If you love eating ﬁsh, why not come along to one of my Fish Lovers' Saturday Lunch Clubs?
I'm told they're one of North Devon's best-kept culinary secrets. We’re not food critics, but we enjoy getting together to celebrate all that it is best in local ﬁsh and seafood. It's always informal and friendly, so I look forward to welcoming you to our next lunch.
Click here to email me if you'd like to be kept in touch about dates and venues.
Contact me on 07970 932 566 or email dan@clovellyﬁsh.co.uk
I would appreciate it if you could make your payment at the time of booking. Please note that your reservation will only be confirmed when full payment is received. Please let me know at least a week in advance if you have to cancel to keep things running smoothly.
Important note! There will be a full late cancellation fee if you cancel with less than a week's notice.
Do please send me details of your name, postal address, telephone number and email address. Also, it would be very useful if you could let me know if you have any special dietary requirements such as gluten-free food or an allergy to mussels.
Welcome aboard! I look forward to meeting you.
Our Fish Lovers' Saturday Lunch Club visit to Yeoldon House. A review by Adam Hilton
Dan Garnett's latest fish lovers' lunch took place at the Yeoldon House Hotel and featured three food heroes, one drink hero and the peripatetic purveyor of perfectly fresh fish himself. We met among the over-stuffed armchairs of the Yeoldon's bar and watched the tide sliding up the Torridge while sipping our first glass of wine of the selection brought along by Ron Harris of Harbour Vintners.
Installed in the airy dining room, but not deprived of the view, our first course was provided by Dieter Wirtz' Plaistow Mills Trout Farm. We had four different kinds of preserved trout, of which the glory was the cold-smoked. This resembles the very best smoked salmon. But light as a feather mousse with Greek yoghurt hot smoked With dill? They were all good. Brian Steele, the much garlanded chef at Yeoldon, hardly had anything to do but had concocted a horseradish sauce to contrast with the trout flavours. And Ron Harris gave us a lovely Argentinian chardonnay (hints of melon!).
Then began the mussel fest proper. Until this season Dan's fish stall has been sadly lacking in mussels since the inspectors decided that there is still a risk of Taw mussels being contaminated by sewage from storm drains (Do something about it, please, please). But now he has a regular supplier in Barry Sessions who sends up mussels from the River Teign. (It would be good if he sent up his oysters too; apparently they normally all go to France.)
We had mussels three ways. First, on the half shell with a stuffing (garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs), then in a wonderful pungent soup with smoked haddock and saffron and finally we went up to a neat little kitchenette wheeled into the dining room to be served by Dan with newly opened mussels a la crème. Ron Harris gave us a Muscadet sur Lie to go with them. This is the wine that the French long ago taught me goes brilliantly with shellfish. Ron told us the best Muscadets spend a winter sitting with the remains of the grapes that the juice has been squeezed out of 'sur lie' and come from the Sevre et Maine department.
Brian Steele served us with a meltingly delicious Devon syllabub (content included a little cider brandy?) to de-fishify our palettes before Derek Stratton, who runs the cheese shop in the Arcade at Holsworthy, took us on a verbal and gustatory tour of the very best Devon cheese makers. To complement the cheeses we drank a Californian Zinfandel. Now, I would rather give my wine money to my fellow Europeans or to New Worlders less rich than Californians but that didn't make the wine any less delicious.
It was another triumphant fish-lovers' indulgence, with a lot of ideas about where to buy and how to cook. Wham bam, thank you Dan (and assorted heroes).