I was lucky enough to be a guest at The Ginger Peanut recently. Describing itself as a “restaurant and bar with rooms”, it offers fine locally sourced food in a relaxed environment. You will find The Ginger Peanut in Bampton. A small but charming town a short drive from Tiverton.
For me being car-less I wasn’t held back. Regular Stagecoach buses will take you from Exeter to Tiverton with a smaller Dartline bus taking you right outside The Ginger Peanut. The journey was easy and the surrounding Mid Devon scenery on route was stunning. Buses don’t run on Sundays but local taxi firms will happily take you back to Tiverton Bus Station or Tiverton Parkway Railway Station.
I arrived mid-afternoon with my travel companion, Steve. Greeted with a smile by Clare we were given a short tour of the communal areas and then shown our room to get ourselves settled in. Our home from home for the night was ‘Grouse’, One of the 5 boutique bedrooms available. Our room was delightfully decorated in a soft colour palette of greys and greens with soft furnishings to match. Our bed was a 5ft luxury King and very comfortable.
Our room was village facing which in itself was not a problem but on one of the hottest weekends in recent history having the windows open meant that every car that went passed reverberated into our bedroom. The Ginger Peanut doesn’t have air conditioning but portable fans are available on request. Tea and coffee facilities aren’t available in the room but a well stocked snacks station is located in the corridor. Sweets, crisps, teas and a Nespresso coffee machine are available for use whenever you desire. A fridge stocked with fresh milks and almond milk for those who are dairy free is on hand too. Within the room a large bottle of water is on hand to quench your thirst plus homemade shortbread to have alongside your afternoon cuppa.
After making use of the powerful en-suite shower room and freshening up after our journey we headed down to the bar. Fellow residents and locals alike propped up the bar alongside us. A great way to start our staycation. We got chatting to a couple who live locally about the menu and they gave us their favourites which in turn helped us with our choices later on.
The bar area is attached to the restaurant but doesn’t feel claustrophobic. The high chairs at the bar enable conversation with the staff which I enjoyed. I got chatting to Clare again about English wines. The wine list at The Ginger Peanut seemed quite generic. The usual Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay choices for a white wine girl like myself. I wondered why an establishment promoting fine local produce didn’t offer an English wine to have alongside? After all, what grows together, goes together. Isn’t that right? There are so many fabulous vineyards less than an hours drive away from The Ginger Peanut’s front door like Dalwood and Sharpham Vineyards. Hopefully, I have planted the seed for change here.
After discussion, I opted for a white Rioja and Steve had their draft IPA. We sat at the bar whilst perusing the menu. I liked the option to order our menu choices at the bar with our waitress coming to seat us at our table as the first course was ready.
Steve and I decided to share a starter. A delicious oriental tuna salad with a honey, soy and lime emulsion. The tuna was seared and beautifully pink inside and the dressing was a perfect accompaniment in flavour.
My main course was “The Catch Of The Day”. Crab arancini with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and a tomato sauce. The crispness of the arancini on the outside and the softness of the filling was perfect. The flavours in this dish were exceptional and I would certainly recommend. Steve’s choice was from the main menu. Scallops and pork belly duo with toasted sesame seeds, summer vegetable broth and sautéed potatoes. The scallops were cooked beautifully and the pork fell apart on cutting. Another fine dish.
Once again we opted to share when it came to our dessert choice. The Pimm’s Jelly was our choice. We wanted something light after our main course to satisfy our sweet tooth. The soft set jelly filled with fruit was rather delicious. Perhaps not a choice I would have normally made but with it being so hot appetites are suppressed. I for one was impressed.
Both Steve and I are cheese lovers and with a cheese plate promising local cheeses we couldn’t refuse. Again opting to share we asked for it to come later so we could enjoy our drinks, conversation and let our meals digest. When it did arrive there was a good selection of cheeses. My favourite being a rather stinky cheese from Wales called Celtic Promise. For many I think the cheese to cracker ratio might have been an issue. Four large-ish pieces of cheese with one cracker per piece suited Steve and me just fine. We are all about the cheeses but I should imagine others might find there might not be enough.
After supper, we took ourselves out for a walk around the beautiful town. It was the day before Bampton in Bloom so the towns hanging baskets and gardens were looking particularly resplendent. Bampton has a selection of pubs, cafes and local shops so either a mid-week or weekend stay would leave you with plenty to do.
From our walk we took ourselves back to our room in preparation for sleep. Our bed was comfy with just the right count of duvet. We found it difficult initially to get to sleep due to the music from the bar and restaurant below vibrating through the metal radiator. I never travel without earplugs so once I was “plugged in” a good nights sleep was had.
Breakfast is in the main restaurant with cereals and juices available to help yourself followed by a cooked breakfast. Steve opted for the full English and I went for something a little lighter with poached eggs on toast. There is no menu to choose from. You just request your preferences. My eggs were cooked to perfection and Steve’s breakfast was full of everything you would expect (and more!) from a full English.
With Tiverton Parkway train station and Tiverton Bus Station a short taxi journey away (you will pay approximately £15 for this service) it’s an ideal place to visit for those looking to get away for a weekend just like Steve and myself.
For booking details check out their website.
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post and all views are my own as always.