A plethora of outstanding natural resources and an abundance of incredible raw talent has put Devon firmly on the foodie tourist map in recent years and with another staycation summer ahead it will be the place to seek out the best of Britain’s tasty treats and experiences.
The unique combination of moorland grazing, rich arable soil and coastal waters means that nowhere else in Britain boasts the same variety of fresh local produce. From grass-fed cattle and free range poultry to fresh fruit (including grapes!) and vegetables, rapeseed and seaweed and local fish and shellfish, Devon has it all right on its doorstep and one of the best places to stock up on these delights is Darts Farm, Topsham.
The ready availability of such high quality ingredients means that visitors are never far from a mouth-watering meal. Choose from cosy cafés serving Devonshire cream teas and homemade cakes, charming pubs matching inspirational food with local brews and innovative restaurants delivering exceptional dinners. Look out for outstanding local products on Devon’s menus including Luscombe Drinks’ award-winning soft drinks, Yarde Farm ice cream, Flapjackery cakes and Chunk of Devon pies. Or pack a picnic or plan a barbecue and don’t forget a Hot Smoked barbecue ready hot smoking kit.
For those who like to get more hands on with their food, Devon has an unrivalled range of foodie experiences from Sharpham Vineyard cheese and wine tours, visits to Sandford Orchards’ cidery and Salcombe Brewery brew days to Salcombe Distilling Co. gin making classes.
Combining superb food with incredible scenery and as much or as little activity as you like, Devon is the place to visit.
Here are just a few of the exceptional food and drink businesses that call Devon home:
Salcombe Brewery was founded in 2016 and in its short history has built a strong reputation for award-winning beer. A visit to the brewery for a tour or Brew Day is the perfect opportunity to learn more about their ales, how they are created and, of course, how they taste! 2021 is set to be a big year for Salcombe Brewery with a major investment to increase their production capability, new products launched and a brand new venture unveiled.
Salcombe Distilling Co. – Inspired by the coastal vitality of Salcombe and its shipbuilding heritage for exotic trading routes, Salcombe Distilling Co. creates exceptional spirits at its waterside distillery on Island Street, Salcombe; one of the world’s only distilleries directly accessible by boat. Every drop of their collection is distilled and crafted with an unrivalled passion, care and attention to detail. Launched in 2016, SDCo’s collection of spirits is distilled on ‘Provident’, a 450l bespoke copper pot still which stands proud behind glass doors at the distillery for all to see whilst enjoying a ‘Salcombe & Tonic’ in the tasting bar overlooking the Salcombe estuary. Next door is The Gin School where visitors can learn about distillation and create their own bottle of gin.
Darts Farm – Over the past 25 years Darts Farm has continually evolved to become one of the most exciting shopping experiences in the South West. Darts Farm remains a family business run by the Dart brothers, but at its core it’s still a working farm, and sells all of its home-grown produce directly through the farm shop. It now offers nationwide delivery for a range of high quality dine-in meal solutions, artisan food subscriptions, hampers for all occasions, meat and veg boxes. Darts Farm can be found overlooking the beautiful Clyst Valley in the picturesque town of Topsham on the outskirts of Exeter. Reconnect with nature and stroll around the fields and bird hide. Hire one of Darts Farm’s bikes, grab a picnic from the food hall and cycle along the 26-mile track and discover the beautiful Exe Estuary.
Sandford Orchards – Founded in 2002, independent, family-owned Sandford Orchards is based in Crediton, Mid Devon in the oldest working cider mill in the UK – ‘The Cider Works’. The area has long been known as one of the most fertile parishes in all of Britain, both for its grazing and ability to grow apples. Sandford Orchards takes a fresh, natural and low impact approach to producing cider. Combining tradition and innovation, Sandford Orchards produces an award-winning range of core session ciders, fruit ciders and a new Vintage cider range and Prosecco style cider ‘Katja’. The Cider Works has a fully licensed tap room, shop, freshly made stone baked pizzas on a Friday, monthly tours and tastings, pop-up restaurants and a number of events scheduled (when permitted) throughout the year.
Sharpham Cheese & Wine – There are few places in the world as beautiful as the Sharpham Estate to visit and home to Sharpham Cheese and Sharpham Wine. Situated on the banks of the River Dart in Devon, this food-filled destination is globally renowned for its vineyard (Multi-award winners for their sparkling, white, rose and red wine), cheese dairy (with a winner at the Global Cheese Awards) and ‘The Cellar Door Kitchen’ – an alfresco café.
Flapjackery– Lick your lips in sugary joy with a delicious box of flapjacks delivered to your door by Devon-based Flapjackery. They’re perfect for picnics, or a boost of energy as you explore Devon’s incredible landscape. These wonderful hand-made gluten-free creations of unique flavours are dripping in British history and golden syrup and are made on the edge of Dartmoor using the highest quality, gluten-free ingredients. Order online and have delicious flapjack boxes, all in recyclable cardboard, delivered straight to your door.
Chunk of Devon – Double winners of Britain’s Best Pasty, Chunk of Devon are renowned for their wide range of pies and pasties. With a large vegan and vegetarian range too, there’s a Chunk for everyone. Available with nationwide delivery from www.chunkofdevon.co.uk
Yarde Farm Ice Cream – Summer and ice cream go hand in hand, and as you explore Devon’s seaside towns and villages, venture up onto Dartmoor, or walk the hundreds of miles of footpaths, you’re sure to come across somewhere selling Yarde Farm Ice Cream. From Widecombe-in-the-Moor to Goodrington Sands, Yards Farm Ice Cream’s sumptuous taste has an uncanny knack for reviving treasured memories of happy days on holiday. And it’s hardly surprising as its time honoured recipes only include the first Italian ripples, real fruit purees and lashings of fresh double cream.
Luscombe Drinks – Having produced beautiful drinks in South Devon since 1975, Luscombe Drinks certainly know what they’re doing. Crafted using fresh Peruvian root ginger and Devon spring water, their authentic ginger beer packs a punch with its distinctive yet not overpowering heat. Also available in the multi award-winning Luscombe Drinks range is organic fruit juices, crushes, bubblies, sparkling waters, tonic waters and mixers.
Hot Smoked – Devon-based Hot Smoked has a range of flavours in its BBQ ready Hot Smoking Kits that will create mouth-watering aromas and tastes, whether you’re cooking up a meat feast, creating a sumptuous vegetarian platter, or opting for fish. The wood itself becomes a key ingredient as the aromatic woodsmoke curls around and infuses the food. All the Hot Smoked kits are suitable for use with a charcoal or gas hooded BBQ or a dedicated smoker. The smoking woods are produced specifically for food use and the wood is 100% pure fruitwood or hardwood, sourced sustainably from managed commercial orchards or woodlands. The kits are hand packed in the UK and gift boxed. What’s more, all the kits featuring the smoker box can be used again and again, all you need to do is top up on wood refills for your hot smoking journey to continue creating amazing tastes and flavours.