The Bistro, Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne

Comfort food in a comfortable environment is Katy Hanley’s verdict on this welcoming venue

Restaurant Review

Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne is a charitable trust helping disadvantaged youngsters as they make the transition to adulthood. Its popular Bistro is set in the old Seale-Hayne College outside Newton Abbot, around a quadrangle of lawn (with a lone plastic sheep grazing on it – typical of the quirky, arty touches this place specialises in). 

Various classes are held during the day, along with an art exhibition, a gift shop, recording studios, an outdoor pursuits centre and a café. In the evening this café turns into a bistro with plenty of homemade goodies on offer. 

The Bistro is a panelled room with candles on each table and original artworks and photos dotted around. The deep-red silk curtains at the windows made it feel cosy and the atmosphere felt alive but not crowded. The sofas would be a great spot to relax with a coffee and a slice of tempting cake during the day. There are also two very cute child-size mini armchairs.

The specials board and the menu had some tempting dishes. My husband chose the game terrine, while I chose prawns to start. Mine was served with noodles and broth, which was warming and aromatic, and the fresh slices of chilli and spring onion were welcome additions. The terrine was superb – a large piece that was crammed with pistachios, pork, pigeon, venison, pheasant, wrapped in smoked bacon and served with two slices of onion-topped focaccia bread, tangy chutney and a side salad.  

I chose a vegetarian main course: a large croquette of potato, cheese, mustard and leeks, presented on a bed of cabbage and celeriac, with a red wine sauce. It was fresh, homemade and succulent. My husband enjoyed a well-made, moreish pork and thyme casserole.

For dessert, he had the apple, sultana and cranberry crumble served with ice cream. Although we thought the cranberries an unusual addition, their flavour married well. I couldn’t resist having a slice of the Victoria sponge cake for my dessert – the cakes were arranged on the bar close by and had tempted me all evening. 

We shared a bottle of Rioja – a young wine, but tasty. They also had a local Sharpham wine on the list. It’s worth noting that throughout March diners can have a two-course lunch or supper for just £9.95 per person on selected dishes.

Many people describe Hannah’s as the sort of place that grabs you and wraps its arms around you. I heartily agree!

On The Menu

  • Gravadlax of salmon
  • Griddled king prawns with miso broth and noodles
  • Hannah's Brunch Grill, with butchers' sausages, smoked bacon, black pudding, hogs pudding, tomato, chestnut mushrooms, poached egg and sauté potatoes
  • Butterfly griddled chicken with coconut, onion, spinach and rice
  • Chocolate pavé with chestnut cream
  • Langage Farm ice cream

Prices

  • Starters from £3.95
  • Mains from £8.95
  • Desserts from £3.50
The Bistro, Hannah’s at Seale-Hayne
Newton Abbot
Howton Lane
TQ12 6NQ
01626 325800
www.discoverhannahs.org
Katy Hanley

Published 1 March 2015

You may also be interested in…

Restaurant Review

Home Farm Café

Karen Perrow savours this popular eatery's rustic charm and flavoursome food

Read more…

Restaurant Review

Lewtrenchard Manor, Okehampton

Sue Cade is impressed by flawless cooking

Read more…

Restaurant Review

The Berry Head Hotel, Brixham

Katy Hanley samples a Sunday roast carvery at this traditional hotel

Read more…

Restaurant Review

The Thatched Cottage, Kingsteignton

Karen Perrow experiences exceptional cooking at this popular restaurant

Read more…

Restaurant Review

Bushell’s Upper Deck Restaurant, Dartmouth

Katy Hanley enjoys well-cooked food at this new restaurant – and advises you to leave room for dessert!

Read more…

Restaurant Review

The Royal Oak, Meavy

This pub delivers deliciousness in Dartmoor surroundings, says Katy Hanley

Read more…

View the archive