighter Quicke’s cheese and onion tart (£11). It’s rich and flavoursome and features buttery pastry, the taste taking me back to homemade lunches on summer days. My compadre is eager to get her chops around one of the classic meat dishes, and orders the lamb rump (£16). Despite the rather rustic carving, the lamb is tender and juicy in a classic jus, and comes teamed with the early summer flavours of pea shoots and asparagus. Desserts may not be needed after all that, but if you are indulging then here’s a tip-off: the sticky toffee pudding (£7) is a homemade winner...
CITY GATE, Iron Bridge, Lower North Street, Exeter EX4 3RB; 01392 495811; citygatehotel.com
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MEAT59 AS THIS SUCCESSFUL INDIE JOINT OPENS A SECOND BRANCH, JESSICA CARTER POPS ALONG TO THE NEW SIBLING TO SEE WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT (AND FINDS THAT IT’S NOT JUST THE GLITTERY FLOOR IN THE LOOS)… 62
his burger joint may be American in style, but it’s proper Devonian in substance. Started by Jenna Heasman and Vince Aggett, who are sister- and brother-in-law, Meat59 was born two years ago in Torquay. Both into their grub, Vince has experience cheffing in the Army, while Jenna discovered she had a real thing for good food while living in London during the beginnings of the street food boom. Having sat on the idea of opening up their own restaurant for a while, they eventually bit the bullet in 2014 and began to set their plans in motion. This has to be the most virtuous filth (in the most mouthwatering sense of the word) I’ve ever scoffed. And I don’t mean virtuous as in healthy, either – if you’re going to have a burger, just have a proper burger, will you? – but as in homemade from scratch, using really thoughtfully sourced local ingredients. Beef, for instance, comes from trusted butchers Gribbles, which is near to the original Torquay site. Those guys receive their livestock directly from neighbouring farmers, who they know and trust, and who rear their cattle with both ethics and quality in mind. The butchery then hangs and dry ages it.
That, friends, is the basis of a belting burger, no? And the attention to detail continues once the beef reaches Meat59’s kitchen, where it’s mixed and pressed into patties by hand. Similarly, the fried chicken is breadcrumbed in house, and the veggie burgers all made from scratch. There are really no shortcuts being taken here. Given the amount of work that’s gone into this food, the prices are still really reasonable, with burgers (served without sides) coming in at under a tenner, and accompaniments starting at £1.50. This new Exeter branch opened in April, and is steadily building up a good client base. Being located outside of the city centre is a definite bonus for this indie joint; no parking nightmares or battling through crowds of shoppers. And that really suits the character of the place – which is cool, casual and inclusive. It may look all edgy and urban, with its dark walls and industrial-style décor – but the staff are lovely and down to earth, and the menu is pleasingly straightforward, with a handful of beef burgers, a couple of chicken versions and a veggie option. These guys have started doing brunch, too; there are poached eggs to share, served in a paprika-spiked chorizo and tomato sauce with feta and sourdough; house beans on toast; topped crumpets; and pancakes – as well as that obligatory full English, natch.
Anyway, to the matter at hand: dinner. Six chicken wings (£5) kicked off the meal and immediately threw us into the spirit of things – the delicious, sticky coating spreading all over our hands within seconds. (Note: you’ll get through a fair few of their napkins over the course of a meal.) Having nothing left to show for our starters but a bowl of bones, a stack of screwed-up serviettes and contented grins, we took delivery of our burgers. The Smoking Cow (£9) saw a beef patty coated in a bourbon glaze, topped with smoked cheese and tucked away inside a seeded bun with lettuce, onion and the house’s smoky mayo. Pleasingly oozy but managing to hold itself together nicely, it was delicately smoky and not too heavy. There was also a (take a deep breath) ‘That’s my Burger Nacho Chicken Burger’ (£9). This beast involved home-breaded chicken with smashed avo, chipotle mayo, Monteray Jack, and tortilla chips on the side (which went straight into that bun). Juicy, tender meat, with all the guiltypleasure flavour of fried chicken: couldn’t ask for more than that, really. On the side was a portion of Dirty Fries (£5) – the thin chips topped with a pleasingly light-textured beef chilli, packed with plenty of fresh tomato and beans – and the house ’slaw, which was loose and crunchy, as opposed to heavy and claggy. Puds are low-key; think ice cream, milkshakes, and homemade brownie (£4.50), which is obvs what my greedy little eyes settled on. After all that meat, I was dubious about whether this was a mistake
