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16.11.2014 admin
The story about a group of youths who can't face the thought of growing up because anyone who does becomes a rampaging zombie.
The Avengers, een buitengewoon team van superhelden bestaande uit Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye en Captain America komen opnieuw samen om de strijd aan te binden tegen Ultron, een intelligente robot. When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it's up to Earth's Mightiest Heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt tell the story behind The Mighty Boosh in their own words.
On a sunny Summer’s day, spending time with good friends, eating, and perusing boutique shops in small Devon villages, has surely got to be one of the most perfect ways to pass the time. I’ve had a connection with Honiton for a number of years as very good friends of mine owned a house just outside of the town many years ago and I spent countless happy weekends at their house, popping into Honiton whenever food and drink supplies were needed. The McCaig family are veteran food and drink producers, with parents David & Ann running the highly successful Otter Brewery in Luppitt near Honiton since 1990.
The reception we first received was very friendly and welcoming which is always a great start.
BFF had already had The Holt experience once before, so she commented on the good service and pointed out the lovely waitress she had previously had.
We were taken upstairs to our table when the food was just about ready and not too long after this, we had our beautiful rabbit dish in front of us.
We had been told of the range of real fruit flavoured vodkas that The Holt also offered very soon after we arrived. Earlier that evening in the bar, BFF and I had been discussing what we thought were the most important elements of a good meal out.
It's been a long time in the planning, but The Real Food Store in Exeter has finally opened its doors. After 2 years in the planning, the founding members and first official Board of Directors, finally saw their dream of a ‘Real Food’ store for Exeter come to fruition.
Suppliers are thoughtfully sourced in a bid to maintain the integrity and ethos of the project. Local workers who fancy something different at lunchtime can either shimmy on up to the Cafe or grab a take away sandwich, all of which are made on the premises. There is plenty of room in the cafe with roughly 15-20 tables seating between 60-80 people although don’t quote me on that. The bakery has it’s own entrance to the right of the main store entrance and as per the rest of the store feels very different to your average supermarket experience.
My purchases on that first visit were a little special as my sister and brother-in-law were arriving from Australia that week, so I pushed the boat out. In addition to operating the mobile van, LLF run educational workshops on a variety of subjects, including breadmaking and growing organic vegetables. After last year’s rather low key trip to the Food & Drink Festival whilst I was in the midst of a self-inflicted no dairy, alcohol, sugar or wheat diet, I was ready to sample whatever the heck I liked this year. I always have a game plan when I attend any food event like this – a quick scoot round with an eye on anything that looks worth coming back for.
Four generations of the Bond family work on the farm so it is a serious family business and their ice cream is made using milk and cream from their own cows.
The Mr Filbert’s nut stand featured a sign which read ‘Freshly Roasted Prince William’s Nuts or Hot Nuts for Kate’, something that wasn’t terribly easy to walk past without stopping.
A producer that has recently piqued my interest is Sharpham Wines & Cheeses based in the Dart Valley near Totnes. Some of the stands I was keen to explore were difficult to get to as is often the way, and amongst these was that of Bell & Loxton. Pullins Bakers, based in North Somerset were established in 1925 so I can’t exactly refer to them as a new supplier, but this is the first time I have come across them, so I made my way over to their rather lovely bakery stand.
Of course, it is necessary to have lunch at the food festival every year, or at the very least buy it to take home and eat. On the way back through the festival, passing Michael Caines being interviewed in the process, I nipped to pick up my well thought out purchases - orange & ginger salami from the Deli Farm Charcuterie and the lemon curd and mild garlic pickle from The Cherry Tree – before heading home, replete, content and ready to sing the praises of another successful festival. For some time now I have been planning to venture into South Devon to visit Occombe Farm Shop near Paignton. Only 30 minutes later, with little or no traffic on the road (it was, after all, February), we arrived at the farm and the first thing that hit us as we extracted ourselves from my restrictive little coupe, was the smell of proper farm animals. On entering the farm shop, you are greeted with a wealth of fresh, seasonal fruit and veg, a fish counter and several shelves of West Country, Fairtrade, eco, organic and generally enticing, feel-good produce.
The delicatessen boasts a selection of over 50 cheeses from the West Country including Organic North Devon Farmhouse, Sharpham Brie, Devon Blue, Beenleigh Blue, Godminster Vintage, Quickes Mature and Ticklemore Goat.
