A Foodie’s weekend in Devon
There’s no perfect time to visit Devon as it’s just as stunning during the winter as it is during the summer. Its landscape and coast line are absolutely stunning, and its food is pretty good too. From tasting Devon’s different ciders to discovering its farm shops, there are plenty of delicious things to do.
Here’s my list of recommendations.
For some fresh seafood
The Oyster Shack
Milburn Orchard Farm,
Stakes Hill, Bigbury, Devon TQ7 4BE
I don’t think anyone could dislike this fun, family-friendly place. 28 years ago, this restaurant used to be an oyster farm, where locals could bring their own booze and deckchairs and eat the freshest oysters. And that’s how the oyster shack was born. Today, diners can sit indoors in a rustic and cosy space during the winter, or dine al fresco style on hot Summer days.
Of course, fresh seafood and humongous local crabs (the region’s specialty) are on the menu but please please please order their whole lobster, which is served in hot garlic butter.
Fun fact: they serve bottles of white wine in sand buckets with ice cubes.
Exeter, Exmouth, Torquay, Brixham, Dartmouth, Plymouth
Photo credit: @therockfishuk
With its six different locations, The Rockfish stays loyal to Devon’s coast, which they proudly call Britain’s seafood coast. Every day, they go get the best catch at Brixham’s fish market for their different restaurants. From gurnard and Dover sole to lemon sole and lobster, they have over 30 species to choose from. We particularly enjoyed their crisp fried devilled sprats as a starter (£6.95).
Tip: Dartmouth during Summer days is a great crabbing spot! Families get together for this seaside tradition, where kids and adults dangle a line over the side of a quay in the hope of catching the biggest crab. Most shops in Dartmouth sell buckets, line and bait so you can try your hand at crabbing – all you need to bring is patience!
For some organic vegetables
The Riverford Field Kitchen
Wash Farm Bungalow,
Buckfastleigh TQ11 0JU
Some of you might be familiar with The Riverford vegetable boxes, which you can order and get delivered to your home. And if you happen to be extra food-miles conscious, the best option would be to eat at the Riverford Field kitchen, just meters away from its own garden. Not only do they serve vegetables fresh from the soil but they also experiment by using every part of the plant, at all stages of development.
Dinner is at 7.30pm (and £27.50 per person). Don’t be late, as you will be sharing family-size dishes with fellow diners around a communal table. You don’t choose what you eat but from my experience it’s always delicious.
For some English wine (and cheese)
Sharpham Wine and Cheese
Ashprington, Totnes TQ9 7UT
Photo credit: @chloe.mcguinness
Sharpham has brought together my two favourite foods: cheese and wine. This vineyard-meets-cheese-farm has a little café that allows visitors to try out their products. Enjoy a cheese tasting (I particularly liked the Sharpham rustic) with a bottle of Sharpham Barrel fermented (£17.95). You’ll thank me later.
Tip: Have a quick look at their cheese factory and walk around the vineyards after your meal!
For some local Gin
Plymouth Gin Distillery
60 Southside St,
Plymouth PL1 2LQ
Photo credit: @homeofplymouthgin
Being the oldest working gin distillery in England, Plymouth’s distillery is definitely worth a visit. Its tour (£7 for 40min) will teach you a few things about its history. Established in 1793, Plymouth gin quickly became a local’s favourite – sailors seemed to particularly enjoy the elixir. To satisfy the latter’s thirst (and drinking problems) they made a Navy Strength Gin at 57% – which is quite a bit stronger than the classic Plymouth at 41%. Cheers!
Salcombe Gin Distillery
The Boathouse, 28 Island St,
Salcombe TQ8 8DP
Photo credit: @salcombegin
For something new, you should definitely check out the Salcombe Gin Distillery. It was opened in 2016 by two friends, Howard and Angus, who met while teaching sailing at the Salcombe Yacht Club in the 1990’s. They decided years later to join forces and celebrate their common love of Salcombe and gin.
You can take part in their gin school and distill your own gin (£150 for 2 people) or just drink a refreshing G&T at their bar upstairs.