The UK’s Indian Summer has taken people by sunny storm this week. I dug out my Summer clothes that I had already relegated to under the bed, slapped on the suncream, and spent every available and appropriate moment with an iced cider in my hand. This weather really called out for my seaside home, so I travelled back to Devon with two things on my mind, sunshine and seafood. I found myself at the Venus Cafe on Blackpool Sands, South Devon.
Plonked right in the middle of the beach, the cafe specialises in locally sourced and organic dishes, with set breakfast, day time and dinner menus, and daily changing specials that on my visit were all simple seafood fare. The menu is safe but varied and caters for tourist beach goers who crave burgers and chips, and the more health conscious who can munch on salads with veges, toasted seeds and local cheeses.I went for the 3 scallop salad, my broher a cheeseburger and chips, and my mum a ‘radical salad’ of feta, cabbage and spinach. My Brixham caught scallops were scrummy, sweet and smokey but the salad it was served with was dull. No dressing was offered, so I asked for some of their lime and ginger variety that was punchy and flavoursome and perked up the simple greens. The cheeseburger was good, the meat from Riverford Farm was rich and tasty, and the french fries it came with were crisp and salty. It was a shame the cheese on it was unmelted as this dried the whole dish out slightly. The ‘radical’ salad was delicious, healthy and full of fresh, crunchy ingredients. A big selling point for Venus, and their five other branches all located on the Devon/Cornish coast, is that they are trying to be the ‘greenest beach cafe and operators’. Immediately apparent was that they were using recycled packaging and cutlery, rather than ceramic crockery, they enforced a ‘no straw’ policy to protect the surrounding environment, and their products were sourced as locally as possible. Read about some of the other initiatives they are running here.
There were some tweaks that I would have made to the food, but overall, the staff were friendly, the food enjoyable, the ‘green’ message they were sending, admirable, and the setting, absoultely stunning. As we were leaving the Autumn mist was rolling in, which got me thinking about their winter trade. I encourage people to take a trip there during the forthcoming season, as I’m sure it has a lot to offer come rain or shine.