We love to find new foodie destinations to enjoy, especially when there’s the potential to bring home some tasty local produce in the process. So, when we received an email from Janice (of the Railway Blogger) telling us we simply must pay Vanilla Sky Café and Delicatessen a visit, we just couldn’t say no!
It would be fair to say that Budleigh Salterton had somewhat dropped off our radar in recent years. Despite boasting a fantastic beach – and some pretty great ice-cream – this sleepy seaside town hasn’t offered up much in terms of foodie offerings for a while. But it would seem that the tide is changing.. Now, Budleigh is home to a number of respectable eateries, including Bowmers and Earls Coffee to name a few. So as we were walking through the door of Vanilla Sky, we were excited to find out what it would bring to the reemerging foodie scene.
Despite visiting on a Friday afternoon, the colourfully decorated deli was buzzing with activity and we were glad that we’d booked a table. There’s limited seating, because the extensive deli counter and shelving take up a fair amount of space, but judging by the amount of regular customers inside, the food was clearly good enough to make a potential wait worthwhile!
Keen to see what sort of lunchtime offerings they had, we made a beeline straight for the deli counter. This was piled high with tempting food, from light salads to mini quiches, fresh cheese, chilled local wine and dozens of homemade cakes. Owners Nick and Clare endeavour to make everything fresh and by hand where possible and you can really feel their committed to quality when you browse the selection on offer.
Spoilt for choice – and not sure where to start – Clare suggested that we mix and match a few nibbles. I presently opted for the very popular Crab Quiche and took Nick’s recommendation of a side of Cauliflower Couscous as well as a light Tomato & Fennel Salad. Meanwhile, Collette asked for them to ‘surprise her’ and was served a plate containing homemade coleslaw, a trio of baked figs with Dorset Blue Vinney cheese & honey, crostini’s, couscous, and roasted peppers.
My quiche was well presented and had a wonderful flavour of crab along with a subtle hint of citrus. I thought it’s size was just right – as it was manageable yet filling – and the accompanying balsamic glaze was pleasant. My cauliflower couscous was a nice change from the ordinary and I thought the texture was great. Likewise, I’d love the recipe for that tomato salad because it was light and flavourful. Overall, it was a very satisfying lunch.
I also couldn’t help but try everything on Collette’s plate too and I can honestly say that the trio of figs were delicious. They went perfectly with that crispy crostini and all of the elements on her plate were well balanced and well made. In fact, some of them were so good, we ended buying extras and taking them home!
The temptation to get dessert proved too much for both of us, and I also opted to sample their Tart of the Day (which was frangipane & fig) along with some vanilla ice-cream. Again, this was just the right size and the pastry was spot on.
Nick makes a wonderful fruit pavlova and Collette enjoyed a slice along with some fresh strawberries and peach slices. The meringue was lightly crisp on the outside, and gooey on the inside. She thought it was the perfect end to her lunch, as it was not overly sweet.
We were somewhat taken aback by what Vanilla Sky has to offer. Nick and Clare are fantastic hosts and they clearly know what their customers want. With homemade savoury and sweet delights available to eat in or take home, I would wholeheartedly recommend popping in when you get the chance. They cater for vegetarians, vegans and individuals who are gluten free; so there really is something for everyone. At Christmas I’d imagine their deli would be fabulous for sourcing local foodie gifts and during summer you can’t go wrong with one of their light lunches.
Overall, I was very impressed indeed. Vanilla Sky deserve all the success that comes their way!