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National Cream Tea Week

Its practically an unspoken rule that on a holiday to Devon you should indulge in a traditional Cream Tea!

Of course, there is great debate about what should go first….the jam or the cream?!

In Devon there is only one way to enjoy your cream tea, and that- of course, is cream first, jam on top!

We have a wonderful selection of tea rooms, farm shops and cafes for you to choose from when going for a cream tea, here are some of our favourites:

  1. The Seabreeze Cafe, Torcross. A delightful cafe on the seafront at Torcross, we love the coastal themed interior and their generous sized scones! Enjoy your cream tea whilst listening to the sea lapping at the shore!
  2. Stokely Farm Shop Cafe. An excellent farmshop where you could buy all the ingredients to make your own – or simply enjoy sitting outside amongst the greenery and sample one of their homemade cream teas!
  3. Avon Mill Garden Centre. A lovely garden centre with excellent cafe, why not build up an appetite walking along the banks of the River Avon before filling up on a cream tea!
  4. South Allington House. A privately owned country house and campsite, enjoy a cream tea on the lawn.

Wherever you decide to have your cream tea, we hope that you savour every mouthful….and please remember the cream first!

 

Group bookings

Beeson Farm makes the ideal getaway for a weekend or longer with a group of friends, family or for a special reunion and in 2019 this seems to be a particularly popular option.

Our cottages are all centered around the old farm courtyard, which is ideal for gathering outside in the summer months and lighting up the BBQs whilst enjoying a cold glass of homemade Beeson Farm Cider from our orchard.

Children will love to play in the table tennis room, have a game of badminton or enjoy the freedom of running around the field and playarea.

Sleeping 22 guests (plus babies in cots) throughout the five cottages there is enough accommodation for everyone. The Linhay and Dairy have downstairs bedrooms and accessible bathrooms making our cottages perfect for a multigenerational holiday.

The courtyard catches the sun all day long and the beach is a short drive or a mile long walk through the village down to Beesands. The pub has an extensive dining area and also benches overlooking the sea with views towards Start Point Lighthouse.

The local area offers plenty of ideas to entertain all ages, from adventure theme parks to National Trust properties as well as the picturesque waterfront towns of Salcombe, Kingsbridge and Dartmouth.

Book your group holiday and reconnect with those friends and family youve been meaning to hang out with!

Give up plastic this Lent

We recently read this article about giving up plastic for Lent https://metro.co.uk/2018/02/14/best-thing-give-lent-plastic-not-chocolate-7312789/?ito=social&fbclid=IwAR0ICRmiGWBp4LXCmfDn6oXwvpTdBTwcl585sEfociUxgmJcNBH8-gzy4oU

We all agree that single use plastic is absurd and the effects of plastic pollution in our oceans are starting to be seen everywhere. We will certainly be considering how we shop and the products we choose to try and go plastic free for Lent and hope that our self catering guests do too…

Stokeley farm shop has everything you could need from a high quality butcher, cheese counter, fresh baked goods, local vegetables, locally produced beer, wine and gin and all other manner of groceries and essentials. The shop is very happy for you to take your own containers for your meat etc. You can also take home your produce from the butchery and deli counters in your own reusable containers to help reduce single use plastic.

Pretty local is on online marketplace offering a fantastic array of high quality food and drink. Each of their sellers is located in south devon within a 20 mile radius of Kingsbridge, keeping food miles to a minimum and supporting local farmers and producers. Order online by midnight on Wednesday to have your food delivered to your cottage on a Friday so it is in the kitchen for you when you arrive (they will even unpack everything and put items that need it into the fridge). We are pleased to see that most items come in a paper bag or without uneccessary plastic packaging.

Milk – we supply our cottages with milk from Dartmouth Dairy, making sure there is a pint in the fridge for you when you arrive. Their delicious locally produced milk is delivered to our doorstep in glass bottles, which we then return to them for reuse and we are delighted that as the tide turns against plastic waste the old fashioned milkman is making a comeback!

Cleaning products we use biodegradable, eco friendly cleaning products on our changeovers and try to ensure that our cottages are equipped with the same. We use Bio D products which are approved by Cruelty Free International and the Vegan Society, which are also hypoallergenic. we buy in bulk and refill our own containers. We also use Ecover cleaning products, which are mostly renewable, biodegradable plant based ingredients.

Our handwash and washing up liquid is also supplied in bulk and we refill plastic bottles ensuring that we aren’t contributing to the plastic waste problem.

We encourage all our guests to recycle via the recycling bins in the shed. We thoroughly clean and reuse empty plastic bottles for our homemade farmhouse cider and apple juice each year. We encourage guests to compost their food scraps which we use on the garden- or where applicable feed to our guinea pigs and chickens (they both love a broccoli stalk!)

