The sun’s up, the surf’s up, and the kids are most definitely up and are clamouring loudly for food. Yes, the summer holidays are approaching, and with its rolling countryside, impressive moorland and stunning beaches, Devon is one of our favourite spots for a staycation. Our suggestions below take you on a whistle-stop tour from the north coast to the south, highlighting some of the area’s top eateries for a hearty breakfast – first thing, for the early risers, or all day, for those who’ve enjoyed a lie-in.
A local institution that has been serving beachgoers for over 50 years, the family-run Red Barn has retained a laid-back beachside vibe while catering to the discerning tastebuds of today’s customers. An extensive menu is available throughout the day, classic surfboards adorn the ceiling and live bands play on Friday nights. The Red Barn is the proud gatekeeper to one of Britain’s best beaches, making it the perfect spot to relax and refuel between building sandcastles or riding the waves.
The Old Thatched Barn, or The Thatch as it is known locally, is a wonderful traditional family-run pub that is a hub for locals, holidaymakers, surfers and beach-lovers. Croyde Bay is only a short walk away and The Thatch handily offers overnight accommodation, as do sister pub Billy Budds and the recently acquired Old Priory. The Thatch serves food every day from breakfast until 10pm, but be sure to book in advance, as it’s rightly very popular.
Situated in Burton Art Gallery & Museum in the centre of Bideford, overlooking Victoria Park, Café du Parc is an elegant, recently refurbished French café-crêperie run by French chef Joe Monterieux. Start the day with a savoury galette or sweet crêpe made before your very eyes and round it off with a glass of wine or French lager. On the first Friday of the month the café opens for the evening and offers a bistro-style experience with brilliant live music.
At Jolly Jacks the views are spectacular. Opportunely located on the nationally award-winning Mayflower Marina, the pub attracts diners from far and wide, and many visitors moor their boats next to the restaurant. Pop in during the morning for a tasty breakfast and freshly ground coffee, visit later in the day for traditional English classics and delicious fish dishes, or come on Sunday for the perfect roast.
A Dartmouth institution, Café Alf Resco on Lower Street has been the place to kick-start your day for the past 22 years. Open from 7am every day of the year, it’s popular with locals and visitors alike. There’s a relaxed feel to the café, and the rustic surroundings are ideal for chatting with family and friends or mulling over the morning papers. Puzzles and colouring books are provided for younger visitors. At the weekend you can enjoy the sound of live jazz and flamenco. For a unique stay, check out the rooms above the café with stunning river views.
Situated between the sandy beaches of Preston and Paignton, The Boathouse is family- and dog-friendly, and a perfect place to enjoy a snack before, during or after a day of seaside fun. It has an informal, laid-back feel, and a menu that will impress and satisfy in equal measure. Boasting stunning seaside views both outside and in, friendly service and a relaxed atmosphere, The Boathouse really does have it all.
The Old Pottery Restaurant is situated within House of Marbles, a popular attraction and shop in the creative market town of Bovey Tracey, otherwise known as the gateway to Dartmoor. The food is fresh and locally sourced, and is everything you would hope for from a charming market-town restaurant. Children will love the marble museum, adults will enjoy the glass-making demonstrations and everyone will love the varied food and the prompt, polite service at the Old Pottery Restaurant.
A trip to the lovely seaside town of Dawlish isn’t complete without a visit to Home Kitchen. After a stroll along the coast, following the historic Dawlish railway, why not stop in and refuel with a warming cappuccino and home-baked scone? This humble venue specialises in gluten-free food and offers a comprehensive menu of all-day breakfasts, hot and cold food, cream teas and hot drinks. The gluten-free chocolate cake, in particular, is well worth sampling.
Among its many accolades, Darts Farm has been awarded some of the most prestigious national industry awards. The extensive restaurant menu offers delights ranging from hearty all-day breakfasts and Darts Farm’s famous homemade lasagne to decadent afternoon teas, giving you a taste for all the wonderful food and drink available to purchase in the farm shop. Darts Farm also runs foodie events ranging from cookery demonstrations with local celebrity chefs to food safaris.
Sitting just off Seaton promenade, Pebbles Coffee House is a bright and spacious eatery with a relaxed atmosphere and wonderful views over Lyme Bay. Pebbles has a comfy sofa area where you can read a newspaper, chat over one of the great range of Segafredo coffees or join the weekday ‘knit and natter’ or ‘craft and card’ groups. Owners Carly and James have a passion for serving delicious food as well as great tea and coffee.