Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Giveaway: A case of Radcliffe's Wines and Ashburton Fish Deli Smoked Fish

I am rather excited about my first ever giveaway on my blog.  It's quite an impressive one too.
One lucky winner will receive: 
a mixed case of white and rosé wines from Radcliffe's Wines (worth £94)
a selection of Devon and Cornish smoked fish from Ashburton Fish Deli (worth approximately £20)
The prize will be delivered to the door of a mainland UK address.

Radcliffe's Wines are an online wine merchant specialising in twelve Old World wines that perfectly complement fine food.  They have specifically chosen a selection of wines that will be very palate-pleasing when quaffed with the smoked fish. Radcliffe’s mission is to share how important it is to experiment with
pairing food and wine and to appreciate that so many wines are simply better when tasted with fabulous dishes.

Ashburton Fish Deli are much more than an award-winning fish and seafood supplier.  They pride themselves on their gourmet selection of fine home-cooked seafood products such as their bouillabaisse and crabcakes that are made on the premises.  The shop is bulging with all sorts of fishy products of which at least 70% is local, often from the South Devon waters. They are based not far from me in South Devon in the beautiful old market town of Ashburton on the edge of Dartmoor.

To win this amazing prize:

1. Essential: Click on the Rafflecopter widget below which will keep a record of your entries and perform the draw.  You can do one or all of these: comment on this blog by telling me what SW food or drink you love, mention this giveaway on Twitter, follow @grazingkate or @radcliffeswines on Twitter, 'Like' Radcliffe's Wines on Facebook.  
3. Each blog comment, tweet or 'like' on Facebook counts as one entry so you can enter multiple times 
3. Closing Date 
7am 30 April 2012 
4. Competition open to all mainland UK residents aged 18 or over

5. Winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Best Seaside Fish and Chips in Devon?

It was a seriously windy, yet sunny day when we visited Slapton.  We haven't been down that way for a couple of years, but it's a wonderful sweep of sand and an incredibly historic site in terms of what happened during Exercise Tiger in the 2nd World War.  There are also great bird watching opportunities at the Slapton Ley end (the largest freshwater lake in the SW!)  Even as amateurs, we spotted quite a few interesting ones (er...their names escape me!) over the course of fifteen minutes.

At the far western end of the beach is the small village of Torcross.  I had asked the gurus of Twitter where to have lunch in that neck of the woods and the resounding answer was to try the fish and chips at the Start Bay Inn, Torcross.

We visited the Sherman tank memorial and then crossed the road to the pub.  You can't make reservations, the tables are quite crammed in and this Sunday lunchtime it was packed and noisy, but felt very friendly and full of good cheer.  Plenty of locals on all sides.  All four of us ordered the fish and chips.  Three of us ordered the 'small' for £5.70 and greedy husband ordered the 'medium' haddock which was about £1 more.  And mushy peas all round.

We were delighted that the 'small' was tremendous value and actually cheaper than a lot of fish and chip take aways.  The chips were 'fine' - sorry that might be a bit mean.  There was nothing wrong with them, but my heart always belongs to proper home made irregular sized slightly overcooked and preferably crinkle cut chips like my Dad makes.  But these were standard pub-type chips that most people seem to be happy with.  The mushy peas were OK- I doubt if they were home made, but they were good accompaniments.  As for the fish: the haddock was fantastic.  Really super fresh white fish, perfectly cooked in a delectably light batter.  The batter was perfectly crispy, tasty and light.  We were in fish and chip heaven.

My verdict:  certainly the best fried fish I've had in Devon, they could do with stocking Heinz ketchup on the tables (rather than those plastic catering packs of vinegary sauce), and if they could rope in my father to make the chips, then it'd be perfect.

Update, Aug 2015 - Finn McCools on Teignmouth sea front do very good fish and chips - you have the option of taking them away and sitting on the sea front or dining in (good for rubbish weather).

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Review: Hotel Chocolat: Your Eggscellency Extra Thick Easter Egg

Hotel Chocolat kindly sent me a Your Eggscellency™ Extra Thick Easter Egg.  

The packaging was beautiful, almost a mini hat box, with a luxury black ribbon tied around it.  I have previously criticised HC for their excessive packaging, but this time I was won over. Not as much plastic as there was last year. A couple of months ago I was seriously underwhelmed by the HC Advent Calendar, but this li'l baby ticked all the boxes.  Exciting packaging, thick chocolate in two colours and inside, 12 liqueur chocs: Champagne truffle was my fave, followed by the Mojito and then the Bison Grass Vodka. 

One side of the shell was half milk and the other half plain chocolate.  I really liked that - I am a fan of both and it was nice to take a bite of each.  It was indeed very thick chocolate that I rather liked.  You could really bite into it and hear it snap - you don't get that with a Cadburys Egg.  

This sizeable egg costs a sizeable £26

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