Lets take just 6 weeks to try and make a change.

Dog friendly Devon

There is no greater pleasure than running around on the beach- whether you are on 2 legs of 4!

South Devon is a dog lovers paradise, dogs are welcome in nearly all shops, pubs and cafes (some even have their own dog menus!) and the beaches are a dog walkers dream!

Here is our guide to the best dog friendly beaches in South Devon.

Beesands

Less than a mile from Beeson Farm, the traditional fishing village at Beesands is home to a mile long shingle beach from which you can take the coastpath towards Hallsands or Torcoss (both of which are also dog friendly).  Both the pub (The Cricket Inn) and the seafood café (Britannia at the Beach) offer the most amazing food, serving fish and shellfish caught in Start Bay. There is no lovelier spot to sit and eat whilst looking over Start Bay under the watchful gaze of the lighthouse. Beesands is dog friendly all year round.

Lannacombe Beach/Mattiscombe Sands

Start Point one of the most explosed penisulas on the coast and one of the best coastal walks in South Devon. The dramatic cliffs and coastal path forms a mile long headland running for almost a mile until you reach Start Point Lighthouse which has guided vessels along the channel for over 150 years.  To the west of Start Point you will find Mattiscombe Sands and Lannacombe Beach (the latter of which has a small carpark with parking for approx. 10 cars). Dogs are welcome on these beaches are you are likely to be rewarded with spotting seals basking on the rocky outcrops along the coastpath.

Torcross and Slapton Sands

Slapton Sands is a three mile long stretch of shingle beach which runs from Torcross heading towards Dartmouth. Completely level with easy parking (or walk from Beesands over the coastpath), dogs are welcome all year round. There are some great eateries where your dog will be made very welcome. Discover the fascinating WW2 history where the beach was used to practice for D Day or head into Slapton Ley nature reserve for a stroll in the shade of the woods alongside the Ley, the largest freshwater lake in the south west. Slapton Ley is a site of special scientific interest. The nature reserve covers 490 acres of woodland, marsh and reedbed habitats making it a wildlife haven for all types of birds and wildlife.

Mill Bay

Sitting opposite the waterfront town of Salcombe which lies across the water of the estuary, the beach at East Portlemouth is dog friendly all year round. A beautiful stretch of golden sandy beach (with a National Trust car park) it is easy to see why this is a favourite with locals and holiday makers alike.. The shallow and sheltered turquoise waters of the estuary are a great spot for paddling or a swim for you and your pooch. A favourite pastime with all children is to try and dam the stream which runs along the beach and into the Estuary. After a day on the beach hop on the passenger ferry and head over to Salcombe, one of the prettiest towns in the area and a water sports ad sailing hotspot.

Gara Rock/Rickham Sands

Park at Gara Rock itself or choose to leave the car at Mill Bay and take the scenic coastal path or the pleasant woodland walk up to the top of Gara where you will find the fabulous Gara Rock hotel (open to non residents) with its spectacular panoramic clifftop setting and delicious menu, its an ideal spot for a bite to eat. Head down to Rickham Sands, a beautiful secluded cove and a staggeringly beautiful coastline, dogs welcome all year round.

Bantham and Bigbury

Some of the most expansive sandy beaches in our area, both beaches are sandy with shallow waters but both are renowned surfing spots (both have excellent surf schools should you wish to learn!).

Bigbury (seasonally dog friendly) is home to the famous Burgh Island, which is accessible on foot at low tide or by the sea tractor when the tide is in.

Dogs are not allowed on Bantham beach from May-September but are allowed on the estuary at the southern end of the beach all year round which you can get to at low tide. As the tide rolls out at Bantham you will discover plentiful shallow rock pools perfect for adventures with little ones. Don’t forget your bucket and spade! Lifeguards are on duty from May to September.

After a day on the beach you can buy refreshments at the Gastrobus or head to one of the local pubs. Bantham has excellent facilities including a large carpark and public toilets.

 

Choose to stay at Beeson Farm in either the Trap House, which has a private garden , or one of our other dog friendly cottages and you will have the ideal base for exploring these beaches with your pooch. We would love to see photos of your dogs enjoying South Devon- feel free to share your photos to our Facebook page!

South Devon Diary 2019

2018 was quite a year in South Devon! From playing in the snow (a real rarity here- the South Devon rolling hills took on a new thrill!) to endless days basking on the beach in the summer heatwave, there was something new to do in every season.

