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England: Best of The South West

England: Best of The South West
Fish Shed, Darts Farm
The South West of England is undeniably a delectable destination- but it's even better when the route down is this delicious. Foodtripper heads off on summer hols, but we're in no rush to arrive- this is definitely one trip where there's just as much to savour on the journey.
West Brown & Forrest
As suppliers to top-notch restaurants and food halls including The Ivy, Scotts and Fortnum & Mason, Brown and Forrest know a thing or two about good smoked foods. Established almost 30 years ago, this family-run business produces an array of mouthwatering smoked victuals. Offering everything from sumptuous salmon and duck to the more unusual lamb and eel, their latest discovery is Arctic char, a sustainable alternative to salmon. Brown and Forrest's shop sells the full range, plus carefully sourced local gourmet goodies like Goose and plum sausages. The on-site restaurant, meanwhile, is a true testament to the area's produce and the company's own wares. This summer's open days are July 30th- 31st- drop in, sample and buy, and meet the people behind the products.
Bowdens Farm Smokery
TA10 0BP
01458 250 875
Sharpham Park
Gorgeous Devonian wines and cheeses are the result of sustainable, sympathetic farming on Sharpham's 500 acre, 1,000 year-old farm. Hosting vineyards, a creamery and organic dairy farm, the estate is home to Jersey cows and a range of cool climate grapes varieties. The company are believers in 'terroir', claiming their products are imbued with characteristics unique to the South Hams area. Although English wine has historically come in for ridicule, Sharpham are amongst those defying the critics, with 25 years' experience recognised by a host of international awards. Handmade cheeses number Sharpham- a Coulommiers-type cheese; Elmhirst- a triple cream Vignotte-style; and Rustic- a semi-hard cheese available plain or with chive and garlic. To sample, you'll need to visit the estate or befriend your local cheesemonger- these beauties aren't available online. Visitors might take in a vineyard tour- and can even arrive and depart the scenic way- by boat. Sharpham Estate
South Devon
01803 732 203
Darts Farm Shop
Based near Exeter, Darts Farm shop is a hub for all that's local and seasonal- even the tea served in the deli-bar is from the West Country. Brothers Paul, Michael and James Dart's outlet comprises an on-site master butcher, fishmonger, baker, deli, cider works and ale house, and restaurant, in addition to fantastic 'lifestyle shopping' from specialist retailers and small independent boutiques. The working farm's produce is all available to purchase, and keen foodies can join Darts Farm Food Club. Visitors can meet the animals, fill their boots at the pick-your-own, and try out fishing ponds, the Maize maze and a farm walk. For those preferring the lap of luxury, there's even a Treatment Loft and pilates studio on-site!
Darts Farm
Devon EX3 0QH
01392 878 228
Home to the Boscawen family since 1335, The Tregothnan Estate is well-known for producing English products par excellence. All items are made using the estate's own goodies- try handmade, artisan truffles; honeys; and the unique Kea plums- available au naturel, as jam, or in ice cream. Tea is also a big part of the Estate's range- indeed Tregothnan was home to the UK's first tea plantation and is fast building an international reputation for the resultant brews, which pair perfectly with their Housekeeper's biscuits. Tregothnan's latest project is the tea house at Tolverne- part of the Estate and also a licensed bar. From May, customers in the know can sail on the Fal into Tolverne to sample a top-notch cream tea. Although billed as 'Cornwall’s best kept secret for local people' word will soon be out about Tregothnan at Tolverne.
Tregothnan Estate Office
01872 520 000
Newlyn Harbour
In recent years, Newlyn Harbour has seen extensive regeneration and has been rightfully restored to its former glory. A real hub for anyone interested in Cornish history, heritage, fishing and seafood, Newlyn is England's largest fishing port- first mentioned by the Bishop of Exeter in 1435. The town hosts a free art gallery, a tidal observatory which provided figures for all UK navigation charts and, more esoterically, the house with the smallest window in the UK. Myriad species of fish and shellfish are regularly landed, and are available to buy along the seafront. For food, grab a pasty at Newlyn Pantry and stop off at Jelbert's for the obligatory ice cream- plain vanilla, small or large, topped off with clotted cream for real sybarites.
Newlyn Harbour,
Nr Penzance,
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2 May 2010
By: Zoe Perrett
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