Sally Webb lists her must-try Devon eateries…
Once you’ve got over the simply stunning grounds and the grandeur of this Elizabethan manor house, explore the exquisite à la carte and eight-course tasting menus. With two Michelin stars, among a host of other accolades, Michael Caines MBE’s Gidleigh is one of the country’s most highly decorated restaurants – and rightly so.
You’ve seen them on the telly, now experience their style of cooking firsthand at Tanners in Plymouth. Brothers Chris and James have ploughed all their talents into turning this former priests’ lodging house into the home of such dishes as whole lemon sole with brown shrimps, capers, beurrenoisette and samphire – yum.
River Cottage Canteen & Deli
Two recommendations for the price of one, River Cottage Canteens are found in Axminster and Plymouth. Spreading the River Cottage ethos of eating local, wild, organic, ethical, sustainableand, of course, delicious food, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Canteens are casual and accessible. Make sure you visit the deli on your way out.
The Cary Arms
Blending the charm and friendliness of your local pub with the trappings of a luxury boutique hotel, The Cary Arms serves up wonderful views of Babbacombe Beach with superbly put together gastropub classics, which proffer a daily nod to the fruits of the sea.
The Owl and the Pussycat
It’s quirky and we love it. Bags of character and equal amounts of fab food, Teignmouth’s The Owl and the Pussycat will have you excitedly grabbing your runcible spoon.
The most romantic of settings, historicsplendour and a dining experience to match, Combe House is a fairytale destination, complete with free-roaming wild ponies and untamed countryside. Produce is fresh as can be, from the hotel’s own gardens; and the resulting cuisine? As breathtaking as the views.
The Tower Inn
Idyllic village setting, proper pub food and good beer – ‘nough said.
The Riverford Field Kitchen
Pull up a bench and tuck in. The informal serve-yourself nature of this restaurant creates a kind of wholesome country kitchen feel that complements the food exactly. Each table gets a selection of wildly exciting vegetable dishes made using Riverford Farm’s own produce, as well a meat dish that will impress no end.
Darts Farm Restaurant & The Fish Shed
A veritable Aladdin’s cave of produce grown, brewed, fished, picked, cultivated, harvested and reared in Devonshire, Darts Farm is the place to buy, eat and generally explore the foodie wonder of this stunning county.
The Horn of Plenty
With an outlook over the Tamar Valley which will make you question the need to ever leave our green and pleasant land, the Horn of Plenty offers escapism and fine food in one perfectly presented package. Seasonally driven and made up of excellent Devonshire ingredients, the menu is a credit to head chef Scott Paton.
The more informal of the Tanner brothers’ restaurants, the funky Barbican Kitchen is housed in the Plymouth Gin Distillery and matches value for money with a darn fine feed.
Ring of Bells Inn
Looking like every pub-lover’s dream, this thatched 15th-Century pub in North Bovey comes complete with open fires, friendly staff, local ales and a menu that demonstrates an appreciation of the traditional as well as the contemporary. Bring the whole family – well-behaved pooches are invited too.
Where have we missed? Recommend your favourite Devonshire tearoom, bistro, pub or restaurant.