Friday, 6 June 2014

Cafe Review: Deli Shack Cafe, Bickleigh,

We visited the Deli Shack mid-week for lunch.  We made a reservation - I think that's wise, although not essential midweek, but it's one of those weather dependent venues.  I also think it gets busy at weekends.  We received a warm welcome from the owner (thanks, Lisa!) and two workers.

There was plenty of parking and it was located down a country lane, a little bit outside of Bickleigh, and has a more independent feel than Bickleigh Mill.  Diners can sit inside (I noticed the wood burner in the corner) or outside for fantastic views.  My top tip is to walk through the cafe and sit outside on one of the 5 tables out the back with that view of the Exe Valley.  There is a gazebo covering some of the tables to prevent rain, wind or sun damage!  In a car, you need to follow the signs to Yearlstone Vineyard.  I think it's probably the sort of place that a Sat Nav might be confused by.

The choices were on a blackboard.  I like blackboards - it generally means the food is fresh and homemade.  I am guessing that some are semi-permanent and others are more like specials.  Each day there are some meat, vegetarian and vegan options - what a great idea and it all seemed appealing. I shared the Deli Shack platter.

This was huge and consisted of olives, cheeses, meat, breads, pickles, crackers and was great for a lunch dish.  There were some yummy choices - a mixture of Devon and Continental produce (I really liked the duck, and the Cheddar was good too) on the plate and it felt like the right amount of food (large though it was!).

My companions had the duck and Coppa salad and the smoked salmon creamy pasta.  They both looked good.  Three desserts came to the table - two types of pancakes (with strawberries and chocolate...with banana and caramel) plus a very good lemon tart served with clotted cream.  I noticed some visitors left when they noticed there were no sandwiches on the menu - that was part of the appeal for me.  I get fed up with the number of Devon cafes offering panini.

We did that annoying thing of sitting inside for a coffee, then moving outside for the view and sunshine, then moving back in for dessert and to avoid a sudden shower.  The waiting staff were very obliging and helped us move.

Yearlstone Vineyard is attached and I think there was a wine tasting for a bargain £3.  The cafe had bottles of their wine for sale.  On another occasion we would have happily quaffed the wine and visited the vines, but there was chatting over good food to be done.

Dogs were welcome at the outside tables - and the parking is very close to the cafe.  We had a dog and baby with us who were greeted and treated well.  There are plenty of high chairs and the place seems very child-friendly.  I would say that this is a good recommendation for some home cooked food in a relaxed and beautiful environment.  The prices are good too.

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