Travel Bites: Eating on the English Riviera.

The sun is shining, the sea is sparkling and the beaches and bars are .... quite empty. There alone is the first reason why I think we should start rediscovering the British seaside.

Teignmouth Union Jack in the wind
Teignmouth flying its flag for summer holidays in the UK!

A few weeks back, I enjoyed a fab week on the English Riviera with some of my closest friends. From our base in Torquay we explored alot of what Devon has to offer without the rabble and crowds you often find on more traditional summer holiday spots in the Med this time of year. We avoided the stress of low cost airlines, the mosquitos, the cockroaches in the bathroom when the pictures on trip advisor looked so much nicer. All in all, we had a fab time and it got me to thinking, perhaps its time to look closer to home for that next holiday?

Torquay harbour view
The view from our apartment, not bad..

As a child I often holidayed in Cornwall, picturesque villages and long sweeping beaches. To be honest, I was expecting much of the same from Devon but it was a little different. Torquay and Paignton have that old slightly decaying feel to them, coach holidays full of nans and grandads. BUT, look closer and there are some real gems! We heard on the radio that investment is being made into the area over the coming years and I think this will have a real impact for younger visitors.

Get out to Dartmouth, Brixham and Teignmouth and you'll find pretty sea side towns with fish restaurants and chippies galore. We whiled away more than a few hours over cider and ice lollies whilst watching the boats bob around in their attractive harbours. A day driving out to Dartmoor is also a must, we enjoyed a picnic in the rolling hills surrounded by Dartmoor ponies and their foals. Then, a trip down into Badgers Holt to walk on the stepping stones before finishing the day with yet another cream tea!

Here are my top places to visit on a foodie holiday on the English Riviera..
  • Brixham harbour -We caught the boat from Torquay for £2 return. The Old Market House restaurant is great for a posh fish lunch. There is also a full size replica of the Golden Hind, great for kids.
  • Occombe Farm - we were lucky to hit on a farmers market on the day we visited but they have animals, vegetable gardens and plenty to see plus a wonderful farm shop selling local meats, veg and other produce. 
  • The Elephant, amazing restaurant in Torquay - Michelin starred upstairs, reasonably priced brasserie downstairs, see my review here!
  • Burridges - A fab tea room in Torquay which has been around forever. The cream teas are fantastic and the cake selection is enough to make your eyes water!

The Old Market House, Brixham Harbour - a little more expensive but amazing location.
Brixham crab salad at Old Market House - amazing!
Looking across the bay in Dartmouth
The amazing Gribbles butchers (including their own butchery) in the farm shop at Occombe Farm.
Occombe Farm - plenty to keep the kids interested too.
Beautiful Occombe Farm
The wonderful Blueberry Bros produce jams, cakes and more with their Devon blueberries..
We got a great haul from our trip to Occombe Farm!
This huge cornish pasty is known only as 'The Big Boy'!

Cream tea at Burridges, Torquay. Not for the faint hearted!

Gingeybites Paella
Our monster paella - eating in helps keep costs down!
Torquay wheel at sunset
British Sea side bunting
Rock Fish chippy in Dartmouth

I'm sure there are plenty more places to discover in this region and we'll definitely head back soon. Where are you holidaying this year?

Over and out!

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