Driving down the long, narrow valley through the Sharpham estate to reach our lunch destination – The Cellar Door Alfresco Kitchen – was a delightful experience in itself. The views of the River Dart, with Totnes in the distance, were simply breathtaking.
Essentially a marquee next to the Sharpham Wine and Cheese shop, The Cellar Door, run by chef-patron Daniel Teage, is open at lunchtimes from March to November. It’s a fabulous spot to try some beautiful English wines, and top-notch food.
We couldn’t resist ordering a couple of appetisers – the excellent Sharpham rustic and wild garlic croquettes and the smoked garfish mini fishcakes with curried tartare sauce – accompanied by a superb glass of Sharpham Sparkling Pink.
Our starters were perfectly cooked, hand-dived Start Bay scallops with crispy pork cheek, apple two ways and a cider jus, and the imaginatively put together fish taco in homemade tortilla, with slaw, avocado, baby gem, Sriracha mayo, pickled chilli and crispy skin.
For the main event, I tucked into a faultless dish of whole plaice roasted on the bone with cockles and sauce vierge. My husband enjoyed the excellent chicken schnitzel, with wild garlic butter and charred lemon. The sides of seasoned skinny fries, and wild and seasonal greens with garlic butter, were equally delicious, and our two-year-old thoroughly enjoyed his homemade fish goujons.
Dessert – plum and almond frangipane with clotted cream – was another hit, and the wines throughout were truly memorable, particularly the Bacchus and the Pinot Noir.
We’ll definitely be back.