Perfect Postal Presents from Devon Heaven Hampers

Every year we go for at least one holiday in Devon. To us Devon is a heaven on earth. With breathtaking scenery, gorgeous beaches, excellent country pubs, lovely walks and much, much more to be had, we struggle to find anywhere else to compare.

Two things have to happen when we visit Devon, firstly we have to have a cream tea (himself has it the Devonshire way, cream first, then jam. I have it Cornish style, jam first, then cream), and secondly we do a big Devon food shop, filling our car with local treats we can’t get at home.

When we first started visiting Devon 15 years ago, that would mainly be clotted cream, but that’s more available now. Hubs stocks up on local beers he can’t find in Manchester and top of my list is the best chilli jam in the world which you can only get in one tiny shop in Devon. Also on our list is fudge from Ilfracombe, Devonshire tea, homemade flapjacks, hard to find local cheeses and huge homemade scones. 

I’ve often lamented during the lean months in between our visits to Devon that it would be good to have some kind of food parcel service for people who yearn for some Westcountry fayre. I was thrilled to discover Devon Heaven Hampers who have a huge range of hampers filled with Devonshire goodies, many of which have won Taste of the West Great Taste awards for quality and general deliciousness! 

I’ve picked out three of my favourites from Devon Heaven Hampers

Devon Heaven Hampers
Classic Devon Food Basket

The Classic Devon Food Basket from Devon Heaven Hampers would make a fabulous Christmas gift. It’s a basket full gourmet food all locally sourced in Devon. The basket contains Georgie Porgie’s Puddings – Westcountry Cider and Apple Pudding and an Orange & Cointreau Pudding. Bags of Portlebay Popcorn and Burts Crisps, a bottle of Luscombe Organic Hot Ginger Beer, a jar of Onion & Pineapple flavour Devon Chutney from Otter Vale Products, Devonshire Clotted Cream Vanilla Fudge and some Willie’s Cacao – Milk of the Gods, all presented in a wicker basket. Priced at just £25 this would make an excellent present for someone.

Devon Heaven Hampers
Devon Cider Selection

For cider and scrumpy lovers, the Devon Cider Selection would be a treat. It costs just £28 and comes with free delivery. Cider lovers can enjoy a bottle of Jack Ratt Scrumpy in a traditional style flagon, a lovely bottle of Luscombe Organic Devon Cider, some Lyme Bay Sparkling Cider, and both Sandford Orchard Devon Red and Sandford Orchard Devon Mist. Cheers!

Devon Heaven Hampers
Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea by Post

Last, but by absolutely no means least – the Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea by Post. Decide for yourself and settle the long standing debate between Devon and Cornwall – are cream teas better with jam or cream on top? Not only can you decide which is best, but you can also taste the difference between Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream and Langage Farm Devonshire clotted cream!

This fantastic hamper contains 4 Devon scones, Langage Farm Devonshire clotted cream, Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream, a jar of strawberry jam and Devonshire Tea and Cornish Tea Sachets, all presented in a wicker gift basket and delivered free of charge. The Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea by Post hamper is £23 and is the perfect gift for those who can’t resist a cream tea or three!

I know what I’ll be asking Santa for this year!

For more information and to see their range of gift hampers, visit the Devon Heaven Hampers website.

Days Out: Steam Trains & Tea at Woody Bay Station

Team HodgePodgeDays are currently on holiday in North Devon. With it being a holiday I’d not planned to do any blogging, and only put finger to iPad (the modern day pen to paper) if I felt suitably inspired. It transpires that today has been one of those interesting, somewhat inspiring days.

It started off, a day like any other, being bounced on bodily by the small boy at some unearthly hour. A sneaky peek around the curtains revealed it to be an overcast morning and a fairly unpromising looking day weather wise. We quickly decided to go for one of our pre-selected wet weather days out. A good hours drive from the cottage to Woody Bay Station near Lynton to enjoy a few steam train rides.

We arrived mid morning and in time for the second departure of the day. Woody Bay is a really pretty station nestled in the hills between Barnstaple and Lynton. The mile long track was restored and opened to the public in 2004 and there are plans afoot to extend the track further and hopefully in time bring back the Barnstaple and Lynton line in its entirety.

We purchased our tickets (£7.50 for a ride-all-day adult ticket, and children under 5 travel for free – hurray!) and watched the train chug into Woody Bay Station. We hopped on board and found our wooden third class seats. Our tickets were clipped by the guard and off we chugged to Killington Lane Station. We could get off and enjoy a country walk, but we chose not to as we’d miss all the action.

At Killington Lane we all got out and watched the engine uncouple from the carriages, chug around and couple itself to the front of the train ready for the return journey. We hopped aboard and sped back to Woody Bay for lunch.

Lunch was a massive and very pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting much if I’m honest, so we just ordered sandwiches from the station tea room. I went for a Brie and cranberry panini which came with a pile of beautifully dressed, interesting salad. The small boy had a child’s ham sandwich and the bigger boy had a ham and cheese panini. Lunch was excellent and we said we’d be back just to eat there next time we passed.

North Devon: Cream Tea & Steam Trains at Woody Bay Station

We had another ride on the train and came back for pudding. As we were in Devon we each had a massive, still warm, freshly baked scone with some excellent strawberry jam and a generous dollop of clotted cream. Replete, we toured the station shop and came away with a little model train for the small boy. We had one last train ride and then full of excitement and clotted cream we set off home. The sun once more peeping through the clouds.

The small boy is obsessed with trains, so we go on these kinds of days out quite a lot. I’ve ridden my fair share of steam trains in the last few years. I’m by no means an expert, but I really liked Woody Bay Station. I liked the set up, the attention to detail and the quality of everything from the tickets, to the posters at the station to the sandwiches in the buffet.

I think you’d struggle to fill a full day here with a small child or two, but with lunch and a bit of a walk it’s a nice way to spend an afternoon. It’s not horrifyingly expensive either. We will be back.

More information about Woody Bay Station can be found on their website.

Click here to find out more fun things to do in Devon!