Chrissy Harris picks out some of the best places in Devon where you can enjoy an overnight stay in rooms that are as fantastic as the food
(Main picture) Perched on a clifftop, across from Salcombe, Gara Rock is a boutique hotel with panoramic views of the rugged coastline.
Sitting on the South West Coast Path, it’s a short walk to the sandy beach below. The hotel provides an easy-going and down-to-earth atmosphere, welcoming families, couples, friends and dogs. Refurbished in 2019, you’ll find soft, natural colours and textures, inspired by the hotel’s surroundings and created to feel comfy, informal and inviting, whatever the season.
The award-winning restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling windows and sea views, provides a real taste of Devon with seasonal menus. The terrace is a lovely place to enjoy a bite to eat and drink.
Set in beautiful, secluded grounds, Glazebrook House is a luxurious boutique hotel and restaurant with eight unique bedrooms. The exquisite detail is not just contained to the rooms, however. With the whole hotel designed with flair and style, there’s a surprise around every corner. Experience the award-winning food in the restaurant or in a private room, served five days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A visit to Glazebrook will not be forgotten.
This Eco Hotel of the Year 2020 has organic, ethical produce and fair trade at its heart. Owner Geetie Singh-Watson has been awarded an MBE for Services to the Organic Pub Trade, and The Bull Inn is her fourth organic pub. Expect simple, seasonal food that’s thoughtfully sourced, followed by blissful comfort in one of the eight stylish bedrooms (some have extra beds for any small folk you might bring along). Make a booking in January and you get three nights for the price of two (Monday to Wednesday).
The famous Two Bridges Hotel is the perfect spot for a break. It’s close enough to home yet feels a million miles away. Enjoy crisp, fresh Dartmoor air, wide open space in every direction, crackling log fires, comfy rooms, and exceptional dining featuring the best seasonal ingredients from Devon’s farmers, fishermen and producers. Book a two-night Dartmoor Leisure Break from £70 per person, per night, including dinner and breakfast – and relax!
Garth and Sascha Hughes have transformed what was a tumbledown, derelict 18th-century pub and turned it into an exciting foodie destination. The seasonal, family-friendly menu is innovative, and you can enjoy it while overlooking the beautiful Taw and Torridge Estuary. The Royal George has four gorgeous rooms, plus nearby Bude Street Cottage, which sleeps up to seven people.
This 16th-century former coaching house has open fires, low ceilings and comfy sofas, and luxurious bedrooms to fall into after a hearty meal. Menus are short and reviewed daily with an emphasis on keeping everything fresh and local. There’s a separate chargrill menu, with dishes such as wild boar sausage and venison haunch. The rooms are spacious and most have underfloor heating, as well as king-sized beds to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Seasonal food, simply done – plus fluffy towels and underfloor heating. They’ve certainly nailed the warm welcome at this Exmoor inn. The handsome Victorian building with original fixtures and fittings houses a pub and four tasteful bedrooms. Foodwise, take your pick from the blackboard menu. Dishes range from traditional pub food such as burgers or slow-braised lamb shank, to specialities such as fish stew. There are plenty of veggie and vegan options too. Stay overnight and feast on a homemade breakfast. Owners Nicola and Paul Houle joke that if you leave the Fox and Goose hungry, they haven’t done their job properly.
Rooms, a restaurant and even a deli – there’s so much to enjoy in this incredible Georgian building at the heart of this charming town. The main entrance – or ’porte cochère’ (carriage porch) – includes what has been described by English Heritage as one of the largest single-leaf doors in the country. The sample menu includes Lyme Bay crab and Exminster lamb rump. Supporting local is king. King-sized in fact – even the beds are made by Topsham firm, Naturalmat.
The Pig, located in the Otter Valley, is a real treat of a destination. The kitchen gardens are at the heart of life here, inspiring the seasonal, simple and fresh flavours on offer in the wood-panelled restaurant in this Elizabethan building. Luxurious bedrooms to suit all sizes and tastes include The Hayloft, The Attic and The Horsebox. Best of all, each room has a larder that is well stocked with vintage treats and locally sourced snacks to buy, just in case you get the midnight munchies.
The Cott has been welcoming guests since AD 1320, so it must be doing something right. The family-run set up is obvious from the moment you walk through the door of the finely thatched building. You’ll find friendly faces and delicious grub –made using naturally-reared Devon meat and local, line-caught fish. As well as a cosy dining area, there’s a weather-proof garden kitchen which is open throughout winter. The bedrooms boast a combination of historic charm and modern comfort.
Cosy. Comfy. Stylish. And a double Taste of the West gold award winner in 2020! A stay at the Meadfoot Bay Hotel with its restaurant Brasserie at the Bay offers foodies the opportunity to enjoy the cookery of chef Callum Tasker whose food received many plaudits in 2020 season including “Should be Michelin starred as very worthy of the accolade”. Just two minutes from beautiful Meadfoot Beach, it’s the perfect place to kick back and relax.
If you’re due an extra special treat (and let’s face it, who isn’t after the year we’ve just had), it might be worth gently mentioning this well-known luxury manor house to your nearest and dearest. Executive Head Chef Chris Eden promises a ‘decadent’ menu, including hand-dived scallops and aged fillet of beef cooked over coals with smoked bone marrow. With views over the magnificent gardens and individually styled bedrooms (named after some of Dartmoor’s tors), Gidleigh Park is one of those bucket list eat and drink stays.
The Cornish Arms serves up great, honest food and drink in comfortable surroundings. It’s a cut above your average pub grub. You can enjoy such delights as Korean sticky ribs, roasted breast of Sladesdown duck, and Provençal vegetable and feta tart. The rooms are kitted out with quirky, vintage furnishings, chic fabrics and bold colours for a warm, welcoming feel.