Whether you have a hankering for farmhouse cider or fresh crab, North Devon produces some truly heavenly food and drink these days. With so many fine restaurants, pubs, markets and other top culinary establishments, you really can eat like a king or queen on your next visit. Or perhaps you'd like an intimate tour or tasting session with the experts? Here are a selection of the best places to eat, shop and taste your way around the area:
Brewery Tours and Beer Tasting at Country Life Brewery (Abbotsham, Bideford)
The number of microbreweries in Devon has exploded in the last decade, to the delight of both local and visiting beer fans. We always stock a selection of excellent local ales here at Woolacombe Bay. Should you wish to try a more in-depth experience of beer however, you could always visit the Country Life Brewery, which can be found at The Big Sheep attraction in the Bideford area. It's run by passionate people- and the theme park could just be the perfect alibi for a pint while other family members play. Find out more at: www.countrylifebrewery.co.uk
North Devon Street Food and Buzzing Barnstaple Markets
Candlelit dining is fine and dandy, but sometimes it’s just as much fun to enjoy the bustle of busy street markets and eating on the go. Whether it’s chatting to traders, taking in all the sights and smells, or just the delight of digging in with your bare hands, street food is always enjoyable and varied.
For a selection of the best food vans and stalls, perhaps your best bet is one of the regional markets or events, especially in the bigger towns and cities. Barnstaple Panier Market is open six days a week most of the year and always has plenty of local flavours on offer, as well as special events.
Another group worth checking out are North Devon Street food, however, who run events at various venues in Barnstaple throughout the year. The biggest of these tend to have the widest selection of foods to try, such as the Christmas markets (19th Nov/ 14th & 21st Dec), which also feature a special “Street Food Festival”. See: http://www.northdevonstreetfood.co.uk/
Organic honey and close encounters at Quince Farm (South Molton EX36 3AZ)
If you love honey, Quince is a must visit site on your next visit to North Devon. For a quick stop off there is a fantastic shop with all kinds of fantastic locally produced honeys; but for a more involved day out there are also some fantastic things to try, from beekeeping experiences to demonstrations and activities. It's certainly a day out with a difference and you may never look at bees in quite the same way again! For current news, opening hours and the rest, see www.quincehoneyfarm.co.uk
Delicious Devon sausages and traditional cider at Indicknowle Farm (Combe Martin EX34 0PA)
When it comes to authentic, traditionally produced food and drink you cannot beat buying it direct from source! The good folks at Indicknowle know a good thing when they taste it, producing delicious cider the old-fashioned way, along with some of the best bangers in Devon. Passionate about their produce, they also arrange occasional tasting days and other experiences. Just a short drive from Woolacombe, this is a great place to buy something local and delicious before you head home. See www.indicknowle.co.uk
Annual Food & Drink Festivals in North Devon
As we enter October, we’ve already passed some of the best annual food and drink events in the area such as the Lynton Food Fest (September) and Porlock Oyster Festival (September). However, there are still some tasty events to come, such as Clovelly Apple Day (October 28) and Clovelly Herring Festival (18 Nov). Both are packed with local treats to try, not to mention activities and live music (see www.clovelly.co.uk). For a complete list of food events right across devon see http://www.visitdevon.co.uk/food-and-drink
Award-winning dining at Woolacombe Bay Hotel
If all this talk of local food is making you hungry, The Woolacombe Bay Hotel has not one but two great eateries to bring you the best of all that is local, seasonal and delicious! Whether you choose fine dining in our elegant AA Rosette awarded Doyle's Restaurant, or more relaxed bistro style dining in The Bay Brasserie, there is always something tempting to try, from local seafood to seasonal and festive specials. See our dining section for more details and sample menus.
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