Gribble's Butchers, unsurprisingly given Occombe’s ethics, are focussed on supplying local, sustainably-farmed meat and stock a good organic range. After a good look around and a bit of restrained retail therapy, we headed upstairs to The Bakehouse Cafe to take the weight of our feet. We didn’t eat lunch this time, but I made a point of checking the menu in lieu of future visits. Occombe Farm is lovingly operated as a community project with it’s visitors at the heart of it’s raison d’etre. Once back in NSW, having left behind the lush scenery and produce of QLD, I did what any self-respecting food lover would do and headed straight for my next culinary experience at Pilu at Freshwater.
We had made the long journey to Manly from Cronulla during Saturday traffic over the Harbour Bridge, then via Military Road through Neutral Bay, Cremorne, Mosman, and over the Spit Bridge on a 32 degree day. I had decided not to have an entree as I was far more keen on a main and dessert, but my fellow diners decided to choose a selection of entrees that included Zucchini Flowers (courgettes), fresh oysters, sauteed prawns with baby globe artichokes, fregola, tomato and chilli, as well as de-boned quail wrapped with pancetta, stuffed with chicken livers, potatoes, tarragon & served eggplant (aubergine) caponata.
I have very few earth-shattering pieces of food analysis to offer on each dish except to say that it was all very special, but I can honestly say that the pannacotta with abbamele was outstanding.
My family lunch at the Patonga Beach Hotel was going to be a much less elaborate affair, but I couldn’t wait to see my family and visit Patonga again. Lunch at the hotel is fairly basic (compared to some of my feasts) with a choice of very local seafood, chips, salads and sandwiches.
We crossed the road and headed for Dank Street Depot, now quite hungry (you should never food shop on an empty stomach). Nothing much on the menu grabbed me hugely on that day – I think I was a victim of having eaten too much over the previous 2.5 weeks – but I liked the sound of the potato tortilla with roasted capsicum (pepper) and goats cheese. Ultron is een creatie van Tony Stark, die deze zelfbewuste robot samen met een legioen drones ontworpen heeft om het werk van de Avengers te vergemakkelijken. With concerns over the number of people migrating to Britain being one of the key issues of the EU referendum, Tonight reporter Ranvir Singh has travelled around the UK to find out. They visit locations key to their past, including the comedy club where they first performed and the studio where the radio show was recorded, which is now an organic supermarket.
My Best Food Friend (BFF herein) and I had planned to head for Topsham for the Food & Drink Festival, but unfortunately we were quite late in arriving and ended up sitting in a lovely coffee shop sipping our hot beverages and sharing a slice of gingerbread instead. Over the last few years I haven’t visited Honiton very often, but when I heard about The Holt from my BFF and registered it’s growing popularity I put it on my ‘must do’ list.
Having fallen foul of a local cafe owner recently, I was keen to let them know that I wanted to take photos of both the interior and the food for my blog. Bernard & Kitty’s Drinks Company, also run by the family, use UK-distilled vodka and flavour it themselves with caramel, cherry and apple. This might be a slightly biased review, but being a member I was always going to want to shout from the rooftops about this wonderful new 'store with a heart & soul'. Dominic Acland, co-founder of Occombe Farm in South Devon, Nicola Beglin, Sarah Collier, David Mezzetti of Transition Exeter, Christine Duff of OrganicArts and Love Local Food and Emma Parkin of Emma’s Bread have been supported by nearly 300 local shareholders, better known as members, in a project that has ‘community’ written all over it. My trip to the store on its first Saturday of opening saw me scouring the shelves for new and interesting products and I wasn’t disappointed. I was very impressed by the sandwich filling selection which is an extension of the current Spring menu in the cafe.
Emma Parkin has run Emma’s Bread since 2005 and her products are already well known and loved by many a farmers market shopper, but this is her first permanent store front. LLF consists of founding members Emma Parkin, Martyn Bragg, Jo Cotter & Christine Duff and was built around a vision to highlight Exeter’s position as both an urban conurbation and a rural idyll. They are a team of local farmers, producers and passionate food lovers in the perfect position to select and offer great food to Exeter’s residents. Based at Shillingford Farm and West Town Farm, the workshops are a great way of improving your skills and learning about self-sufficient methods of food production. They are set to launch a new website in early 2010 which will be even more comprehensive than the current site. I have been partying a lot recently as my sister and brother-in-law have been over from Australia and together we have eaten our way across the UK and France over the past fortnight. 6) was The Cherry Tree stand which was neatly laden with their chutneys, preserves and cheese samples.
