Fremington Quay Cafe is a wonderful place for a pit stop if you’re making the most of the Tarka Trail, or if you just fancy a spot of tea and cake. Or if you’re after an exceptional Sunday lunch.
Why it’s on my list
When I was growing up there was nothing much at Fremington Quay, except an old, disused signal box from when the railway line carried on past Barnstaple and Fremington Quay was a bustling port. That signal box has since been expanded and become the Fremington Quay Cafe, which is popular with friends and family alike. There are lots of benches where you can enjoy lunch or cake with a cuppa outside, so on a sunny day my husband persuaded me to extend our walk around the area, with the promise of a trip to Fremington Quay Cafe being my motivational carrot on a stick.
Location: Fremington Quay
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm; Saturday to Sunday, 9am-5pm
To book: They do not take bookings, just turn up.
Fremington Quay Cafe is an absolute delight. When we went for cups of tea, coffee and a sweet treat, both of our choices were delicious, and not sickly sweet, which can so often be the case with some places – not here. Their tea selection was also to my liking, they had red bush, which is my favourite. Coupled with a lovely view too and the warm sunshine, there was no place I would rather have been.
And on a return visit during the winter months I discovered the joy of their Sunday lunches – which has inspired me to make a ‘best Sunday lunches in North Devon’ list. Watch this space.
What I had
I enjoyed a caramel shortbread and red bush tea.
My husband had a slice of Malteser cake and a cappuccino.
On a second visit for Sunday lunch I had roast lamb with onion gravy and the husband had roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. I have seen chicken on their roast dinner menu before.
My caramel shortbread was AMAZING, it was one of the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had more than I would care to admit. The shortbread was crumbly, and the proportions of shortbread to caramel to chocolate were spot on. And the circular shape? Love it – there’s more surface area and so I can savour it for longer.
They also offer breakfast until 11am, soup, baguettes and jacket potatoes, and a roast on Sundays during the winter season. I think I will be returning for a roast!
…which I have now done and my goodness was it spectacular. It came with plenty of vegetables (roast potatoes, roast parsnips, carrots, broccoli, swede mash, and cauliflower and leeks in cheese sauce) and the meat was absolutely delicious.
I am starting to like lamb after a bad experience many years ago, and I seriously think this roast could turn an on-the-fencer to a believer. It was perfectly cooked and plentiful in supply, paired well with the onion gravy, gravy gravy and mint sauce.
Not the best
When we had tea and cake it was a windy day and I didn’t have a hairband to tie back my hair, so I suffered with a classic case of biting down on food plus hair. But we couldn’t not sit outside on such a beautiful day. Moral of the story is to always bring a hairband, if you have long hair that is.
Fremington Quay is a beautiful spot, with the Taw estuary spread out serenely in front of you and Chivenor airfield in the distance. As it is right by the Tarka Trail, there are often people enjoying themselves on a walk or cycle ride, and plenty who stop for a bit of refreshment at the cafe or a picnic on the grass. So there is plenty to see when you sit outside.
Inside it is bright and airy, and it has a log burner, so it’s nice and cosy in the winter too. And when it’s raining outside it is extra snug!
On a sunny day do sit outside if you can, it’s such a lovely place to be.
As for the day we had the roast dinner, be warned, it can get busy. We got a table no problem, but the last free table for a little while it seemed. Not surprising when it’s that tasty, be patient, it is worth any waiting you may encounter.