Back in March we did a blog post on 'Lovely Local Food- Going East', which gave a taster of foodie things in a Barnstaple and Braunton direction. This time we are going West, to give you a flavour of lovely things available in Ilfracombe and Mortehoe. It feels to us that we need to treasure these little food havens and encourage more options to flourish and grow, to nourish our community and our guests.
Ilfracombe is a fishing port situated 8 miles along the coast. The high street, it is fair to say, has seen better days, but the harbour and Fore Street in particular are on their way up. Ilfracombe's heyday was in the Victoria era when droves of holiday makers came down on paddle steamers from Bristol to 'sample the sea air'. The beautiful but ageing architecture of the houses give hints of its splendour in days gone by. It remains a popular holiday destination to this day. The Ilfracombe shops are an eclectic mix from typical holiday 'bucket & spade' and gift shops through to lovely galleries and craft shops (4 new galleries have sprung up in the last 6 months).
The Deli is one of my favourite Ilfracombe treats, with great coffee and yummy food.
Lisa the owner and chef, seen here peaking out over the crisps, has created a vibrant hub in the high street.
This is a taster of what they have to offer plus....
a host of delicious and interesting other things too.
Next is an extraordinary shop 'The Walkers Chocolate Emporium' . When you go inside you will see what I mean. They make all their own chocolate in all sorts of shapes, sizes and mixtures. There is even a chocolate museum out the back and you can, at times, see them making their next batch.
For something a little healthier go to 'Nana Sue's Sunfoods'. They have a wide selection of health foods, gluten free products, supplements and all things natural and organic. The owners are on hand for helpful advice if needed.
Now to the most excellent Mike Turton and his butchers shop. He not only sells meat but a wide selection of homemade pies, pasties and cheeses.
Mike makes all his own sausages and burgers. There are so many sausage options the choice is almost overwhelming. We have been known to have a couple of each and do a BBQ 'pick and mix'.....the meat equivalent to a packet of Revels (you don't know what it is until you bite into it!!) If you are doing a large shop and you know what you want, Mike is even happy to deliver out to Pickwell (you will need to give him a few days notice). This would mean, however, that you don't get to see his lovely shop!
The 'Harbour Deli' is a delightful little shop, nestled in one of the side streets leading to the harbour. Again the deli counter has meats, cheeses, quiches, etc and the shop stocks a host of jams and other lovely items. They are a cafe too, serving all sorts, but the meat or fish platters look particularly delicious. I keep meaning to go back there for lunch.
Down on the Harbour side is S and P Fish Shop. A family run business who have 2 fishing boats that supply their fish.
If you like a lobster then here's your spot, sadly I am horribly allergic so have to keep well away!
What is more you can sit on the tables outside and sample the fresh delicacies whilst.....
enjoying the view and the bustle of the harbour.
Next stop Mortehoe. No ordinary fish and chip shop, 'Mor-Shellfish-T-Eat', sell lots of amazing seafood to take away. This father and son team (who also have a boat catching some of the Seafood) have recently opened, having moved from their restaurant around the corner.
Rich took this photo of the lobster and crab platter that he bought last week. He said it was scrummy (he didn't eat the whole platter himself!!)
Last, but not least, is Little Comfort Farm, which is situated between Ilfracombe and Braunton. In their farm shop they sell their own organic meat, anything from large joints to their home made sausages. They also have home made 'ready meals' to take away, the price list and more information is available on their website.
We hope you enjoy perusing round some of these local eateries. Happy Eating!!