Devon in the English Riviera, where fresh fish is plentiful

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.

Torquay port

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.

Torquay wheel

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 coast of Devon

The children enjoyed the long walks and playing with the pebbles at the beach… fresh clean seaside air,Β  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.

Torquay seaside

Torquay seaside

Torquay yellow flowers

And of course I mustn’t forget.. crabbing is a much loved hobby among children too!

Children crabbing in Torquay

I loved visiting Brixham a working fishing town. A very pretty town which is one of the busiest fishing ports in the UK.

Brixham town

This is working town and everything revolves around fishing;

Fishing boats in Brixham

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.

Lobster potholes

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.

Fishermen working at the port

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.

Fried calamari

Fresh prawns my Marierose sauce

Fresh scallops with breadcrumbs

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.

Agatha Christie's house

Tulip Trees

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!

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17 Responses to Devon in the English Riviera, where fresh fish is plentiful

  1. gloria

    what beautiful, beautiful post with Devon’s pictures Alida!!
    Love all!
    Buona Pasqua cara! xoxoxo

    • Alida

      Grazie cara buona Pasqua anche a te!

  2. gloria

    I remember a lovely novel with Devon , but I dont remember maybe some of Jane Austen !!

  3. elisabetta

    Torquay is such a beautiful town. It’s true that some of the pictures resemble the Mediterranean. What a joy to feast on fresh fish and his majesty the great fish and chips – can’t be beaten. I guess you must have had a Devon cream tea with real scones; lucky!! πŸ™‚

    • Alida

      Yes I could live only on fish and veggies!

  4. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    What beautiful clean deep blue! I am drooling over those seafood treats, Alida.

    • Alida

      Yes the sea looks transparent in some areas of Devon. It is wasn’t so cold I would love to go in for a dip!

  5. Chiara

    un posto bellissimo , deve essere stata una bella vacanza rilassante ! Un abbraccio

    • Alida

      Veramente rilassante piu’ del solito devo dire. Ciao!

  6. Amy

    Wow, your photos are beautiful! Looks like you had a fantastic trip. Cornwall is stunning, will definitely need to stop at ‘Rockfish’ next time I’m down there!

    • Alida

      Yes I definitely recommend it!

  7. Katy Clarke

    It’s been a long time since I was in Torquay but now I’m trying to scheme a way back soon. Nothing beats fresh seafood and sea breezes

    • Alida

      Absolutely! Seafood and fresh sea air… fab!

  8. Margaret

    Beautiful post and lovely photos, it made me feel like I was there too! How can they not like lobster?? Agatha Christie’s house must have been very interesting, I love her work. What a great way to spend your birthday. Buon Compleanno!

    • Alida

      Yes so interesting to visit the house of this great woman. Her life story and work are fascinating.

  9. Explore With Ed

    Beautiful photos! I’ve not been to Devon for years but used to love this area as a kid. I’ve just returned from the French Riviera and can see some similarities to Torquay! πŸ™‚

    • Alida

      Yes, it really has a continental air, doesn’t? One of my favourites spots in England.

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