Julie Hutchins visits the popular Berry Head Hotel in Brixham for some local food served in picture-postcard surroundings
As a true Devonian, having lived in Torbay all my life, it’s rare for me to find a new dining experience virtually on the doorstep. So my mum (Janet) and I were keen to make the trip to the Berry Head Hotel in the lovely fishing port of Brixham.
Geoff Paris, the Deputy Manager, welcomed us and led us into the aptly named View Brasserie, which was bustling with people enjoying the fabulous views across the bay. The interior is spacious and comfortable, and the decoration pays homage to the area’s nautical history.
As we perused the menu over a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio, we watched a gig being rowed across the calm waters, a large cruise ship that was visiting for the day, and in the distance glimpsed the Big Wheel in Torquay’s Princess Gardens.
The menu offers dishes from both land and sea and for our starters we both chose to take a dip into the sea. My seared scallops in garlic butter were presented on a bed of lettuce, with an apple salad and a prosciutto crisp. Janet chose the pan-fried calamari and crayfish tails served in chorizo butter, served in an adorable miniature saucepan which, when the lid was lifted, released the delicious aromas. A deft wiping of bread ensured that none of the juicy sauce remained.
For the main course we headed inland. My Westcountry marinated loin of pork steak was tender, the mash delicately textured with wholegrain mustard and the caramelised apple and cider sauce perfectly proportioned. Janet chose chargrilled chicken served with oodles of egg noodles in an Asian-inspired chilli sauce, which added a subtle flavour. A serving of stir-fried vegetables upped the crunch factor.
We couldn’t resist a sweet finish. My chocolate truffle tort – served with a generous portion of clotted cream and a seasonal berry coulis – was light in texture yet deeply dark and chocolatey in flavour, with the layers melting in the mouth – delightful! The joy of a crème brûlée is always the crack and crunch of the sugary top and Janet was not disappointed. A very pleasant evening – with good food, amazing views and a warm welcome.
Published 4 October 2013
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