We don’t need to tell you that the South West’s seafood is some of the best in the world, but what you may be intrigued to hear is that it’s in September, when the summer gets its act together for a final hurrah, that the local fishermen’s haul is at its bountiful best
With a kitchen surrounded by rolling Devon countryside, it’s no surprise that head chef Ashley Wright’s inspiration sprouts from the local produce grown across the Tamar Valley, in which The Horn of Plenty sits. And it’s in September, when his trusty suppliers at Brixham and Newlyn fish markets are swimming in piscatorial prizes, that the bold young chef combines seasonal fair and the fishermen’s catch for a very special menu.
‘September is the perfect time to make the most of local seafood,’ says Ashley. ‘Smoother fishing conditions at this time of year ensure a more consistent supply of quality seafood to the kitchen, and the good weather means bigger fish and more varieties to choose from.’
Available throughout the month, alongside The Horn of Plenty’s table d’hote offering, the bespoke menu will feature local lobster, crab and sea bass among other fishy fancies. ‘Seasonality is at the heart of each dish,’ explains Ashley, ‘so I start with one ingredient and pair it with something classic. Take the mackerel starter: I match mackerel with fennel, then play with flavours that will go with the fennel such as orange. Depending on what’s needed, next comes colour and texture, and in this case it’s watermelon. The result is a deliciously light and simple plate of food.’
Appetite whetted? The Horn of Plenty’s seafood menu is available as three courses at lunch or as a four-course dinner. If you really want to push the boat out, book one of the beautiful rooms at this scenic country house for a late summer break.