With the big, dark shadow of a massive Tesco’s hanging over the wee town of Seaton, we are indeed most lucky to have not one, but two independent butchers. Besides the very good GW Meats who we have already blogged about, we also have the Mulberry Manor Meat Butcher (18 Fore Street, Seaton, EX12 2LA, 01297 20915) in easy access from our home. Since moving here in November 2012, one thing that has stood out to us is the seriously excellent quality of the local UK meat (Devon & Dorset seem to be in top form) and the continued presence in many small towns and villages of the independent butcher.
Mulberry appears to be striving for a smaller selection (they almost seems to be ordered in for the that day) in the “less is more” vein of thought. Their beef comes from Orkney Island in Scotland and the lamb & pork from farms just outside of Axminster, Devon. In addition, Mulberry Manor also offers several take home meals every day (e.g., chicken kiev or shepherd’s pie or pollo parmesan ). One specialty that Mulberry Manor carries that we are keen to try is their Barbary Duck Breasts, brought in from France. Barbary ducks are a slower growing duck which yields a larger quantity of leaner, darker meat (especially the males) – yum. Another of their offered cuts we have tried several times are the lamb chump chops and they were superb.
The Mulberry Manor Meats’ delivery truck – now that’s a classy butcher’s delivery truck.
And this is one of Hound #1’s absolute favourite shops to stop in…
On our way to explore Exmouth we got sort of sidetracked into the town of Topsham and stumbled (you really cannot miss it!) upon Darts Farm.
Darts Farm started in the 1970’s as one of the small farm shops you would find dotted around East Devon, selling it’s local produce at the end of the farm gate. Well, it’s not small anymore. It is a giant retail complex of mostly food (though there is an Aga showroom, outdoors store, tile & paint shop, florist and a spa). Though big, it is still run by the 3 sons of founder Ronald Dart and claims to “continually endeavour to keep to the original values at the heart of the business…(Darts Farm) is the product of passion for farming and providing good quality, local produce to a community that cares about its cultural heritage.”
There is a cafe (which we might have gone to for lunch, but for the enormous queue) as well as what is regarded as or heralded as one of the best fish & chip joints in the country – the Fish Shed.
And you will find the Gerald David & Family Master Butchers in residence (Hound 2 is always drawn to the butchers… as would Hound 1 be if he had been allowed out of the car). These folks have won Devon Life’s Best Butcher Award 3 years running and it was not too hard to see why. We learned in a brief chat that the beef we were perusing was raised & slaughtered (they have their own abattoir) on the Dart farm.
Having gotten accustomed to the Seaton retail world, our one visit was kind of overwhelming – we will return.
(In response to the revelation that Tesco’s has been using horse meat in its burgers)