– my dinner pal had already bowed out – but it was more cocoa in flavour than rich and sweet, and managed to feel nice and naughty without being heavy and sickly. Result. Even the graciously defeated one managed half. (Knew she would.) An awesome playlist provided the perfect soundtrack to this chilled-out evening, while we got to fill our faces with quality fast food and wash it down with craft beers (keep your eye on the specials board for guest sips). All without a whiff of the usually associated guilt. MEAT59, 29 Magdalen Road, Exeter EX2 4TA; 01392 672043; meat59.com
( R E F U R B I S H E D R E S TA U R A N T S )
THURLESTONE HOTEL A SPOT OF â€™20S GLAMOUR IN THE DINING ROOM HAS INJECTED SOME MUCH-NEEDED RAZZLE DAZZLE INTO THIS BEAUTIFUL SOUTH COAST HOTEL, SAYS CHARLIE LYON
A F T E R S
evon has some mighty dining spots with views (see our alfresco feature on p42 for more), but vying for the top spot in the county is Thurlestone Hotel’s The Trevilder restaurant. With huge floor-to-ceiling windows running along one edge, the outlook while you’re eating stretches across Thurlestone Bay, taking in the the spectacular Thurlestone Rock (think Devon’s own Durdle Door). It’s a fine vista, but not that long ago you would have been peeking out at it through thick, heavy drapes from the demoded red-and-goldthemed restaurant. Great news, though: the Goose family, who own the hotel, recently injected £1m into its refurbishment and it reopened back in May with a brilliant new look, all based around subtle 1920s cruise-liner glamour. It’s been transformed into a sparklingly clean and modern space, with pale blue accents in the contemporary chairs and comfy banked seating. Gold-rimmed mirrors break up open spaces, bouncing more light around the restaurant, and gold knots on the backs of the chairs nod to the emblems found on ship captains’ epaulettes. Cutlery and glassware is branded, and even the butter dish is shaped like a mini cloche. It’s fun and new and glamorous, and (most importantly) they’ve done away with the drapes and the windows are now uncovered, making the most of those aforementioned views. We’ve called ahead and booked a twoseater looking outwards (advisable in this busy restaurant, where holidaymakers as well as regulars in the know vie for the best seats in the house). Along with the new look came a new menu too, and now the a la carte is nicely concise, with a focus on quality produce sourced locally where possible. Think River Yealm oysters, handdived Start Bay scallops and Aune Valley beef. There’s a daily changing ‘market menu’ too, with similar seasonal offerings. While the oysters make a suitably seductive-looking opening to dinner – packed on ice in a cut-glass bowl – for me, you can’t beat the Start Bay scallops (£12). They’re two meaty mollusks cooked to perfection with a seared crust to give them texture, which come loaded on a plate with a perfectly crisp strip of salty, juicy pork belly. There’s samphire too, and blobs of a smooth carrot purée to lift the plate. A vinaigrette of raisin and caper adds the perfect hit of sweet and salty. My crab hasn’t had to travel far from Salcombe (£12). It’s served in the form of
two chunky quenelles of white meat, made creamy with mayo. There are dainty strips of pickled cucumber to balance the dish, as well as mini cubes of heritage apple to lift it. A rich saffron aioli (the dish is creamy enough, so you may want to skip this), homemade blinis and a fresh crab claw add the finishing touches to a delectable plate. When it comes to meat, steak, lamb and pork done simply and classically are on the menu, but nosing at fellow diners’ plates we deem the seafood to be more spectacular, and, seeing as we’re staring at the coast and have a zingy carafe of Sauv Blanc on the go, we plough on with the fish offerings. My deconstructed fish pie (£27) may have a hefty price tag, but it’s one that, when considering the provenance and exclusive setting, is fair. The mussels are immaculately clean and fresh, and the prawns sizeable – they sit about a base of meaty turbot and mash, and are garnished with a perfectly poached quail egg, whose yolk adds the ideal hit of creaminess to proceedings. Asparagus and
samphire mean that there’s really no need for sides. Across the table, an incredibly chunky plaice fillet (£20) sits atop creamy crab linguine, with more crunchy spears of asparagus. The freshness of this seafood and exquisite presentation make these dishes ones you won’t forget. Cheese and puddings are well planned, and our cherry clafoutis (£7.50) is an elegant offering with good summery flavour. Talking to fellow diners in the spa the next morning (yes, there’s a spa, plus heated outdoor pool) we agree that the whole stay has been prettty special. From classic Martinis on the stone terrace to a post-dinner coffee on your bedroom’s balcony, a stay at Thurlestone is a real treat, with dinner at The Trevilder restaurant being the cherry on the top.
