Sidmouth restaurant expands offering with relaxed take on fine dining

PUBLISHED: 06:45 02 February 2018

Stewart Fraser crafting a cake at the Clock Tower Restaurant and Cakery

Stewart Fraser crafting a cake at the Clock Tower Restaurant and Cakery

Copyright: Bruce Thomas

A family-run Connaught Gardens eatery famed for its cakes reopens its doors today (Friday) after a refurbishment with promises of something 'new and thrilling'.

Breaded scallops with pork scratchings, mango coulis and baby leek - one of the new fine dining menu items at the Clock TowerBreaded scallops with pork scratchings, mango coulis and baby leek - one of the new fine dining menu items at the Clock Tower

The Clock Tower Cakery and Restaurant will continue to offer lovingly prepared meals and cakes throughout the day and in the evenings there will be a relaxed take on fine dining.

There will be a new head chef, Yves – whose identity is currently a closely guarded secret – preparing locally sourced produce to the ‘highest possible professional standards’ to be served in the ‘stunning’ surroundings.

Stewart Fraser, whose family has owned and run the business for 28 years, said: “We’re really passionate about our family-run business and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone when we open again. The cakery will be the same, but better.

“Our new restaurant will really be something a bit special. It’s an exciting time for Sidmouth and East Devon!”

The Frasers have worked hard during January to rejuvenate, refresh and recharge the premises.

Plumbing and electrics have been updated, fresh paint applied, new crockery and glassware brought in, and new counters have been installed along with heating and music.

“It’s a whole lot more user-friendly and will help with the large queues we often get,” said Justine Fraser.

“The flow in The Cakery will go around the other way, making it a whole lot quicker and better, and everyone be able to see the cakes now instead of a queue of people standing in front of them!”

The Clock Tower was originally a 17th century lime kiln, with lime being brought on to the beach and then up the hill by donkey.

The gardens were opened to the public in 1934 and, due to their important strategic position overlooking the sea and Jurassic coastline, they played a crucial role defending the south coast during World War Two.

Since 1991, the Grade II listed building has been painstakingly restored to include the necessary, structural alterations and improvements evident today.

Throughout all of these dramatic works, the Frasers say they have ensured that the iconic tower has retained its integrity and beauty, whilst providing a sensational setting for all to enjoy.

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