Shepherd's pies put Ilfracombe cafe on the map
SHEPHERD S pies have been flying out of the doors of Combe Cottage Restaurant and Caf� in Ilfracombe after renowned food writer and critic Tom Parker Bowles ranked it as perfection on a plate. In his Mail on Sunday article, the son of the Duchess of Cor
SHEPHERD'S pies have been flying out of the doors of Combe Cottage Restaurant and Caf� in Ilfracombe after renowned food writer and critic Tom Parker Bowles ranked it as "perfection on a plate."
In his Mail on Sunday article, the son of the Duchess of Cornwall and staunch champion of British food held up the restaurant in Ilfracombe High Street as one of three places where the perfect shepherd's or cottage pie could be found.
The first owners Paul Warren and Kate Wortley knew of his ringing endorsement was when Paul's grandmother called to say she had seen the article.
This was shortly followed by customers who had also read it and were eager to order the mince and potato dish (shepherd's pie is traditionally created using lamb mince, while cottage pieis made from beef.)
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Tom's verdict was: "Ilfracombe is known more for its cliffs and beaches than its bistro culture, but hidden among the chippies and overpriced tourist traps is a welcome pocket of sophistication.
"The Combe Cottage restaurant's shepherd's pie is homely and filling, with locally-sourced beef topped with a surprisingly good cheese mash."
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With a busy summer at the lunchtime caf� and evening bistro have seen little time to read newspapers, so this came as a welcome surprise:
"We had a phone call some weeks ago from someone asking if we did cottage pie, but then thought no more about it," said experienced chef Kate.
"People definitely came in on the back of that fantastic review, with many asking for shepherds or cottage pie.
"It's been a cold summer and the extra demand for dishes such as shepherd's pie definitely turned out well for us."
Combe Cottage is one of, if not the, oldest cafes in Ilfracombe, dating back some 70 years. Kate and Paul took it over in 2005 and completely refurbished it.