Devon Food, Drink and Local Information - Blog

Father’s Day 2017 in Devon: Gift Ideas and Free Events May 06, 2017 20:48

We’ve listed some Devon-themed Father’s Day gifts and ideas for things to do in Devon this Father’s Day; a number of local attractions have special events where dads go free.

When is Father’s Day 2017?

Sunday 18th June 2017 (always the third Sunday in June).

Devonshire Father’s Day Gifts

Cider Hampers

Devon cider is produced using traditional methods with a higher percentage of true cider apples which are richer in tannins and sharper in flavour giving a high quality product that tastes amazing.

Cream Tea Hampers

Our cream tea hampers are perfect for dads with a sweet tooth. They contain award-winning local products, have over 100 5 star reviews and come with free next day delivery which can be selected for Friday 16th June.

Devon Food Hampers

Our Devon food hampers are packed with award-winning local food and drink, produced on a small-scale using high quality ingredients, such as Georgie Porgie Puddings, Teoni’s Cookies, Willies Cacao and delicious Devon fudge.

Vouchers for Afternoon Tea in Devon

Buy a voucher to take dad for afternoon tea at the Old Forge in Chagford (winner of ‘Best Afternoon Tea in Britain’ at the Café Life Awards) or to the Orestone Manor near Torquay with it spectacular views over the South Devon coast and 2 AA rosettes for dining.

Events & Attractions in Devon Offering Free Father’s Day Entry for Dads

Father’s Day Welly Wanging at World of Country Life, Exmouth - To celebrate dad’s special day, all dads and granddads get free entry to the park as well as free entry into the Welly Wanging competition – with great prizes up for grabs for the winner! There are all the usual daily activities as well, including goat walking, animal handling, bottle feeding, Lamb Racing or Ferret Racing (depending on the weather!), the Hawkridge Birds of Prey flying display and the Deer Train Safari. https://www.worldofcountrylife.co.uk/event/fathers-day-welly-wanging/

Father's Day Special at Seaton Tramway - Dads travel free with their family. Make Dad’s day extra special and treat him to a delicious roast Sunday lunch or a scrumptious Devon cream tea at the Tramstop Cafe. http://www.tram.co.uk/events/detail/fathers-day

Dads Go Free on Father's Day at Becky Falls. Make Father's Day truly special this year with a visit to Devon's Top Beauty Spot where dads visiting on Father's Day will visit for free when accompanied by a full-paying child. There is a choice of three stunning walks, a petting zoo, children's activities with free prizes, hands-on animal feeding, animal shows and adorable meerkats and it's all included in the entry price. http://www.beckyfalls.com/ (their Facebook page also has some information on the Mother's Day event).

Father’s Day At The BiG Sheep  - Free Entry to the BIG Sheep for all Dads when accompanied by a full paying child – download a voucher from the link below. Dads can enjoy a refreshing pint of real ale from the BIG Sheep brewery over lunch and then an afternoon of whizzing down the slides and monkeying around on the gladiator rings. http://www.thebigsheep.co.uk/events/details/fathers-day-2

Father’s Day at Powderham Castle, Kenton – Dads are invited to visit for FREE when accompanied by a paying child. Enjoy fun, outdoor games from cricket and croquet to wacky races and making daddy a mummy! http://www.powderham.co.uk/events/fathers-day-0


Gifts & Things To Do in Devon For Mother’s Day - 2017 Update March 04, 2017 19:37

Mother’s Day 2017 is upon us. It’s always on the fourth Sunday of Lent making this year’s Mother’s Day Sunday 26th March 2017. Here we’ve listed some ideas of local Mother’s Day gifts along with some things to do in Devon this Mothering Sunday as lots of local attractions have special Mother’s Day events where mums go free. At the top of the page we’ve listed gifts we sell and lower down we’ve provided some other local gift ideas and things to do in Devon this Mother’s Day.

Cream Tea Hampers

Mother’s Day is one of the busy times of the year for cream tea hampers as they make a nice present for mums and nans.  All our hampers include a gift card that can be personalised at checkout. We send our cream tea hampers by 1st Class post and delivery is free. Last orders for free delivery is 10am Thursday 23rd March 2017 as we don’t dispatch cream teas on a Friday just in case they’re delayed and don’t arrive until Monday. When ordering you can select Friday 24th March 2017 as the delivery date, the cream and scones are good for up to 5 days from dispatch so can be enjoyed over the weekend.

Our basic cream tea hampers start at £20 including delivery:

Mothers Day Cream Tea HamperMothers Day Prosecco Cream Tea

We also sell lots of non-cream tea hampers containing artisan food and drink produced here in Devon, such as Willies Cacao, Teoni’s Cookies, Otter Vale Chutney and Devonshire Tea:

Devon Food Hampers For Mothers Day

Gift Vouchers for Afternoon Tea in Devon

Going out for afternoon on Mother’s Day can be busy and hard to arrange but the good thing about buying a gift voucher for afternoon tea is that it can be arranged at your mum’s convenience. We sell gift vouchers for afternoon tea at a number of locations on Dartmoor and in South Devon. One of which is the Old Forge in Chagford recently won the Cafe Life Awards ‘best afternoon tea in the UK’ award. It’s based in the remote North Western corner of Dartmoor but has relatively easy access from Exeter and a trip can be combined with a peaceful afternoon stroll along the picturesque River Teign. Our blog also contains details of every hotel offering afternoon tea in Devon, regardless of whether we sell gift voucher for them or not.

Mothers Day Afternoon Tea Gift Vouchers 

Spa Days in Devon This Mother's Day

For a really luxurious gift, treat your mum to a day of pampering at one of Devon’s exclusive spas. The Aztec Spa in Torquay offers a wide range of relaxation and beauty treatments. Dip and dine is a great avoidable option as its large Aztec themed pool and seating area is relaxing enough. In Exeter, the REN Spa at the Magdalen Chapter is nestled in the hotel’s walled garden offering both locals and residents a wide selection of treatments for the ultimate Mother’s Day gift of relaxation. The spa also has a peaceful outside pool that is heated to a pleasant 29 degrees. For more spas in Devon try TripAdvisor’s Best Spa Hotels in Devon list.

 Mothers Day Spa Gifts in Devon

Devon Wine Tasting and Vineyard Experience

Pebblebed Vineyard in Clyst st George, East Devon and Sharpham Vineyard and Cheese Dairy on the banks of the River Dart in South Devon both offer gift vouchers for various tours and tasting experiences. Sharpham Vineyard and Cheese Dairy is a 550 acre estate with 12,000 vines basking in the sun on the south facing slopes.  Staring as a local community project in 1999 Pebblebed has grown to more than 20 acres of vineyards and modern winery producing close to 50,000 bottles of Devon wines per year.

Devon Events & Attractions Offering Free Entry This Mother’s Day

Mothering Sunday at World of Country Life, Exmouth - Mums & Grans go free! Go along and help your mum or grandma celebrate with a funtastic day out at Devon’s multi-award-winning family day out – World of Country Life, Exmouth! http://www.worldofcountrylife.co.uk/

Mother's Day Special at Seaton Tramway - Mum travels free with their family. Make Mum’s day extra special and treat her to a delicious roast Sunday lunch or a scrumptious Devon cream tea at the Tramstop Cafe. http://www.tram.co.uk/events/detail/mothers-day-2

Mums Go Free on Mother's Day at Becky Falls. Make Mother's Day truly special this year with a visit to Devon's Top Beauty Spot where mums visiting on Mother's Day will visit for free when accompanied by a full-paying child. There's a choice of three stunning walks, a petting zoo, children's activities with free prizes, hands-on animal feeding and animals shows and adorable meerkats and it's all included in the entry price. http://www.beckyfalls.com/ (their Facebook page also has some information on the Mother's Day event).

Mothers Day At The BiG Sheep  - Free Entry to the BIG Sheep for all Mums when accompanied by a full paying child. Make a special gift for mum in a free craft workshop between 11am and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday in the indoor play area. http://www.thebigsheep.co.uk/events/details/mothers-day-2

Mothering Sunday at South Devon Railway - treat mum to sandwiches, cakes and a cream tea in a luxury dining train. Leaves Buckfastleigh at 4pm. Booking essential. http://www.southdevonrailway.co.uk/events


Busy Christmas & Happy New Year 2017 January 13, 2017 10:27

We’re just getting back into the swing of things here at Devon Heaven Hampers following a busy Christmas period which saw us flat out through December so thought it was time to update our blog and look ahead to 2017.

Christmas 2016 was a big success for us with many returning customer reordering at Christmas as well as lots of new customers choosing to buy our Devon food hampers.

Our cream and afternoon tea hampers were particularly popular, helped by a great reputation our cream tea hampers have earned. With Christmas falling on a Sunday in 2016 it also meant that we could send cream and scones Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday and Christmas day would still fall within the 5 days that they’re best consumed within. Christmas 2017 falling on a Monday also won’t be too bad in that respect.

Most of the food we stock is produced on a small scale without preservatives so best before dates often only last a few months past Christmas, hence balancing stock levels was one of the biggest challenges this year.

Luckily for us we didn’t have a white Christmas or any other weather issues in the run up to Christmas so both deliveries via Royal Mail and our courier all ran on time.

It was great to see a number of small and medium sized Devon based businesses sending our Devon food hampers to clients, as well as a number of non-local companies, including 26 hampers we sent to Denmark.

In 2017 we’ll soon be looking add more afternoon tea hampers and a number of larger hampers. We won’t be adding too many though as we don’t want to overwhelm users with a range that takes too long to look through, so aim to keep our product ranges to only the very best products!

2016 Christmas Markets and Events in Devon October 01, 2016 11:04 4 Comments

Devon is bursting with Christmas events and activities, from meeting Santa, Christmas shopping or watching the magic of a Christmas light switch on. There is plenty going on in Devon to entertain the whole family. Christmas markets and late night shopping where you can enjoy an assortment of craft stalls, local food and drink and entertainment are becoming more and more popular each year. It shouldn’t be hard to find a Christmas market nearby and its bound to get you in the festive mood.

Christmas markets in Devon 2015

If you want some Christmas fun, ideas for things to do with the whole family or inspiration on the best markets or last minute shopping locations, we’ve listed all the events taking place throughout Christmas 2016 in Devon. As we find out about more Christmas markets and events during the season, we’ll add to this list so please contact us if you’d like your event to be included.

