Devon is now recognized as a premier foodie destination and with sustainability and food provenance high on the agenda the regions suppliers and producers have most certainly stepped up to the plate. Now we’re officially into Spring, many of the local food and drink producers in Devon open their doors to share their expertise via a host of food experiences from festivals to their own tailored tours.
Award Winning Cheese
Using centuries old traditional recipes and techniques, clothbound and handmade cheese has a become synonymous with Quicke's. Immerse yourself in the Quicke philosophy, ‘Farm like you live forever’, discover how Mary Quicke introduced the first professional cheese qualification and most importantly, experience the art of making great cheese (and tasting it!) on one of Quicke’s Cheese Tours
. Tours run on specific dates from April to September 2018 and booking is essential.
If unable to attend a tour, the Farm Shop is still worth a visit. Referred to as an ‘Aladdin’s cave’ the range of craft beers, ciders, fresh bread, milk and just about everything else you would want for your cheeseboard adorn the counters. A perfect opportunity to create your very own bespoke hamper for your stay or day out.
Gin Lover’s Paradise
Ever thought about going back to school? No? How about Gin school? Salcombe Distilling Company
offer the ultimate experience for Gin enthusiasts. Although Salcombe Gin is a new venture it has already scooped a plethora of awards including a Gold at the World Gin Awards. The distillery and bar are combined so that you can kick back and enjoy a classic Salcombe & Tonic or signature cocktail whilst admiring Provident, a 450 litre copper still, beautifully crafted by Arnold Holstein. 2017 saw the opening of Salcombe Gin School
, where adults under the guidance of a distiller, can learn about the art of distillation and how to craft their own gin. You get to label and bottle your gin which is then presented to you in a beautiful wooden presentation box for you to take home and enjoy. The Gin school has proved incredibly popular and proves to be a fabulous gift experience.
Chilli with a Twist
From the shore of Salcombe to an altogether different food experience at South Devon Chilli Farm
. From humble beginnings in a few greenhouses in the back garden the business has grown to consist of 10 acres of farmland, a large barn, production kitchen and numerous polytunnels displaying around 200 varieties of chilli and most recently a farm shop and café.
In the early years the owners frequented farmers markets, but as much as the fresh chilli’s were popular, the surplus led the owners to the kitchen where they started to experiment with different preserves, then drying and smoking. Perfecting the art of drying resulted in one of their most famous and loved products, chilli chocolate.
So if you want to know how the heat in a chilli is measured, sample how good it tastes in jam or take the chilli challenge schedule a South Devon Chilli Farm Tour
into your stay. Private tours are also available by appointment and run from March to December except school holidays.
Fruits of the Sea
If you’re an early riser, then a visit to Brixham Fish Market will suit you. Now in their 8th year, Brixham Fish Market Tours
provide an incredible insight into the hustle and bustle of a world famous fish market. Experience the journey of the catch from landing to plate. Learn about fish native to our shores then enjoy a delicious fish breakfast at acclaimed restauranteur, chef and author, Mitch Tonk’s restaurant, Rock Fish
, overlooking where the fish are landed in Brixham. Tours are incredibly popular and more frequent during the summer season, however it’s highly advisable to book well in advance as numbers are limited and tours run on specific dates.
Craft Cider at its Best
Devon is considered to be the true home of cider by Sandford Orchards
, a working cider farm located a short distance north of Exeter. Originally built in 1935 for The Creedy Valley Cider Company the Cider Works is now the home of Sandford Orchards whose mission is to make Devon cider great again. With 4 different ranges of ciders and juices to choose from there is sure to be something to suit all palates. The shop and cider works are open Monday to Saturday, with the bottling line currently in full swing, but if you can make a Friday evening, the Tap Room bar is open from 5pm where cider is served alongside amazing fresh stonebaked sourdough pizzas. Tours and tastings are available to book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Foodie Festivals and Events
If you’re fortunate to visit in May and want to sample the delicious delights Devon has to offer all in one place then the Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink
is for you. The festival runs from 5-7 May 2018. Probably the biggest event in Devon’s calendar is The Devon County Show
a great family day out which showcases the very best of food, farming and rural life and runs from 17-19 May 2018. Finally, it would be ludicrous to miss out on sampling the delicious sustainable local food and drink on offer at The Dartington Food Festival May Bank holiday 27-28 May 2018 – don’t forget to take a bag for gastronomic goodies.
Experiences and memories are precious and there is no better place to make them than Long Barn Cottages this Spring
. Take advantage of the flexibility of self catering breaks to explore and sample the best Devon has to offer with our current Spring Offer
of 20% of all bookings made before the end of April 2018.