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Dine and Stay

Good food and a place to stay – what more do you need? Chrissy Harris rounds up some of Devon’s best dining destinations with rooms

Larkbeare Grange

Larkbeare Grange, Talaton

This beautiful country house (main picture) offers a luxurious and sustainable B&B retreat with four double en-suite bedrooms.

Food plays a big part here. The team work hard growing various fruits, making marmalade, jams and yoghurt, and baking bread, biscuits and scones. Breakfast includes seasonal fruits, cooked breakfasts and homemade bread. Any ingredients that are not grown and made at Larkbeare are sourced locally.

Sustainability is key. There’s a solar-powered EV charger, fossil-free heating and lighting, photovoltaic solar panels and a wood-burning biomass boiler. The business is committed to extensive recycling, and the toiletries and cleaning products used here are kind to the environment too.

larkbeare.net

Millbrook Inn, South Pool

Choose between The Land and The Sea for a peaceful night’s rest. These two tastefully appointed cottages are a recent addition to the Millbrook Inn’s dining experience. This highly regarded pub is a go-to spot for locals and holidaymakers looking for good food, local ale and a nice view over the Salcombe/Kingsbridge estuary.

The family farm (Fowlescombe Farm) supplies high-welfare organic, rare and heritage breed beef, lamb and pork, as well as organic veg for the kitchen.

On Sundays, there are traditional roast dinners and live music by local performers, and during the summer months, lunch is served from an outside grill (from Wednesday to Saturday and evening high tides).

millbrookinnsouthpool.co.uk

The Olive Well, Cullompton

This place has been a most welcome addition to this mid-Devon town. Run by experienced chef and local Robert Phillips, this restaurant with rooms opened in October 2021 and has gone from strength to strength. It does simple food – like pizza, pasta and roasts – very well, served in an intimate, 14-table restaurant.

If you fancy making a weekend of it, there are seven comfortable rooms to choose from, and guests can enjoy homemade breakfast in the restaurant.

theolivewell.com

The Old Smithy. The Collective at Woolsery, near Bideford

The Collective at Woolsery, near Bideford

Tech entrepreneurs Michael and Xochi Birch have created a foodie haven in this little out-of-the-way village in the wilds of north Devon. Woolsery is Michael’s family home – his great-great-grandparents built the village shop, his grandmother was born above it, and other relatives still live here.

The Farmers Arms pub is the outlet for the seasonal produce, which is grown and reared on nearby Birch Farm – also run by The Collective. British classics are taken to the next level in the pub but still retain their rustic charm.

Near the back of the pub is some pretty smart accommodation, also part of The Collective’s portfolio. The Old Smithy is a stylishly renovated cottage. It features a private bathroom with a walk-in rain shower, wood burner and a free-standing tub.

A secret door from the garden leads through to the back of The Farmers Arms. The perfect set-up.

woolsery.com

Lewtrenchard Manor, near Okehampton

Family-run, right on the edge of Dartmoor and with a fascinating history dating back to the 1600s, Lewtrenchard is a feast for the soul.

My Midlands-based in-laws love a good foodie pit stop on the way down to visit us in Devon and regularly check in here for a night or two. Food is local, with the kitchen garden providing a harvest of homegrown produce. Meat and game come from within a five-mile radius. 

The rooms are a clever blend of comfort and old-school charm – think four-poster beds and sumptuously soft furnishings. There are also two suites to choose from if you’re really going all out. And then you might as well make use of the treatment room in the folly. Packages include facials and hot stone therapy. Bliss.

lewtrenchard.co.uk

Pouring sauce over steak. Furzeleigh Mill, Buckfastleigh

Furzeleigh Mill, Buckfastleigh

A wide-ranging, high-quality menu with decor to match, plus a top location – Furzeleigh Mill has everything you need for a proper Devon countryside break. It’s also worth mentioning that the owners here are a right laugh. Geoff Sellick, an architect, and wife Tessa, a divorce lawyer, took over in 2019 and have become very good at this whole hospitality thing.

They’ve also done a pretty good job on the interior. Each guest room is named after places in and around Dartmoor and has been given its own style and feel.

The menu makes the most of local produce and is as tasty as the scenery outside the window. Look out for the events here, especially the murder mystery nights and there are regular dinner deals on offer too.

furzeleigh.co.uk

The Elephant’s Nest, Horndon, near Tavistock

This B&B set in a 16th-century inn can include dinner if you pre-order (note: the pub is closed to daily trading).

The evening menu at The Elephant’s Nest is a comforting mix of home-cooked classics, including steak and kidney puddings and South Devon sirloin steak with pepper sauce. Regulars here love the food, the history and the funny name. Apparently, an overweight landlord from the 1950s, when serving drinks from his behind-the-bar stool, was likened to ‘an elephant sitting in a nest’ by a customer. And so, the pub (formerly known as The New Inn) was renamed.

elephantsnest.co.uk

Glebe House, Honiton

Glebe House, Honiton

Feast your eyes on the food and interiors at Glebe House – a much-talked-about stylish guest house and restaurant in the East Devon countryside.

Owners Olive and Hugo Guest have worked hard to transform the former Georgian vicarage (Hugo’s family home) and 15-acre smallholding into a thriving foodie retreat.

Talented artist Olive has indulged her creative side with a look that feels loved and lived in. Antique sofas, artwork, eye-catching patterns and colours, plus loads of plants, make the communal areas and bedrooms feel like a home from home…if your home is super stylish and cool. Sigh.

Hugh runs the restaurant. His seasonal menus are heavily influenced by the time he spent in Italy over the years. Lyme Bay scallops, chicken and leek pie, followed by pistachio and olive oil cake, are just a few rather tempting examples.

glebehousedevon.co.uk

The Cary Arms & Spa, Babbacombe

One can’t write one of these restaurants-with-rooms round-ups without including this stalwart of the genre. The Cary Arms has been doing its thing pretty well for long enough to have scooped at least five prestigious awards at the last count.

The heady mix of seaside dining, luxurious accommodation and that incredible view across the bay make for a unique stay. This place celebrates all that’s great about my hometown of Torquay. We need a bit more of that.

caryarms.co.uk

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