Despite being born in semi-rural Hampshire I’ve always been a city boy at heart, but I sometimes envy my brother’s idyllic location; a mere 5 minute walk away from open countryside in beautiful South Devon. I was visiting for his birthday and as he is close to the heart of the local farming industry, I thought what better place to find a fresh-from-the-field farm shop here.
Situated halfway between Paington and Brixham this warehouse type shop is overflowing with tempting fresh local produce including meat, organic vegetables, homemade preserves and more. The centre of the store featured an array of well presented fruit and vegetables, while along the walls were the preserves, ciders, beers, wines and chiller cabinets full of local cheeses and other dairy products from the lush pastures of South Hams. All along the back was the long butchers counter selling almost every type and cut of meat imaginable; pork, lamb, beef, chicken, goose, duck and even skinned rabbit.
First choice were two big tubs of Devon clotted cream for £2.45 each, raspberry jam (£3.49), along with a 2 litre flagon of farm cider (£6.99), some organic runner beans, an organic Cornish free range chicken (£10.89) and, best of all, six handmade venison sausages (£3.47), which the friendly and helpful staff kindly vacuum packed for the journey back to London. It was quite a haul and sated my innate, atavistic hunter-gather instincts.
The chicken was roasted back in London that evening stuffed with scored, slightly squeezed, lemons, garlic and tarragon and served with the steamed runner beans. This bird was succulent and full of flavour, far better than the pumped full of water supermarket fare and well worth the extra cost. Next day we had an afternoon cream team tea with fresh scones from our local bakers, Tregesser. The luscious cream simply melted on the tongue while the jam was exquisite and fruity and not overwhelmed with sugar like commercial preserves. In the evening I cooked up the venison sausages with a red wine and red onion gravy, and my signature creamy potato and cassava mash with a little chopped parsley. Each mouthful was a delight of rich gamey loveliness, swiftly followed by a mouthful of perfectly paired Roche Mazet Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 6% dry, refreshing cider, bursting with apple was swiftly consumed over the next few days .
In the urban splendour of the city we are lucky to have a few farmers markets close by at weekends. Although I love to visit Devon, I do miss the noise, the energy and infinite possibilities of new discoveries in the London sprawl. I’ll certainly go back again to Churston and it’s well worth a visit if you are down that way.You’ll be spoilt for choice.
Churston Traditional Farm Shop