And if you’re looking to send a loved one a true taste of Devon this year, don’t forget our delicious Christmas Devon food hampers

2016 Christmas lights switch on throughout Devon

Torquay Christmas lights have been cancelled this year - the Winter carnival on 19 Nov is still going ahead
17 November - Plymouth Christmas lights switch-on (usually takes place on the Piazza from 4pm)
17 November – Exeter Christmas lights switch-on (4pm - 8pm Princesshay)
2 December - 4.30pm – 6.00pm - Dawlish Christmas Lights Switch on
3 December - 3pm - 6pm - Bovey Tracey’s Christmas Lights Switch on

2016 Christmas markets, food and craft fairs in Devon

  • 3 November - Powderham Michaelmas Fair - Powderham Castle, Kenton, Exeter 10am-3pm
  • 5 November – Tavistock Warm up to Christmas market – Tavistock Town Hall 10am-4pm
  • 13 November - Grosvenor Christmas Craft Fair - Grosvenor Hotel, Torquay 11am-4pm
  • 18/19 November - Hannahs Christmas Fayre – Seale Hayne, Newton Abbot
  • 19 November to 18 December – Exeter Christmas Market - Cathedral Green, Exeter (it is going ahead as normal despite the Royal Clarence Hotel fire)
Christmas Food Hampers From Devon
  • 19 November 10am-4pm - Totnes Christmas Market 2016 - Totnes Civic Hall, Market Square, High Street, TQ9 5SG
  • 25 November - Dickensian Evening, Tavistock
  • 26 & 27 November - Saltram Christmas Festival (Craft), Saltram Estate 10am-4pm
  • 26 Nov to 21 Dec - Exeter Christmas Market in Fore Street (26 November and 3, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 20 & 21 December)
  • 1 to 18 December – Plymouth Christmas Market City Centre
  • 1 to 21 December - Exeter Christmas Market in Castle Street (1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 & 21 December)
  • 2 December 5-8pm - Sidmouth Shopping Evening and Christmas Fayre
  • 2 to 4 December - Dawlish Christmas Lights Switch on (Fri), Family Day (Sat) and Christmas Market (Sun) - see comments below for more info
  • 3 December - Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas
  • 3 December 11am-4pm - A Dickens Of A Christmas Fair, Sherwell Valley Primary School Grounds, Hawkins Avenue, Torquay
  • 3 December - 3pm - 6pm - Bovey Tracey’s Christmas Lights Switch on and Street Fayre - see comments below for more info
  • 7 December - St Marychurch Christmas Street Party (Midday until 7.30pm, St Marychruch Precinct)
  • 10 & 11 December - Christmas Market at Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre, West Devon
  • 18 December 10am-1pm - Crediton Christmas Farmers Market -The Square, Crediton

Devon Themed Gift Ideas For Christmas

Other Christmas events in Devon during winter 2016

Santa Grotto's In Devon

Late night shopping in Devon this season

Totnes late night shopping – Tuesday evenings until 9.30pm on 6, 13 & 20 December
Exeter late night shopping – Every Thursday evening from 24 November
Plymouth late night shopping - Every Thursday evening
Trago Mills Newton Abbot - Every Thursday until 8pm

Christmas Food Hampers From Devon

Christmas Events from last year that we can't find any details on and may not be on this year:

  • Plymouth Outside Ice Rink
  • Christmas Market at Royal William Yard, Plymouth
  • Teignmouth Christmas Market - Richard Newton Hall, Teignmouth
  • RHS Rosemoor Christmas Food Fair
  • RHS Rosemoor Christmas Craft and Design Fair

Interview with 'Real' Cider Expert Jim Callender September 21, 2016 08:05

Real Cider Logo

Jim Callender runs the website www.real-cider.co.uk that contains loads of cider related information, such as it's history, latest industry news, types of cider, producers and lots more. The website is focused on 'real' cider, meaning high quality cider with broadly 100% fruit content, rather than mass produced cider with additives and much less apple content. Jim has kindly offered to share his cider knowledge with us below so that we can all appreciate and identify the best high-quality real ciders.

For more about Devon cider and producers of it see our other blog post.

We sell hampers containing real cider here.

Can you tell us a bit about why you created the website and if you have any future plans for it?

I created the site at the start of 2009 as a hobby, and a way of sharing with the world the wonders of craft cider. Not just enjoying it, but also the people, places and heritage of England's oldest drink. Since this time cider's popularity has increased, and as a result people want to know where they can find the 'real' stuff. This is where my website serves as a learning resource and guide.

I get emails from cider lovers, and cider makers all over the world - it's been wonderful getting to know so many kind and like-minded people.

Future plans for it is to continue being a specialist cider blog and news portal. We have a lively Facebook group and over 6k followers on Twitter.

How can you find real cider? - http://www.real-cider.co.uk/how-to-find-real-cider/

When did your passion for cider, and in particular real cider begin? / Do you have a background in cider making?

My interest for cider started when I began volunteering as a conservation volunteer in the West Country. Where certain weekends we would be pruning a vintage orchard on the slopes of Glastonbury Tor. Or hedgerow maintenance in the Devon hills. I ran these projects with a gent called Iain, who has sadly passed away now. However, we had some very special evenings tasting his cider and his favourites from the area.

My hobby progressed from there. Enjoying ciders means traveling to some very special places, which are often unchanged from todays fast paced living. Visiting a cider maker can be like stepping back in time.

Why are you so passionate about real cider and why is it important to educate people on the pro's of real cider?

As I am gluten free and don't like commercial mass produced drinks - traditional craft cider seemed the obvious 'healthier' choice. I joke with people that cider is one of my five a day. There is a infamous cider maker named Roger Wilkins who has been drinking it since age 4!

How can you tell if a cider is of a high quality?

A high quality cider has to be 100% fermented apple juice, with nothing added. Sometimes, cider makers may add sugar syrup, or apple juice to a dry cider, to make it sweeter.

A high quality cider can be cloudy, which means it is unfiltered and unpasteurised. Both practices would remove some of the characteristics you'd be looking for in a good cider. However, this is done for extending shelf life of ciders and some ciders may explode in transmit as they can continue fermenting briefly when bottled.
The sign of a real cider is that it should have a farmyard aroma. This you can discover when smelling the cider in a glass.

A good cider should have the right balance of tannins - from apple skins which add the golden colours, sugars, and acidity.

A cider can be made from one single variety - like Kingston black apple, or blended from a variety of local types.

What are some of the best ciders you've tried?

I'm a big fan of Devon ciders, as they are very drinkable, due to the apple varieties they have there. Cider makers like Sandford Orchards or Sheppy's effortlessly create traditional ciders that have all the right characteristics - tannin, sugars and acidity. They are great to enjoy with a cheese board, pasta or something meaty like roast pork.

I'm fortunate to have sampled ciders around the world - from India to Canada where the cider production methods and apple types all vary - to make a distinctive cider.

The best ciders are a blend, so by having around 300 different apples to choose from throughout the west country, you have got so many possibilities there!

Traditionally cider produced in the West Country is different to cider produced in Eastern England, with more true cider apples used in the West Country. Generally speaking are there any noticeable cider differences within the West Country?

True cider apples are generally only found in the West Country. It all depends on the apples that are local to the cider maker. These can be not palatable like eating apples when picked from a tree, as they are richer in tannins and sharper in flavour.

However, when fermented with other apples they all give there characteristics which cider makers look for to give a delightful experience in a glass when ready in the spring, after bubbling away happily in a oak barrel stored in a farm out building.

The wild yeasts that are found on the skin and in the flesh of the fruit can vary regionally all giving distinctive tastes.

Why has the West Country been the biggest cider producing region in the UK?

You'll find two types of cider makers in the West Country - at one end of the scale are the traditional, small farm-produced varieties. The West Country contains many of these farms which have an abundance of ancient varieties of specialist cider-apples. At the other end of the scale are the factories mass-producing brands who use apples as the base to their beverages, but are not true 'real' ciders.

In the West Country, Local farm hands used to be paid for their work in cider. Farm owners got a reputation for their ciders, and often attracted workers by the quality of the cider!

Today 17,300 acres of orchards harvested each year across the UK, which employs 9,000 people directly or supported by the industry.

Many thanks to Jim for sharing his expertise!


Holiday Home Hampers July 18, 2016 10:38

With two national parks and two spectacular coastlines Devon has plenty to offer visitors to the area. Whether your holiday home is a quaint seaside cottage or a wooden lodge set in a holiday park, we can provide hampers to delight your guests upon arrival and provide them with their first taste of the West Country.

Why offer guests a hamper?

Providing guests with a hamper only adds a small cost to letting out a holiday home, but is a thoughtful touch that can make a big difference to the welcome visitors receive. It starts their holiday on the right note and goes a long way to encouraging them to stay again.

Devon Corporate Hampers For ChristmasCompany Hampers From Devon

Types of holiday home hampers

For many tourists visiting the region, the local food is as much of a draw as the beautiful coastline and countryside on offer in the county. All our hampers are packed with food and drink sourced from within Devon, which is clearly important to guests who want to experience something unique to this part of the country. Often holiday home owners will have a clear idea of the types of products that they would like to include in a hamper, and we are more than happy to customise them. Simply let us know what is required and we can provide a quote. Food than doesn’t need refrigeration and has a reasonable shelf life is usually the best choice. Local wine, cider, real ales, tea, coffee, biscuits, crisps, popcorn, jam, chutney etc. are popular products to go into holiday home hampers.

How to arrange delivery for guests’ arrival

The best way to arrange this is usually for us to send the hampers to whoever manages the changeover so that the hamper can be left at the accommodation at the same time that its cleaned. To save on delivery costs, it might be best for multiple hampers to be sent to the management company at a time.

Holiday home hamper discount

We can offer hamper discount in recognition of the regular business for anyone wanting us to supply their holiday home. The exact amount will depend on how we arrange the delivery and the items to be included in the hamper.

Gift Card Messages

We can include customised gift cards with hampers showing a picture of the local area or our standard Devon Heaven Hampers gift card showing rolling hills on the edge of Dartmoor.

Contact

Please contact us to discuss your requirements and to receive a quote.

Contact Details


Fathers Day Cream Tea Gifts For Grandparents May 27, 2016 14:45

Cream teas are a perfect gift for Father’s or Mother’s Day:

  • Starting from £20, including delivery, they are an affordable present.
  • They’re an original gift idea, more unexpected than obvious presents like chocolates or flowers.
  • Cream teas have a universal appeal, liked by all ages but particularly popular with grandparents sparking memories of seaside holidays to the West County.

In the UK, Father’s Day is always celebrated on the third Sunday of June which makes it Sunday 18th June 2017 this year. Our last cream tea dispatch for arrival before Fathers’ Day is Thursday 15th June so orders need to be with us by 11am on Thursday 15th. This will result in gifts arriving on Friday 16th, this delivery date can be selected from our calendar on the checkout page when ordering in advance.

All hampers also have the option to include a personal gift card message for Father’s Day, this can be entered at checkout. There’s no extra charge to include a personal Fathers’ Day message.

Fathers Day Cream Tea

Our cream tea hampers themselves come with large hand-made scones from the Devon Scone Company. Owner and Chef Richard Hunt is often featured on TV and at food exhibitions, sharing his baking knowledge. His scones are based on traditional Devon Splits, perfect for soaking up the clotted cream when serving cream teas the Devon way with cream first then jam on top. Richard also produces our strawberry jam which was awarded a Taste of the West gold in 2014. Many of the customer reviews featured on our website describe the scones and jam as the best the recipient has ever tasted. The clotted cream used in our cream teas is produced by Langage Farm; Devon’s biggest manufacturer of clotted cream and the UK’s first carbon neutral dairy. Their cream regularly wins awards with the most recent being 1st place at the 2016 Devon County Show.

For those looking for Father’s Day gifts for parents or grandparents based in Devon, we also sell vouchers for afternoon or cream teas at various venues around Devon. One of which that we’re very proud of is the Old Forge in Chagford. It won the best afternoon tea in the UK at the Cafe Life Awards in 2015 and was described as “Britain's best cream tea" by The Daily Telegraph in September 2015.

Why's Devon Cider Special & Who Produces It? April 28, 2016 09:59 1 Comment

We’ve recently obtained an alcohol license in preparation for stocking cider hampers, as well as including local real ales and wines within our Devon food hampers and afternoon teas. We have spent a lot of time researching Devon based cider producers and brands so that we can include the very best in our hampers. It therefore made sense to write this blog detailing Devon cider brands, along with a bit about why the region is a prominent cider producer.

For more about cider production and how to appreciate and identify high-quality cider see our Interview with 'real' cider expert Jim Callender.

