Home to dozens of award-winning pubs, restaurants and food producers, South Devon is a haven for foodies. For some visitors, the delights of dining out at some of our best eateries will provide ample enjoyment, while others might be interested in something a touch more interactive.
We’ve picked out five of our favourite food and drink attractions in South Devon, from tasting tours at a multi-award-winning vineyard to taking tea as you enjoy a cruise up and down the River Dart.
1. Sharpham Vineyard and Cheese Dairy (Ashprington)
The Sharpham Estate near Totnes sits nestled in one of the River Dart’s most picturesque spots. These south-facing slopes are more than simply pleasing to the eye, however – they’re also perfect for growing Madeline Angevines from the French Loire, which thrive in the balmy microclimate. Sharpham Vineyard, with Head Winemaker Duncan Schwabb at the helm, has won numerous awards for its light and fruit wines, and the dairy’s range of creamy cheeses has seen similar success, available not just locally but in delis across the country.
Book a tasting tour and sit down for a meal at the new Vineyard Kitchen, an al fresco (albeit undercover) restaurant with a menu chosen to complement the Sharpham wine range. You can also stock up on cheese and wine from the shop before you (reluctantly!) leave.
2. The South Devon Chilli Farm (Loddiswell)
On the outskirts of Loddiswell, the South Devon Chilli Farm is a must-visit for foodies, not least for the well-stocked gift shop where you can buy just about everything a spice-lover could want. From chilli jams to spicy hot chocolates, you’ll be amazed at the innovative product range. The colourful café (now dog-friendly and open for breakfast from 10 am) offers another nice way to enjoy chilli-infused delights, and there’s a show tunnel and kids’ play area too.
There are seasonal tours and tasting challenges, so keep an eye on the South Devon Chilli Farm website for news of what’s on.
3. Salcombe Gin Making School
Salcombe Gin has quickly established a reputation as a tasty tipple made the old-fashioned way, popping up in specialist shops and stylish bars nationwide. The distillery, based on Island Street in Salcombe, is also home to Salcombe Gin Making School, where you can take charge of a mini copper still, choose your own ingredients and produce a personalised bottle to take home (you can even give it a unique name).
Pick from their range of botanicals or even bring your own, working under the guidance of one of the distillers.
Gift vouchers are available and it’s possible to book online at: https://www.salcombegin.com/gin-school/
4. The Picnic Boat (Dartmouth)
The River Dart is a jewel of South Devon and there’s no better way to see it than from the water. From the tiny Dittisham passenger ferry to the impressive Kingswear Castle Paddle Steamer, there are many options for relaxing ways to explore this famous waterway. One of these lets you combine inspiring views with another South Devon speciality – delicious local food!
The Picnic Boat has been delighting passengers up and down the River Dart since 2001. Available exclusively for private hire, this little vessel is ideal for romantic couples’ trips, extended family excursions and kids’ birthday parties alike. Sit back and enjoy a homemade meal, from a Devon Cream Tea to a seafood platter, as you enjoy an unforgettable tour out of Dartmouth harbour.
There’s a full canopy and the boat is heated, making the Picnic Boat an enticing option not only on sunny summer days.
5. Manna from Devon (Kingswear)
Lots of our customers love to make the most of the beautiful kitchens they find on their self-catering holidays. Cooking here can be a delight, thanks to the host of farm shops, fishmongers, delis and butchers around our region offering the best produce from England’s larder. But how about if your cooking skills aren’t quite up to scratch or there’s an advanced technique you’d like to master?
The answer could be some classes at Manna from Devon, a family-run cooking school based in Kingswear, just across the water from Dartmouth. Learn about making bread, using a wood-fired oven, preparing fish from scratch and much more.
Personalised gift vouchers are available. Find out more at: http://www.mannafromdevon.com/cookery-courses/.
Indulge your passion for food on your next holiday, and choose a self-catering holiday in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.