The idea for La Petite Bouchée came about after Caroline and I bought Demelza our vintage Citroen HY camper van. She was destined for other things, cooking demonstrations and festivals as part of our other business at the time Heaven Preserve Us. I always have my best ( or craziest ) ideas in the middle of the night or in the shower.
This time the idea came at 3am and I had a very different vision for Demelza. I saw seafood, mussels and champagne on a red checked table cloth with mussel pots and bowls of frites. I woke Caroline up and we discussed the idea and to my amazement she thought it was a great idea. It was Caroline who named her La Petite Bouchée ( the small mouthful/bite), by the morning we had a logo, a website and social media accounts. Being an ex Publisher specialising in sales and Marketing does have it’s benefits !
We launched on August 8th in a huge cloud burst, we were soaked getting our camp kitchen set up, the generator was deafening, so we ditched it, meaning we had no power or light and I cooked fries in a large pan of oil on a camping gas stove. The customers loved it. Over the course of the next 3 years we expanded our offering and increased our covers, We never replaced the generator, we were simply inventive and innovative. As our reputation spread across London we did residencies and pop ups and built a fantastic reputation offering the finest ingredients sourced from our local food market in Crystal Palace.
In November 2016, we made the decision to leave London. We took a big risk moving us and our business lock, stock and barrel to the middle of nowhere in the North/Mid Devon borders. We arrived in February 2017 and opened our doors on May 5th 2017. We have spent the past two and a half years building our reputation again, this time to a very different clientele and we’ve been spoilt rotten with the wonderful produce around us. One thing that hasn’t changed is our promise to source ingredients responsibly and locally, neither has our policy on waste. We review our environmental policy on a monthly basis ensuring that keep waste to a minimum. We are also the only carbon free certified restaurant in the whole of Exmor and North Devon.
The other thing that hasn’t changed are the awards we’ve consistently won over the past two and a half years from Food and Drink Devon ( Finalists, Best Bistro, Devon 2017) Devon Life ( Runners Up Best Newcomer 2017) Taste of The West Gold Award, Best Restaurant ( 2017, 2018, 2019) Finalist Best Restaurant ( 2019) Devon Tourism Award Finalist Best Restaurant ( 2019) * *Award to be announced. Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence ( 2019)
You can expect a very warm welcome from La Petite Bouchée and during the Exmoor Food Festival we’ll have two menus running side by side giving you a real taste of France using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. We look forward to welcoming you.