Johns Deli, Instow

Johns Deli, Instow

John’s is a family business, started back in the 1940s. Now the baton’s been passed to the fourth generation.


Think baskets of bread freshly baked on the premises, shelves bulging with flavoursome, wholesome local products and a menu that reads like a Who’s Who of the Devon food scene and you’ll get an idea why John’s Deli and Cafe have been cleaning up in the food stakes. We couldn’t resist sampling a slice of the action.

Fresh greens and produce at John's Deli in Instow

John’s is a family business, started back in the 1940s. Now the baton’s been passed to the fourth generation and they’re clearly more than up to the task. The first store opened in Instow, on the bank of the River Torridge in north Devon. It’s still going strong today.

Across the water in Appledore is another deli, to which they added a cafe in 2012 – that went on to bag the Best Cafe award the following year. Hats off. The award-winning menu and burgeoning specials board cover a range of goodies including breakfasts and brunches, West Country platters and delectable sweet treats. So there’s temptation to cover every part of the day.

A range of cheese ready to buy at John's deli in Instow

Breakfast is one of the staples. Now, I have it on good authority that the quality of a fry-up should be judged on the merits of its sausages. Below par bacon can sneak under the radar if it’s cooked to a pleasing crispy-ness. But there’s no disguising a bad banger.

Of course, at John’s, with its uber local credentials, there isn’t a substandard sausage in sight. Sourced from Chinn’s of Crediton in south Devon, the bangers are bang on. Add to that West Country bacon rashers, local free range eggs, fresh mushrooms, oven baked tomato, toast and Cranfields marmalade and you’ve got yourself a breakfast of champions.

View from John's of Instow and Appledore over the water

Not forgetting a mug of Miles West Country tea, or – my personal favourite – coffee blended especially for John’s, roasted by Hawkins in Devon and freshly ground to order in the deli. If a good breakfast must stand up to the sausage test, in my book a good cafe must be up to the coffee test. When it comes to coffee there’s no room for mucking about. And John’s aced it again.

After something lighter? The home-baked crunchy granola with Stapleton farm yoghurt and fresh fruit is packed full of flavoursome goodness. And puts brownie points in the bank so you can indulge in some guilt-free purchases in the deli after breakfast.

Stock up on lip-smacking Devon produce for a slap up meal back at your Boutique bolthole or pack up a picnic – there’s plenty of great walking in the area. If you’re more of an ambler than a rambler the good news is the nearby Tarka Trail is built along the old railway line. Perfect to enjoy a stroll and a picnic jam-packed with John’s award-wining deliciousness.

View all our luxury cottages in Devon

Website | Marine Parade, Instow, North Devon, EX39 4HY | 01271 860310

Freshly baked goodies and delicious salads at John's of Instow

Sign up to receive our boutique stories…

Stay connected with retreat magic and be the first to know about our new additions. We promise to only fill your inbox with the dreamiest staycation stories and luxury travel moments.