Cider Orchard Devon

What’s special about Devon / West Country cider?

In the UK there are two traditional ways to make cider - the West Country way and the eastern Kent and East Anglia way. The West Country tradition involves using a much higher percentage of true cider apples which are richer in tannins and sharper in flavour. Devon has near perfect conditions for apple-growing and as a result has many farms with an abundance of ancient varieties of specialist cider-apples. Production within Devon is often on a very small scale so comes with a handmade touch and attention to detail not always seen on bigger operations. These traditional methods involve nearly 100% juice, unlike mass-produced methods. Cloudy, unfiltered ciders made in Devon and also the West Country as a whole are often called "scrumpy".

Cider Producers in Devon

Sandford Orchards
Crediton, Devon
http://www.sandfordorchards.co.uk/

Sandford Orchards is a traditional farm business, pressing juices and ciders. They offer a tour & tasting evening at The Cider Works, which includes a homemade meal and cheese board with a talk on how cider pairs with different cheeses. Their cider range includes still, sparkling, fruit ciders and Devon Scrumpy.

Hunt’s Cider
Stoke Gabriel, near Totnes
http://www.huntscider.co.uk/

Based on a 400 acre farm stocking cattle and sheep, as well as growing barley, Hunt’s Cider is produced from 18 acres of cider apple orchards. They make in the region of 5000 - 7000 gallons of cider each year predominantly from their own apples and sell directly from the farm gate. The apples are mostly Devonshire varieties such as Brown's apple, Sweet Alford and Tremletts Bitter.

Luscombe Organic Drinks
Buckfastleigh, South Devon
http://www.luscombe.co.uk/

Based on a farm in deepest South Devon, Luscombe have been making organic drinks crafted with exceptional care since 1975. Better known for producing juice and soft drinks than cider, they use Devon apples including Tail Sweet, Sugar Bush, Devon Crimson and Slack-Ma-Girdle to produce medium dry cider.

Herron Valley Drinks
Kingsbridge, South Devon
http://www.heronvalley.co.uk/

As well as cider, Herron Valley produces juices, soft drinks and cider vinegar from their farm in the South Hams. They also have a travelling bar available for events in and around South Devon. Their still and sparkling cider is made from proper Devon apples and is either bottled or bagged.

Sam’s Cider
Winkleigh, Central Devon
http://www.winkleighcider.co.uk/

The site where Sam’s cider is produced has been a home to cider makers for over 100 years. The original business grew with its brands becoming household names until it was sold to Bulmer’s in 1996. One of the cider makers then decided to form The Winkleigh Cider Company and started producing Sam’s Cider on the site. They now have a range to suit everyone with dry, medium, sweet, sparkling and fruit ciders.

Yarde Cider
Stoke Gabriel, South Devon
http://www.yardecider.co.uk/

Yarde Cider are a small family business based in the picturesque village of Stoke Gabriel on the edge of the River Dart. They produce real cider and juices from apples hand picked in local orchards. Their craft apple ciders come dry, sweet or medium.

Ashridge Cider
Staverton, near Totnes
http://www.ashridgecider.co.uk/

Ashridge Cider make their signature sparkling ciders using the traditional champagne method. It’s a high quality, award winning sparkling cider. They also now produce some bottled organic vintage ciders made from 100% apple juice, using up to fifteen different varieties of bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples.

Sampford Courtenay Cider & English Wine Company
Sampford Courtenay, Central Devon
http://www.devoncider.com/

Sampford Courtenay’s cider is made entirely form the apples grown on their farm. They have 14,000 apple trees; Ellis Bitters, Dabinette Michelin and Bramley's Seedling to create sparkling ciders which they bottle into 75CL wine bottles.


Events, Farmers Markets & Food Festivals in Devon - 2017 Update January 07, 2016 15:13 1 Comment

Here we’ve listed all the food festivals, country shows, farmers markets and other popular events happening in Devon throughout 2017

Devon farmers markets and country shows in 2016

Regular Farmers Markets in Devon

  • Ashburton Farmers' Market, Tuckers Yard, Chuley Road, Ashburton, Devon, TQ13 7DG - 5 days a week - Tuesday – Saturday
  • Barnstaple Farmers Market, Pannier Market, Barnstaple - Every Tuesday & Friday
  • Bideford Farmers' Market, Market Place, Town Centre, Bideford - Every Tuesday & Saturday
  • Bovey Tracey Farmers' Market, Town Square, Union Street, Bovey Tracey - Alternate Saturdays every month
  • Buckfastleigh Farmers' Market, Near The Globe Inn, Town Centre - Every Thursday
  • Budleigh Salterton Farmers' Market, Polle Car Park, off High Street - Last Friday of every month
  • Coombe Martin Farmers' Market, Village Hall - Every third Saturday of the month
  • Crediton Farmers' Market, The Market Square - Every 1st Saturday of the month
  • Cullompton Farmers' Market, Station Road Car Park, Forge Way - 2nd Saturday of the month
  • Dartmouth Farmers' Market, The Old Market - Every second Saturday of the month
  • Exeter Farmers' Market, Junction of South Street and Fore Street - Every Thursday
  • Exmouth Farmers' Market, The Strand Gardens - 2nd Wednesday every month
  • Holsworthy Farmers' Market, The Square - Every Wednesday
  • Honiton Farmers' Market, Lace Walk car park - Third Thursday of every month
  • Ilfracombe Farmers' Market, St Peters Church, Highfield Road - Every 1st & 3rd Saturday of the month
  • Ivybridge Farmers' Market, Hartford Road Car Park - Third Saturday of every month
  • Kingsbridge Farmers' Market, Town Square - Every first & third Saturday of the month
  • Lynton Farmers' Market, Town Hall - First Saturday of every month
  • Newton Abbot Farmers' Market, Courtnay Street - Every Tuesday
  • Okehampton Farmers Market, St. James’ Chapel Square, Fore Street - Every first and third Saturday of the month
  • Ottery St Mary Farmers' Market, Hind Street Car Park - 1st Friday of the month
  • Plymouth Farmers' Market, Town Centre Plaza - Every second & fourth Saturday of the month
  • Plymouth Good Food Market, Royal William Yard - First Sunday of every month
  • South Molton Pannier Market, Pannier Market - Fourth Saturday of the month
  • Tavistock Farmers' Market, Bedford Square - Every second & fourth Saturday of the month
  • Teignmouth Farmers' Market, The Triangle - Last Saturday of every month
  • Tiverton Pannier Market, Pannier Market - Every Tuesday & Friday
  • Torquay Farmers' Market, Union Street - Every Friday
  • Totnes Good Food Market, Market Square - Every Third Sunday of the Month
  • Widecombe Farmers' Market, Widecombe-on-the-Moor - Every fourth Saturday of the month 

Food festivals, country shows and other events in Devon during 2017

27 - 29 April 2017
Tuckers Maltings Beer Festival, Newton Abbot
http://edwintucker.co.uk/beer-festival
Showcasing the finest ales of the Southwest’s SIBA members.

29 April - 1 May 2017
Exeter Food & Drink Festival, Exeter
http://www.exeterfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk/
The festival is an annual event held in the courtyard of Exeter Castle and the surrounding Northernhay Gardens, right in the centre of Exeter. Taking place over three days, the festival also includes two evening 'Festival After Dark' events featuring live music, chef demos and a great atmosphere.

tbc
Landmark Beer and Music Festival, The Landmark Theatre, Nr Ilfracombe
Real ales and free live music on the North Devon Coast.

18 - 20 May 2017
Devon County Show, Westpoint Exeter
http://www.devoncountyshow.co.uk/
The Devon County Show is the biggest (and best!) event in the county calendar and is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing day out sampling the many wonders of the local countryside.

2 - 4 June 2017
Flavour Fest 2017, Plymouth
http://www.flavourfestsw.co.uk/
Smell the most delicious aromas in Plymouth City Centre at Flavour Fest, the South West’s largest free food and drink festival (according to www.visitplymouth.co.uk).

TBC
Honiton Sausage & Cider Festival, Honiton
http://www.honitonfestival.org/
Two staples in a true Devonian’s diet: you can’t go wrong, really. And all from local sausage and cider producers.

17 - 18 June 2017
Crediton Food Festival, Crediton
http://www.creditonfoodfestival.co.uk/
Crediton has history of good, locally produced food and boasts a butcher, greengrocer, bakers, delicatessens, wine shop, cafes, restaurants and other independent outlets.

16 - 18 June 2017
Teignmouth Folk Festival
http://www.teignmouthfolk.co.uk/
Teignmouth is one of Devon's oldest seaside resorts and is located below the Haldon Hills and on the estuary of the River Teign. Festival details tbc.

1 July 2017
Let's Rock Exeter, Powderham Castle
http://www.letsrockexeter.com/
The ultimate 80s festival in the beautiful grounds of Powderham Castle.

7 - 15 July 2017
Budleigh Music Festival, Budleigh
http://www.budleighmusicfestival.co.uk/
The concerts cover a wide range of classical musical styles and are set in this beautiful East Devon seaside town with its own special atmosphere.

6 - 8 July 2017
Exeter Craft Festival, Cathedral Green, Exeter
http://www.exetercraftfestival.co.uk/
A celebration of the very best artists & makers based in the South West in the historic setting of Exeter’s Cathedral Green.

22 July 2017
Mid Devon Show, Tiverton
http://www.middevonshow.co.uk/
The best one day agricultural show in the west! The Mid Devon Show offers a fun day out for all the family.

4 - 11 August 2017
Sidmouth Folk Week
http://www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk/
Sidmouth FolkWeek is a unique week-long seaside celebration of music, dance and song taking place in the charming East Devon regency coastal resort.

TBC
Crab Day Street Party, Dartmouth
Taking place alongside the River Dart, on the Quay in Dartmouth, this fantastic Street Party sees South Devon Crab on the menu, as well as music and entertainment for all.

18 - 20 August 2017
Beautiful Days Festival, Escot Park
http://www.beautifuldays.org/
Beautiful Days started in 2003 and is a family-friendly music festival which takes place in Devon.

TBC
Sunwest Beer and Music Festival, The Landmark Theatre, Nr Ilfracombe
Real ales and free live music on the North Devon Coast.

3 September 2017
Lobster and Crab Feast, Clovelly
http://www.clovelly.co.uk/clovelly-events/lobster-and-crab-feast
Clovelly celebrates its famous lobsters and crabs sustainably caught by its fishermen with a great day out for all the family.

12 September 2017
Widecombe Fair, Dartmoor
http://www.widecombefair.com/
Once a market for local farmers to sell their surplus stock, now a showcase for all that is wonderful about this part of the country.

13 - 17 September 2017
Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival
http://www.budlitfest.org.uk/
Inspiring talks, readings and workshops with prize-winning authors in the seaside town of Budleigh Salterton.

tbc
Lyn Food Festival
http://www.lynfoodfest.co.uk/
Free admission to lots of delicious food from across the region.

20 - 22 October 2017
Dartmouth Food Festival, Dartmouth
http://www.dartmouthfoodfestival.com/
The Dartmouth Food Festival is an annual festival celebrating all things food and wine. Now in its 12th year, the festival has developed into a major food event or, as The Daily Telegraph put it , a ‘heady mix of celebrity chefs, parties, food markets, tasting shacks and demonstrations’.

TBC
Foodfest, Barnstable Pannier Market
Foodfest features over 100 local food and drink exhibitors, six top chefs, numerous tastings including chocolate, breads, local fish dishes, a wide variety of street food, and plenty of homemade cakes and bakes.

