Organising a great holiday is a challenge, especially for larger groups. The following are a few suggestions for restaurants where larger groups are welcome. Although it is always recommended to book early.
Devon is gaining a reputation as a foodie paradise which offers a growing variety of choices. You’ll find beach-side cafes in Instow offering oysters on the half-shell as well as Michelin-recommended fine dining in up-and-coming Ilfracombe. Local brewers are getting in on the act. Winning awards for their ales and brews such as Exmoor-distilled Wicked Wolf Gin. Local fish, game, meat, cheese and produce are main features with most restaurants catering for gluten-free or vegetarian preferences.
Our focus is to give you a few ideas about where to go as a large group.
Two miles from Hartpiece you’ll find the Muddiford Inn and Broomhill Art Hotel. The Muddiford Inn is a 16th C coaching inn and Broomhill enjoying high ratings in the Telegraph, Times and Independent for its slow-food lunches, dinners and tapas meals.
A few miles farther away in Combe Martin, and new on the scene, is The Old Sawmills, www.oldsawmills.co.uk. You’ll find a great party vibe and wonderful charred vegetables or smoked local meats. These are served on their big open terrace over a babbling brook or in a big dining area with a definite California vibe.
In Barnstaple, Clayton’s The Glasshouse serves great food and wonderful cocktails in a trendy setting. The Bank and Pizza Express are both located in must-see historic buildings full of oldie-worldie charm. For more formal events The Saunton Sands and The Park have been updated with wonderful bars and restaurants; www.brend-hotels.co.uk.
Escape down the rabbit hole is a café/restaurant with a difference. With a menu based on pop culture, movies and literature there is something for everyone. Beach cafes are an essential part of summer. Whether you’re heading towards Clovelly, Westward Ho!, Putsborough or Saunton, you’ll find delightful places to eat. Just be sure to check ahead to avoid disappointment.
It would be impossible to close this section without waving the flag for North Devon’s new reputation for fine dining. Serious foodies will want to head to Ilfracombe where Thomas Carr at The Olive Room boasts a Michelin star. Damien Hirst’s The Quay which offers relaxed tapas meals downstairs or silver service upstairs in a dining room shaped like a boat. Other restaurants are the Pyne Arms in East Down. To break your return journey, why not book a table at the Michelin-starred Mason’s Arms at Knowstone on the A361.