It's the final week of the Exmoor Food Fest

We hope you have all enjoyed eating your way across Exmoor in the past three weeks. But it’s not over yet!
You have one more week to try out new venues or revisit old favourites for their Exmoor Food Fest menus.
Next week there are also a number of special events which are worth checking out.  And don’t forget the Taste Exmoor Food & Drink Fair at Porlock Village Hall on 29 February and 1 March where you can take locally produced goodies home.

27 February 2020   
Best of Game
At the Anchor Inn,
Hillfarrance
Somerset and Exmoor in particular is renowned for its Game produce. You will be welcomed with a complimentary drink, followed by a stunning three-course menu, featuring some fabulous dishes using local game produce.
£30.00 per person 
Continue reading….

27 February 2020   
An Evening of Wine & Tapas
At La Petite Bouchée,
WitheridgeTake a tour of La Petite Bouchée’s wine list. Tracy Brock from Moorwine will be talking grapes, regions and terroir and we’ll be serving up a delicious smorgesboard of French Tapas. Start the evening with a glass of fizz, learn about wine, and win a
Dinner for Two at La Petite Bouchée.
£20.00 per person Continue reading….

28 February 2020 
Exmoor Steak and Wine
At The Carlton
, Ilfracombe
Exmoor Farmer Chris Lerwill will talk about his family’s traditional ways of farming while you tuck into some amazing beef, accompanied by a good glass of wine.
£17.50 per person Continue reading….

Bienvenue and Welcome to La Petite Bouchée in Witheridge

La Petite Bouchée in Witheridge is again taking part in the Exmoor Food Fest!
Below is a guest post by Anita-Clare Field, telling you a bit more about what’s on the menu for the next four weeks:

With a week to go before we launch our Exmoor Food Fest menu, we’re busy sourcing the finest ingredients and continuing to prep all the little extras that go on the plate at La Petite Bouchée like handmade pickles, Ice creams sorbets and confit tomatoes.

For those of you not familiar with the way La Petite Bouchée works here’s a little snapshot. We have a zero waste policy which means we only ever buy what we need in the restaurant. If there are any leftovers they are neatly packaged in a box for you if you wish to take them away.

This means that we ask diners to let us know in advance what they wish to order so when you arrive all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy your evening without the stress of deciding what you’re eating. Another thing to mention is that we can cater for everyone. Please don’t worry if you have allergies or intolerances, just let us know and we’ll recreate a dish which meets your needs.

You can read all about our Environmental and Social Policies on the website.

Back the menu now and for this years festival we’ve gone for a traditional brasserie style menu. You will see a lot of dishes you are familiar with and a couple you’ll be eager to try. Here is a whistle stop tour of what to expect in terms of flavours and produce.

Entrée

Our French onion soup is my Grandmother’s recipe which I have developed over the years it’s rich, warming and packed with the flavours of sweet onions and bone broth. Have no fear, we’ll be making a vegetarian and vegan friendly version too which is equally as rich in flavour using our secret ingredient to recreate that  legendary “beefy” flavour.

Our Chicken Liver Parfait is light, almost mousse like in texture but bold in with its cognac and thyme overtones, served with french toast and handmade pickles.

Love them or hate them, Escargot will be making an appearance this month. Delivered fresh from Somerset Escargot , these locally ( Wellington) farmed snails arrive ready to be steamed then turned into delicious  Escargot Bourgogne dripping with garlic butter ready to be mopped up with a hunk of crispy baguette. 

Our Ham Hock Terrine is gelatine free, we slow cook our ham hocks for 12 hours with herbs, cider and aromatics and allow to cool, pull and pack tightly into large terrines and chilled, You’ll be served up a generous slice with baguette and handmade pickles.

Our Vegetable Pâté is made using seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs and stock, we use the vegetables themselves to thicken the pâté which is served with toasted bread. This delightfully rich pâté is suitable for vegans, coeliacs and dairy intolerant guests.

Amuse

The amuse this month is refreshing Champagne Sorbet, made in-house with our house fizz with a hint of citrus, guaranteed to cleanse your palette . If alcohol is not your thing then simply let us know because we usually have an equally delicious fruit sorbet available too.

Plats    

Two stalwarts of the menu this month are Steak Frites, 10oz hand -cut Bavette Steaks cooked from fresh, to order and served with our legendary French fries, homemade Béarnaise or Green Peppercorn sauce. Moules Frites are also on the menu, we usually serve Moules Marinières because that is the preference of most of our guests but this month we’ll be offering a special Moules Frites option so if mussels are your thing keep your eyes peeled.