Cream Tea By Post Reviews December 07, 2015 19:48

See all of our reviews on our new review page.

In this post we've listed all of the reviews we've had over the past couple of months of our cream teas by post and afternoon tea hampers. We really appreciate the comments of all those who have taken the time to review our service.

cream tea by post reviews

Cream Tea Hamper Reviews:

Cream Tea by Post - Fruit Scones

5 star cream tea by post review
Lovely gift for a birthday.
Karon Moore on Oct 25, 2015

I sent a cream tea hamper to my friend for her birthday.She said it was packaged lovely and all tasted beautiful.A lovely gift for any time to receive I would think.

5 star cream tea by post review
Wedding Anniversary
Mavis Hamlin on Oct 23, 2015

Lovely way to send a surprise afternoon tea to my sister and husband on their Wedding Anniversary, they enjoyed the experience. So thank you for the opportunity to surprise family or friends from new Zealand

5 star cream tea by post review
Excellence
Margaret Luck, on Sep 16, 2015

I have now bought two of these hampers, one for a male birthday and one for a wedding anniversary. They were both delighted with them, One for the original gift and two for the tastiness. I would recommend anybody to get one of the hampers as it is a unique idea and you can be guaranteed that they arrive on the designated day whether ordered quite ahead of the date required or just a day away. Well done all at Devon Heaven Hampers

Cream Tea by Post - Plain Scones

5 star cream tea by post review
Brilliant gift idea
Carly on Nov 12, 2015

Thank you so much. Our Granny up on the east coast of Scotland is delighted with her birthday treat to share with her friends. I will be using you again as we are delighted.

5 star cream tea by post review
A great idea for an original gift
Karen Robbins on Oct 09, 2015

What a brilliant surprise to receive one of your lovely cream tea hampers. I had absolutely no idea what it could be as there was no advertising on the box, so it was a really exciting gift. It looked delightful and tasted wonderful. I will certainly be recommending you to all my friends!

Cream Tea - Large Scones & Extra Cream

5 star cream tea by post review
fantastic gift
Jane on Oct 23, 2015

I bought a hamper as a gift for my sister. She loved it. The jam was really tasty and the scones delicious.

5 star cream tea by post review
Thank you
Cathy on Oct 10, 2015

Just wanted to thank you for the divine hamper of scones jam & clotted cream it was utter perfection. The scones were sublime the best I have ever tasted it must be the butter milk just the smell alone. The jam was lovely not too sweet and the clotted cream had a different taste than I've had before it was scrumptious.so my friend and I had a special afternoon tea. I look forward to introducing friends and family to Xmas gifts.

Cream Tea Hamper with Lid - 2x Clotted Cream

5 star cream tea by post review
A Devon treat anytime
Kevin on Dec 02, 2015

I bought this for my son & daughter in law as a thank you gift. They have spent many happy holidays in South Devon and thought it would be a lovely treat for them. They were overjoyed with it. They said it came very well presented and arrived intact. I was very pleased with the service, the price and e-mail updates. I would use this company again and would recommend it to friends, family and others.

Cream Tea Hamper with Lid - Fudge, Chocolate & 2x Cream

5 star cream tea by post review
Cream Tea
Chris Marriott on Oct 23, 2015

Excellent present, lovely tasty items, excellent value for money


See Santa in Devon 2016 | Grotto's, Nativities, Polar Express & More November 09, 2015 09:51

For 2016 Christmas markets, events, lights switch-on's and late night shopping times click here.

 Meet father christmas in devon 2015

Where to see Father Christmas in Devon 2016

Otter Nurseries, Ottery St Mary, Devon, EX11 1LZ
http://www.otternurseries.co.uk/christmas-otter-nurseries/

Visit Santa’s magical kingdom at Otter Nurseries for a special Christmas experience. Take a journey through Santa’s Winter Wonderland and meet his friendly elves. Tickets can only be bought in advance and are £8.99 per child, including a gift and magical reindeer food.

Jack’s Patch, Newton Rd, Bishopsteignton, Teignmouth, Devon, TQ14 9PN.
https://wgc.digitickets.co.uk/category/807?branches.branchID=218

Enjoy breakfast or tea with Father Christmas at Jack’s Patch Wyevale Garden Centre. Pop in and enjoy a festive meal with Father Christmas, including a present for each child and you can have a go at decorating your own cookies. Prices are £9.99 per child with different meal options available and a variety of food options for adults at an additional charge. Discount when booked early.

House of Marbles, Pottery Rd, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9DS.
http://www.houseofmarbles.com/about/family-fun-devon/latest-event-news/9/

Santa’s Grotto at the House of Marbles is an excellent choice if you don’t want to book in advance. The Grotto is open 10am – 3pm on the dates above and has a Wizard of Oz theme this year. Child entry costs £6.50 and includes a gift, a balloon and a badge.

Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0LT
http://www.pennywellfarm.co.uk/buy-christmas-nativity-tickets

Treat your children to a nativity play at Pennywell followed by a visit to Santa’s Grotto where they will receive a special Christmas gift. They can also meet Santa’s reindeer and enjoy homemade Christmas biscuits and squash in the café (there will be mulled wine, tea, coffee and mince pies for the adults!) On selected dates, visitors can enjoy breakfast with Father Christmas followed by the nativity play.

Devon Christmas Gifts

Morwellham Quay, Nr Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8JL.
http://www.morwellham-quay.co.uk/index.php?route=information/news/news&news_id=1

At Morwellham Quay visitors can take a special train journey to visit Santa in his underground Grotto, then warm up in front of the fire with some mince pies and a warm drink.

Drakes Circus, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2AA.
http://www.visitplymouth.co.uk/events/drake-circus-santas-grotto-p1957373

Santa’s Grotto will be open daily from 17 November 2016, but times vary, so check www.drakecircus.com for details and to book. The grotto costs £5 per child and includes a gift to take home.

Bygones, Fore Street, St Marychurch, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 4PR.
http://bygones.co.uk/pages/whats-on

Bygones are offering visitors the chance to have breakfast or lunch with Santa. Both options include entrance into Bygones, visiting Santa in his workshop and a traditional present for children. Booking is essential.

Kents Cavern, Ilsham Rd, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2JF.
http://www.kents-cavern.co.uk/events/detail/santa-in-the-caves

Meet Santa in his underground grotto at Kents Cavern. Guests can enjoy an hour-long show, a personal visit with Santa, a Christmas present, mulled wine and mince pies!

Seaton Tramway, Harbour Rd, Seaton, Devon, EX12 2NQ.
http://www.tram.co.uk/the-polar-express-tram-ride

Join Seaton Tramway for a special Polar Express Tram Ride! Based on the book and Christmas movie, this trip to the ‘North Pole’ invites you to take part in the Polar Express experience by tram. Listen to and sing along with all the songs, enjoy hot chocolate and cookies served by dancing chefs and meet Santa and his elves. Each child receives a gift from Santa and you are welcome to wear your pyjamas onboard, just like in the film!

Westpoint, Clyst St Mary, Exeter, EX5 1DJ.
http://www.christmasshoppingfayre.com/
25th to 27th November 2016.

The Christmas Shopping Fayre at Westpoint boasts 3 days of festive shopping, all under one roof. Admission costs £3.50 for adults (16 and under are free) and includes the free Santa’s grotto.

Endsleigh Garden Centre, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9JL.
http://www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk/breakfast-or-tea-with-father-christmas

Wander through the enchanting winter wonderland where you will find the delightful elf workshop where children can create a beautiful craft to take home before visiting Santa in his grotto where every child can choose a gift to take home.

South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ.
http://www.southdevonrailway.co.uk/santa-by-steam

Join South Devon Railway for Santa by Steam! Father Christmas will be back on his decorated grotto train during December. Trains leave Buckfastleigh Station and the journey takes about one and a half hours. Booking is essential.

 

Escot Estate, Ottery St Mary, Devon, EX11 1LU.
http://www.escot-devon.co.uk/

Father Christmas will be at Escot in his Christmas Grotto with presents for visiting children. There will be activity stalls with things for children to make and decorate. In the park you can see the otters receive their Christmas presents and enjoy traditional Yuletide fare in the outdoor Christmas Kitchen and Coach House Restaurant.

Crealy Adventure Park, Sidmouth Rd, Exeter, Devon, EX5 1DR.
http://www.crealy.co.uk/Devon/What's-On-Live

Join Father Christmas in his grotto for Santa’s Interactive Story Time. Santa will tell stories of how he gets ready for the big day, his great adventures and how he works out who is naughty or nice! Children can meet Santa and receive a gift to take home.

Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne, Howton Lane, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 6NQ.
http://www.discoverhannahs.org/events/

2016 details TBC. Children can hunt down the 12 doors of Christmas before climbing onto the giant storytelling bed to hear a magical Christmas tale told by elves, before Santa visits with a special Christmas gift.

Occombe Farm, Preston Down Rd, Paignton, TQ3 1RN.
https://www.countryside-trust.org.uk/events/

2016 details TBC. Occombe Farm are hosting their Find Santa & Christmas Activity Day. You can bring the whole family for a day of festive cheer, Christmas crafts, treats and carols as well as a Finding Santa event for the children. A Christmas fairy will greet you and guide you on a magical trail to solve clues and find Santa in his grotto. Children will receive a festive treat as well as entry into the Christmas arts and crafts area.

Arlington Court, Arlington, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4LP.
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlington-court-and-the-national-trust-carriage-museum/whats-on

Visit the festive grotto in the stables at the carriage museum and meet the traditional green Father Christmas. Tickets cost £3 per child and include a present. Booking is essential and provides you with a 30 minute time slot.

Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, Woody Bay Station, Martinhoe Cross, Parracombe, Barnstaple, EX31 4RA.
http://www.lynton-rail.co.uk/page/santa-specials-2016

Enjoy an exciting two-mile return journey from Woody Bay Station to Killington Lane and back by steam train. Children can experience the magic of Christmas by meeting Santa and receiving an individually named present. Booking essential.

Paignton Zoo, Totnes Rd, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 7EU.
http://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk/

Go on a festive adventure at Paignton Zoo. Meet Santa in his grotto and receive a present, then ride the jungle polar express! Spot all of Santa’s friends to receive a festive goody bag. Booking is essential.

Living Coasts, Torquay Harbourside, Beacon Quay, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2BG.
http://www.livingcoasts.org.uk/

Visit Living Coasts this Christmas to visit Santa in his grotto and experience the Magical Mini Penguin Trail. Tickets cost £5 and include a present, and entry to Living Coasts must also be purchased.


The Old Forge Restaurant on Dartmoor wins best Afternoon Tea Award October 13, 2015 14:11

The Old Forge in Chagford on Dartmoor

The Old Forge Caffè and Restaurant in Chagford, Dartmoor, has had lots to shout about recently. The Old Forge was judged as having the best cream tea in Devon by independent cream tea reviewer Ditch Townsend, who has tasted over 250 cream teas in the county.

The Old Forge Restaurant - Best Cream Tea in Devon!

In September 15 the Daily Telegraph coined the Dartmoor-based café as "Britain's best cream tea" whilst The Times wrote "the cream of Devon teas". Now the Café Life Awards has crowned the Old Forge Caffè & Restaurant the winner of the Afternoon Tea Experience Challenge sponsored by Tetley Tea. The finals for the competition took place at the ‘Lunch!’ trade show in London and saw the UK's most innovative cafés, bakeries and cookery schools create a bespoke sweet and savoury spread, paired with one of Tetley's range of teas, to provide the ultimate Afternoon Tea Experience. Celebrity chef and café entrepreneur Aldo Zilli was head judge for the competition leading an independent panel of food and drink experts.

