We have food on our mind at The Carlton this month; celebrating the great tastes available in the region is something of an obsession at the Carlton Hotel, whether that be in-house or great places to eat around us. 

At this time of year, with grey skies, and general signs of January gloom in each direction, it’s the perfect time to seek a splash of colour, sensory fulfilment and solace in good food.  Gone is the excess of Christmas and the New Year is a time to nourish the body while the short days lengthen on the journey to spring.

If this sounds like the perfect recipe for you as you wade through the murky months of winter then let us fill you in with a concise North Devon food guide on how to treat your palate. The Carlton is a great supporter of the food festivals which light up the region and embrace the culinary strengths of North Devon.

Great Food Close to Home

Before we begin to explore the area, let’s start this North Devon food guide a little closer to home – at the Carlton’s very own Brasserie restaurant which sates the appetites and enriches the taste buds of residents and non-residents alike.  The Brasserie has recently been approved as a member of Food Drink Devon – the essential guide to all things delicious in the UK’s fourth largest county.  

So what does our Brasserie bring to the (dining) table? Diners shouldn’t expect fancy flourishes or pretentious combinations. What Ilfracombe’s Brasserie serves is simple food, prepared with the best of local and seasonal ingredients. It’s our opinion that with the West Country’s superb offerings in terms of local meat, fish and vegetables there is little need to dress up for show. 

The winter months are also a time to revel in the great British tradition of the Sunday roast and the Carlton has a fine reputation in delivering this most comforting of meals with a high quality twist.  
These are served every Sunday in the Brasserie from 12.30pm. The hotel also has stepped up its regular Foodie Friday events to a new weekly fixture. The Brasserie is currently offering hot deals on weekly rotation of mussels and wine, burger and beer, fish and fizz, steak with wine and spice night.  

The Brasserie is also earmarked by diners seeking a North Devon food guide to restaurants which brings creativity and imagination to its menu choices for vegetarians and vegans. Aside from a well endorsed Gluten Free menu,  the kitchen’s willingness to adapt dishes for specific dietary requirements has made it a go to destination for those seeking menu alternatives.     

North Devon Food Guide to Devon food festivals

And just over the foodie horizon for 2020 is the Exmoor Food Fest which takes place in February. The Carlton Hotel is very pleased to be joining the cast of gastronomic sights and tastes to savour for the first time. We will be lining up with restaurants and hotels from across the area to provide gastronomy fans with our exclusive Exmoor Food Fest 2020 tasting menu, meet the supplier evenings and other culinary deals. As well as extolling the diversity of tastes available across the Exmoor area, Exmoor Food Fest urges foodies to get out there and eat their way across the region between February 1st and 28th

The Exmoor Food Fest kicks off a calendar of food related festivals and events that run throughout the year. Highlights include the Exeter Food and Drink Festival in April and a clutch of events that celebrate the natural riches of Devon’s coastal areas. North Devon, in particular, excels in this respect and another festival that The Carlton is involved in is the popular Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival in early September, which includes a focus on what the area has to offer in terms of seafood.    

A little way ahead we have the Devon Street Food Festival which takes place on the town’s seafront every August and in October Barnstaple hosts North Devon Food fest centred in its pannier market hall.

Winter blues? Blow them away by focusing on food to bring the colour into your life this winter season. The Brasserie at The Carlton is a great place to start brushing up on your palate!