Below is a taster of whats on offer through 2019, but please check our facebook page for more! In addition we run our own activities on the farm throughout the year (including a childrens Easter Egg hunt and supervised pond dipping sessions in the summer holidays)

Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series (2nd February)

The original coastal trail series race, choose a 10K, half, full or ultra marathon along the the coastpath and countryside of our local area of outstanding natural beauty.

Big Day out on the Farm (28th April)

Head over to East Soar Outdoor Experience with the (National Trust) and meet the animals, explore the farm trail and join in with the family friendly activities on offer.

Blackawton Worcharming Festival (5th May)

The quirkiest of all our local festivals! Use any tactics you can to charm as many worms from your designated plot of earth as you can! Register at the event. Also includes dog show, music and beer festival and events for all the family.

Dart Music Festival (10th – 12th May)

This family friendly event is free to attend with over 100 live acts performing at various venues around the town.

Prawle Village Fete (26th May)

Devons most southerly village is full of quirky charm. The fete on the village green is one of the highlights of our year. Traditional family fun with everything from Maypole dancing to knobbly knees contests, skittles, swingboats and our favourite- the slippery pole! Refreshments available from the Pigs Nose Inn, a wonderfully unique village pub.

Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival (31st May – 2nd June)

The best of local food and drink combined with live music on the Quayisde. Free to attend

Kingsbridge Fair Week (20th – 27th July)

Kingsbridge Fair gets the holidays off to a great start! Events including the hilarious raft race, carnival procession and lantern parade, teddy bears picnic and 10K run there is something for everyone during the week.

Dartmouth Shakespeare Week (23rd – 27th July)

The Inn Theatre Compant bring Shakesepare to the open air in the stunning surroundings of Dartmouth Castle.

Salcombe Town Regatta (3rd – 10th August)

Salcombe Town Regatta is the biggest event in the town, with lots to do for all ages on an off the water, finishing off with a spectacular fireworks display.

Frogmore Regatta (11th August)

Held by the waterside in the local village of Frogmore there is lots of fun to be had for all the family (including events on the water!)

Dartmouth Royal Regatta (29th August – 31st August)

A popular and busy Regatta with rowing races, street food, childrens activities, fireworks and more.

Kingsbridge Show (7th September)

A wonderful event in our calendar, celebrating all that is great about South Devon life! A great for a day out for all the family with a full programme of activities, attractions, local crafts, agricultural equipment and animals on show. Our children absolutely love a day out at the show!

Dartmouth Food Festival (18th – 20th October)

The best of the South West is on offer during this weekend in the heart of the town. One of the UKs top food festivals you can attend cookery workshops, demonstrations and talks or just wander the town and sample the food and drink that is on offer.

Candlelit Dartmouth (29th November – 30th November)

Father Christmas arrives in South Devon (by boat of course!). Start your Christmas shopping in the market and watch the atmospheric lantern parade.
Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas (7th December)

A one day Christmas celebration with shopping, craft market, street food and farmers market, rounding up with the lantern parade down the high street.

Festive Fun on the Farm (15th December)

Join in the festive fun at East Soar Outdoor experience (National Trust) and make your own natural decorations  and help the wildlife through the winter by making simple feeders.

Thirst quenching Devon

South Devon has some hidden gems of breweries, distilleries and vineyards.  Whether you want to take a tour or just sample whats on offer you can make some great holiday memories whilst quenching your thirst.

Salcombe Gin

Salcombe is South Devons yachting haven and what better ritual to adopt than that of the “sundowner”- a refreshing gin and tonic after a day on the water! Salcombe Gin opened the doors of its distillery in 2016. Located on Island Street, Salcombe Gin has since scooped numerous national and international awards. Their gin is hand distilled from 13 carefully selected botanicals and blended with pure Dartmoor water in a 450L copper still using a traditional “one shot” method. Visit the Distillery for a drink in the bar or book in to the gin school to create your own unique blend of gin and take home the ultimate 70cl souvenir of your holiday!

Salcombe gin is available at many of our local pubs, including the Cricket Inn and is for sale locally at Stokeley Farm Shop, Chillington Post Office and Kingsbridge Wine Rooms. https://www.salcombegin.com/

Salcombe Brewery

Salcombe brewery is located in the countryside near Kingsbridge looking towards the Salcombe estuary. The site has its own borehole which supplies the brewery with its own source of pure Devonian water perfect for the brewing process. The Brewery has 4 fermenting vessels capable of making 350 casks every week. Visitors are welcome for tours or brew days. The Brewery Shop is open during the week from 10am to 4pm, on some Saturdays 10am -2pm (seasonally), and sells beer, gift packs and branded merchandise. https://www.salcombebrewery.com/