Our seasonal fish this month is Pollack, caught in the west country and sent directly up fresh from the boat. We’ll be serving it in a delicious shellfish broth with a seafood garnish, pickled samphire and powdered smoked dulce all from the Devon shoreline.

Our other meat option is a very traditional Côtelette de Porc, a  local pork cutlet, served on the bone, breadcrumbed and shallow fried then served with smoked lardons and peas. This reminds me so much of eating in Les Routiers restaurants on holiday with my family. It’s a classic.

Our vegetarian and vegan options this month are a delicious Winter Coulibiac, brimming with seasonal vegetables, grains and pulses and wrapped in a lattice pastry case. We’ve also been very busy making lots of confit tomatoes recently for our amuse this month and for our Galettes for the Festival. Tomatoes slowly cooked in olive oil, fresh herbs and garlic. Each tomato is like a flavour bomb going off in the mouth. The pastry is vegan and gluten friendly.

Desserts

Our menu always contains a traditional French tart and this one is no exception, we’re looking forward to serving up a delicious Prune and Armagnac Tart during festival month together with a Tarte Flambée with Apples caramelised apples on top of a pizza style crispy base. As ever all of these will be served with one of our handmade ice creams.

 

Cheese

The cheeses this month to compliment will be Sharpham Crement, Curworthy Haytor, North Devon Gruyére style hard cheese and delicious Beenleigh Blue from Ticklemore Cheeses. Accompanied as ever by one of our handmade chutneys and fruit cheeses.

Suppliers

Our suppliers are family run independent companies based within a 12 mile* radius of our restaurant.

Meat & Poultry

Shapland and Searle in South Molton. All the beef, pork and chicken is locally sourced and butchered on site.

Cheese

All of our cheese is expertly sourced for us by the team at The Cheese Larder

Fruit & Vegetables

All of our fruit and vegetables for the festival month will be supplied locally at our farm shop just outside Witheridge or homegrown by our Front of House team Linzi and Nigel Walker. We’ll also be using foraging company Bello Wild Food, so expect some new and exciting things to try across the month.

Fish & Shellfish

Our Fish and shellfish is supplied by Celtic Fish and Game, who use their own boats and fish along the Devon and Cornish coasts.

We really look forward to welcoming you to La Petite Bouchée across the festival month, but be quick, we’re filling up, if you have a specific question and you can’t find it on our How it Works page  then do call us, we’d be delighted to answer any questions.

Current Availability

7th & 8th – Good Availability

14th  ( Valentines Menu applies ) – 4 covers

15th – 4 covers

21st – FULLY BOOKED

22nd – 6 covers

28th FULLY BOOKED

29th 8 covers

Bookings  – Telephone 01884 860 654 or on our online reservations page HERE

Read more about La Petite Bouchée here.

RECIPE

FRENCH ONION SOUP

 (Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 2Kg of onions  
  • 6 Shallots 
  • A generous knob of butter 
  • 1 tbsp of caster sugar 
  • 1 litre of beef stock ( if you are vegetarian or vegan, a vegetable bouillon is great)  
  • 1 large glass of dry sherry, Fino is great.  
  • A splash of brandy 
  • Half a bottle of red wine 
  • A handful of fresh thyme 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 baguette, sliced into croutons 
  • A handful of grated gruyere cheese

 Directions

In a heavy based pan melt the butter and and add the sugar. Once the sugar has started to melt add the onions in batches and sauté until completely softened and caramelised. Add the thyme, the stock, sherry, wine and brandy and then bring to the boil. Reduce after a minute to a simmer, place a lid on and cook for 45minutes and if  you are using the slow cooker then let it bubble away for 3-4 hours.  

Remove the lid after the cooking time and stir through, removing any thyme stalks, season to taste. Ladle into bowls, cut a some thin slices of baguette and lightly toast. Just before serving, float the toasted crouton on top of the soup and add a small handful of grated cheese. Then place under a very hot grill until the cheese is melting. Serve piping hot with an extra few slices of baguette. Absolute bliss !

 

The Exmoor Food Fest is about to start

Eat your way across Exmoor during February 2020

It’s that time of year again!  If you are planning to go on a diet in February – forget it. The Exmoor Food Fest kicks off with a launch dinner at Kentisbury Grange on 28 January, and then it’s all go from 1 February for a whole month across Exmoor.

For the sixth year, restaurants across the region are celebrating the best our hospitality industry has to offer. Special deals for two and three courses invite people to try out new restaurants and new dishes. Many venues also have a special accommodation offer to allow customers to turn the evening out into a short holiday.