The Hot Nuts for Kate were a little too spicy for JC who I had in mind for these, but the Prince William’s Nuts were peanuts flavoured with English tomatoes and Mediterranean herbs, with a subtle sweetness provided by Pomegranate molasses, and seemed perfect.
Their wine and cheese production seems to have been cranked up in the past few years although they have been producing wine for 25 years. Bell & Loxton cold pressed rapeseed oil is sold in the Real Food Store in Exeter so I am familiar with their products.
Referring to themselves as artisan bakers, they bake a range of loaves such as ciabatta, french sticks, rye, overnight white (using an 18 hour fermentation method), sourdough and spelt.
This year I decided to buy a Pieminister pie with mash and mushy, minty peas to eat in Rougemont Gardens.
Having spent many years wandering around West and East Devon, poor old South Devon has been sadly neglected in my travels.
At the back of the shop is a large deli counter and alongside this a butcher’s concession run by Mark Gribble.
A good range of cooked meats, quiches, pies and pasties as well as olives and tapas round of the selection. Mondays are a self-service day, but the remainder of the week the Gribble’s staff are happy to offer any help needed with information on cut selection, cooking tips, animal welfare or product ingredients.
We didn’t exactly need a rest given that we only shopped for around 20 minutes, but when the prospect of coffee and cake is distracting concentration it’s best not to fight it. Regular events are held at the farm and have included sausage-making courses, planting projects, product tasting days and outdoor classroom lessons in the farm yurt.
This was a big event for me as I had been planning it for some time – my friends will back me up on this as I bored them senseless with emails in the lead up. Abbamele is a Sardinian product made from slowly cooking honeycomb, honey, pollen, lemon and orange zest.
I chose the Moroccan squid with chips and salad and after 2 weeks of drinking wine, a sparkling mineral water with lemon. My foodie friend Miss J and daughter Miss A aged 16 months, had very kindly agreed to drive into the city with me and enjoy a spot of Italian grocery shopping (browsing for me) and a flash lunch, before I flew off towards Heathrow later on that day. The goats cheese was by a producer called Woodside, down near Adelaide, and it was wonderful.
Wanneer Ultron echter het idee heeft dat de mens de grootste bedreiging voor vrede en geluk vormt lopen de zaken uit de hand. From London to Lincolnshire, Greater Manchester to Lancashire, Ranvir investigates whether or not our population is really growing too quickly - and asks whether migration brings benefits to our towns and cities, or stretches resources to breaking point. Time passed and when we reached the quay where most of the action was supposed to be taking place, the whole thing seemed to be winding up for the day. Honiton is only a half hour away from Exeter at best, so it’s easy to get to and makes a nice change from eating in the city. I had many years ago found a rabbit recipe that I liked the look of, but the local game butcher E Courtney, in Cowick Street, Exeter, sadly now closed, could only offer me a frozen whole rabbit at the time and I needed it that night without the fuss. Without atmosphere (I include environment in this – decor, lighting, etc.) I am put off my food even if it is good.

The idea was to open a shop, cafe and bakery for local people that was an alternative to other standard retail offerings. There were those I instantly recognised such as Luscombe juices, Chunk pies & Quickes cheese, but the shelves were riddled with unfamiliar brands that kept me occupied for the best part of half an hour. Pumpkin, humous and slaw, venison sausage and onion marmalade and paprika egg salad stood out as attractive alternatives to your standard BLT or tuna mayo. In the true spirit of the project JC & I shared our 4 seater table with a mum and her son as things were a tad busy. The bakery is stocked daily (Mon-Sat 8am-6pm) with a range of speciality breads including spelt, rye & seeded sourdough and wholemeal loaves as well as an ever changing range of tempting cakes, biscuits and slices.
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday they operate a mobile van around Exeter, which you may have already seen. In the current economic climate these skills are in demand and the courses are great value, starting at ?20 for a 10am-3.30pm day. LLF are always looking for more locals to get involved with the organisation so feel free to get in touch. As I mentioned I have to be careful with this sort of produce as I have a tendency to get a little excited.
