Pubs and inns for food lovers in Devon

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

Devon is jam packed with local growers, producers and farmers, fisherfolk, vineyards and breweries. There are a lot of people doing really good things in the local foodie industry, championing small-scale, regenerative practices that are healthy for people and planet. All of which makes it a joy for pubs and inns to source sublime local produce, and sing their praises. Expect seasonal and inventive dishes, on ever-changing menus, paired with local wines, ciders and ales. Fish, line-caught and just-landed, organic meat, home baked bread and dishes for vegetarians and vegans that are an afterthought no more. And best of all, you can stay at most of our selection so you get to sample a superb breakfast too.

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The Royal George

A foodie and friendly award-winning pub restaurant, with jaw dropping floor to ceiling estuary views. Fresh food, skilfully cooked, is at the heart of the affair with inventive monthly-changing menus showcasing modern British dishes. Plus, there are good options for children. Stay a few days in a sea-faring room to try excellent fish, Exmoor lamb, local pheasant, a great burger. They work with local farms and suppliers to pick the best produce and seasonal ingredients and there’s a decent wine list and a range of beers. Breakfast is a treat and if you love the sourdough you can order a loaf to take home. Walkers have the coast path, cyclists the Tarka Trail, surfers Westward Ho! and Saunton. 

“This place is all about the sea you can see it from every window, hear it from every bedroom, taste it in the amazing fish menu that Garth has created for the buzzy restaurant.” – Inspector Florence

Stay at The Royal George >

The Turtley Corn Mill

You’re looked after very well at this ivy-covered inn. It has a relaxed feel, acres of manicured grounds and comfortable bedrooms. Great food is mostly locally sourced with freshly caught fish featuring daily. Stay in one of the lodges and your continental breakfast can be brought to you or head to the main building for a feast: traditional porridge, granola with Greek yogurt, Cumberland sausages, posh baked beans or crushed avocado, buttermilk pancakes and veggie alternatives. Dartmoor and beaches are near. Riverford Field Kitchen is a 15-minute drive and The Bull Inn at Totnes is 20-minutes, otherwise tuck into posh pub grub here: fish and chips, fusion dishes and very good steaks.

“The staff were all friendly and welcoming, and I enjoyed dinner in the cosy library close to the fire.” – Inspector Tessa

Stay at The Turtley Corn Mill >

Cary Arms & Spa

This seaside inn on Babbacombe Bay with views of sea and sky is a delight. You can move from bedroom to spa to the cosy gastropub downstairs, all without dragging your eyes away from the sea views. Pull up a chair and tuck into award-winning hearty fare featured on ever-changing menus. It’s all locally and seasonally sourced, from Devon beef to Lyme Bay lobster and ethically-caught seafood. Pick up the South West Coast Path from the front door or fish with the locals from the jetty. Walk ten minutes to Oddicombe Beach for sea kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkelling. Staff go above and beyond and your continental breakfast is a treat.

“Accommodation, dining, views, service, walks everything was all so lovely & enjoyable! The food was unbelievably good for each meal. We loved it here! Highly recommended.” – Guest Rita

Stay at Cary Arms & Spa >

The Castle Inn

This welcoming award-winning 16th-century inn is a treat. Warm yourself in front of a blazing log fire, tuck into excellent local and seasonal food paired with proper Devon ales and local ciders, explore NT Lydford Gorge, it’s 200m from the door. The chef likes to fill the gap between pub grub and gastro food: Devon beef and jail ale pie, torched Looe sardines on toast, Devon venison burger, all served in the informal restaurant, the cosy bar or in the big garden with views over the medieval castle next door. Serene bedrooms are in the main house or in the cottage across the lane. Breakfast is unhurried and you choose from a wholesome buffet or a cooked option: porridge with local clotted cream, wild mushrooms on toast, local sausages and bacon, Cornish eggs.

“Delicious wood fire smoke in the air and a warm glow from the windows lures you into the bar for a good coffee or a local pint. The food looks great I hope to bring my family (and dog) with me next time we go walking in this bit of Dartmoor and are in need of a hot meal.” – Inspector Melissa

Stay at The Castle Inn >

Instow Arms

Positioned a stone’s throw from the sandy beach in the charming village of Instow, this is a pub that beams over its glorious estuary views. Menus are seasonal with a focus on excellent locally sourced produce: pub grub at its best. Expect plenty of freshly caught fish, Devon beef, a decent kid’s menu and moreish puds. In summer, you’ll spill outside to breathe in the salty sea air with a glass of something cold in hand. Stay on the other side of the river Torridge, a 20-minute stroll or 15-minute drive away in Cornwallis, an 18th-century fisherman’s cottage at the end of a cobbled row with a pretty garden. Perfect for happy seaside holidays with superb beaches nearby.

Instow Arms is a staff pick by Isobel. 

Stay at Cornwallis >

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

Carmen is a freelance writer specialising in travel. She once lived in a bus in north Wales, skipped off to study in Barcelona, and now calls Bristol home. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found reading (a lot), lake swimming (a little), and pottering on the allotment with husband and two kiddos. She’s currently dreaming about cold cerveza and torta in Mexico.

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