Tuesday 8 September 2009

Riverford Farm, Kitley, Nr. Plymouth, Devon

 Riverford Farm Kitley

My tummy was grumbling. I was in a bad mood. (The two are rarely unlinked). The rain was saturating the whole of Devon with the view to the North giving me nightmares that the Baskerville’s psychopathic guard dog might attack us. As we zoomed past Plymouth, on our way to Salcombe from Fowey, I secretly prayed for a decent lunch. Moments later, out of the dismal gloom, emerged an outpost of Riverford Organcs. Look no further than this for proof of the existence of a greater being.

We’ve been to the Riverford Organics HQ before now and had a quite brilliant day out. The food was all fresh, organic, vibrant and very memorable. It was an experience that opened my mind to the amazing things you can do with vegetables. It made me realize that they needn’t be an afterthought. If you can get your hands on their cookery book, you won't go far wrong either.

Walking into their garden centre-esque shed we were bowled over that such an unassuming façade could be home to such a gourmet wonderland. They’ve got a butcher, cheesemonger, deli, bakery, café and an array of interesting wines on top of the produce that is sourced from their farm.

Overwhelmed by choice, I pointed at a stuffed pepper and a frittata to keep my increasingly noisy stomach quiet. The pepper was sweet and smoky and filled with a very mild lamb korma mixed through with rice and raisins. It was utterly delicious and has now found its way onto my “will cook for dinner” short-list.

Lamb korma stuff pepper

The frittata wasn’t such an enormous success. In contrast with the stuffed pepper, it was very bland. Some aggressive seasoning helped. I shouldn’t have asked for it cold… but then again I have an aversion to micro-waved egg dishes! I should have chosen something more manly, such as one of their incredible pork pies, scotch eggs or something on a slice of toasted sourdough. Or maybe even their Devon rarebit that's made with cider instead of beer.


Next time we’re in the area we’re going to build a pit stop here into our plan. I’m already dreaming of tucking into one of their fully loaded breakfasts whilst reading all the papers and then picking up some top notch provisions to add some fun to our campsite cooking.

They say their aim is “to create a vibrant, informative, hassle-free, fresh local food emporium” and they’ve certainly managed that! If only every town had one.

Riverford Farm Shop - Kitley

This is part of a series about our trip around the South West.


TC said...

We've had a vegetable box from Riverford for a couple of years, but have never made it to the farm. I can certainly testify to the quality of the vegetables, and the recipes on the weekly newsletter.

Your posts are definately making me want to go back to that corner of the South West!

Browners said...

@TC - I'd love to have a Riverford box. But not sure I can a. afford it right now and b. am not really around enough to make the best use of it. But one day, I'd love one. They've got a great set up and are running a really interesting business. Have they sent you any particularly brilliant recipes?

TC said...

We get a box every other week, as we wouldn't get through a whole box a week either. Works out about £5/6 a week depending on the type of box, and we rarely have to buy any other veg.

Now I've been put on the spot I can't think of any recipes, but the search on their website is useful when you need a new way with a particular veg!

Browners said...

@TC - Excellent. That sounds pretty good value really. Maybe I'll sign up for a trial.

Helen @ World Foodie Guide said...

I did consider signing up for a Riverford box. It looked impressive when I visited the stall at the Real Food Festival. And the book won a Guild of Food Writers award, or two even, if memory serves me correctly. They were so pleased!

Browners said...

@Helen - I like them as a company. They seem to be very warm. And that book is very well written.


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