Best restaurants on Dartmoor

There are two main types of Dartmoor dining: beautifully rustic pubs where you can rock up in your wellies after a yomp with the dog to sink craft ales and tuck into polished pub food; and grand country houses serving exquisite multi-course menus in panelled dining rooms steeped in history.

Both have their place; browse our pick of the best restaurants on Dartmoor to find a venue to suit your occasion/attire

Hotel Endsleigh, Tavistock, Devon lounge

Hotel Endsleigh, Milton Abbot

Grade I‑listed Hotel Endsleigh is the former residence of the Duke of Bedford, and the Devon contingent in The Polizzi Collection’s trio of boutique hotels. The grand building enjoys sweeping views across its beautiful grounds – designed by 18th-century landscape gardener Humphry Repton – and over the Tamar Valley.

Head chef Thomas Ewings diverts guests’ attentions from the greenery beyond the windows with smart dishes employing luscious local ingredients such as smoked Lydford Estate venison. His polished creations are savoured in a wood‑panelled dining room complete with roaring fire and original features.

The Dartmoor Inn

The Dartmoor Inn, Lydford

The Dartmoor Inn has made a name for itself in the region thanks to its perfect balance of smart dishes and relaxed vibes. Chef Jay Barker‑Jones and wife Tess took over in 2019 and have since picked up honourable mentions including silver in the Devon and South West Tourism Awards, and Front of House Team finalist in the Trencherman’s Awards 2023.

Ever-developing menus mirror what’s in season and produced locally, as well as seafood to reflect the pub’s equidistant proximity to Devon’s north and south coasts.

Lewtrenchard Manor

Lewtrenchard Manor, near Okehampton

Step back in time at this family-run Jacobean manor house. Portraits of the ancestral Gould family hang in the dining room, including of Lewtrenchard Manor’s most famous owner, Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (author of Onward Christian Soldiers), who inherited the property in the 19th century and transformed it into what you see today.

Modern-day visitors feast on beautiful dishes crafted from fabulously fresh ingredients, many plucked from the kitchen garden. Book the Purple Carrot chef’s table experience for flat‑screen live-action views of the kitchen.

Bovey Castle

Bovey Castle, North Bovey

Sweeping driveway: check. Warm welcome from the porter: check. An array of traditional rural pursuits, from fly fishing to falconry: check. Neo-Elizabethan manor Bovey Castle is the epitome of the English country house experience, with a sumptuous spa thrown in for good measure.

Its three-AA-rosette restaurant, Great Western Grill, reopened recently following a major refurb and now includes a Champagne and oyster bar for pre-dinner bubbles. Its sister restaurant, Smith’s Brasserie, presents a more relaxed, Mediterranean-inspired dining offer for those staying more than one night. Both restaurants make the most of the estate’s abundant produce, including beef, game and seasonal vegetables.

Mill End Hotel and Restaurant

Mill End Hotel, Chagford

Perched on the banks of the River Teign, this converted 15th-century flour mill is an idyllic spot for lunch, afternoon tea or a candlelit dinner. Almost every element of the daytime Lounge and Lawn menu and à la carte line-up has been crafted in-house by head chef William Broom and team. Even the bottled water is tapped on-site from a deep moorland source and put through a seven-stage filtration process.

The Mill End is super dog-friendly, so bring your pooch along for a weekend on the moor.

The Horse, Devon

The Horse, Moretonhampstead

Chef-owner Nigel Hoyle dishes up Mediterranean-inspired cooking in a classic pub setting at The Horse. Thin-crust, twice-risen focaccia dough is piled high with locally sourced and Italian-imported artisan ingredients for superior pizzas with names such as The Eastern (spiced lamb) and Vesuvio (v. hot). Seasonal specialities include homemade bresaola: Dartmoor beef topside cured for two weeks in red wine. Visit with a crowd and order to share.

The Horn of Plenty

The Horn of Plenty, Gulworthy

This secluded country house hotel, a stone’s throw from the River Tamar and Cornwall, has been under new ownership since May 2022. With fresh talent in the kitchen, plans are underway to refresh The Horn of Plenty while retaining its rural charm and exceptional dining.

Paignton crab, Brixham john dory and Dartmoor venison take starring roles on the menu, while work is in progress to revive the kitchen garden. Tavistock, with its pannier market and independent shops, is a five-minute drive away.

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june, 2024

Reviews

Restaurant Hywel Jones, near Bath

Restaurant Hywel Jones

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