January is something of a fallow month for the senses, a time for them to settle down again after the overload of the festive period. Nevertheless after a chaste month, they are fit and ready for February, which is rather convenient because it’s the month the ever popular Exmoor Food Fest launches. Prompted by extenuating circumstances perhaps, it returns for not one, but two months of North Devon culinary delights and discounts.

The Brasserie at The Carlton in Ilfracombe reprises its role as a partner restaurant in this Taste of Exmoor experience and brings its own sumptuous offering to the table in the form of an exclusive menu which celebrates the best of North Devon local produce. The added ingredient of a great deal, in the form of an ExFF201 discount in February and March, will be extra palatable to diners. 

Fans of the Brasserie will be aware of the pride that is taken in the provenance of the food prepared in the kitchen by patron, Eliot Seabourn-Wren. He specialises in simple dishes which accentuate the ingredients without overwhelming them.  “This is our second showing at the Exmoor Food Fest,” says Eliot. “We came in last year for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience so had to return! What we loved about the event is the way it acts as a focus point for all the great things happening with food in the Exmoor region. 

Naturally, great food brings out people who love great food and last year was such an interactive and rewarding experience for The Brasserie, with lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ as plates arrived and many wonderful conversations around the appreciation of food.”

While last year was a case of not really knowing what to expect, this year The Brasserie returns with a menu offering that has a clear vision for what it wants to offer diners.  The past few months have seen Eliot and his kitchen team planning a menu that offers depth, flavour and truly represents the diversity of ingredients the region brings to the winter pantry.

“For this year’s Food Fest we really are drawing on the rich resources available to us as a North Devon based kitchen,” says Eliot. “We are genuinely excited about this menu, which combines the best that land and sea has to offer. Our selection of meat comes from local North Devon farms – including Exmoor raised beef – which have been handpicked for quality and high animal welfare standards. The menu also features items which make the most of game, with dishes bringing out the richness of venison and fowl. As for the fish, it doesn’t come much fresher than a catch caught by boats which set off from the town’s harbour!”

Vegetables come with local provenance too, many of them supplied from the Great Field in the village of Braunton, whose fertile ground has been worked since medieval times.  The Carlton Food Fest deals also include superb vegetarian options. Furthermore, explains Eliot, “Aside from vegetarian and gluten free dishes, The Brasserie kitchen has a ‘no fuss’ reputation for adapting its dishes to accommodate diners with allergies.”

A combination of two courses – chosen from starter, mains and dessert menu options – can be enjoyed for a special Exmoor Food Fest rate of £17.50 per person, a dinner deal that is available on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings throughout February and March (and as a lunchtime option by appointment). 

To make the most of this North Devon foodie event, serious diners will be seeking a place to rest those optimised senses (in addition to well filled stomachs!), and The Carlton provides accommodation in the form of first class en suite rooms that emanate style, convenience  and relaxing comfort. Contact The Carlton by phone or email to find out about great off-season room rates, and make the most of the 2021 Exmoor Food Fest experience.