Old Forge best afternoon tea in the UKDr Richard Farrington, owner and head chef at The Old Forge since leaving a career in medicine two years ago, said: "The competition today was truly astonishing, and I'm thrilled to be able to take home the prize for my version of a Devonshire Cream Tea - an amazing local speciality that I am incredibly passionate about. To be recognised by the Café Life Awards in this way is a proud achievement and one that I will treasure."

The sandwiches and cakes Richard included in his afternoon tea stand were inspired by the early 1900s, a time period when the cream tea started to become well known to the rest of the country with the expansion of the railways. However, the real fun came with the cream tea element of the afternoon tea. Instead of pairing scones, cream and jam with traditional Earl Grey tea and sliced lemon, Richard made spiced caraway scones (to taste like Victorian seed cake) and served them with homemade Earl Grey-infused clotted cream, lemon curd, and a Red Berry Tetley tea. All the traditional flavours comprising a cream tea are present, but in a rather unusual and highly original form that mad-scientist Heston Blumenthal would be proud of.

The full afternoon tea menu is below:

  • Dainty finger sandwiches (crusts cut off, of course):
    Cucumber on traditional white sourdough bread
    Salmon pâté on seeded bread (including caraway seeds)
  • A chilled glass of homemade lemonade (this could be changed to a glass of champagne for a higher sale price, but Richard prefers the traditional lemonade, whose flavour marries and compliments the other elements of the tea so well).
  • A selection of popular sweet delicacies - here Richard chose shortbread, fruit cake, raspberry tartlets and lemon sponge to best match the other flavours in the afternoon tea.
  • A "Devonshire Cream Tea" with a difference:
    Caraway seed scones (adding the flavour of traditional seed cake) paired with homemade Earl-Grey-infused clotted cream
    Lemon curd (the added lemon to go with the Earl Grey)
    A pot of Tetley Summer Berry Tea

Well done to Richard and the team! We are very proud at Devon Heaven Hampers to sell afternoon and cream tea vouchers for such a highly acclaimed restaurant and café!


2015 Christmas markets and events in Devon October 01, 2015 08:55 5 Comments

Devon is bursting with Christmas events and activities, from meeting Santa, Christmas shopping or watching the magic of a Christmas light switch on. There is plenty going on in Devon to entertain the whole family. Christmas markets and late night shopping where you can enjoy an assortment of craft stalls, local food and drink and entertainment are becoming more and more popular each year. It shouldn’t be hard to find a Christmas market nearby and its bound to get you in the festive mood.

Christmas markets in Devon 2015

If you want some Christmas fun, ideas for things to do with the whole family or inspiration on the best markets or last minute shopping locations, we’ve listed all the events taking place throughout Christmas 2015 in Devon. As we find out about more Christmas markets and events during the season, we’ll add to this list so please contact us if you’d like your event to be included.

Christmas Food Hampers From DevonAnd if you’re looking to send a loved one a true taste of Devon this year, don’t forget our delicious Christmas Devon food hampers.

2015 Christmas lights switch on throughout Devon

12 November - Plymouth Christmas lights switch-on (taking place on the Piazza from 4pm)
14 November - Torquay Christmas lights switch-on (Fleet Street)
19 November – Exeter Christmas lights switch-on 

2015 Christmas markets, food and craft fairs in Devon

  • 31 October – Tavistock Warm up to Christmas market – Tavistock Town Hall
  • 5 November - Powderham Michaelmas Fair - Powderham Castle, Kenton, Exeter
  • 14 November - Teignmouth Christmas Market - Richard Newton Hall, Teignmouth
  • 13/14 November - Hannahs Christmas Fayre – Seale Hayne, Newton Abbot
  • 20 November to 19 December – Exeter Christmas Market - Cathedral Green, Exeter
  • 21 November 10am-4pm - Totnes Christmas Market 2015 - Totnes Civic Hall, Market Square, High Street, TQ9 5SG
  • 21 & 22 November - RHS Rosemoor Christmas Craft and Design Fair
  • 26 November to 6 December – Plymouth Christmas Market
  • 27 November - Dickensian Evening, Tavistock
  • 28 & 29 November - Saltram Christmas Festival (Craft), Saltram Estate
  • 28 November, 5/11/18 December - Exeter Christmas Market in Castle Street
  • 28 November, 3 & 10 December - Exeter Christmas Market in Fore Street
  • 5 December - Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas
  • 6 December -  RHS Rosemoor Christmas Food Fair
  • 6 December - Christmas Market at Royal William Yard, Plymouth
  • 20 December 10am-1pm - Crediton Christmas Farmers Market -The Square, Crediton
Christmas Afternoon Tea Vouchers in Devon

    Other Christmas events in Devon during winter 2015

    • 1 November to end of December - Yuletide Steam Train Services, Paignton
    • 19 November to late January – Plymouth Ice Rink
    • 27/28 November - Candlelit Dartmouth
    • 28 November - Lanterns, Lights and luminations, Brixham
    • 1 December to 24 December - Christmas at Pennywell Farm
    • 8 December - Powderham Christmas Wreath Making, Powderham Castle, Kenton, Exeter

    Late night shopping in Devon this season

    Totnes late night shopping – Tuesday evenings until 9.30am on 8, 15 & 22 December
    Exeter late night shopping – Every Thursday evening from 19 November
    Plymouth late night shopping - Every Thursday evening
    Trago Mills Newton Abbot - Every Thursday until 8pm


    6 Devon Themed Gift Ideas August 29, 2015 16:32

    Gift Ideas from Devon

    When buying gifts for friends and family it is always nice to personalise the gift to make it extra special. Giving a present that has a special meaning to the loved one should be the main goal when buying any gift. For lots of people Devon has a special place in their heart, whether it’s through a time living in Devon, from fond memories of Devon family holidays or simply through being born and bred in the county. Gifts associated with Devon make for excellent presents for people with these connections to the county, so we’ve come up with this list of 6 great Devonshire related gift ideas.

    1. Devon Food Hampers

    Devon Food HampersDevon’s famous for the food it produces and this is big draw for lots of tourists holidaying in the region. The county has plenty of farm shops that support local artisan food brands, who produce delicious hand crafted products using high quality, locally sourced ingredients. Devon Heaven Hampers sell Devon food hampers online that include some excellent local food brands such as Dartmoor Wildflower Honey, Luscombe Drinks, Georgie Porgie Puddings and Teoni’s Biscuits to name a few. All of the food and drink that goes into our hampers is sourced locally from within Devon. Gifts are sent directly to the recipients, who are often living in other parts of the UK, and we include a personalised gift card that has a picture on the front of the Devonshire countryside. These gifts are very popular at Christmas time.

    Devon Food GiftsWest Country Food Hamper

    One of the most popular types of Devon hampers we sell are cream teas by post, which are perfect for those wanting a really indulgent treat. They're especially good presents for Mothers Day.

     Devon Scone GiftsDevon Afternoon Tea HamperDevon Cream & Afternoon Tea Hampers

    Another product that Devon (and the West Country) is famous for is cider. We offer a range of cider hampers, some containing just cider and others that also include Devonshire food such as our Cider & Chilli gift with South Devon Chilli Farm jam and sauce.

    Devon Cider HampersCider & South Devon Chilli Farm Gift

    2. Devonshire Paintings and Pictures

    Pictures of Devon giftsClearly Devon has some beautiful scenery with its spectacular coastline, rolling countryside and the rugged moorland of Dartmoor and Exmoor. A painting or framed picture capturing the splendour of Devon is a lovely way to brighten up someone’s home and help them be inspired by its beauty without having to leave the house. www.westcountrygalleries.co.uk offers artwork in a variety of themes like abstract, seascapes, landscapes, big art, textiles and photography prints signed by talented artists from the South West and the rest of the UK. Gary Holpin is a keen local photographer and has spent years exploring the most beautiful parts of Devon, particularly along the South West Coast Path. His website www.garyholpin.co.uk has lots of lovely bright, high quality Devonshire photographs for sale.

    3. Gift Vouchers for a Cream or Afternoon Tea in Devon

    Devon Cream tea gift vouchersAfternoon tea is a classic English tradition often consisting of a delicious selection of finger sandwiches, a Devonshire cream tea and an assortment of pastries and cakes, served on a tiered cake stand. With so much beautiful scenery such as the wild moorland of Dartmoor, the beautiful north and south Devon coastline, and the attractive cities of Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay, Devon is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon tea. For those either living in or on holiday in Devon, gift vouchers for an afternoon or cream tea out in Devon make for a thoughtful present that the recipient can look forward to. We sell gift vouchers for cream or afternoon teas at certain hotels and tearooms in Devon. Our cream tea vouchers are sold in a rustic letterbox hamper containing local chocolate from Willies Cacao and a gift card containing a personalised message; all for £20. We think this makes for the perfect present as it’s something that can be enjoyed instantly on opening and also something to look forward to doing later on.

    4. Devon Kitchen Gift Items

    Devon gifts for the kitchenKitchen gifts containing the Devon flag or a reference to Devon are actually quite easy to find. Zaffle specialise in producing custom designs and have loads of Devon themed kitchen gifts to choose from, including Devon tea towels, mugs, aprons, drink coasters, plates and much more. With loads of custom made gifts already on the site, you can also specifically search for places like Salcombe and Dartmouth to find products containing pictures from your chosen locations.

    5. Devon Experience Day Gifts

    Devon experience day giftsFor local residents and those with upcoming trips to Devon, it’s the perfect place for outdoor experience days and here are a few suggestions: For a rather extravagant gift consider a thrilling helicopter pleasure flight over South Devon's Jurassic Coast and admire the natural beauty of Exmouth, Ottery St Mary, Budleigh's red cliffs, and much more. Devon has some great vineyards that offer tours and tasting sessions, the perfect present for the wine lover in your life. A Segway experience lets you get to grips with controlling the fantastic, futuristic Segway, and take a tour around a beautiful Haldon forest trail near Exeter, Devon. If you're looking for an extra special all weather experience gift for a friend, look no further than the superb Virtual Jet Centre Experience in Chudleigh, Devon, which is one of the only places in the UK where you can get into the cockpit without a pilot's licence. Another memorable gift idea is an all day train driving experience on the South Devon Railway. You can drive a steam or diesel locomotive from Buckfastleigh and take friends and family along for the ride.

    6. Hand Made Craft Gifts from Devon

    craft gifts handmade in DevonDevon is home to a thriving contemporary creative scene where lots of talented crafts people produce a variety of products that make for wonderful gifts. At the Devon Guild of Craftsmen you can discover a fantastic range of contemporary and traditional craft and design products for sale: from jewellery, blown glass, furniture, textiles and turned wood to ceramics and prints all hand made by Devon Guild Members. The Devon Guild of Craftsmen is a leading national educational charity creating as many opportunities as possible for people to enjoy and learn about contemporary craft. Another great source of craft gifts from Devon is www.love-local.com whose website is dedicated to great products handcrafted in Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall and Wiltshire. Their website has an assortment of fantastic gift ideas, arts, crafts and much more from small businesses and enterprises throughout Devon.