THURLESTONE HOTEL, Kingsbridge TQ7 3NN; 01548 560382; thurlestone.co.uk
L I T T L E
B L A C K
B O O K
CO-OWNER OF THE GLORIOUS ART HOUSE IN EXETER, AS WELL AS TYDEMAN’S OPPOSITE, DERRY KNOWS HIS FOOD AND DRINK – AND THESE ARE HIS PICKS… Breakfast? Hotel du Vin in Exeter. Sitting in a city centre walled garden with steam rising from the pool is the best way to start the day.
Alfresco feasting? Beautiful and the Feast. Grab something freshly made from a reconditioned horse box, and take a pew on the sand dunes. What alfresco is all about.
Favourite grocery shop? Darts Farm. It’s great to be able to buy your milk, bread and a sack of potatoes all in one place, but I also enjoy window shopping for kitchens I’ll never be able to afford there!
Hidden gem? The Coffee Factory, Axminster. I went to the roastery for a coffee festival meeting and stumbled across their charming café. Perfection.
Sunday lunch? Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe. Is there a more idyllic pub? Stone-built, thatched roof, on the moor with a stream running through the garden and ducks and chickens wandering, free range.
One to watch? March, Exeter. Sadly this arrived as I left Exeter, but I was delighted to get to pop in before I went. With Crankhouse Coffee being served, it’s bound to do well.
Cheeky cocktail? Forn. When I have to drink cocktails (usually a leaving drink or staff party), I like them to be as well made and beautifully presented as the passionate bartenders do here.
With friends? The Pig at Combe. Tucked away in rolling hills, and with lounges aplenty as well as the bars and restaurant, it’s pretty great for any occasion.
Posh nosh? The Deer Park Hotel; if I’m going to pay more for a meal, it’s nice to go somewhere where not only the food is great, but where staff are friendly and the owner is about to say hello. Food on the go? Gloucester Services. I often find myself more excited about reaching this point in the journey than the destination itself! Brilliant, hard-to-resist food to go.
With the family? The Village Inn, Thurlestone. It’s so atmospheric and delightful. Lovely place to settle into a catchup dinner. Child friendly? Fiddleford Inn. A good walk from Grandma’s house, this place is a favourite with my kids. All it takes is friendly staff, tasty food and a Wendy house in the beer garden.
Best curry? Spice Magic in Exeter. When working late this has always made up for it. It’s not fancy, it’s just good, proper curry. Best atmosphere? Nkuku in Harbertonford. It’s pretty snug inside, but the courtyard offers extra space. Wherever you’re sat, though, you’re amongst beautifully made furniture and things for the home. It’s just nice to be a part of. Something sweet? Chococo, Exeter. I’ve visited all of their sites now, like an excitable child collecting trading cards. The quality is incredible, and I love the local variations between sites. Top street food? Good Game. Whether or not these guys will be there is a sign of how good an event will be. I love their ethos. Belting burger? The Orangery, Powderham Estate. This is now my local burger joint. It’s not the same as the chicken, hash brown and egg burger that I’d have said in my younger days – it’s a sophisticated, have-atlunch, type of burger.
QUICK! Add this little lot to your contacts book... Hotel du Vin, Exeter EX2 4HY; hotelduvin.com • Darts Farm, Topsham EX3 0QH; dartsfarm.co.uk • Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe-in-the-Moor TQ13 7TF; rugglestoneinn.co.uk • Forn, Exeter EX4 3AZ; fornexeter.co.uk • The Deer Park Country House Hotel, Honiton EX14 3PG; deerparkcountryhotel.co.uk • Gloucester Services, Gloucester GL4 0DN; gloucesterservices.com • Beautiful and the Feast, beautifulandthefeast.com • The Coffee Factory, Axminster EX13 7PW; thecoffeefactory.co.uk • March Coffee, Exeter EX1 1EQ; marchcoffee.co.uk • The Pig at Combe, Honiton EX14 3AD; thepighotel.com • The Village Inn, Thurlestone TQ7 3NN; thurlestone.co.uk • Fiddleford Inn, Fiddleford DT10 2BX; thefiddlefordinn.net • Spice Magic, Exeter EX4 3AN; spicemagicexeter.co.uk • Nkuku, Harbertonford TQ9 7PS; nkuku.com • Chococo, Exeter EX4 3LS; chococo.co.uk • Good Game; good-game.co.uk • The Orangery Restaurant at Powderham Estate, Kenton EX6 8JE; facebook.com/TheOrangeryRestaurant