Johns of Instow – Deli Food Review

There isn’t any bland beige food here – sausage rolls, pork pies and scotch eggs made with love are on the menu at the deli in Johns of Instow.

Why it’s on my list

I first discovered Johns of Instow at the North Devon Food Fest – they had a stall piled high with delicious looking food. Every time I have been to the festival I have been sorely tempted by their ‘beige’ food (sausage rolls, pork pies, scotch eggs, cheese twists etc.), but each time I have opted to try something from a different stall, and sadly I am not made of money so could not buy something from every stall I wanted to. Thanks to a Saturday of fine Devon sunshine, we took a recent trip to Instow and sought out the deli itself, the perfect opportunity to finally try some of their tasty morsels.

Shop Information


Location: Instow shop – Johns of Instow, Marine Parade, Instow. Appledore shop – Johns of Appledore, 7 The Quay, Appledore.

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 8am-7pm; Sunday 8am-6.30pm

Overall verdict

Johns offers everything I could want from a deli, and the ‘beige’ food that has tempted me so has proven to be well worth the wait.

Everything available at Johns is made in their own kitchens, or sourced from one of the 150 suppliers they support by showcasing local and artisan produce, which is pretty damn cool.

There are also Johns cafes in both Instow and Appledore, which are most definitely now on my ‘to visit’ list. Watch this space!

What I had

We only stopped for a small lunch as we were planning to have a big dinner later and definitely wanted to have a Hocking’s ice cream as well. I had a pork and apple scotch egg and my husband had a pork and apple sausage roll.

Scotch egg and sausage roll from Johns of Instow

The best

I only have two things to review here. When I pick a winner it’s not that the other was not good, frankly both the scotch egg and sausage roll were a delight. However, if I had to pick a winner it would be the sausage roll – it was meaty with scrummy little chunks of apple and it was a sizeable portion. Now this is a proper sausage roll – anyone who chooses Greggs over this must have shares in Greggs!

Sausage roll from Johns of Instow

Filling of sausage roll from Johns of Instow

Not the best

I literally have nothing to say here.

The venue

Inside Johns of Instow it is bright, cheerful, warm and inviting. The smell of freshly baked goods is divine.

Shop front Johns of Instow

Aside from the deli counters and the bakery part (which looked amazing) there are lots of shelves stocked plentifully with local produce. Local produce can be used as a bit of a buzzword, and frankly I find it quite meaningless sometimes, but when I saw the rows of chutneys, the bottles of lemonade, the packets of spice mix, the fresh vegetables on the shelves of Johns of Instow, local produce took on a new meaning for me. It’s homely, it’s real, it’s the kind of thing you want to share with other people who sadly don’t have a little piece of Devon in their daily lives.

Baked goods from Johns of Instow

Welcome cupboard in Johns of Instow

Alcoholic beverages in Johns of Instow

The cherry on top for me was the Otter Vale onion and pineapple Devon chutney – produced locally in East Devon. Any deli that doesn’t stock this on their shelves is not a true Devon deli to me. So of course Johns stocks a fantastic range of Otter Vale condiments.

Otter Vale Devon chutney - onion and pineapple

Top tip

Even if you’re just popping in for a sausage roll, take a moment to look around their shelves. You might just discover a little Devonshire delight!

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