Best Things About Devon…Part 2
Welcome to the second part of our little celebration of Devon.
This article was written on 3 March 2020
and is a 4 minute read
In Part 1 we explored the countryside, moors and coasts. In Part 2, we savour some of our enticing edible specialities and highlight some of the best Devon food and drink producers.
A big part of visiting a new place is sampling the local delicacies. In Devon, we are blessed with fertile soil and a temperate climate. This all goes into producing some excellent quality food and drink.
You’ll definitely want to try some Devon clotted cream while you’re in the area. It’s used in ice creams, fudge, cream teas (where it must be spread on the scones before the jam is added) and, of course, liberally dolloped onto anything where a bit of extra richness is needed. Langage Farm are our biggest local producer and you can find out more about its creamy deliciousness on their website. Farm-produced ice creams are a treat and so joyful, we don’t only eat them on hot and sunny days! Visit Otter Valley Dairy near Honiton to experience their ice cream parlour and field kitchen, or drop into Taste, just off the market square in Sidmouth, which sells a fabulous range of gelato-style ice creams to eat in or take away.
Our rolling green fields are fantastic for grazing animals and when it comes to meat, you can’t do better than Devon Ruby Red beef. Ruby Red cows, named after their tawny colour, are an ancient breed, celebrated for their delicious meat. You’re also likely to see free range pigs and, of course, sheep roaming the valleys of Devon. Most towns still boast a traditional butcher. Veyseys in Cullompton have a blackboard outside, detailing where all their meat has come from, and they can supply everything you need for your barbecue.
We also benefit from two coasts and a rich fishing heritage. Every coastal town you visit will have at least one restaurant specialising in seafood and you can be sure of its freshness. We’re particularly keen on the River Exe Cafe. This “pop-up cafe”, located on a pontoon in the River Exe Estuary opens in the summer months. You need to catch a water taxi from Exmouth to get there and booking is essential. They serve whatever’s fresh that day and you can eat either inside or out ‘on deck’ surrounded by fabulous views of Dawlish Warren and Lympstone. Our guide to fish and chips will help you find the best places selling this traditional seaside speciality, or, if you’d rather catch your own supper, you’ll find boats along the East Devon coast that will take you out mackerel fishing. Back on dry land at Beer or Sidmouth, you can find small fishmongers selling that morning’s catch.
Orchards & Vineyards
Across the county, and especially around Kentisbeare, you’ll notice plenty of cider apple orchards. The delicious, crisp and summery flavour of cider has become increasingly popular, with producers such as Sandford Orchards and Kingstone Press both being based in Mid-Devon. Our favourite cider is Sandford Orchards’ “Devon Red”. There are now a number of vineyards in Devon, producing some very respectable English wines. These include Sharpham Vineyard, near Totnes, and Pebblebed Vineyard near Topsham, both of which offer tours. We highly recommend the sparkling rose from Pebblebed, which is perfect for any special occasion.
Next month’s blog, the third and last in this series on the best things about Devon, we will examine our county’s cultural heritage, its rich history and delve into something a little more urban: our local cities.