Visiting Riverford Farm Field Kitchen in Buckfastleigh, Devon, is totally unforgettably fabulous. I was lucky enough to go for the third time last week and went away as impressed and content as the first. Their daily changing menu of picked outside on the farm grub, will leave you inspired to cook freshly, simply and seasonally. And very, very happy.
Jane Baxter has been the chef at the Field Kitchen since its doors opened. The design of the menu is clearly influenced by her wonderful career. She has worked in The River Cafe, London that specialises in high quality, seasonal Italian Food and the Carved Angel, Dartmouth which, when open, served British produce, cooked in an open kitchen where diners could watch the chefs prepare their food. The Field Kitchen embraces that same openness; on entry, smiling staff are prepping asparagus, roasting potatoes and chatting to people about the difference between your every day garlic and the wet garlic on the menu. It is also a communal dining experience. Dishes are bought over to all tables at once on very generously sized plates and shared between the 8 people sitting on the table, creating a warm and relaxed atmosphere. For £19 a head, we ate a mix of the above plus an incredible pudding from served to you pudding trolley style and washed it down with a scrummy bottle of prosseco. In each mouthful you could taste every ingredient. Flavours and textures were so heightened that it was clear every single thing had been bought in from the farm that morning. Sweet and salty lamb melted in the mouth and went perfectly with creamy braised fennel, a real winner of a dish. The roasted asparagus with buttery almond dressing was beautiful and could have been eaten as a meal in itself. In fact everything we ate could have satisfied us all as a stand alone dish, it was just so much better we got to try them all!
Despite being very full, the puddings were so ridiculously tempting, it would have been foolish to have turned them down. Strawberry Pavlova, Chocolate Torte, Baked Vanilla Custard with Blueberries, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Apple and Almond Tart, Cherry Clafoutis, Pecan Pie, Gooseberry Fool..any take your fancy? Unfortunatley, the girl dishing them up was extremely strict about not mixing and matching, but that didn’t stop us from all going for something different and tucking into one anothers. The pie and pudding were extremely rich, the fruity options being more suited to finishing the meal of kings we’d just eaten.
Booking is 100% essential at the Field Kitchen, so don’t forget to visit their website for full details. They are located in Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0JU, UK and you can ring them on 01803 762059.