South Hams Brewery

This 10 barrel plant is run by the Brooking family on the site at Stokeley Farm Shop overlooking beautiful Start Bay. The family have a real love for real ale and are the small brewery that’s very big on taste! Popular classic ales such as Eddystone, Wild Blonde and Devon Pride can be found alongside seasonal ales for sale in Stokeley Farm shop and many local establishments.  http://southhamsbrewery.co.uk/

Sharpham Vineyard

Just two miles from Totnes, The Sharpham vineyard overlooks the River Dart where the soil, climate and grape variety combine to make a unique regional wine.  Sharpham are at the forefront of vine growing and wine making in the UK and have won numerous Regional, National and International medals. Visit the vineyard to sample their wine and take a tour of the vineyard.  Sharpham wine is available to buy at Stokely farm shop and Kingsbridge Wine Rooms. http://www.sharpham.com/

Beeson Farmhouse Cider

Beeson Farm has always produced its own cider from the apples that grow in our orchard. Each year the apples are harvested, pressed and fermented on site. Guests are very welcome to join in with the process- especially the tasting! We work closely with Orchard Link, a south Devon organisation set up in 1998 by apple and cider enthusiasts concerned about the disappearance of traditional orchards in the area. Our traditional farmhouse cider is available to buy from the farmhouse door, enjoy a cold glass of cider whilst sitting in the courtyard in which the traditional stone cider press is now a decorative focal point.

Shop Local this Christmas

South Devon knows how to kick off Christmas! Both Dartmouth and Kingsbridge have wonderful Christmas fairs. Dartmouth opens the festive season with a unique Candlelit evening (November 24th-25th) lantern parade and Christmas market.  Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas is the first weekend in December and showcases local artisans, food producers and independent retailers.

This year I have decided to focus our Christmas shopping locally as well as crafting our own gifts. If I cant make it I am going to buy it in the South Hams – indeed I think everything on this list can be found within a 10mile radius of Beeson Farm!

Here are our top gifts that can be found in the South Hams:

My Sister in Law recently had a baby,  so we decided to buy something practical, beautiful and handmade from Wifflepigs (based near Start Point Lighthouse) who make beautiful handmade baby clothes in quirky and colourful fabrics. Prices start at £8 for a pair of leggings. https://www.facebook.com/wifflepigs/

Naturemake is run by local artist Naomi who also offers workshops locally throughout the year. She sells kits online to make your own sculptures from natural materials (think unicorns, fairy houses, boats, tree houses made from wood, shells, petals etc). Our children have found pure delight in her workshopsand the Christmas scene we made a few years ago is now a treasured Christmas heirloom. Her kits make ideal Christmas gifts for children (and adults) of all ages. Its great to know that the recipients of these gifts can make something special, unique, eco-friendly and beautiful. Prices start at £7.50 for a small robin kit https://naturemake.co.uk/shop/

For a happy Ginmas what better than a bottle of locally produced Gin? The perfect drink to get you through the long winter nights in front of the log fire!  Salcombe Gin distillery opened in 2016 and its Start Point Gin has won numerous awards.  A ticket to the Salcombe gin school would be a fabulous experience for a gin lover and a bottle of Salcombe Gin is definitely on my list of Christmas list! https://www.salcombegin.com/

My son is a chilli fiend- the hotter the better! So this year I am off to the South Devon Chilli Farm for some Christmas shopping. Everything spicy from Chilli Chocolate to a grow your own Chilli plant is available in store or online.  https://www.southdevonchillifarm.co.uk/

My daughter and I love to collect sea glass from our local beaches and have been following the work of devon jeweller Olivia Joy Jones (who started off in Beeson) for a few years. This year we both want one of her stunning sea glass necklaces which she sells from the Gallery at Avon Mill Garden Centre. The Gallery also stocks a beautiful selection of cards, ceramics, art and other unique pieces. https://www.facebook.com/The-Gallery-at-Avon-Mill-1673482926234362/

Another local artist we have been following on social media for a while is Hallsands Hidden Treasures. She makes beautiful decorations for the home using scavenged drift wood and natural materials from the beach, as well as plastics which have washed up, which she sells on Etsy. Her decorations really add something uniquely Devon to the Christmas tree- we especially love her hanging jellyfish made from limpet shells! https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HallsandsTreasures?ref=search_shop_redirect

This year we bought some of graphic designer Jennifer Cooper Designs beautiful pictures of the local area to adorn the walls of our cottages. Her designs feature local landmarks and towns such as Burgh Island, Overbecks, Salcombe and Kingsbridge. They make a beautiful gift for someone who has Devon in their blood, or to remind you of a holiday well spent in Devon! Prices start at £15  https://www.jennifercooperdesigns.com/

This Christmas avoid the battle of the highstreet. Shop local, shop ethical, shop unique and see what your local community has to offer.