I have just come back from a little holiday with my family in the south western English coast in Devon. We stayed in the town of Torquay and had a week of beautiful walks around the coast, several fish feasts in local restaurants, visits to animal parks and trips to several little towns around the area.
Torquay is situated on the “English Riviera”, South Devon’s beautiful bay and it is very close to the fishing port of Brixham.
Torquay is famous for its sandy beaches with family attractions and has a Mediterranean feel to it. This place has its own microclimate with less rain, a milder climate and certainly more sunshire all around the year.
As you walk around the town there is that distinct smell that characterizes most British seaside towns: fish and chips a much loved national dish.
As you walk towards Torquay harbour the big wheel dominates the centre of town. We went for a ride so we could admire the view from up there.
The walks around the coast were fantastic and the vegetation around them has a distinct Mediterranean feel to it: there are several “exotic” plants which do not normally grow in Britain.
The children enjoyed the long walks and playing with the pebbles at the beach… fresh clean seaside air, lots of sunshine and the intense smell of spring flowers.. can I possibly ask for more? Maybe yes, a taste of a local ice cream made with organic Devonshire cream. It is different to an Italian ice cream as it is richer and creamier. Nice though.
And of course I mustn’t forget.. crabbing is a much loved hobby among children too!
I loved visiting Brixham a working fishing town. A very pretty town which is one of the busiest fishing ports in the UK.
This is working town and everything revolves around fishing;
From here lots of fish is exported all over the world. Cuttlefish, langoustines and lobster end up mainly in Spain and Italy as apparently they are not that popular in the UK. This is a shame as I believe it is just a matter of learning to cook it properly. This is fresh local fish full of nutrients just on your doorstep.
Lobster is also caught off this coast and to catch it they use special lobster pots.
Here I managed to find a couple of fishmongers. The largest one situated by the sea had enormous crabs on display. I was tempted to buy one but as I had no tools or a large enough pot to cook them in I just left with a large seabass to cook for our dinner.
For lunch we stopped at “Rockfish” a restaurant by the sea which has 3 other branches around the coast of Devon. Here we enjoyed a selection of shellfish and some chargrilled monkfish which was indeed excellent. To finish off I treated myself (as it happened to be my birthday too!) to a local vanilla ice cream with a hot cup of espresso poured over it, basically an Italian “Affogato”! Boy that was good.. seriously good.
We visited Agatha Christie’s holiday home which we reached with a short boat trip. The house is surrounded by a beautiful garden with the flowers in full bloom at this time of year. It was very interesting to learn about the life of this talented lady.
As I often go self catering when I go on holiday, apart from a few restaurant trips, I still love to find the local food and cook it myself. Next time I am going to try cooking more local fish especially crab. All I will need is a large pot!
What a lovely part of the world!