I also tried the Banoffee Pie and Rhubarb & Ginger ice creams which were both gorgeous. They have also won several top awards for their wine in 2009 and 2010, including the Gold English & Welsh Wine of the Year 2010 award for their Pinot Noir 2009. Being the marketing victim that I am, I was also attracted to their very attractive packaging – they use aluminium bottles as they are lighter to transport and easily recycled compared to glass. After greedily reading the May Italy issue of the American foodie magazine Bon Appetit I couldn’t resist the Stromboli loaves on the end of the stand – I bought 2 of the vegetarian smaller rolls full of sunblush tomato, red onion, mushrooms, local Cheddar cheese, Italian seasoning and paprika. JC had a Chicken of Aragon (free range chicken, smoky bacon, roasted garlic, vermouth and fresh tarragon) and I had the Heidi Pie (goats cheese, sweet potato, spinach, red onion and roasted garlic). This is mostly due to the large volume of tourists that head towards this part of the world every summer and partly due to the fact that I just don’t get the time to visit everywhere I would like to. Right next to the main parking area was a barn full to the brim with mooing cows munching happily on bales of hay. In the main part of the store there is a wide choice of general groceries and store cupboard essentials including tea, coffee, dried pasta, tinned products, juice, wine, flour and biscuits.
The Bakehouse is a lovely area above the shop with glass doors and a balcony that looks out over farmland. I suspect that the farm shop and cafe are important means of revenue for the continuation of the project and allow Occombe to move forward with their admirable education plans. I researched for weeks trying to find the best venue for my purpose, which was to thoroughly enjoy myself at a top Sydney restaurant with my closest friends. I was berated at length about my choice of restaurant location as Manly in the north of Sydney was almost as far as you could get from Cronulla which is the outer-most suburb of South Sydney and where Craig lives.
Amongst our mains were suckling pig, slow roasted for several hours and served on the bone with pig sausage and condiments. I like pannacotta very much, but any that I have in future will, unfortunately for it, have this benchmark to match up to. It sits at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, across from Palm Beach in far north Sydney so it’s in a glorious position.
Salt and pepper squid – simply battered calamari with lots of salt & pepper in the batter - is a standard offering at many Australian eateries, and I absolutely love it. Goats cheese has a reputation for it’s strong flavour and can sometimes overpower your meal, but this cheese worked very well with the capsicum and jazzed up the simple potato tortilla. We were told very succinctly a little history of the project and then we ordered a glass of wine. We knew already that the smokehouse business, Smoking Jacket Foods, run by the family in addition to the pub business, provided many goodies on the menu at different times in the year, but the most commonly used smoked ingredient was the butter which is used to flavour many dishes.
The double fronted store in Paris Street features local, Fairtrade & organic essentials and specialities, homemade bread baked daily and a cafe menu that makes the most of this very special and carefully selected produce.
We aimed to eat in the cafe, but missed both the breakfast and lunch slots which run until 11.30am and from 12 noon respectively. The cafe had a lovely buzz to it, despite some teething troubles such as an inability to take card payments due to a technical glitch. Emma’s aim is to offer customers ‘real’ bread using traditional methods and without unnecessary additives or preservatives. In fact I’m almost certain that none of the team will appreciate my focus on the opposition of city and countryside, as one of the key aims of LLF is to illustrate how the 2 meld seamlessly together. The van stops in various locations in half hour slots so you get plenty of time to make your selection, have a chat and ask any questions about where the produce has come from, or just about anything else you fancy.
Regular events such as barn dances and open days are held at the farms with open days involving guided farm walks, BBQs, stalls and games for children and adults. Despite the fact that my skinny fit jeans are now starting to turn me blue when I wear them – yes I’m still trying - I decided to soldier on in the name of food lovers everywhere, arriving at the festival entrance at around 11am with a keen interest in discovering some new and interesting local producers. It is way too easy to whip your wallet out every 2 yards and end up with a cupboard full of those jams, relishes and sauces that don’t see the light of day again for another 18 months. The range of products sold by The Cherry Tree is extensive, making my decision to stick to just 2 items a little difficult.
Next to catch my eye was the Deli Farm Charcuterie stand, a North Cornwall business based in Delabole, specialising in traditionally air dried salami and ham. The Banoffee reminded me of banana ice cream I used to eat growing up in Australia so there was an added nostalgic element thrown in.
