Food cooking and eating – stories and ideas from a passionate foodie

Archive for November, 2015

Exmoor food highlights!

We spent a few days with our friends, G & W at the Simonsbath House Hotel.  (So you sound like a local, it is pronounced with a short “i”. So, ‘simmons’, like, like, ….erm, ‘wimmin’ (sorry)…can anyone do better – please?)

Excellent food at the hotel for two nights.  We have one ice cream fantastic in our midst, but it was worth sharing the fad. The food is modern English – plated with veg and accompaniments appropriate to the meat, fish or whatever.  One of the best was a trio of fish.  Simply grilled, and served just as, on wilted spinach, with triple redistilled chips (or whatever they call them…)  The local pheasant breast, as a starter, was pretty fine too.  Lots of local stuff used, always.  Seemed to be a theme of all the best places about.

2015 11 25 09 Black Venus Challacombe - Prawn Smoked Salmon Tower SAM_5786 2015 11 25 10 Black Venus Challacombe - Scallops and Black pudding SAM_5787

We ventured forth through appalling mist to The Black Venus at Challacombe.  (The Black Venus was a lovely and extinct variety of sheep.  Sad). Starters?  The prawn tower was spectacular and flavoursome.  The parfait – soft, succulent and intense.  My Scallops – on a bed of pureed carrot, and with fun bits of local black pudding.

Two medium steaks – one a small size (and not a head turned when requested) but both pink in the middle. One must have taken 2 to 3 minutes, the 10 ounce one about 7…but both looked the same when at table – amazing).  Fantastic chips too.  Exmoor beast?  One helluva plateful of madness in meat – the 12 ounce gammon steak, a sausage (with a fearsome back bite) and more bits than I could count.  Oh, and a fried egg on top, just in case you had a corner left.  My beef in ale pie – flaky pastry topping – So fitting to the joy of a cold and wet evening! Onion mash.  And splendid veg.

This sort of hospitality is why we have our bone chillingly wet winters.  The open log fires were lit for our return to The Simonsbath House hotel.  Made the whisky and brandies slip down nicely.  Thanks Andrew and team, for looking after us so well.  And thanks for your company, G & W!



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