    5 Food & Drink Gift Ideas for Summer August 07, 2015 12:56

    Summertime gifts in the UK

    Summer in the UK isn’t always sunny, but despite the lack of consistent weather, eating and drinking outside throughout the summer remains very popular, so food and drink gifts are excellent presents at this time of year. Whether it’s a BBQ or cocktail party in your own back garden, or a picnic at the beach, food and drink tastes better outside. We’ve compiled this list of 5 of the best food and drink gifts to give friends and family this summer. For birthday gifts, thank you presents, anniversary gifts or any other occasion, why not buy a gift that suits the season. All the summer gifts listed below are relatively inexpensive ranging between £10 and £30.

    1. Cream Tea Hampers for a lovely summer present in the post

    Summertime cream tea hamper

    No surprise that we’ve included our cream tea hampers in this list of summer gifts as they do make great seasonal presents. They can be taken to the beach or countryside for a picnic, used as a summery dessert at a barbeque, eaten as a more filling version of strawberries and cream whilst watching Wimbledon or simply consumed as an indulgent weekend treat. They’re also very popular with the older generation making them great summertime gifts for grandparents, aunties and uncles.

    2. Summertime refreshment with local Cider Hampers from Cornwall

    Another Westcountry favourite, and a great gift for men are quality local ciders. They make for great summertime treats whether they’re consumed as a refreshing drink on a day trip out or in the garden around a family BBQ. Cider has grown in popularity over recent years making it an 'on trend' gift this summer. Not only does local Craft cider make for a more interesting gift, you also find that the unique flavours of the apples are present, unlike other industrial ciders. Cornish Orchards create award winning, premium ciders and soft drinks, using traditional craft practices and offer a number of gift box options containing a variety of different flavours. You can buy their products from www.cornishorchards.co.uk.

    3. Strawberry Jam Making Kits as gifts this summer

    Strawberry jam making kits usually contain recipe instructions, bottling funnels, jelly bag for straining the jam, jam thermometer and a preserve sealing and labelling set. They’re a great summer gift idea for someone who likes to keep busy in the kitchen and enjoys the intense taste of fresh strawberry jam. As well as providing a fun summer trip, going to a pick your own farm to get the strawberries for the jam can actually work out much better value than pre-packaged strawberries. This jam making kit from is just £20.

    4. The ultimate gift for men this summer - a Barbeque Meat Brander

    Everyone loves to get the BBQ going at the first sight of summer sun. A BBQ meat brander is the ideal unique food related gift for men who really want to be the BBQ king. This bbq meat brander from Presents for Men has 50 letters to use for the recipient to brand their own name or guests names into their burgers and steaks this summer and costs around £15.

    5. Cocktail Making Kits for the perfect summertime garden party

    This is another great summer gift idea for someone who enjoys hosting their own garden parties or BBQs. Cocktail making kits often come with cocktail recipe instructions, jigger measure, Manhattan shaker and cocktail glasses for serving your creations. www.drinkstuff.com has a section of its website dedicated to cocktail making kits and accessories and you can buy a set for between £10 and £30.


    Best Picnic Spots in Devon - Top 20 July 16, 2015 21:46

    Picnic's are a great British tradition and in Devon we're blessed with wonderful beaches, beautiful river valleys and lakes, as well as stunning moorland, all perfect for enjoying a picnic. As we sell picnic hampers using local Devonshire foods we've put together this list of 20 of the best picnic spots in Devon, along with a map showing each location.

    Jump to - North Devon Picnic Spots - Exeter & East Devon Picnic Spots - Dartmoor Picnic Spots - Torbay, Plymouth & South Devon Picnic Spots

     Best Devon Picnic Spots

    Picnic Spots in North Devon

    1. Watermouth Bay, near Ilfracombe, North Devon
    Location - Small car park near the harbour, postcode EX34 9SL.

    North Devon Picnic Location Watermouth Cove offers a very sheltered harbour, shielded by the natural breakwater of Sexton's Burrows, as well as picture-perfect views. This has created an ecosystem for lots of rare marine species attracting many boats to moor at the harbour. It’s the perfect sheltered location for a Devon picnic.

    2. Instow Beach, near Barnstaple, North Devon
    Location - There’s free short stay parking along the seafront and two car parks at either end of the beach for longer stays, postcode EX39 4JA.

    Beach Picnic North DevonSet just back from the Atlantic coast in the mouth of the River Taw and Torridge Estuary, Instow Beach is slightly more sheltered than most of North Devon’s beaches. It’s also one of the best places to view the sunset in North Devon, so why not set up a romantic picnic at dusk and watch the glorious colours emblazoned across a scene of bobbing boats at the mouth of the estuary. Hocking’s ice cream is worth considering for dessert.

    3. Wistlandpound Reservoir, South Molton, North Devon
    Location - Pay and display car park next to the lake, postcode EX31 4SL.

    Lake Picnic North DevonThe tranquil lake is surrounded by conifers, and makes a great spot for a peaceful picnic in the heart of North Devon. Wander around the still lake and find a nice location to sit down and take in the view over some sandwiches.

    4. Mouth Mill, North Devon
    Location - Brownsham National Trust car park, postcode EX39 6AN.

    Coast Picnic Location North DevonFrom the car park head towards the coast and you’ll soon reach the beautiful beach of Mouth Mill, a stunning location to picnic and unwind as a family. It’s also possible to walk along the coast to the famous thatched-and-cobbled village of Clovelly, where donkeys are still the main form of transport up the steep village street and residents carry their shopping on sleds.

    5. Eggesford Forest, off A377, North Devon
    Location - Parking at Hilltown Wood, postcode EX18 7LD.

    Forest Picnic Spot DevonEggesford Forest is a great place to visit. It has a network of trails and paths that link the different woodlands and also connect to the Tarka rail line at Eggesford Station. Hilltown Wood carpark has toilet facilities and a nice picnic area, where you can eat your lunch amid the trees, and enjoy their cooling shade.


    Picnic Spots in Exeter & East Devon

    6. Grand Western Canal, Halberton, Tiverton, Devon
    Location - Small free car park, postcode EX16 7AE.

    Canal Picnic Spot DevonDating back to 1796, the Grand Western Canal runs between Taunton in Somerset and Tiverton in Devon. Just down from the car park is a nice peaceful patch of grassland with a few picnic benches overlooking the canal. Before picnicking why not stop off at Halberton Court Farm Shop to pick your own strawberries.

    7. Beer Head, East Devon
    Location - Pay and display car park on a field by Beer Head Caravan Park, postcode EX12 3AQ.

    East Devon Picnic SpotBeer to Branscombe is a popular walk amongst locals due to its stunning coastal views from the cliff tops. The walk does contain some steep sections but for those who can make it to Branscombe, the pebble beach makes for a good picnic spot. Alternatively, make use of the large amount of open grassland that covers the coastal path between Beer and Branscombe.

    8. Budleigh Salterton, nr Exeter, East Devon
    Location - Postcode EX9 6JD. Large pay and display car park next to the beach and River Otter.

    Devon Beach Picnic SpotBudleigh Salterton is situated towards the western start of the majestic World Heritage Jurassic Coast, in the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The picturesque town has a 2 mile pebble beach ideal for picnicking without sand getting in your sandwiches.


    Picnic Spots on Dartmoor

    9. Hennock Reservoirs, North East Dartmoor
    Location - Pay and display car park to the south of Trenchford Reservoir, nearest postcode TQ13 9NX.

    Devon reservoir picnic spotConsisting of three reservoirs, Trenchford, Tottiford & Kennick, all joined by a small stream, Hennock Reservoirs are as peaceful place as you can imagine. There are plenty of picnic benches overlooking the Trenchford reservoir by the car park. Alternatively, there are lots of secluded spots with rocks for seating around the outside of the reservoirs. For walkers, a path circles all three reservoirs with tracks also leading off into nearby fields and woods.

    10. Spitchwick, River Dart, South East Dartmoor
    Location - Free parking at Newbridge or alongside the narrow lane that runs past Spitchwick common, nearest postcode TQ13 7NT.

    River dart picnic spotSpitchwick, set on the banks of the beautiful River Dart, is a popular spot for picnics and barbeques. It’s great for families wanting to combine a picnic or BBQ with swimming in the cold deep water of the River Dart. A picnic can also be followed by a pleasant afternoon walk along the footpath that runs next to the river in either direction.

    11. Haytor, East Dartmoor
    Location - Medium size car parks at the top and bottom of the tor - postcode TQ13 9XT.

    Dartmoor Picnic LocationWith relatively easy access from Torquay and Exeter, Haytor is probably Dartmoor’s most popular tor. There are lots of rocks for seating and short grass surrounding the tor, along with superb views of the South Devon coastline, making it a lovely place to enjoy a picnic. Those with more energy can clamber up the tor or take a walk to nearby Hound Tor.

    12. Postbridge, Central Dartmoor
    Location - Pay and Display in the National Park visitors car park or over the road in Bellever Woods – postcode - PL20 6SY.

    Postbridge DartmoorOn the bank of the East River Dart, Postbridge has lots of short grass surrounded by woodland making it perfect for picnics. It’s best known for its ancient clapper bridge, believed to have been built in the 13th century to enable pack horses to cross the river. The location, in the middle of Dartmoor, is a great choice for walkers who are spoilt for choice with walks through Bellever Woods, along the river or up to Bellever Tor. Postbridge is also good for families as kids can play on the rocks dotted along the river using them as stepping stones.

    13. Burrator Reservoir, Dartmoor
    Location – Nearest postcode PL20 6PE. Parking is possible at various locations around the lake including the Quarry car park, Norsworthy Bridge and the Dam.

    Reservoir Picnic PlymouthUndisturbed Burrator is surrounded by mixed woodland which sharply contrasts with the open moor and rugged Dartmoor tors not far from Plymouth. The reservoir is popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders due to its wealth of footpaths and bridleways. The 3.5mile circular walk which follows the lanes around the water is ideal for families as it is easy going and flat. It’s possible to venture inside of the road to find your perfect picnic spot next to the water’s edge.

    14. Roadford Lake, West Devon
    Location - Plenty of pay and display parking, postcode PL16 0JL.

    Lake picnic devonSet on the northern edge of Dartmoor, not far from the A30 between Okehampton and Launceston, Roadford Lake is the largest area of fresh water in Southwest England. Not only is it a peaceful picnic location, it also offers plenty of activities to keep families entertained including, cycling, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing, walking and much more.


    Picnic Spots in Torbay, Plymouth & South Devon

    15. Cockington, Torquay, South Devon
    Location - There’s a couple of medium size pay and display car parks in Cockington village, postcode TQ2 6XB.

    Picnic Spot near TorquayThe truly picturesque village of Cockington, near Torquay, is a charming place, lined with thatched cottages it boasts a water mill, a forge and even the cricket pitch was once a medieval deer park. At the heart of the village is Cockington Court, a manor house often visited by Agatha Christie that is surrounded by hundreds of acres of gorgeous country park, perfect for a picnic. Today, Cockington Court is a hub for art where you can even watch glassblowers and blacksmiths in action.

    16. Berry Head Hill Fort, nr Brixham, English Riviera
    Location - Park at the Berry Head Visitor Centre, postcode TQ5 9AP.

    Picnic location near TorbayBerry Head National Nature Reserve is Torbay's most important wildlife site, with many rare plants dependent upon the thin soils, mild climate and exposed conditions of the headland. Enjoy a picnic on the cliffs of Berry Head and walk to the Berry Head Lighthouse, which is reputedly the shortest lighthouse in Great Britain, but also one of the highest, being only 5 metres (16 ft) tall, but 58 metres (190 ft) above mean sea level (wikipedia).

    17. Little Dartmouth, South Devon
    Location - National trust car park, postcode TQ6 0JP.

    South hams picnic locationFrom the National Trust car park pick up the Southwest coast path towards Dartmouth and find a nice picnic spot on the cliff top at the opening for the beautiful River Dart estuary. Also, consider venturing as far as Dartmouth Castle, the English Heritage site that has guarded the estuary for over 600 years.

    18. Mill Bay, South Hams
    Location - Large car park next to the beach although this can become full if you are late arriving on popular days, postcode TQ8 8PU.

    Picnic spot near SalcombeMill Bay is a lovely sheltered cove with golden sand located on the banks of the Salcombe Estuary in the far south of Devon. Children love to build dams across the stream that trickles down the beach giving parents the opportunity to tuck into a picnic in peace. By taking a short walk up the estuary you can catch a ferry that runs to the popular seaside town of Salcombe.

    19. Bigbury-on-Sea, nr Salcombe, South Devon
    Location - Postcode TQ7 4AS, there’s a large pay and display car park located above the beach.

    South devon beach picnic locationBigbury-on-Sea is a popular destination for families wanting to enjoy the beautiful South Devon coast. It’s most well-known for its sea tractor resembling an open top bus on stilts that ferries visitors across the shallow waters to Burgh Island. Enjoy a picnic on the golden sand as kids play in the sea that can sometimes offer nice surf, especially over the estuary at Bantham.

    20. Plymouth Hoe, Plymouth
    Location - Two pay and display car parks nearby, postcode PL1 3BJ.

    Picnic location in PlymouthA short walk from the city centre of Devon’s largest city isn’t somewhere that you would necessarily expect to find a great picnic location, but Plymouth Hoe is a really good picnic spot. It also offers excellent marine life views across Plymouth Sound to Drake Island and has a large amount of open green space. The iconic Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse stands over the Hoe and is open to those that want to get a better vantage point to look out onto the Sound.


    How to make a perfect scone by the Devon Scone Company June 25, 2015 18:01 9 Comments

    At this year’s Exeter Food and Drink Festival, I went to a cooking demonstration by Richard Hunt of the Devon Scone Company on making the perfect scone. Having been in the industry for more than 20 years Richard is a well-known face in the area and often invited to talk at local food events. As well as running the Devon Scone Company with his wife Claire, Richard also provides a professional hospitality consultancy service aimed at sharing his expertise and knowledge with fledgling and experienced chefs or restaurants. One of his many claims to fame is that Kirstie Allsopp has used his scone recipe on her Channel 4 TV programme. As scones are very important to our business and we include Richard’s scones in our Devonshire cream tea hampers I was obviously keen to hear more about his methods for creating the perfect Devonshire scone.

    Devon Scone Company

    The perfect scone texture

    Richard’s scones are a cross between traditional Devon splits and the standard scone. This means that the scones don’t crumble apart into lots of different pieces (important for us when sending creams teas by post). You can actually rip Richards’s scones into two even parts by hand and this is how we believe Devon scones should be!

    How to get the perfect scone texture to prevent crumbs

    In order to achieve a good scone structure Richard doesn't use eggs, instead his four main ingredients are butter, milk, a strong flour and natural yoghurt.

    How to get a good rise on your scones

    The acid in the natural yogurt helps the baking powder work better giving a good rise. This good rise actually makes it possible to cut Richard’s scones into three pieces, which is great for anyone wanting more cream and jam on board! It’s also important to keep the pastry thick when you roll it out, to around an inch and a half is ideal.

    How to finish your scones off with a nice colour

    In order to give his scones a nice colour Richard sprays the scones with non-egg glaze made using vegetable oil and natural food colourings but for home baking glazing with a beaten egg is fine.

    Advice when baking fruit scones

    Richard has learnt the hard way that when making fruit scones it’s important to use good quality sultanas as cheap ones will go dry when cooked and break when you’re eating the scones.

    Devonshire scone recipe

    A simple scone recipe for 20 large scones

    Ingredients:

    1kg Strong Plain flour
    750ml buttermilk
    125gm Unsalted butter
    125gm Milk powder
    125gm Caster sugar
    75gm Baking powder
    Egg to glaze

    Method:

    1. Preheat the oven to 190◦c, Gas Mark 7 or 175◦c for a fan-assisted oven
    2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a breadcrumb like texture
    3. Gently add the buttermilk and work the mixture into a soft dough, without overworking the dough as it'll become tough
    4. Roll out gently to 1 and a half inches thick and cut with a straight cutter
    5. Glaze with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden brown

    Independent cream tea reviewer Ditch Townsend shares his latest finds! June 08, 2015 10:16 2 Comments

    A guest blog from local cream tea expert Ditch Townsend on his top 5 finds from May...

    They begged me not to eat their cream tea. “Come back after 2.30pm,” they said, “the scones will be freshly baked,” they said. That’s Exeter’s Tea on the Green for you. Too fastidious, by far. I ploughed on in my quest; now or never! It was large. It was hot. Could extra freshness have improved the buttery shortbread crunch as the scone’s glazed crust succumbed to me? Might not the dense and delicious cake-biscuit core be better for having matured overnight? My saliva glands squeezed ecstatically, as the tart blackcurrant woke from its soft, mild, creamy bed.

    Seventy four cream teas down, I’m still standing. I don’t actually eat all of them. I tend to eat an eighth of a scone with cream and an eighth without. It’s the caffeine headaches that give me the biggest problem. Or finding two great venues in one day. (I tend to eat a whole scone with cream and jam, when I stumble onto the best ones.)

    Except at the Oak Barn on the way into Budleigh Salterton. I almost jumped up and down, shouting “Mummy, Mummy!” when I bit into one of their cherry bakewell scones. It was so fragrant and exotically flavoured, that the jam ruined the small piece I tried it on. No – for this Duchess of scones, all you want is cream; lots of it. These are the moments when I need to eat it all.

    Cherry bakewell scones

    Six years ago, I returned to the UK with my family after working in community development in Asia and Africa for 14 years. We settled in Devon and I soon developed a cream tea habit, having first experimented with it as a teenager on holiday in Lynton. A long work sabbatical is giving me the chance to indulge and share. But as I dig deeper and travel further, I wonder who is consuming whom...

    Take the Corn Dolly in South Molton for example. When I stumbled in, apple and cinnamon was their scone of the week. Like a siren, it called plaintively to me from the specials board. Naturally, I capitulated. Baked like a cake, this giant scone wedge crumpled and crumbled its soft, chunky way to my heart, the fragrant loose leaf Earl Grey lubricating the way. Like I said, who’s eating whom?

    cream tea reviews

    Is there anything objective in my assessments, you might ask? I pretend to think so – at least I try to be consistent: I prefer my clotted cream like a paté, preferably flavoured (although my favourite smokey type is now almost extinct). I don’t score more or less between Devon and Cornwall (and once, even Dorset), but I like to know the source: if someone promotes a ‘Devon cream tea’, the least I hope for is that they source their cream in Devon. I like my scones to have some flavour, and preferably to veer down the biscuit end of the spectrum (soft and moist of course!) For tea, I’ll always go for a loose leaf Earl Grey with a cream tea if I can (although I review whatever is standard unless a choice is no extra cost). As for jam, my top bug bear is lack of choice. My second is the appalling insipidness and jellosity of the luminous, red flavoured, sickly sweet gunk, which I just want to rant and scream about, it crops up so often.

    No – give me The Barn, up at Ullacombe, where THE raspberry jam lives: a thick nectar, plum-saffron coloured, suffused with the scents of paradise, yellow seeds hanging intoxicated with delight.

    cube scone

    My other measure is that of the place – its grace in other words. I’m not aiming too high (no classy hotels for me), nor too low (no sun-drunk beachside kiosks either). But I’m looking for an interesting or pleasant local environment, and for some signs of care for the decor or garden, whatever its aspiration (some are themed, some traditional, some fun); have they achieved something worthwhile with the place? Lastly, how does it all arrive – is the visual sensation more shiver or shudder?

    Just look at the setting of Powdermills Pottery and tell me it’s not awesome? That the pottery showroom isn’t just the perfect place to sit? That the home made crockery and tray aren’t quixotically special?

    Well, nowhere is perfect, and I don’t let my scoring get in the way of that. If its close, it can have it. I don’t know how I’ll feel when I encounter my first 10/10. But for now, I can tell you that I’ve found a 9/10. Find out for yourself. It’s at Chagford, and it’s called The Old Forge Caffè. Go see; then tell me I’ve not done my job right...

    © Text and photos by Ditch Townsend

    Thanks to Ditch for a great blog! You can follow Ditch’s via www.devoncreamteas.info and be kept up-to-date on Twitter @DevonCreamTease


    Dog settles Devon vs Cornwall cream tea debate! May 18, 2015 13:15

    We recently teamed up with our friends at Doggy Devon to share our love of cream teas and dogs, here’s a guest blog from at Claire of Doggy Devon:

    Doggy Devon is all about dog friendly Devon places to eat, drink, stay and play, and if you follow Doggy Devon on social media, you’ll know that both Paul and I are quite partial to a cream tea when we’re out and about exploring the county with Alfie.

    I got in touch with Sam (of Devon Heaven Hampers) as it seemed likely that our businesses, both with a love of Cream Teas and Devon would have something in common! I wasn’t wrong!

    The ‘cream first’ or ‘jam first’ debate never wanes so we thought it would be fun to let a Devon doggy decide his preferred way to enjoy a Cream Tea!

    Conclusive? I’d say so!

    Whether you enjoy your Cream Tea with the cream first, or the jam, really what you’re enjoying overall is the taste of the Westcountry – lashings of clotted cream with jam (my preference is always strawberry), served on just out of the oven, still slightly warm scones – I really am in heaven in Devon when I’m enjoying a Cream Tea, and what’s even better is being able to enjoy a Cream Tea in dog friendly Devon places too. Which is why, the recently published Doggy Devon Beach and Moor…Guide also includes over forty dog friendly places to enjoy a Cream Tea as recommended by the Doggy Devon community.

    And, if you do fancy making your four-legged friend a Cream Tea treat, I put together this dog friendly Cream Tea recipe which you’re welcome to use:

    For the 'scones':
    1 x cup of wholemeal flour
    1 x cup of porridge oats
    1 x cup of grated carrot
    3 x medium sized eggs
    1 x tbsp of peanut butter or pumpkin oil
    Simply mix the ingredients together, dollop into muffin cases (makes approx 8) and bake at 190C for about 30 minutes or until springy to the touch, leave to cool.

    For the 'cream':
    Mix a teaspoon of peanut butter into soft cream cheese.

    For the 'jam':
    Chop fresh strawberries - the natural sugars and vitamins make for a great occasional treat!


    Exeter Food and Drink Festival 2015 April 30, 2015 16:15

    Last weekend we visited the Exeter Food & Drink Festival featuring top-notch produce from around the South West - what could be a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! This is the 12th year that the festival has run and the organisers have made a real effort to make it a great day out for the whole family. Cooking classes, arts & craft tents and a miniature farmyard proved a hit with children, while adults were able to indulge in some of the best food and drink in the country and enjoy cooking demonstrations from top chefs.

    Pork Pie Cake Exeter food and drink festival 2015

    We made a special effort to try as many of the food and drink samples from the two large food pavilions as possible – it would have been rude not to! We particularly enjoyed the new Devon Roast Beef flavour crisps from Burts, in partnership with The Well Hung Meat Company. We will be looking to get some of these in stock soon as a great addition to some of our food hampers. We are also excited to be adding Georgie Porgie puddings to some of our hampers. Based in Budleigh Salterton, Georgie Porgie produce hand-made puddings with a delightful ‘melt in the mouth’ texture. The cider and apple pudding is one of our favourite desserts. We were also pleased to find that South Devon Chilli Farm were generous with their chocolate samples. They make for a refreshingly different (and somewhat spicy!) chocolate treat. 

