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Flying High

Taste Buds talks to Rachel Dean, Bar and Restaurant Manager at the Bucket & Spade about how she runs this award-winning restaurant 

Rachel Dean. Manager. The Bucket & Spade, Shaldon

Tell us a little bit about yourself – have you always been a foodie?
I’ve been leading the front of house at the Bucket & Spade restaurant, based at Coast View Holiday Park, since October 2020. After spending 18 years as cabin crew, I hung up my wings and joined the Coast View team in February 2019, before becoming Bar and Restaurant Supervisor when The Bucket & Spade opened in 2020. I love to interact with guests and organise events for all to enjoy.

I have three children and live in Teignmouth. I’ve always loved food, and really enjoy a good lunch date.

When did you start at the Bucket & Spade?
We opened in 2020. Unfortunately Covid hit and, like many businesses, The Bucket & Spade had to diversify. We offered a take-away service, which the locals really supported and enjoyed. Since then, we have gone from Shaldon’s best-kept secret, to winning numerous awards.

Describe your role here?
My role as Bar and Restaurant Manager is to oversee the day-to-day running of the Bucket & Spade, organising the team and designing menus alongside the Head Chef. Sometimes you will catch me baking in the kitchen, which is my true love. I make a mean lemon drizzle cake!

What has changed since you’ve started?
There have been many challenges with the pandemic restrictions, then the lack of staffing in the hospitality sector over the last year or so. However, locals and visitors have really supported us and love the spectacular coastal views, friendly staff and the delicious, reasonably-priced, locally-sourced food we serve.

Due to the cost-of-living crisis, we’re also really conscious to make eating out affordable - we regularly have ‘Kids Eat Free’ offers, where every child accompanying a paying adult can eat for free during the school holidays.

We’re proud to use West Country produce and endeavour to use as much as possible in our menu. This includes locally caught Brixham fish, Westcountry meat, as well as supporting many local artisan drinks suppliers. 

Best parts of the job?
A real highlight is organising events. We have regular music nights and I have organised a few wedding receptions. I enjoy developing the menus with our Head Chef and I love talking to our customers.

Future plans for the Bucket & Spade?
I hope we will win more awards, hold more music events and get our name out there to continue our success.

Favourite item on the menu?
It’s hard to pick a favourite. The burger menu is a real treat, and our fish specials are not to be missed. 

We’ve become renowned for our Sunday roasts and we’re popular with families because of our relaxed ambience and great menu choices, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian dishes.

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