Mr Filbert’s has only been running 9 months so it’s great to get in on the ground floor and spread the word on a worthy snack. The very friendly lady on the stand let me try the 2010 New Release and the 2009 Rose, both of which were a little ‘fresh’ and young for me, but the Rose had a creamy quality that balanced the tartness well. I also grabbed us a Chai latte and an Americano from the Devon Coffee van run by Percolapps based on Sowton Industrial Estate.
So … last weekend I jumped in the car with my BFF (Best Food Friend) and we headed off to see what Occombe had to offer. I don’t know about you, but when I visit a farm shop I very much enjoy the prospect of the ‘full’ farm experience, complete with sounds & smells.
I spotted several well-known gluten-free brands during my browse including Doves, Clives, Mrs Crimbles and Manna from Devon. Without a second thought I bought some Ham Hock and Pea pies for our dinner and grabbed a loaf of organic granary bread, made daily on the premises, for JC to munch on.
The butchers was in fact such a constantly busy area during my visit that I didn’t take any photographs for fear of upsetting business! I can imagine in the summer months this would be a peaceful place to while away an hour or two. If you fancy a glass of wine or local beer with your meal, Occombe also offer a small selection of alcoholic drinks. I for one am happy to put forward my tiny financial contribution towards the ongoing development of this sort of community work by frequenting the shop and cafe as often as I can. Pilu at Freshwater stood out for it’s Sardinian cuisine (I love Italian food – who doesn’t), superb coastal location with stunning views of the ocean, great colonial building and, of course, the reputation of the chef.
I was hoping that Pilu lived up to it’s reputation or I was in danger of having a table full of grumpy guests before we even started. My Great Aunt Betty has lived in Patonga for, it seems, countless decades and it was the place where our family Christmas was always held. The Moroccan twist worked well, with a decent sprinkle of paprika added to the salt and papper.
We arrived in Dank Street without a hitch and grabbed a parking space across the road from our first stop which was a good sign. I also ordered the rocket, peach, walnut and parmesan salad which was beautiful, although Miss A liked my peaches so I didn’t see much of them.
I will say that wherever you go in Australia you will find great places to eat – the Aussies take their food and drink very seriously!
Preparation was in play for the evening festivities, but we had missed our chance for the daytime fun. For the last 5 years the McCaig brothers, Joe and Angus, with Angus’s wife Kate, have been building up The Holt and have gained many awards in the process including the Taste of the West Best Gastropub in the South West for 2009.
In our eagerness to arrive within plenty of time, we had an hour and a half before our booking, but were happy to relax in the bar area until the table was ready.
Both BFF and myself, after some indecision, decided on the Rabbit Wellington (?14.50), served with confit leg rillette, smoked mash (using that wonderful smoked butter), baby vegetables and a tarragon sauce. The rabbit wellington was tasty with a pastry that was both soft and slightly crispy on the outside – no excess of pastry either, which I find offputting. At ?1.80 a shot, this is a very inexpensive alternative to dessert wine or a regular spirit. BFF was more inclined towards service, food and atmosphere and let’s face it, everybody is different. The focus is on seasonality, making it very easy to keep track of what is naturally available to us at any time of the year. Where the produce is not completely local, and this is inevitable for a well-rounded store, it is Fairtrade. We ordered a latte and Americano instead and enjoyed bathing in the sunshine streaming through the large windows at the front of the cafe. Given the store had been open only 4 days it is expected that things won’t run exactly to plan from minute one, but they certainly looked pretty organised to me. LLF sell produce that is largely sourced from within a small radius of the town and is fresh and organic. Right now though I am obsessed with lemon curd so the soft, creamy tang of their lemon curd was a definite winner. They have won Taste of the West awards for many of their products including their air dried coppa (the cut of meat behind the back of the pig’s head at the top of the shoulder) which is cured in salts and spices and is offered in either traditional or honeyed versions.
I will be making a trip out to the farm in the near future as I was further drawn in by the promise of such flavours as Rice Pudding with Raspberry Jam, Cream Tea and Chili and Melon.
This range of flavoured nuts are a little different to those on the market right now with products that include Kasbah Spiced Almonds (harissa, mint, garlic and cane sugar), Sweet Chilli Peanuts (sweet chilli and mango) and Pomodoro Peanuts (tomatoes, basil and Parmesan cheese).