As a first in 2020, the learners from Foxes Hotel in Minehead will be joining in the fun of taking part in the Exmoor Food Fest.

Foxes Hotel is a very special hotel indeed. From the kitchen to the serving of the delicious food and the cleaning of the rooms, all jobs are being done by young people aged between 16 and 24 under the guidance of their teachers.  Foxes is the UK’s only fully operating training hotel for young people with learning difficulties.

Foodie fans should also look out for special events.  One event that is going to be quite different is the Winter Feast at Horner Farm on the Holnicote Estate on Exmoor. It will be rustic dinner in one of the barns, with a chance to try meat from Dexter cattle and sheep raised on the farm.  This will be a unique experience where amazing food will be served at a very unusual location.

On the final weekend in February (29 Feb/1 March) a Taste Exmoor Food & Drink Festival beckons:  Traders and local producers will be putting up their stalls at the Porlock Village hall. The Harbour Cafe & Gallery – who will also be offering special deals throughout February at their premises at Porlock Weir –  will be running a cafe over this weekend, and there will be ample opportunity to try (and take home) lots of delicious food and drink from our region.

All participating restaurants will be revealed on the website www.exmoorfoodfest.com by the end of January 2020.   Anyone wishing to plan their gourmet trip across Exmoor will be able to look up restaurants on a map and see what will be offered when and where. 

(PS There is still time for restaurants and producers to sign up! Just drop us a line at info@exmoorevents.com and we’ll see what we can do for you)

Calling all restaurants, pubs, tearooms & producers: Sign up for the 2018 Exmoor Food Fest

The 2018 Exmoor Food Fest is going to be even bigger and better than our previous festivals. Once again, we will be celebrating the best that our region has to offer all through February.

We are now calling all food related businesses – restaurants, pubs, tea rooms – to sign up to be part of the 2018 Exmoor Food Fest and offer amazing Exmoor Food Fest deals* to their customers.

 

We are also looking for local producers who would like to take part in our “Taste Exmoor at The Beach Hotel” event in Minehead on 3 and 4 February 2018.  It is going to be a fun weekend with cook-offs, bake-offs, presentations and workshops, and of course a food & drink fair. You can sign up here.

Do you have any further questions? Then please don’t hesitate to ask. Just send us an email, and we’ll get back to you asap.

(*) We will explain this all in great detail when you sign up!

PS Are you interested in being amongst the first to know what is happening during the Exmoor Food Fest? Then sign up to our newsletter here.

Foodies invited to join in with Exmoor Food Festival

EXMOOR rCENTRER- A dining CelebrationA FOOD festival designed to help showcase Exmoor’s top chefs, growers and producers launches next month (February, 2017), and more restaurants than ever have signed up for the Exmoor Food Fest.

Top pubs and restaurants will be offering specially priced menus on selected days during February to encourage diners to eat out as part of the Exmoor Food Fest.

“It’s an event to showcase the very best the region has to offer diners and it is a celebration of all local produce and the culinary expertise we have here on our doorstep,” explained Paul Berry, patron of award-wining gastro pub The Swan in Bampton, who is also one of the chefs taking part in the VIP launch at the Luttrell Arms in Dunster.

Restaurants are offering a special Exmoor Food Fest deal during February with two courses priced £10 and three courses £15.

The Exmoor Food Festival runs throughout February and is organised by Elke Winzer who is also behind Exmoor4all, an online platform for all things Exmoor related, including an online shop, and the Exmoor Markets.

All participating restaurants are entering the Taste of Exmoor Awards. The public is invited to vote for their favourite dining experience online.  The Exmoor Chef of the year will be crowned at an awards ceremony on 27 March at Butlins.

For further information about restaurants participating in the Exmoor Food Fest, please go to www.exmoorfoodfest.com

exmoor-food-fest

Date for the Diary: Farm & Food Tour across Exmoor

Join Shaun and Daphne for a scenic drive across the moors in a LandRover to a remote hill farm for a tour of the farm with the farmers who will show you their free range pork, Dexter cattle, dairy goats and alpacas. You are then invited into the traditional farmhouse for refreshments and tastings of the delicious food they produce, followed by a demonstration of alpaca wool spinning.

10 February 2017
Depart Luccombe 1.30 pm, transport provided.  
Return to Luccombe approx. 5.00 pm

West Country Farm & Food Tours
When we talk to people about our business, we often receive comments relating to our enthusiasm and passion. We thought you might like to know why we do what we do.

