Riverford Farm and Field Kitchen Restaurant, Buckfastleigh, Devon
Inspired by a visit to Alice Waters’ restaurant ‘Chez Panisse’ in San Francisco, farmer’s son Guy Watson, started growing organic veg on the family farm at Riverford in Devon in 1987. His restaurant – the Riverford Field Kitchen, is one of Britain’s best farm restaurants.
It’s worth travelling miles just to have Sunday lunch at the Riverford Field Kitchen – Riverford farm’s restaurant in Devon. It’s ideal for large gatherings of family or friends and offers the perfect combination of a hearty field to fork feast followed by lashings of fresh air and a farm walk. My advice – arrive with a big appetite and wear your best elasticated trousers. Come home with one of Riverford’s excellent cookbooks although it’s unlikely you’ll feel peckish later!The Foodie Travel Guide
- Eat in the Riverford Farm restaurant
- Watch the chefs in action
- Do the farm walk
- Take the guided farm tour
- Visit Riverford Farm shop nearby
- Veg masterclasses
Riverford Organic Farm
The Riverford box scheme began when Guy Watson started delivering vegetables locally to 30 friends in Devon. Now, working with farms across the country, it distributes nearly 50,000 boxes of seasonal, organic produce each week, including meat, to hungry households across the country with a box being packed every 3 seconds. If you’re visiting Devon, book a table at The Riverford Field Kitchen on Wash Farm in Buckfastleigh, to see the inspiring ways Riverford chefs cook their own vegetables.
Have a Riverford Farm Feast
It’s a friendly set up at the Field Kitchen, the Riverford Farm restaurant. You’ll be seated at communal farmhouse tables where the food is presented on large sharing platters so you can help yourself. Of course, vegetables are the star of the show on the daily set menu. Starters are imaginative – kale Caesar salad, roasted romanesco with cavolo nero pesto and almonds. Comforting veggie dishes – rosemary and garlic roast potatoes, roasted beets and Puy lentils, carrots with white cabbage and dukka, are served alongside a sturdy meat dish like beef blade with braised shallots. The home-baked puddings are a triumph and the good news is that you can choose two. Try the frangipane tart and the salted caramel chocolate cheesecake.
Enjoy a Local Tipple
Order local drinks to enjoy with your meal including organic red ale with blood oranges from the Atlantic Brewery, Ashridge cider or a bottle of Sharpham Estate, a citrusy white wine from Sharpham Vineyard in nearby Totnes.
Do The Farm Walk
At any time of year, you can top up your fresh air quota with a farm walk after lunch. It usually takes around 1.5 hours. Pick up a map and an MP3 player with audio from Riverford founder Guy Watson.
Take a Guided Tour Around The Farm
From April-October, you can take a guided tour around Wash Farm but also their farms in Peterborough and North Yorkshire (booking required). Learn about the history of Riverford and the Watson family and pick and taste produce straight from the ground whilst taking in countryside views and local wildlife.
Shop For Riverford Produce
Just a 4 minute drive away, you’ll find the Riverford Farm Shop at Staverton. There’s also another shop in the nearby town of Totnes, a town that’s steeped in history and home to a Norman castle. While you’re there, take a look at Butterwalk, a passageway which dates from Tudor times where dairy products were once sold.
- At Riverford Farm Restaurant, pre-booking is essential. There’s an alternative choice for vegetarians (although food allergies aren’t catered for)
- If you want to enjoy a pre-lunch drink, arrive early as all the tables are served at the same time
- Bring your wellies if you’re planning on doing the walk or you can borrow them at the farm
- Keep a look out on their website for details of special events such as ‘Fish Fridays’ and Master Veg classes held at several locations across the country
- Londoners can enjoy a taste of Riverford at the Duke of Cambridge Pub in Islington, London’s first and only certified organic pub
Freeze your vegetable peelings and use them to make stock for soup.
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WHERE TO STAY IN DEVON
Salcombe Harbour Hotel
On the waterfront, Salcombe Harbour Hotel offers a bistro style restaurant and spa.
Rooms from £104 a night.
Please check with the Riverford Field Kitchen.