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Gather Totnes

Review
Gather, Totnes

Chrissy Harris is spoilt with high-end, picture-perfect local produce during her visit to this relaxed, friendly restaurant

How satisfying it must be to look at a load of ingredients and come up with a delicious meal – I’ve always admired anyone who can do this. My husband, Luke, is one of those people (for which I am very grateful). The team at Gather in Totnes are the same. Except they’ve taken the ’ready, steady, cook’ process to a whole new level by sourcing the ingredients themselves to create delicious, seasonal menus that celebrate Devon’s coast and countryside.

The dishes here are built around whatever’s been foraged from the hedgerows, fields, rivers and seashore that week, along with produce from trusted local suppliers. We arrived for lunch on a beautifully sunny day, aware that this is a pretty good time of year to celebrate nature’s bounty.

Gather is right in the heart of town, a welcome refuge from the busy hustle and bustle of Fore Street and its not-quite-wide-enough pavements. We sat at a window table and explored the menu. It was all so… different. So often when we go out, everything feels so familiar – a restaurant version of the food Luke cooks at home. To be greeted by dishes, such as morel farci and wild rabbit was a real treat – proper clever stuff.

After a lovely introduction of ‘bread and snacks’, including honey and garlic sourdough with wild garlic butter and cheese gougères with grated Parmesan, we were ready to order. Luke chose elderflower-cured mackerel, which came with a pretty elderflower and spring herb dressing, which was light and refreshing. I went for asparagus and potato salad with confit egg yolk and some more of those freshly foraged spring herbs. Again, what a looker. These picture-perfect dishes are also well balanced.

Next up, wild rabbit hash with spring vegetables and Béarnaise sauce. Rich, hearty and I think Luke even used the words ‘flavour bomb’, but we’ll let him off as he was enjoying himself so much. Rabbit isn’t on the menu at home or anywhere else, in fact, so to have it cooked and presented like this was special.

I had Cormacks dry-aged fish (Cormacks Seafood is a fish shop in Totnes), served with wild garlic fritter and ocean persillade (a mixture of parsley, chopped together with seasonings including garlic, herbs, oil and vinegar). Although I ate slowly and in a refined way, I really wanted to scoop it all into my mouth and mop up the sauce with a bit more of that honey and garlic sourdough.

I’m sure the staff at Gather wouldn’t have minded too much. They might be serving high-end, award-winning food but it’s a relaxed, friendly place. The young staff really are amazing – Head Chef Harrison Brockington is only 24 years old and cooking like this in his own restaurant is an incredible achievement. World domination surely awaits. But for now, I hope he keeps on serving us the best South Devon has to offer.

Sample Menu

Starter

  • Morel farci, with wild garlic and olive oil

Main

  • Carrot and peas, with wild fennel, seeds and nuts

Dessert

  • Blackcurrant soufflé with blackcurrant wood ice cream

Prices

  • Two courses: £27.50
  • Three courses: £35.00
Chrissy loves the open kitchen where you can see the action, the wildflower garnishes and the screened window seat to people-watch
Gather
50 Fore Street
Totnes
Devon TQ9 5RP

01803 866666
www.gathertotnes.com

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