With summer just round the corner, people are flocking to here, there and everywhere in search of sand, sun, and fantastic food. When looking for somewhere to go, don’t overlook the dining destinations on your doorstep. Connoisseurs of the cream tea, Devonshire folk are proud to produce some of the country’s finest clotted cream, which can be found in local fudge and ice cream. Great seafood, cheese, craft beer and cider are just a handful of the fruitful county’s wares, and the South Devon Chilli Farm even comes recommended by Jamie Oliver. So, book a stunning staycation in Devon this summer, and take note of our recommended foodie destinations before you go.
This legendary fresh pizza restaurant, now in its 30th year, has become something of an institution in South Devon. Incredibly, this place is open all day, every day, so it is an ideal spot to indulge in a cup of tea and a slice of carrot cake. Winners of a Taste of The West Gold Award – Pizza Restaurant of the Year 2015 – these pizzas are the main event and are made on-site and baked to order. Carefully chosen beer and wine complement the menu perfectly both in taste and price. There is something for everyone at this restaurant, so why not pop in and experience this incredible eatery.
Darts Farm is fortunate to be situated in a region rich in high-quality artisan foods, which allows the chefs to prepare fresh dishes every day. A glass of Devon apple juice or a bottle of locally produced wine and homemade cake with clotted cream let the good, basic ingredients speak for themselves, and may just give you a taste for all the wonderful food and drink available to purchase in the farm shop. For something totally unique, visit The Fish Shed, voted Best Fishmonger at the Devon Life Awards in 2011. All the fish is totally fresh, arriving straight off the boats each morning.
The Thatch is a wonderful traditional family-run pub that’s a hub for locals, holidaymakers, surfers and beach-goers. Croyde Bay is only a short walk away and The Thatch handily offers overnight accommodation. Be sure to check out the Medi platter to share, which comes with olives, spiced butternut squash hummus, sundried tomatoes, feta, cashew nuts and warm crusty bread or indulge in the delicious Wasantha’s Sri Lankan seafood curry, comprising red mullet and tiger prawns in coconut milk and various spices, accompanied by red lentil dahl, fragrant rice, and prawn crackers. A well-stocked bar boasts plenty of choice for washing down all that fine grub.
Set on a corner of Mullacott Cross, Cook Island is the gateway to the North Devon coast. A few minutes north and you’ll be at the beautiful harbour town of Ilfracombe, making Cook Island the perfect base for those exploring the beauty of the local area while on holiday. Offering an all-you-can-eat breakfast, a superb range of local ale and cider, and homemade meals, including a fabulous carvery, Cook Island is a one-stop culinary shop. On the menu is a gorgeous range of well-presented and generously portioned meals, including starters of mushrooms coated in crunchy golden breadcrumbs served with garlic dip, and traditional prawn cocktail with fresh seasonal salad.
Housed within House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey, The Old Pottery Restaurant boasts a fool-proof combination of home-cooked dishes, friendly service and a bustling atmosphere. Ingredients are sourced locally, wherever possible, and are utilised in dishes such as the famed fish and chips, which are battered in Teignworthy Ale, and homemade steak and stout pie, braised in award-winning Tavy Ales Porter. If stopping by for a casual lunch, visitors can opt for a light bite or go all out with a three-course affair. Choose from the selection of sandwiches or hot ciabatta, filled with the likes of bacon and West Country Brie with homemade red onion chutney.
Set within the Powderham Castle Estate, The Orangery Restaurant is a bright and breezy venue that’s the perfect meeting point, whether you’re a first-timer or returning fan. Locality is the name of the game here, as produce is carefully sourced from nearby suppliers and even the estate itself. Everything is made fresh, daily, and it really shows in the dishes. The venison sausages come from the estate and are served on creamy mash with red onion gravy. Enjoy the famed afternoon tea while seated on the sunny terrace, or enjoy a light lunch by the window and you may catch a glimpse of deer.
Set in the heart of rugged Dartmoor National Park, this 18th-century coaching house is a breathtaking foodie escape. Whether you’re staying in one of the 32 uniquely decorated bedrooms (dogs and families are welcome), or visiting for the day, the ample seating areas, cosy fireplaces and timeless interior offer a charming, traditional backdrop for enjoying the picturesque surroundings. The menu boasts many enticing starters including Sladesdown chicken served with quail’s egg and pancetta jam or spicy monkfish pakora with king prawn masala. Award-winning chef Mike Palmer’s creative flair and excellent use of local produce is particularly evident in the lamb rump, breaded shoulder and sautéed sweetbread with wild garlic jus.
To read about some of the other top restaurants in the local area, check out our Devon Food and Drink Guide. You can request a free copy or read it online: