Devon Food, Drink and Local Information - Blog
Christmas Special Food & Drink Products From Devon October 26, 2018 16:42
Devon is lucky enough to have lots of artisan food producers in the region, possibly more small-scale food producers than any other county. During Christmas months these brands often add seasonal specials to their range, many of which we stock in our Devon Christmas Hampers and some of which we only buy in for custom corporate orders. Below we've detailed our favourite festive food and drink products from the region.
Non-Alcoholic Festive Drinks From Devon
Mulled Berry Juice - BloomBerry from Clyst Hydon produce a mulled mixed fruit juice with honey and spices that tastes great served warm, perfect on a cold winter’s night.
Passionate Ginger Beer - produced by the well known Luscombe Drinks of Devon their passionate ginger beer brings together the spice of ginger with the sweetness of passion fruit to offer a luxurious twist on a classic. It's a popular drink all year round but particularly well suited to colder months.
Tea - Devonshire Tea have a seasonal pack featuring a Christmas tree deign rather than the usual sail boat picture which can make for a nice little present. The seasonal pack contains their three blended teas (classic breakfast, earl grey and delightful afternoon tea).
Christmas Alcoholic Drinks From Devon
Mulled Cider - an alternative to mulled wine but with a more West Country feel Lyme Bay mulled cider comes in a tall 75cl wine bottle and combines their award-winning Jack Ratt Scrumpy Cider with festive spices.
Cream Liqueurs - Lyme Bay Winery produce salted caramel, butterscotch & brandy and chocolate orange flavour cream liqueurs making for an indulgently smooth and delicious drink, perfect over the Christmas period.
Christmas Real Ale - Hunters Brewery produce Dashers Dinkle using calypso hop to create a unique and delicious festive ale. We can include this ale in Christmas hampers on request and in custom corporate hampers.
Devonshire Fudge and Chocolate Christmas Specials
Christmas Pudding Fudge - produced by the Devon Fudge Company, Christmas pudding flavour fudge blends clotted cream fudge with cranberries, brandy, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Chocolate Truffles - we have our own Devon Heaven chocolate truffles sold in our Christmas hampers combining our classic chocolate truffles with a mulled wine flavour truffle and a Christmas pudding design truffle.
Christmas Special Devon Biscuits
Christmas Pudding Cookies - Teoni's of Cullompton produce a range of limited edition Christmas products, their Christmas pudding cookies are made by hand with oats, white chocolate flavour coating, mixed fruit and spice. They also make chocolate orange shortbread and dipped cranberry cookies.
Festive Cakes and Desserts From Devon
Christmas Puddings - based in Budleigh Salterton Georgie Porgie Puddings are market leader in artisan, flavoured Christmas puddings. Their newest edition is a delicious Baileys and chocolate orange flavoured pudding.
Mince Pie Flapjack - produced by Flapjackery of Devon mince pie flapjack is a delicious seasonal twist on traditional flapjack flavours. We include mince pie flapjack in our Devon Christmas Foodie Hamper.
Christmas Sauces and Chutneys From Devon
Cranberry Sauce with Port - this Christmas dinner essential is lovingly made in small batches using high fruit content and a large shot of port by North Devon producers Brendon Hill Crafts.
Cranberry & Whortleberry Chutney - Brendon Hill Crafts combine cranberry's with whortleberry's, a wild growing Devon blueberry found on Devon's moors, to produce an excellent Christmas chutney.
Our Guide to Clotted Cream August 25, 2018 17:26
Clearly, we love clotted cream here at Devon Heaven and our business relies heavily on its appeal so we thought we’d take the time to learn some more about this cherished West Country creation.
What makes Clotted Cream Clotted?
Wikipedia describes clotted cream as: a thick cream made by indirectly heating full-cream cow's milk using steam or a water bath and then leaving it in shallow pans to cool slowly. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms "clots" or "clouts".
Cream has the same properties as milk but it is richer in fat. What sets clotted cream apart from other creams is that it has an even higher fat content.
Minimum fat content allowed in each type of cream:
Half cream - 12% fat
Single cream - 18% fat
Extra thick double cream - 48% fat
Clotted cream - 55% fat (55% is the minimum, typically its around 63%)
Clotted Cream Producers
Although the appeal of clotted cream has spread nationally, the production of clotted cream is still dominated by producers in the South West. Rodda’s of Cornwall are the biggest manufacturer making over 10 tonnes of it a day. They’re also one of the oldest producers with over 100 years’ experience. Langage Farm are the biggest producer in Devon, they were the first UK Carbon Neutral Dairy with an onsite Anaerobic Digester Facility that generates the farm’s electricity from food waste.
What makes the Best Clotted Cream Flavour?
The colour, consistency and taste of clotted cream are affected by the breed of cow, the type of food they eat, their pasture and the method of cream production. Cows are often indoors during the winter months and outside for the summer, butterfat levels are usually best in the middle of summer when the cows have settled into outdoor living. The higher the butterfat in the milk the richer and more coloured the clotted cream. Jersey and Guernsey breeds of cow are said to produce the highest buttermilk content.
Differences Between Cornish and Devonshire Clotted Cream
Both Devonshire and Cornish clotted cream is produced using the same or similar methods, the main difference comes from the cows pastures (the better the cows diet the better the clotted cream). The conditions required to produce the best pastures don’t exactly follow county boundaries however generally Devon has more varied, deeper soils ideal for dairy farming. On the other hand, Cornish dairy farmers benefit from slightly milder winters and more rainfall both of which can benefit the cows so it’s hard to say that one county is clearly better than the other for dairy farming.
Differences between farmhouse and commercial clotted cream
We’re used to assuming that local products produced on a small scale are better than mass produced products as this is often the case. Usually, this is due to better quality ingredients and less additives used with smaller scale production. However, with clotted cream the ingredient is simply milk with no additives or preservatives, regardless of the scale. The methods used for farmhouse and factory clotted cream follow the same process with the latter performed on a much bigger scale. Rodda’s commercial clotted cream is cooked in specially designed ovens that have a high degree of control with butterfat levels carefully checked along the way. This results in a very consistent product, whereas farmhouse clotted cream can be slightly more varied in flavour, colour and texture.
Judging Clotted Cream
Clotted cream should be judged on its colour, consistency, flavour and crust. It should be firm enough that it sits on the scone without spilling but without being too stiff. The crust is an essential part of clotted cream and it gives it it’s uniqueness over other cream so any good clotted cream should have a nice thick layer of crust. Colour is another consideration when judging clotted cream and contrary to popular opinion yellow (rather than pale white) indicates a higher quality cream as it results from a higher butterfat level.
See also: Devon and Cornish Cream Tea Debate
A Huge Afternoon Tea Order For Morning Delivery July 26, 2018 10:53
At the start of the month the NHS celebrated it’s 70th Birthday and many NHS practices across the country held tea parties to celebrate this milestone Birthday. It was a lovely idea to get staff, retired staff, volunteers, patients, users, carers and local community groups together for a cuppa and to share their NHS stories.
Devon Heaven was luck enough to be asked to provide an afternoon tea for 100 NHS practices across the country. Practices ranged in size from 10 people to 200 people which lead to a huge number of scones being sent out – 3,400 to be exact! Also included in the afternoon tea packages were 1,100 packets Teoni’s cookies and shortbread biscuits. All of this needed to be dispatched on a single day so that it could arrive on the actual Birthday of 5th July. The tricky part is that cream / afternoon tea hampers can’t be packed in advance due to the nature of the product so it was all hands to the deck. It was a great team effort and we’re very lucky to have staff willing to be flexible by starting work very early on the Wednesday to ensure that every single scone was sent on time.
Our courier DPD were great, sending three vans to collect the parcels on the Wednesday and delivering everything by midday on Thursday so that the afternoon teas could be enjoyed at lunchtime or as a traditional mid-afternoon treat.
Morning Delivery Now Available To All
In the past we haven’t offered a morning delivery option when buying cream tea hampers through the website (only doing them on special request as they were quite expensive). However, we’ve subsequently received a better price for them from our courier so have made AM delivery available for all our cream and afternoon tea hampers for £10 extra (excluding Scottish Highlands/Lowlands, Northern Ireland and any other Islands). It’s nice to have the reassurance that the afternoon tea hampers will be able to be enjoyed over lunchtime particularly when sending them to offices or when having them arrive on the date of a special occasion such as a Birthday or family gathering.
Alterative Easter Gifts – Cream Tea Hampers March 28, 2018 16:23
Are you looking for something different as an Easter present, perhaps for someone who doesn’t like chocolate, well cream tea hampers are a great alternative. Everyone loves cream teas as much as they do chocolate. They are a better small gift for adults than Easter eggs and are ideal for sharing with the family and enjoying together one afternoon during the Easter period. Also, sometimes children can end up with multiple Easter eggs so buy buying an alternative Easter gift you avoid duplicating the same gift.