I tried the Reserve 2009 on a recent trip to The Lazy Toad at Brampford Speke and this confirmed that I needed to make a trip to the vineyard and creamery very soon. The rapeseed oil is grown, pressed and bottled on the farm at South Devon and contains half the saturated fat of olive oil. They run a mobile coffee service and serve Hawkins Coffee of Budleigh Salterton and tea from Miles Tea in Somerset. Customers with an interest in taking care of the planet will find an extensive range of eco products which include the recognisable big brands like Bio, Ecover and Faith in Nature as well as some more unusual items such as Eco-Force recycled clothes pegs, Geo Organic Atlantic Bathing Salts and Michael's Biodegradable cleaning brushes and sponges. We ordered our drinks and I just had to add a vanilla and chocolate cupcake to my choice as I never ever want my coffee to feel lonely.
If you also appreciate this sort of community endeavour, you might like to consider a related, but more urban project, about to open in Exeter called The Real Food Store. Giovanni Pilu is the chef and owner of Pilu, with a string of top Australian food awards including the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide prize for the Wine List of the Year and a place in The Australian (newspaper) ‘A’ List Top 50 Australian restaurants. The presentation was beautiful and not at all rustic as you might expect from a dish like this. The honey and citrus flavours cut through the vanilla offering a respite from the creaminess although a respite wasn’t altogether necessary. I have very fond memories of watching and playing cricket out the front of Aunty Betty’s house and swimming at the lagoon Christmas afternoon.
Fratelli Fresh was recommended to me by my BFF in the UK who is a big fan of Australia and has sniffed out many a good food establishment in Sydney, despite being a Devonshire lass.

My realisation that my next meal (on that damn plane) was going to have a foil cover on it and was no doubt going to be lukewarm, convinced me that dessert was also a good idea. Still, Topsham has a lot to offer, so we were happy to mop up the remaining shops we had missed on our first run down the high street, pleasantly killing time until we headed to Honiton for the highlight of the day, our evening meal at The Holt. Angus and Kate are in the kitchen, whilst Joe is front of house and they are a very hands on family, running the pub, restaurant, smokehouse, as well as 2 separate food companies Smoking Jacket Foods and Bernard & Kitty’s Drinks Company. I ordered a large glass of the Beacon Bay Chenin Blanc from South Africa, whilst BFF enjoyed the French Les Terrasses rose. In a food bloggers world, you should always chose something different to that of your dinner partner, but we were both so taken by the rabbit idea that neither of us could, or would, back down. I went straight in for the smoked mash, mash being one of my favourite things on the planet when treated with respect (lumps, lack of seasoning and glutinous overmashing being the crimes against mash most commonly executed). The great thing about The Holt is that you don’t need to worry about the order these come in as all 3 are present and part of the character of the business. David Mezzetti has been quoted as saying that this is the perfect shop window for local producers and I have to agree. The colour scheme, in line with the store branding, is lime green and tomato red with several feature walls painted in either one or the other colour. An artisan bakery of this calibre should be well appreciated by anyone who truly loves good food. Sadly, I had to keep moving through the festival – these are not places to lurk unless you want to be trampled. They also produce salad dressings and marinades such as Summer Herb Drizzle with Dorset Wild Garlic and Smoked Chilli infused Rapeseed Oil.
A Gold tour at ?8.95 includes a self-directed tour of the vineyard, a tasting of six wines and 3 cheeses (subject to availability), which seems like a bargain to me and there is no need to book. You would expect to be able to get a half decent brew at a food festival and we weren’t disappointed. Occombe is a 150 acre organic farm consisting of a mixture of pasture, wet meadows and woodland and is part of a 1750 acre area that is managed by the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. The Bakehouse will also put together a kiddies picnic lunch to eat in or take out, consisting of a bap, a piece of fruit, a bag of Burts crisps or an organic cereal bar and a carton of fruit juice.
Another memorable dish was the Zuppa dei pescatore, a selection of shellfish, scampi, Spring Bay mussels, vongole and fish in a rich tomato broth served with a carta di musica (Mediterranean flatbread). It was my favourite dish of the day and one of the best desserts I have ever had in a restaurant. The space is a warehouse, but it is a traditional grocery store in many ways, catering to the public and stocking a gorgeous array of Italian goodies.
