Carry On up the Creber
One of the good things about living in the South West is that there are plenty of places to have an adventure, Foodie or standard, on your doorstep. I’ve lived in this part of the world and there are loads of places I still haven’t visited, mainly through my own laziness.
Last weekend, my girlfriend made a rare foray back down into Devon, and I decided to take her to Lydford Gorge. I’m good like that. After we’d spent three hours walking around the gorge we returned via Tavistock for some refreshment. While there we decided to get some stuff for a simple cheese supper.
We decided to pop into Crebers Deli for a few snacks and treats. And what a great little place it is – and not even that little. It is more of an emporium.
A Tavistock staple for 125 years it is less deli and more old-style food emporium. Wine and spirits, loose tea, sauces and jam, these are just a few of the delights we found there. It turns out my housemate has been going there for several years to stock up on Christmas presents. Nice of him to share the wealth.
The bit I enjoyed most, apart from what we bought, was the fact that the place did its own brand goods as well, which shows a certain amount of confidence in your own abilities and suppliers. These range from the easy to do, like chutnies and jam, to its own-brand sherry and port. Very 1908, in a good way.
After spending some time nosing around the shelves, we headed to the deli counter.
This boasted a good selection of cheeses from across the South West and beyond. I suggested a South West cheese selection to give me an excuse to write something and my girlfriend acquiesced. She’s good like that sometimes. It helps that she loves cheese as well.
We chose three cheeses; Devon blue, Sharpham brie from Totnes and a chunk of Cornish Yarg. It was a shame to leave others behind, Cornish goats cheese to name just one. But we had enough for two, as we also bought a little tub of olives to break the creaminess of the cheese.
The cheeses were an excellent cross section of tastes – the salty blue, the creamy brie and the smooth Yarg – which slipped down beautifully with a little cabernet sauvignon.
But what made it taste better was the fact that we’d bought it from a little(ish) sop in a little(ish) town which seems unlike many small businesses to be doing well. We didn’t spend a fortune, the cheese, olives and wine together came to £13, which is not bad in my book. And we hadn’t even had to go out of our way – we were heading through the town anyway, we were stopping anyway.
And that’s the key to what Foodies South West is trying to do. If you know where the right shops are, it is less of a chore to get to them, because you factor them into other journeys, treat them as part of the experience. That way you enjoy what you buy that little bit more.