1) We get a kick out of the facial expressions of our tour guests when they learn something new or taste something delicious. We enjoy receiving feedback from our host farmers and food producers – especially when they’ve opened someone’s eyes to something they didn’t know existed. Seeing our group purchase produce direct from its source knowing they will enjoy eating it later really makes us smile.

2) We get to spend the day travelling around the stunning countryside of the West Country, pootling along country lanes and visiting locations that are often not open to the general public – heaven! For our guests who dont know the area or who dont like narrow lanes with high hedges, we take away the stress of reversing or getting lost and replace it with comfort, companionship and commentary.

3) Food. We like food – especially locally produced food. One of the most important elements of a day out with us is our lunch stop. Sometimes we will head to a café, tea room or pub, other times one of our host food producers will provide a light lunch at their location. We can also make use of suppliers to create yummy picnics that we can enjoy wherever we choose.

4) We see ourselves as a link bringing together suppliers (farmers and food producers) and consumers (our tour guests). We might visit a farm to learn about their beef production, but our guests will leave knowing there are idyllic holiday cottages and a camp site there too. Our group will learn where products can be purchased in the future too, such as local farmers markets or on line.

5) Our transport is provided by local community transport groups for which we pay a commercial rate. This enables them to use the money to support the vital community based work they often struggle to fund. We make sure we treat the drivers properly too – they come on the visits and enjoy lunch with us.

6) Children are indeed the future, and we want to give them a taste of our tours too. Already some of our tour guests have given us a contribution to our education fund, and some of our host farmers have insisted on giving their fee to the cause. Our aim is to be able to provide local schools with a taste of West Country Farm and Food Tours.

Exmoor Food Fest: Oriental Banquet at Knowle Manor with Claire’s Kitchen

Join us for a delicious banquet in the splendid setting of Knowle Manor near Dunster prepared by Claire’s Kitchen.

£25.00 per person

Complimentary glass of Prosecco or Elderflower Spritzer

Canapés on arrival
Mini Thai Blue Swimmer crab cakes with Claires Kitchen Chilli Jam and micro Basil

Starter
Vietnamese Tiger Prawns on a fragrant Asian salad

(V)Vietnamese Wild Mushrooms on a fragrant Asian salad

Main
Little Oak Farm Free range double cooked Char Siu pork on  a spring onion and Szechuan soba noodle stack

(V)Thai sweet potato curry with coconut pilau rice and a pineapple, cucumber and coriander salad


Dessert
Cinnamon, ginger and star anise poached pineapple upside down cake, pineapple syrup with a vanilla creme fraiche

There will be a licensed bar.

book-now

Exmoor Food Fest 2017: The Countdown begins!

Celebratory Dinner to countdown to Exmoor Food Fest 2017

Join us on 21 September 2016 at 7pm for the 

Exmoor Food Fest 2017 Media Launch
at
Knowle Manor

Claire’s Kitchen is serving up an Exmoor Feast!

5 courses for £50.00

Claire’s Kitchen Elderflower Cocktails on arrival

Canapes
including crispy wonton with blue swimmer crab, poached pineapple, spring onion and chilli jam

Vietnamese Poached Duck Leg on an Asian salad
with a fresh coriander and sweet chilli dressing

Local Braised Shin of Beef
with melting onions, Rosemary Boulangere potatoes, leek gratin croquetas
 

Blackberry and White chocolate Cheesecake
with a Sloe Gin ice cream and Brandy Snap Crumble

  Local Cheeseboard
served with Claire’s Kitchen homemade cider shots

Vegetarian options will be available.

LIMITED SPACE!

Book now

A celebratory dinner on 21 September 2016 at Knowle Manor near Dunster will launch the countdown towards the 2017 Exmoor Food Fest which will take place across Exmoor during February 2017.

Media and the public are invited to join the Exmoor Food Fest team for an Exmoor Feast served up by Claire’s Kitchen, a local catering company run by Exmoor Ambassador chef Claire Lynch.

“2017 will be our third year,” explains festival coordinator Elke Winzer, who runs Exmoor4all, a social media platform for all things Exmoor, and also works for Visit Somerset and Exmoor Tourism.

“We have just been advised that the Exmoor Food Fest is a finalist in the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards as best food event in Somerset. This is an extraordinary achievement for such a young festival, and we are grateful to our sponsors Arthur David whose generous support made it possible to get the Exmoor Food Fest off the ground.”

During February, restaurants, including several with Michelin stars and numerous awards, across the region offer 2 courses for £10/ 3 courses for £15.  In addition, a range of foodie events take place, from tastings through to gourmet dinners at unique locations. A food and drink festival in Dunster on the last weekend of February will yet again be the grand final.