    Giant Pasty Exeter Food and Drink Festival

    It was great to meet so many local food and drink producers and we are excited to be making some new additions to our hampers. We are already looking forward to next year’s festival!


    Dartmoor Cream Tea Challenge April 21, 2015 10:52 21 Comments

    About the Dartmoor Cream Tea Challenge

    The cream tea challenge is a route across Dartmoor that incorporates 16 great tearooms and hotels that sell Devonshire cream teas. With its stunning scenery Dartmoor is the perfect place to enjoy a cream tea, or 16! Its open expanse makes Dartmoor perfect for walkers, with the most well known trek being the ten tors adventure where students hike between 35 and 55 miles across Dartmoor on a route that takes them between 10 Dartmoor tors.

    Dartmoor Cream Tea Adventure Challenge

    How the Dartmoor Cream Tea Challenge Works

    The Dartmoor Cream Tea Challenge is a fun on-going event that can either be walked, rode or driven. Those looking for adventure can walk, run or ride the route ticking off each cream tea over the course of a long weekend. Those more keen on thick clotted cream and warm fresh scones than the exhausting 63 miles of Dartmoor hills can treat the challenge as a tick list crossing off each venue over the course of whatever time period they choose, making it a very accessible challenge to all.

    The below map shows the route by road in a bit more detail, those taking on the adventure challenge will find that some sections are walk-able direct off-road. For on-route accommodation check out http://www.visitdartmoor.co.uk/.

    Dartmoor Cream Tea Adventure Challenge Map

    What do you get for completing the challenge?

    The Dartmoor cream tea challenge is a fun event that Devon Heaven Hampers run for free so we don't give out medals or badges etc. for completing the challenge. However, you will be added to our hall of fame below and have your achievement shared through our social media page. Simply let us know the details below and send us a picture or two of you en route. We will also give away one of our cream tea hampers as a prize to one of those who complete the challenge each year (or can send to a relative if you've eaten too many cream tea's!).

    Date  Name Walk/Ride/Drive Days Taken Favourite Cream Tea

     

    Cream Tea Voucher Give Away

    To celebrate the cream tea challenge, we have cream tea vouchers to give away! Vouchers can be won for the tearooms and hotels listed below. To enter the competition, all you have to do is like our Facebook page.


    Cream Tea for Two Vouchers

    Venue / Status

    Badgers Holt - Done
    Fox Tor Cafe - Done
    Buckland Abbey - Done
    Home Farm Cafe - Done
    Moorland Gardens Hotel - Coming Soon
    The Old Forge - Coming Soon
    The White Hart Hotel - Coming Soon
    Prince Hall - Coming Soon

    Tearooms and Hotels on the Cream Tea Challenge Route

    These will be set until summer 2016.

    1. The Old Walled Garden, Dunsford EX6 7AA

    The Old Walled Garden is a small tearoom with a lovely walled garden in the centre of Dunsford that serves great value homemade cream teas, which can be enjoyed after a walk along the River Teign at Steps Bridge.

    2. Woodleigh Coach House, Cheriton Bishop, Exeter EX6 6JL
    http://www.woodleighcoach.com/

    Woodleigh Coach House is a Grade II listed building originally constructed by a London Brewer in the late 19th century. Located in the former stables of the Coach House, the cafe offers a warm and rustic feel with splendid views of the countryside.

    3. The Old Forge, Chagford TQ13 8AB
    http://theoldforgechagford.co.uk/

    This converted blacksmith’s forge in the centre of Chagford serves high quality local and homemade food and drink, including Devonshire Cream Teas served with loose-leaf tea which has been rated by independent cream tea reviewer Ditch Townsend as the best in Devon. We sell gift vouchers for a cream tea for two at The Old Forge.

    4. Gidleigh Park, Chagford TQ13 8HH
    http://www.gidleigh.co.uk/

    On the banks of the River Teign in Dartmoor this luxury Tudor style country house hotel is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon tea or a Devonshire cream tea.

    5. Bovey Castle, North Bovey TQ13 8RE
    http://www.boveycastle.com/

    Bovey Castle is one of the UK’s finest hotels and offers visitors a chance to be treated like a king whilst enjoying a cream tea or a more extensive afternoon tea within its wonderful grounds.

    6. The White Hart Hotel, Moretonhampstead TQ13 8NQ
    http://www.whitehartdartmoor.co.uk/

    A family-owned hotel in the centre of Moretonhampstead with a lovely restaurant that uses local produce and serves cream teas daily between 10-4. The White Hart is very dog friendly so pop in after a nice walk on the moors.

    7. Home Farm Café, Bovey Tracey TQ13 9JQ
    http://www.homefarmcafe.co.uk/

    Surrounded by lots of nice walking routes along the River Bovey this dog friendly café is an ideal spot for dog walkers to enjoy a good value cream tea with warm homemade scones.

    8. The Edgemoor Hotel, Bovey Tracey TQ13 9LE
    http://www.edgemoor.co.uk/

    A family-owned, dog friendly country house hotel en route to Haytor serving cream and afternoon teas in either the Old School Tea Rooms or outside in the attractive gardens.

    9. Bagders Holt, Dartmeet PL20 6SG
    http://www.badgersholtdartmoor.co.uk/

    Set at Dartmeet where the East and West River Dart merge, Bagders Holt is in a great location and offers wonderful walking along the river. Badgers Holt specialises in Cream Teas with a secret scone recipe exclusive to the restaurant for over 60 years and also offers homemade traditional fruit, cheese and gluten free scones.

    10. Prince Hall, Two Bridges, Dartmoor, Devon, PL20 6SA
    http://www.princehall.co.uk/

    Set high on Dartmoor the Prince Hall is a lovely setting overlooking the West River Dart. They serve delicious Devonshire cream tea featuring freshly-baked crumbly scones, locally-made strawberry preserve and Devon clotted cream.

    11. Two Bridges Hotel, Princetown PL20 6SW
    http://www.twobridgeshotel.uk/

    Two Bridges Hotel offer a fine dining experience in the middle of Dartmoor as well as serving cream teas daily either inside by the fire or outside in their private garden.

    12. Tor Royal, Princetown PL20 6SL
    http://www.torroyal.co.uk/

    afternoon tea dartmoorTor Royal is a homely bed and breakfast set in a Grade II-listed building in the middle of Dartmoor National Park. It sits in an unspoilt region of Dartmoor, where War Horse was filmed.Its restaurant offers quality local food and drink, including gluten free cream teas. We sell gift vouchers for an afternoon tea for two at the Tor Royal.

    13. Fox Tor Café, Princetown PL20 6QS
    http://www.foxtorcafe.com/

    A licensed café, popular with walkers passing through Princetown, Fox Tor Café sell local food and drink and serve great value meals.

    14. The East Gate, Tavistock PL19 0BW
    http://www.eastgatetavistock.co.uk/

    Located in Tavistock on the west side of the moors, the East Gate Café offers the chance to enjoy a Devon cream tea in their beautiful terrace garden overlooking the River Tavy. We sell Devonshire cream tea gift vouchers for The East Gate on Dartmoor.

    15. Buckland Abbey, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6EY
    http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/buckland-abbey/

    The 700 year old abbey is now managed by the National Trust, it is part museum, part house, and filled with treasures such as the legendary Drake’s Drum. The onsite Ox Yard restaurant serves food that often is picked from the abbey's traditional walled Cider House kitchen garden.

    16. Moorland Garden Hotel, Yelverton PL20 6DA
    http://www.moorlandgardenhotel.co.uk/

    On the edge of Dartmoor, Moorland Garden Hotel boasts nine acres of beautiful moorland garden perfect for either a special afternoon tea or indulgent cream tea.


    Interview with Peter Hunt, Dartmoor Wild Flower Honey April 13, 2015 13:51

    Dartmoor Wild Flower Honey

    Based in North Bovey, Dartmoor Wild Flower Honey is run by expert beekeeper Peter Hunt who has been beekeeping ever since he was 12. As well as managing his own 100+ beehives, at various locations from the banks of the River Tamar to around 15 hives in his garden, Peter also offers advice to other beekeepers and bee swarm removal services. We’ve recently stocked Dartmoor Wild Flower Honey in our Thunder & Lightning Cream Tea and will be adding it to more food hampers soon, so we caught up with Peter to find out more about his honey and answer some common honey questions.

    Dartmoor Honey

    What are the main differences between locally produced and supermarket honey?

    There are two key differences:
    1. Honey supplied to supermarkets is often over-heated in an attempt to prevent the honey from crystallising; however this process requires the honey to be given additional filtering, which can weaken the flavour.
    2. Unlike other commercially farmed parts of the country, Dartmoor has small field systems that are not intensively farmed, resulting in more hedgerows and a larger variety of wild flowers for the bees to source nectar, giving the honey more flavour.

    Does local honey taste better than supermarket honey?

    Yes, as Dartmoor bees source their nectar from a broader variety of wild flowers this gives the honey more flavours. It’s also worth noting than sometimes honey at shows is judged on its clarity, but in order to get this clarity it’s filtered multiple times compromising flavour.

    What’s the best way to stop honey crystallising?

    The temperature at which honey is stored doesn’t usually make a difference to the rate at which it crystallises. However, avoiding dry conditions can help, although this can be harder to control. It is worth noting that crystallised honey is still perfectly good to eat, but you may wish to warm it slowly in warm water to create a runnier consistency.

    What are the main factors influencing honey production?

    The honey producing season is from April to September and bees don’t work in the rain! So, for a good honey year, beekeepers need a dry summer.

    To find out more about Peter visit his website http://www.beesindevon.co.uk.


    Home Farm Cafe March 16, 2015 13:07

    Last week we visited Home Farm Cafe on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, near Bovey Tracey, to sample their cream teas after originally missing them from our '50 of the best cream teas in Devon' list. It was our mistake to miss them, the scones were homemade, warm, fresh and rather large! The cream tea cost £4.95 for a pot of tea for one, two scones, jam and clotted cream, which is good value.

    The cafe is set in the Parke estate, which is now home to the Dartmoor National Park Authority.The River Bovey and Granite Railway pass through the estate which, along with the ample free parking, make it an excellent location for dog walking (see Home Farm Cafe's walking routes map). The cafe is dog friendly with lots of seating inside and outside (check out www.doggydevon.co.uk for more dog friendly cafes).

    Home Farm Cafe sources almost all of its food locally, with the majority of it also being Organic and Fair Trade, and even the furniture is largely produced in Devon. On selected evenings the cafe field kitchen comes alive with their chef producing a three course menu containing produce that is often picked fresh that same day. 


    Mothers Day Hamper Rush March 13, 2015 10:53

    Our first experience of Mothers Day has been busy with lots of cream tea hampers being sent out this Wednesday and Thursday. Thank you to everyone who bought one, hopefully all the mums receiving their Mothers Day gift hampers will love how original the present is.

    Fruit scone cream teas proved popular this year, and why not have fruit instead of plain scones with a cream tea.

    It's too late to order a Mothers Day present from us now but if you still need inspiration check out our Devon cream tea list or our Dartmoor Mothers Day ideas article.

    We'll leave the Mothers Day category on our website to be developed further as a section for female focused gifts.

    Gift wrapped cream tea hamper