Although the weather doesn’t always compile Easter coincides with the changing season’s and cream teas are a great way to start the summer, especially for those who have memories of holidaying in Devon or Cornwall.
The baskets that our cream tea hampers come in can also be used for collecting Easter eggs during children’s Easter egg hunts in the garden or used for creating an Easter themed scene with painted eggs, flowers and chicks or bunnies.
Devon Heaven Cream Tea Hampers
- Our Devonshire scones are made by a local chef and have a gold Taste of the West award.
- The clotted cream made by Langage Farm and jam made by Devon Scone Company are also award winning.
- They come with free next day delivery. You can also choose to have delivery on a particular date.
- A gift card where you can enter a personal message such as ‘Happy Easter’ is included.
- At the time of writing we have 498 reviews of which 487 are 5 stars (and these are managed by a 3rd party and cannot be faked, edited or deleted).
- Almost everything we sell is for a gift so our cream and afternoon tea hampers are all designed to be nicely presented on arrival.
- As well as the scones, cream, jam and tea our afternoon tea hampers also include artisan cheese and biscuits, local cakes, chocolate truffles and much more.
2018 Christmas Markets and Events in Devon October 04, 2017 17:00 6 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.
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 2018 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.
2018 Christmas lights switch on throughout Devon
- 15 November - Plymouth Christmas lights switch-on (takes place on the Piazza from 4pm)
- 15 November – Exeter Christmas lights switch-on (4pm - 8pm Princesshay)
- tbc (19 November in 17) - Barnstaple Christmas lights switch on (lantern parade leaving the Pannier market at 5pm heading off to the square for the lights switch on)
- 17 November - Torquay Christmas Carnival (usually from 4.30pm)
- 24 November - Newton Abbot Christmas lights switch-on (usually 5.30pm Clock Tower)
- 30 November - Dawlish Christmas Lights Switch on (4.30pm – 6.00pm)
- 1 December - Light-up Tiverton (6pm for light switch on)
- 2 December - Bideford Christmas lights switch-on
- 7 December - Tavistock Christmas lights switch-on (5.45pm in 2017)
- tbc December - usually 3pm - 6pm - Bovey Tracey’s Christmas Lights Switch on
2018 Christmas markets, food and craft fairs in Devon
- 3 November – Tavistock Warm up to Christmas market – Tavistock Town Hall 10am-4pm
- 8 November - Powderham Michaelmas Fair - Powderham Castle, Kenton, Exeter 10am-3pm
- tbs (10/11 November last year) - Hannahs Christmas Fayre – Seale Hayne, Newton Abbot
- 15 November to 16 December – Exeter Christmas Market - Cathedral Green, Exeter
- 16 & 18 November - Saltram Christmas Festival (Craft), Saltram Estate 10am-4pm
- 23 - 25 November - RHS Rosemoor Christmas Craft and Design Fair
- 25 November - Christmas in Langtree, North Devon - Gifts & Crafts (Parish Hall, 10-4pm)
- 29 November to 16 December – Plymouth Christmas Market - City Centre (all day)
- 4, 11 and 18 December 15.30pm - 9.30pm - Totnes Night Market 2018 - Market Square, Totnes
- 1-2 December - Dawlish Christmas Market & Festive Fun
- 1-2 December - Dingles Fairground Christmas market and festive funfair
- 1 December - Bovey Tracey Christmas Fayre (Bovey Tracey Methodist Church 10am-12noon)
- 1 December - Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas
- 2 December - Harbertonford’s Craft and Art Fair - Village Hall (TQ9 7TR) 10.30am-4.30pm
- 7 December - Dickensian Evening, Tavistock
- 7 December 5-8pm - Sidmouth Shopping Evening and Christmas Fayre (2016 details)
- 15 & 16 December - The Shops at Dartington Christmas Fair
- 23 December 10am-1pm - Crediton Christmas Farmers Market -The Square, Crediton
The below Christmas markets are for 2017 and are to be updated:
- 30 November to 23 December - Exeter Christmas Market in Castle Street (Thursday's 9am-9pm, Friday/Saturday 9am-5pm )
- tbc December - St Marychurch Christmas Street Party (Midday until 7.30pm, St Marychruch Precinct)
Other Christmas events in Devon during winter 2018
- Throughout December - Santa Express Paignton
- Throughout December - Dartmoor Train to Christmas Town
- 30 November / 1 December - Candlelit Dartmouth
- 24 November - Lanterns, Lights and luminations, Brixham
- 24 November to 24 December - Christmas at Pennywell Farm
Late night shopping in Devon this season
- Totnes late night shopping – Tuesday evenings until 9.30pm on 4, 11 & 18 December
- Exeter late night shopping – Every Thursday evening from 24 November
- Plymouth late night shopping - Every Thursday evening
Previous Christmas Events 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
See Santa in Devon 2018 | Grotto's, Nativities, Polar Express & More October 03, 2017 09:51
For 2018 Christmas markets, events, lights switch-on's and late night shopping times click here.