“We estimate that the hospitality sector in the region was boosted by £450,000 during February, a traditionally quiet month, by the Exmoor Food Fest 2016.  We hope to increase this figure in 2017 by working closely with travel and food bloggers as well as Visit Somerset and Exmoor Tourism, raising awareness of the event further afield. We will also work with the West Somerset Railway to make certain events more accessible for visitors from Taunton,” explained Elke Winzer.

Barn Dinner

Last Wednesday, Claire’s Kitchen put up a pop-up restaurant in one of the Medieval barns at the Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre in Bossington.  50 guests enjoyed an owl display before sitting down for a Mediterranean fest of suckling pig cooked on the spit and paella.

Here are some photos taken on the night by James Alexander:

The Exmoor Food Fest has been sponsored by Arthur David.

 

One Night. Four Chefs. A Taste of Exmoor.

Only 2 days to go!!!!

Award winning chefs from the Exmoor region are joining The Castle’s head chef on 28 January in Taunton to prepare a mouthwatering Taste of Exmoor menu.  Tickets are limited, so early booking is very advisable:

Canapés & Fizz
Hospitality Students
(The Combe, West Somerset College, Minehead)

Starter
Olivier Certain (Clavelshay Barn, North Petherton)
Pays d’Oc, Laurent Miquel, Père et Fils, Grenache-Syrah

Slow Roasted Belly of Little Oak Farm Pork, Black Pudding & Quail Scotch Egg, Apple and Cider

Fish Course
Mark Dodson (Mason Arms, Knowstone)

Pan Fried Scallop with a Thai Style Salad, Rice Wine Dressing

Main Course
Liam Finnegan (The Castle Hotel, Taunton)
McHenry Hohnen, Shiraz, Margaret River, Western Australia

Roast Exmoor Venison Loin, Faggot, Red Cabbage,
Jerusalem Artichoke and Wild Mushrooms

 Dessert
Paul & Donna Berry (The Swan, Bampton)

Lemon Cheesecake with Exmoor Wolf Gin, Tonic and Thyme Sorbet

Petit Fours and Breads
The Castle Hotel

Four course dinner:  £75.00 per person
(including a glass of fizz & 2 glasses of wine)

BOOK NOW

Award winning Exmoor-based chefs are joining The Castle’s head chef Liam Finnegan to cook up a Taste of Exmoor menu as the launch of the 2016 Exmoor Food Fest which takes place all over Exmoor in February.

The Chefs:
Mark Dodson
Mark and his wife Sarah took over the The Mason Arms in Knowstone in June 2005. In July 2006, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star which they still hold. Since then, Mark and his team have gone from strength to strength, receiving many awards and accolades, including Michelin Pub of the Year 2010.
Prior to moving to Exmoor, Mark spent twelve years as Head Chef of Michel Roux’s Waterside Inn in Bray.
Paul and Donna Berry
There aren’t many awards Paul and Donna haven’t won for their historic pub “The Swan” in Bampton.  Best Trencherman’s Pub of the Year 2016, Visit Devon Pub of the Year Gold Award, and AA Gold Star Award are amongst the most recent accolades, recognising Paul’s and Donna’s passion for food and the use of local, seasonal produce.

Liam Finnegan
Liam Finnegan, who has been head chef at The Castle Hotel in Taunton for three years, grew up in Carlingford, Co Louth in Ireland from where he still sources their famous oysters. However, whenever possible, he uses local suppliers.

Liam’s career path took him through some fantastic restaurants such as The George Hotel on the Isle of White, The Bath Priory and Gidleigh Park where he worked for Micheal Cains, and The Nuremore Hotel (Ray McArdle). When asked about awards Liam counters that a full restaurant and happy customers are more important. “Of course accolades are brilliant, but anything we get, we receive and share as a team.”

Olivier Certain
Marseille-born Olivier moved to Somerset in 1998 following his Michelin star training in La Bonne Etape Chateau Arnoux and Les Roches in Le Lavandou.  In 2006 he joined Woods in Dulverton as head chef where he achieved 2 rosettes and the accolade of Somerset Dining Pub of the Year 2008, 2010 and 2011. In 2009 in reached the finals of the South West Chef of the Year competition.

Olivier now heads the kitchen at Clavelshay Barn in North Petherton.

The Students
The Year 13 hospitality students from train at West Somerset College, Minehead under Chef Lecturers Paul Ruttledge (a former British Master Chef) and Werner Hartholt.