Depot drew me In because of it’s commitment to supporting local producers, seasonal ingredients and keeping their food miles down to a minimum. They aim to support the immediate community, through the use of local suppliers and produce such as Devon Rose free range and organic meats from Seaton, Creedy Carver Duck from Crediton and Fowlers free range eggs & Ganesha Wholefoods from Honiton, amongst others.
Every member of staff we had contact with was knowledgable, friendly and helpful; the atmosphere relaxed and the food exceptional. I spent a little time studying the Spring menu in order to get a head start on my next visit and was more than impressed by the average prices, particularly given the quality of the produce. The use of natural materials, including gratifyingly chunky wood counters in the store, bakery and cafe, add to a very tasteful and vibrant space. As a rule I would run with the hotter version, but the garlic flavour was much stronger in the milder version and it was gorgeous. Other flavours include fennel and anise, oak smoked paprika, coriander and cumin or black olive. The older gentleman beside me was drawn in by the Divine Chocolate ice cream and I had been gently elbowed out.
They are currently extending their distribution so fingers crossed they will be hitting a deli near you soon. The ethos of the farm is centred around community and education, and in 2009 they established the Lottery funded One Planet Food Project which has enabled them to set up a Community Garden and Kitchen with an aim to teaching local adults and children how to grow and cook seasonal produce. We all arrived a little dishevelled due to the temperature, but instantly perked up when we saw the restaurant and the stunning beach below. This looked incredible, arrived covered for extra drama and Mr H, who had ordered said dish, was given a bib to wear. Three of my fellow diners enjoyed the Amedei chocolate tasting plate which included 2 different chocolates matched with 2 different dessert wines.
The Patonga Beach Hotel was a real surprise on this trip though, having not been there before, but it makes perfect sense that someone has recognised the beauty of the spot and decided that a good hotel was needed.
Apart from the usual fruit and veg, you can buy freshly baked breads, cheese, meat, including sausages and free range chicken (I didn’t see much free range chicken in Australia), as well as pasta, olives, wines and sauces. They only sell Australian wines and are in the process of implementing an ‘All Australian’ ingredients policy which is admirable. I am a complete sucker for pavlova and this one was served with whipped cream, mangoes and passionfruit. To keep the hunger pains at bay – we were sat directly outside the open view kitchen – we nibbled at some Wasabi peanuts as an appetiser.
The prices are reasonable (?13.50-16 on this night) given that this is a very upmarket pub, using local, quality ingredients with added extras such as their own smoked produce.
Panacotta is a big hit for me and the tropical flavours of lime, mango and coconut worked wonderfully with the creamy panacotta. It’s always a boon to discover somewhere that doesn’t allow one of these areas to excel at the expense of another.
Essentials such as flour (Shipton Mill), bread (in abundance!), vegetables, fruit, milk, meat and eggs are all accounted for making this a serious option for part or all of your next weekly shop. The design of the Real Food Store has an earthy and vivid personality which makes poking around the well-stocked shelves even more enjoyable. Amongst other offerings that caught my eye were Kashmiri Chutney, Apricot and Stem Ginger Chutney, Pear and Ginger Jam and Tipsy Strawberry with Champagne Jam.
Even the threatening storm clouds managed to hold back their contents long enough for us to finish. We shuffled over to one of the sofas and spent the next hour relaxing, chatting and wondering why we had waited so long to visit Occombe. Two lovely, but frazzled members of the party decided it would be a good idea to walk to the restaurant. Amedei chocolate was voted ‘Best Chocolate of the World’ in 2008 apparently – I have done some research (read ‘Googled’) and can confirm it has won numerous awards in the last few years for it’s dark chocolate – and it was very good although I am no chocolate connoisseur. The owner built the hotel in the style of the 1912 Patonga General Store which sat on the same site, incorporating some of the original store walls. It was a wonderfully rustic delicatessen and I was seriously jealous of Miss J, when after lunch we popped back in to get some bits and pieces for her family dinner that night. I had decided, before I went in that I wouldn’t have a glass of wine for lunch because I was flying and I try to avoid any alcohol on the day that I fly, but that went out the window when I realised this was my last lunch in Australia so I gleefully ordered a glass of the 2007 Bethany Riesling from the Barossa in Australia and thoroughly enjoyed it. My last trip to Australia was full of Wasabi nut experiences so I was familiar with the drill – eat peanuts and drink quickly afterwards.