Where to see Father Christmas in Devon 2018
Otter Nurseries, Ottery St Mary, Devon, EX11 1LZ
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 £14.99 per child, including a gift and magical reindeer food. Sign up to their newsletter to hear first when tickets are released.
Jack’s Patch, Newton Rd, Bishopsteignton, Teignmouth, Devon, TQ14 9PN.
Wyevale Garden Centre's do a traditional Santa's Grotto or breakfast / afternoon tea with Santa. The grotto is £6 per child.
House of Marbles, Pottery Rd, Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9DS.
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 tbc theme. Child entry costs £6.99 and includes a gift, a balloon and a badge.
Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0LT
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.
Morwellham Quay, Nr Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8JL.
At Morwellham Quay visitors can take a special mine 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.
2018 details tbs. Last years details: Santa’s Grotto will be open daily from 17 November 2017, 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.
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.
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.
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.
23rd to 25th November 2018.
The Christmas Shopping Fayre at Westpoint boasts 3 days of festive shopping, all under one roof. Admission costs £4 for adults (16 and under are free) and includes the free Santa’s grotto.
Endsleigh Garden Centre, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 9JL.
Meet Santa, receive a present, tuck into a delicious meal, decorate your own Gingerbread and enjoy festive fun activities.
South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ.
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.
2018 tbc, here's last years details: 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.
Crealy has loads going on during thier Christmas spectacular event: Christmas On Ice, Mary Christmas' Bakery, Santa's Magical Toy Store, The Elf Academy, Rudy's Reindeer Food Making Station, Santa's Post Office, The Singing Snowmen, Buddy & Blossom's 'Jingle Bell Rock' and Christmas Craft Creators. Children can meet Santa and receive a gift to take home.
Arlington Court, Arlington, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4LP.
Visit the festive grotto in the stables at the carriage museum and meet the traditional green Father Christmas. Tickets cost £5 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.
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.
Go on a festive adventure at Paignton Zoo. Meet Santa in his grotto and receive a present, then ride the jungle polar express! Follow the gingerbread trail and pick up a special gift from the elves as you leave.
Living Coasts, Torquay Harbourside, Beacon Quay, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2BG.
2018 tbc, here's last years details: Meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen and watch Santa’s elves feed the penguins at Living coasts Christmas weekend on 9 and 10 December 17.
Cream Teas For Offices & Large Groups August 11, 2017 20:05
Group Cream Tea
Our Group Cream Tea is a cream tea designed for a group of people with various size options (in increments of 4) ranging from 4 to 32 people. Previously, we only listed a cream tea to cater for up to 20 but we've recently expanded this to 32 people. We've worked out how much cream and jam is required per scone so all you need to know is how many people / scones are needed. The Devon scones, cream and jam also come with a selection box of Devonshire Tea containing sachets of Breakfast, Earl Grey and Afternoon tea blends.
Who is the Group Cream Tea Hamper for?
- Large families where four scones isn't enough
- Birthday parties - we recently provided a cream tea for a group of 100 celebrating a 21st Birthday party (see below).
- Departments within an office - companies have been running national sales incentive competitions awarding the winning branch / department with a cream tea that the team can enjoy together.
- Business to business marketing competitions.
- Company thank you's - cream teas work really well as a thank you present and satisfied customers have been sending our Group Cream Tea to businesses such as garages, nurseries, schools and firms of solicitors.
Ordering for 100 or more people
We only build in options to order for up to 32 people but have provided custom quotes for cream teas for around 100 people before. Please contact us to request a quote.
Taste of the West 2017 Gold Award for Online Retailer July 14, 2017 09:50
We’re very proud to announce that Devon Heaven has recently (it was actually a few month ago but we’ve only just decided to write about it) been awarded a 2017 Gold Taste of the West Award! We were entered in the Online Retailer category alongside other local food and drink retailers that mainly trade online.
