Jaillan Yehia

Christmas Travel: Does Devon Have The UK’s Most Historic Mince Pies?

Written by Jaillan Yehia

historic mince pies

Munch on mince pies made with flour dating back to the Domesday Book

I travelled to Devon this December to discover the festive history behind the first Christmas card ever designed.

But while in the southerly English county, famous for its beautiful beaches and picture postcard villages, I discovered the area has another incredible – and edible  – Christmassy claim to fame.

Devon’s Otterton Mill is the producer of mince pies made at the oldest recorded bakery on the planet, making these the world’s most historic mince pies…

We Brits love a mince pie at Christmas – we eat an average of 5 per person over the festive season, and collectively we’ll put away 370 million mince pies this Christmas. A certain Mr Kipling makes 180 million of these.

historic mince pies

Historic mince pies ready for baking, at Otterton Mill

But at the very opposite end of the mince pie making scale are some unique and very special pies made at Devon’s Otterton Mill.

Delicious Devon

Delicious Devon = Delicious Mince Pies

This pretty cobblestoned cafe in the small village between Exmouth and Sidmouth, is perched on the River Otter – and the water mill here has been milling flour for over 1000 years.

historic mince pies

Otterton Mill

Home of the country’s most historic mince pies

The onsite artisan bakery has the honour of being the oldest bakery in Britain and is listed as the 18th oldest business in the entire world, as well as the single oldest recorded business in the UK.

historic mince pies

The Mill at Otterton

Historic mince pies

Historic flour to make historic mince pies

The mince pies here are made with traditional the wholemeal flour milled on site, and the production process itself is so popular the bakery produces a milling schedule so visitors can come and watch.

Baker Zac with one of the mill's wholemeal loaves

Baker Zac with one of the mill’s wholemeal loaves

So if you’re in the area, perhaps even staying at Orestone Manor, the home of the first Christmas card, and fancy a mince pie with a side order of history, why not come and try the world’s most historic mince pies.

historic mince pies

The finished product

And in case you didn’t know, British Christmas foods like these historic mince pies as well as our Christmas trifles, are famous all over the world…

 

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Comments (9)

  • Avatar

    Suzanne Jones - Travelbunny

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    The 18th oldest business in the world – that’s some claim to fame. I love a mince pie so if ever I’m down that way in the festive season I’ll be sure to drop by. This makes me wonder about the origin on mince pies and how long they’ve been part of the festive table.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jaillan Yehia

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      It is a pretty incr-edible claim to fame. Lol!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Lucy Dodsworth

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    Do love a good mince pie (five per person’s a major underestimation of my house, even my cat was breaking into a packet last night!) – will have to give these a try if I’m in Devon.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jaillan Yehia

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      It’s ok you can totes have my share as I don’t actually like any sweet Christmas food – mince pies, Christmas cake or Christmas pudding! *runs and hides* 🙂

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Travel w/ Penelope&Parker

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    Love this, I want to go there! What a great discovery! I bet these are worlds better than any we’ve tasted with all that practice!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jaillan Yehia

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      I have to confess as I don’t eat mince pies I just gorged myself on their scones, both savoury and sweet and they were genuinely the best I’ve ever tasted, and I have had a few in my time!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

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    Ok so I know Christmas is over and I’m supposed to be winding down my mince pie consumption but seriously, these looks absolutely amazing! I’d love to get to learn more about these in the name of cultural education (and eat a few dozen whilst I’m at it!)

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Jaillan Yehia

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      I definitely think you need to visit, purely in the name of research of course. They also have a rather dangerous arts and crafts shop just to warn you!

      Reply

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