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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!

 

A weekend in South Devon

We thought we would put together a couple of itineraries based on things our guests have told us they love to do!

A relaxed weekend away

After you have arrived at Beeson Farm and made yourselves at home why not wander down to the Cricket Inn at Beesands for a delicious seafood supper whilst overlooking beautiful Start Bay, waiting for the light of the lighthouse to come on.

Day 1: Head over to Torcross (either walk along the coastpath from Beesands or take the car). The village has an interesting hist0ry- stop at the tank to learn more about Operation Tiger, the D Day landing practice that ended in tragedy. Spend some time on the beach, feed the ducks or take a stroll around Slapton Ley nature reserve.

Stop for lunch at Stokelely Farm Shop and have a browse of the garden centre and craft/interiors shops before stocking up for a BBQ from the butcher.

Day 2:Drive to Start Point lighthouse and take the circular walk to Mattiscombe beach, stopping for a tour of the lighthouse on the way. Keep you eyes peeled for seals.

Day 3: Visit Kingsbridge, Dartmouth or Salcombe. Each town is on the waterfront and has a lovely mix of independent shops, galleries and cafes

A weekend with the kids

Day 1: Arrive at Beeson Farm and let the children run off steam in our playground, cider orchard or with a game of table tennis or badminton. Head down to Beesands for fish and chips from Britannia Takeaway and sit on the beach whilst the children have a paddle.

Day 2: Have breakfast at Stokeley Farm Shop and buy supplies for a picnic before heading to Mill Bay. The children will enjoy the golden sands, digging dams and rockpooling. Take the passenger ferry over to Salcombe and explore the town if you go drag them away from the beach

Day 3: Head to Kingsbridge with the crab lines and try crabbing from the harbour wall. Ride the miniature train from the tourist informaiton centre to the recreation ground and then head to the Crabshell Inn for lunch or to book a paddleboarding lesson.

A foodie weekend

Day 1: After you have arrived pop down to either the award winning Cricket Inn at Beesands or the award winning Bear and Blacksmith in Chillington for dinner.

Day 2: Have a morning coffee at Fika in Kingsbridge before driving on to Bantham for a walk on the beach (or book into surf school if you are feeling adventurous!) Have a late lunch at the Oyster Shack and stop at Avon Mill Garden Centre for a cream tea on the way home. If you have room enjoy takeaway fish and chips from Britannia at Beesands!

Day 3: Have breakfast at Springfield Farmshop before heading to Gara Rock. Park at Gara and walk the circular route to Mill Bay and back before enjoying lunch with an awesome view!

 

 

A day in Kingsbridge

Our local town of Kingsbridge, just over 6 miles from Beeson Farm, is a wonderful local hub that sits at the head of the Salcombe Estuary.

In summer children love to sit on the embankment with their crabbing lines and watch the boats come and go. The estuary is well used by boats, kayakers and paddleboarders as well as the Kingsbridge-Salcombe ferry.

Kingsbridge town is a lovely mix of independent shops, galleries, antique/vintage shops, places of worship and cafes.

Start off your day at the very top of town at the Cookworthy Museum where you can discover the history of the local area. After your visit pop across the road to the worlds smallest nightclub, housed in a telephone box!

Head down fore street stopping at the community garden on the way.  Walk under the Shambles (an old market hall on raised granite pillars dating from Elizabethan times) and you will come across the old town hall, now the towns cinema. The cinema is one of the most recognisable buildings in the town, with its distinctive clock face which has only three faces- the fourth faced the old workhouse and so wasn’t added to prevent the inmates from clock watching!

Discover the eclectic mix of shops and galleries that line Fore Street. With something for all ages from toy shops (The Trading Post and Non Such) to independent clothes shops (Posh Totti, Cocoa, Spotted, Mint Dress Agency), galleries (the Mayne Gallery, Tidal Gallery and The Art Cafe where you can paint your own pottery) and the wonderful Harbour bookshop.

Coming off the highstreet you can find many little alleyways lined with cottages – often with fascinating names such as Squeezebelly Alley. As the name suggests it is too narrow for more than one person to pass through at a time!

Pass the entrance to the estuary and hop on the miniature railway to the end of the line where you can disembark for the recreation ground (with excellent childrens playgroud) or walk on down for a drink at the Crabhsell Inn overlooking the water.

Kingsbridge has a thriving antiques scene with the Antiques and Craft Centre on Ebrington Street and the eclectic Two Rooms on Lower Union Road (a bazaar of the bizarre, full floor to ceiling with treasures and well worth a rummage!), as well as numerous charity shops.

Kingsbridge Information Centre sits on the town square and the staff are very  happy to help  with recommendations for places to eat and things to do.

No matter what the time of year there are plenty of local events in the town to choose from, incluing the regular farmers market, Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival (June), Kingsbridge Fair Week (July) Kingsbridge Show (September) and Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas (December)

Kingsbridge also has an indoor pool and sports centre.

Eating Out

Kingsbridge has something to suit all tastes and also numerous takeaways. For families we recommend eating the Art Café, the Crabshell Inn, Cool Beans Coffee shop, La Ranchera (amazing Mexican food) or the Fat Monkey.

For light lunches we can recommend Harbour House Café at the Arts and Yoga centre which has a delicious menu of vegetarian and vegan food, new arrival Fika, a Scandinavian inspired coffee house, and the Old Bakery which has a beautiful courtyard.

For a special meal head to Wild Artichokes (run by chef Jane Baxter) or Twenty Seven run by Jamie Rogers

Whatever you get up to on a day out in Kingsbridge we hope you enjoy it!

Easter in South Devon

On Easter Sunday morning join us on the farm to see what the Easter Bunny has been up too- we can guarantee that there will be plenty of chocolate easter eggs hiding around the farm, cottages and courtyard for our youngest guests!

