Passionate about Food (move this section to team/about us?)
Our food philosophy begins with owner Lucy, a true lover of food! Lucy grew up in remote Northwest Scotland in an idyllic and fairly self-sufficient lifestyle. Her early years are full of memories of hand-dived scallops, oysters and mackerel from the loch outside her childhood home, home-grown vegetables and even roadkill deer, expertly butchered by her father.
For many years before moving to Devon, Lucy’s passion for food and travel led her to jobs such as cooking in Scottish holiday houses, chalet hosting in the Alps, and finally leading walking & eating tours all over Italy.
When she and Alex took over at the Guardhouse in 2014, Lucy was determined to make the food something really special. Her philosophy of Seasonal, Local and Unusual food lies at the heart of all of our breakfast and lunch specials. At the same time we recognise that a lot of customers want more traditional cafe fayre – a bacon sandwich is still our top seller! So we combine the more adventurous specials menus with plenty of cafe favourites, whilst still making sure that these are as good as we can possibly make them.
It’s certainly not all about Lucy though. Over the years our kitchen team has grown into a wonderful, skilled group of chefs who are connected by a love of food. Each one brings their own experiences and inspirations – Emily’s Italian grandmother, Ashley’s love of curries, Sam’s baking abilities. The team as a whole is far more than the sum of their parts and, guided by head chef Stacey, deliver consistently high-quality home-made food which we hope is better than our customers expect from a nature reserve cafe.
We are very used to dealing with all kinds of dietary needs. From coeliac disease to a vegan diet please just ask us when we are taking your order – options should be available for everyone.
NB. This isn’t just for our breakfasts and lunches: our cake selection always includes some vegan and some gluten free options, we stock gluten free scones, and we offer Soya or Oat milk as dairy alternatives.
A flavour of what we offer
Seasonal home-made breakfast and lunch specials
Ideally I’d like to do this bit as a photo collage, and if it’s easy to do so, the kind where when you hover over one pic it grows and has a caption below it. Let me know if this is simple, I am open to other ways of presenting if you prefer – maybe use hover effects – see below.
Our baristas regularly introduce ‘special drinks’ to the menu. These three are turmeric, beetroot and matcha lattes – the turmeric and matcha proved so popular they are now on our regular menu.
Our soups are always home-made, always vegetarian and usually vegan. The chefs enjoy trying out different flavours depending on what vegetables are in season – this one is celeriac with hazelnuts and toasted sage leaves.
Brixham Crab Sandwiches – a regular feature of our menu in the summer months when local crab is in good supply.
Almost all of our food and drink is bought from local businesses. We sell Bay’s Beers from Paignton; Hunts Cider from Stoke Gabriel; Sausages from Newton Abbot; milk and cream from dairies in the South West. Our gluten-free brownies and incredible cakes are made for us by local customers. Our coffee is roasted in Ivybridge. By visiting the Guardhouse, you know that you will be supporting local businesses and local people.