About Taste of the West
Taste of the West are the largest independent regional food group in the UK supporting fantastic local food and drink producers / retailers from the region (that’s Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire). They run an annual awards scheme to ensure high standards are maintained awarding members with Gold, Silver and Highly Commended (formally Bronze) awards.
What were they judging?
For the online retailer category it mostly comes down to two things; the website and the product/delivery of it. For the website they’re evaluating things like the usability, attractiveness, speed, security of checkout and accuracy of the information of displayed. For the product part they ordered a hamper of their choice for a particular delivery date. The hamper they chose was our Gourmet Devon Food Hamper.
What the judge said about Devon Heaven?
The Taste of the West deemed the site to be attractive and very easy to navigate with a clear and easy checkout process. Our Gourmet Devon Food Hamper was judged to consist of some of the best food in Devon and offer excellent value for money. They were also particularly impressed with the packaging. The judge really loved our chocolate truffles and went on to order a cream tea hamper with extra truffles for his mum on Mothers Day.
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
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:
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:
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.
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.
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!
Interview with 'Real' Cider Expert Jim Callender September 21, 2016 08:05
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 1 Comment
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.
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.
Please contact us to discuss your requirements and to receive a quote.
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.
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 2 Comments
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.
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 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.
Stoke Gabriel, near Totnes
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
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
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.
Winkleigh, Central Devon
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.
Stoke Gabriel, South Devon
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.
Staverton, near Totnes
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
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
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
Showcasing the finest ales of the Southwest’s SIBA members.
29 April - 1 May 2017
Exeter Food & Drink Festival, Exeter
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.
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
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
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).
Honiton Sausage & Cider Festival, Honiton
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
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
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
The ultimate 80s festival in the beautiful grounds of Powderham Castle.
7 - 15 July 2017
Budleigh Music Festival, Budleigh
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
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
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
Sidmouth FolkWeek is a unique week-long seaside celebration of music, dance and song taking place in the charming East Devon regency coastal resort.
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
Beautiful Days started in 2003 and is a family-friendly music festival which takes place in Devon.
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
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
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
Inspiring talks, readings and workshops with prize-winning authors in the seaside town of Budleigh Salterton.
Lyn Food Festival
Free admission to lots of delicious food from across the region.
20 - 22 October 2017
Dartmouth Food Festival, Dartmouth
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’.
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 Hamper Reviews:
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Chris Marriott on Oct 23, 2015
Excellent present, lovely tasty items, excellent value for money
The Old Forge Restaurant on Dartmoor wins best Afternoon Tea Award October 13, 2015 14:11
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.
Dr 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.
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.
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.
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
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 & West Country Food Hampers
Devon’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.
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.
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.
Also see our specific section on West Country Hampers for hampers that also include food and drink from Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset.
2. Devonshire & West Country Paintings and Pictures
Clearly 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 including seascape painting and picture from the West Country, Devon, Cornwall, Bristol, Somerset & Dorset by talented South West artists. 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
Afternoon 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
Kitchen 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
For 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 & the South West
Devon 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 (update July 17 - store closed but says it may re-open) 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
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.
Picnic Spots in North Devon
1. Watermouth Bay, near Ilfracombe, North Devon
Location - Small car park near the harbour, postcode EX34 9SL.
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.
Set 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.
The 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.
From 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.
Eggesford 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.
Dating 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.
Beer 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.
Budleigh 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.
Consisting 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.
Spitchwick, 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.
With 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.
On 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.
Undisturbed 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.
Set 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.
The 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.
Berry 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.
From 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.
Mill 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.
Bigbury-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.
A 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.
Our blog listing 50 of the best cream teas in Devon to be enjoyed on a day out
Our cream tea hampers by post to take with you or send to a friend who couldn't make it to Devon.
How to make a perfect scone by the Devon Scone Company June 25, 2015 18:01 11 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.
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.
A simple scone recipe for 20 large scones
1kg Strong Plain flour
125gm Unsalted butter
125gm Milk powder
125gm Caster sugar
75gm Baking powder
Egg to glaze
- Preheat the oven to 190◦c, Gas Mark 7 or 175◦c for a fan-assisted oven
- Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a breadcrumb like texture
- Gently add the buttermilk and work the mixture into a soft dough, without overworking the dough as it'll become tough
- Roll out gently to 1 and a half inches thick and cut with a straight cutter
- Glaze with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden brown
See also - Devon vs Cornwall Cream Tea Differences
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.
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?
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.
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
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