Head over to the annual South Pool Easter Fun Day on April 20th (Approx 10 mins from Beeson Farm) The fun takes place alongside the estuary in the pretty village of South Pool, home to the fabulous Millbrook Inn. Turn up with your Easter Bonnet for the childrens egg hunt and bonnet competition from 12:15pm and then marvel at the South Pool duck race from 2pm, chose your rubber duck and cheer it on as it floats to victory down the estuary! There will be a BBQ and live music at the pub throughout the afternoon.

East Soar Outdoor Experience is situated on a National Trust farm in one of the the most breathtaking parts of South Devon on the headland, just above the picturesque town of Salcombe (approx 15 mins drive from Beeson Farm). Their yearly Easter family fun days are hugely popular with locals and guests alike and will runs over the Easter holidays. 11am daily, £3 per child.

The Tower Inn in Slapton are hosting their own mini Easter fair on the 20th April, with plenty of entertainment for the children and wonderful food and drink for the adults to get Easter off to a great start!

Start Point Lighthouse

Trinity House has completed the modernisation of Start Point Lighthouse in Devon, upgrading the site’s aids to navigation and control systems to provide simplified maintenance and reliable performance that will extend the life of the station for a further 20 years.
Start Point Lighthouse—located on the most southerly tip of Devon—was built by Trinity House in 1836 and automated in 1993.  The peninsula runs for almost a mile out to sea on the south side of Start Bay. The walk up to Start Point Lighthouse is breathtaking – dramatic cliffs and landscape, and the South West Coast Path runs along this stretch of coastline. There are great walks towards Beesands and Torcross, or East Prawle and Salcombe. You may even see seals or dolphins out at sea – and a host of sea birds and birds of prey.

The lighthouse provides a navigational light comprised of three white flashes every ten seconds that can be seen from Prawle Point to the west and across Start Bay to the east, as well as a red sector light that marks the Skerries Bank, a shallow area to the east of the lighthouse. A hazard warning signal sounds during low visibility conditions that blasts once every 30 seconds when visibility drops below one nautical mile.

Start Point Lighthouse was modernised in 2019, upgrading the site’s aids to navigation and control systems to provide simplified maintenance and reliable performance, including the installation of new LED lamps for the main navigation light and a new hazard warning signal.

The lighthouse is now monitored and controlled from Trinity House’s Planning Centre in Harwich, Essex.

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.

Pancake Day

Pancake day is a firm favourite with all the family at Beeson Farm holiday cottages- especially the dog who waits expectantly for any failed flips and pancakes falling from the heavens! Although we love a good fluffy American style pancake for breakfast we think for pancake day you’ve got to go traditional. Guests are very welcome to go down to the chicken coop and collect fresh eggs for the recipe!

Here is our foolproof Beeson Farm Pancake Recipe (just make sure you have a really good flat bottomed pancake pan)

Ingredients

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying
  • lemon wedges, to serve (optional)
  • caster sugar, to serve (optional)
  • Put the flour, eggs, milk, 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter. Set aside for 30 mins to rest if you have time, or start cooking straight away.Set a medium frying/crepe pan over a medium heat and lightly wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper. When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.Serve with lemon wedges and sugar, or your favourite filling.

For all your pancake day ingredients (including delicious fillings) head down to Stokeley Farm Shop (between Stokenham and Torcross).

For a savoury twist check out the recipes on the Riverford Organic website here https://www.riverford.co.uk/blog/2018/02/09/live-life-veg-pancake-day/

If you prefer to go out for pancakes we can recommend The Seabreeze Cafe at Torcross for big American fluffy style pancakes or head to the Cricket Inn at Beesands for their hugely popular seafood pancake!

Blue Monday

January 21st is dubbed blue monday….apparently the gloomiest, most depressing day of the year!

We awoke to try and glimpse the total eclipse of the Super Blood Wolf Moon, followed by the sun rising over the Devon hills, illuminating the grazing sheep and sparkling off the calm seas.

We certainly do have blue days in devon… blue skies, blue sea and wide horizons where the two meet. Living by the coast engages all your senses and we constantly appreciate each daily gift and ever changing view and are looking forward to  sharing it all with our guests in the year ahead.

So, if you need something to look forward to in 2019 book yourself some time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Our cottages are an ideal retreat and somewhere to spend  time with family, friends, loved ones – or even just with the dog!

Our special offers are available until the end of March with short breaks from just £210. Contact us for details.

Veganuary

Veganuary

With over half a million people in the UK eating a plant based diet, veganuary has become a New Years Resolution for many wanting to try a healthier start to the year. South Devon has many brilliant vegetarian and vegan friendly places to visit and many menus in our local restaurants and pubs will cater for vegans.

Harbour house Café, Kingsbridge

Our favourite eatery in Kingsbridge, this is a hidden gem in the town. Serving the most delicious homemade vegetarian and vegan breakfast ad lunches in a relaxed atmosphere. Both the food and the setting is feast for the senses! Expect friendly service, indulgent salads and delicious cakes!

Willow Vegetarian Restaurant, Totnes

Possibly Devons oldest veggie restaurant, this restaurant has been tucked away in Totnes for over 30 years now. Willow serves up delicious and imaginative vegan and vegetarian dishes from locally sourced producers.

Riverford Farm Café, Buckfastleigh

Famous for its huge selection of organic veg which are the star of every plate (and the deserts are delicious too!!) Experience flavoursome feasting on fresh seasonal produce from the Riverford Farm.

Seeds II, Totnes

This vegetarian café has a lovely variety of healthy and hearty food, in an “all you can eat” service, grab a plate and fill up from the buffet style selection.

The family here at Beeson Farm holiday cottages wish you a healthy and happy New Year!

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!