I’m not a starter person, preferring to leave room for dessert, so we went straight in for the main course. The confit leg rilette, at the base of the stack, was an interesting way of enhancing the overall rabbit flavour and texture of the dish. Panacotta ideally needs an element of sharpness in the mix in order not to taste simply like wobbly, set double cream, which is essentially what it is. With a new McCaig crew cafe set to open in Honiton in the not too distant future, we can expect to see more culinary pizzaz from this talented team and luckily for us, it’s right on our doorstep. Prices are varied and many are very reasonable, but sometimes it is worth paying a little more to know that we are supporting local producers and getting top quality, seasonal food. I struggled to get to some of the products due to the popularity of the stand so I moved on.
Taster packs are also available for ?15.90 containing 2 large slices of each salami, 4 slices of each coppa and a small piece of poker and devils poker. The dessert wines, which are normally my favourite wines of any meal, were not exactly to my taste with the 2000 Sella e Mosca ‘Anghelu Ruju’ Vino Liquoroso Riserva being my favourite by far.
The Sandbar, the main bar area of the hotel, contains the mahogany and Australian jarrah wood bartop from the old America’s Cup Bar at the Sydney Hilton Hotel. After a lunch that rivalled Pilu in terms of location and company, I had to say yet more goodbyes and make the car journey back to Sydney with my aunt, uncle and cousin.
Upstairs in the warehouse is Cafe Sopra, a glamorous looking Italian cafe which looked so inviting I almost wanted to stop there for lunch. The baby carrots and cabbage that accompanied the 2-part mini meat feast were ideal, whilst the tarragon sauce was a perfect match for all the flavours.
For someone who thrives on novelty, like myself, the seasonal changing of the menu equals endless entertainment. A number of us also ordered the veal tenderloin with herb crusted porcini mushrooms, porcini cream and roasted garlic, which gained much verbal applause.
The Ceretto Barolo Chinato was not at all good for me as the spicy flavours made it reminiscent of cough medicine I’m afraid to say. I’m not sure why he decided to do this, but it is a very attractive feature and Australians are very proud of winning the America’s Cup yacht race back in 1983, taking the trophy from the New York Yacht Club who had held it since 1857. The German Rieslings are too dirty and bitter for my liking, whilst Australia can produce a fresh, sweet and clean riesling that fits the Australian climate and cuisine perfectly. Petroc’s Bistro in Padstow – I had a passionfruit meringue there a few years back (with Miss J again) that has stayed vividly in my memory ever since. I’m not a vodka fan as a rule, but love vanilla and caramel flavours and as it is a house speciality you can’t say no right? After we completed our excited hellos – I hadn’t seen half of my friends for 3 years – we set about checking the menu. Now I have to confess that by the time our main courses arrived at the table we had consumed a generous amount of the Clare Valley Knappstein Chardonnay which my sister & brother-in-law worked very hard to keep flowing throughout the meal. The sandstone used throughout the building fits perfectly within this fishing village and gives the hotel just the right amount of character without tipping it into the ‘mock’ realm. If I had of been in the mood for a starter though I would have definitely had the parmesan and spinach tortellini with pea puree, a herb salad and lavendar cream sauce in case you’re wondering.
I have to say that I found rabbit to be very similar to chicken – this is not exactly relevatory as I’ve heard that a number of times, but it’s true!
Consequently much of the remaining lunch was given up to laughter and concentration on enjoying the company more than the fabulous food and drink. All things considered we walked away from Pilu having had a fabulous lunch that felt special, but not in any way forced or uptight. The taste is slightly stronger than chicken, but only as dark chicken meat is to white chicken meat.
Despite the reputation of Pilu for it’s fabulous food, and it’s above average prices, it was relaxed and lively if that doesn't confuse you.
The Knappstein was the perfect fruity and light match for the hot day, but after several bottles (between us) I was ready to try a Sardinian wine. If I was in Sydney looking for an out of the ordinary eating experience for a special occasion I would definitely put Pilu high on my list of places to go. We then tried the Argiolas S’elegas Nuragus from Cagliari in Sardinia and this was a very pleasant change, being slightly sweeter and richer than the Knappstein with a touch of bitterness.

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