Saturday, 13 October 2012

Food at Exmoor House: 'traditional with a twist'

One of the main things that makes Exmoor House a bit different is our food. Our guests tell us that it’s a highlight of their visit and a major reason why they come back and stay with us again. Generally about 80% of guests have dinner here; many book our multi-night dinner, bed & breakfast packages.

So, why is our food different? For a start it’s genuinely home-made, by an expert. Frank trained as a chef quite a few years ago but hadn’t cooked for a living for some time. He really enjoyed getting back in a professional kitchen again when we bought Exmoor House – something to get his teeth into, as it were.

We aim to be imaginative in our cooking without being too way out or fancy (traditional with a twist is how I describe it). Some recipes are our invention; others we’ve gleaned from various sources and adapted. Just a few of our specialities: proper pies; ice creams; breads; pickles and preserves. You’ll find a previous post about our pies here:

The menu changes every day. There are normally two or three choices for each course rather than a vast array of dishes (quality over quantity is the watchword). So that everybody has a good choice, we encourage guests to discuss any dietary needs and preferences with us when they book.

And that brings me to another Exmoor House difference: catering for special diets. Each day’s menu is designed around the guests who are eating with us that evening. We do some really good vegetarian food. To give you some examples, here’s a link to my summery guest post on Jane Alexander’s Exmoor Jane blog:

And other requirements? For example, if you don’t eat wheat, gluten, dairy, prefer to follow a low-fat diet, or there’s anything you are allergic to, let us know when you make your booking and we’ll see if we can devise menus to suit. Of course, do tell us if there’s something you’d really like to see on the menu, too! You can find a review by some of our regular guests here:

We insist on good quality ingredients, and wherever possible we use local producers and suppliers, both from an environmental point of view and because we want to support other local businesses. I blogged about this a while ago:

Most of the suppliers we use are the still the same people as in the above post (we have a good relationship with them and they’re consistent and reliable). There is one significant change, though – our previous wine merchant has retired and we now get most of our wine from the equally excellent Vitis Vinifera, based down the hill in Dunster.

By the way, you don’t have to be staying here to enjoy dinner at Exmoor House – although, for reasons which will be apparent from this article, you do need to book a few days in advance.