Take 5: Dartmoor dining

After exploring rugged tors and heather-covered moors, end the day on a glorious high with a meal at one of these Dartmoor dining finds

Two Bridges Hotel

Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor National Park

Consider this your tip-off on a great escape in the wilds of Dartmoor where you can also eat extremely well.

The cosy interiors at Two Bridges Hotel are perfect in this setting: roaring fires, grand old clocks and paintings, polished brass and copper and a well-stocked bar are just what you’d hope to discover after a day tramping over the moor. Even in the bleak midwinter the attractive hotel is an oasis of hospitality.

However, it’s not only ramblers and hikers who flock here for a taste of old-school conviviality (although you’ll find a fair few in summer) as the rural hotel also enjoys a fine reputation for its food.

Take a virtual visit here.


The Horn of Plenty, Tavistock

This edge-of-Dartmoor country house hotel not only enjoys spectacular views across the Tamar Valley towards Bodmin Moor, it also deals in beautiful and inspiring food.

New head chef Ashley Lewis scours the Devon coast and countryside for quality ingredients from which to craft exciting menus. Refined yet unfussy dishes such as lemon sole with daikon, brown shrimp, black garlic, sea vegetables and beurre blanc set the scene for a smart gourmet experience.

Mature gardens, beautiful rooms overlooking the moor, and attractive furnishings make the country house a thoroughly charming spot for a rural retreat in this verdant corner of Devon.

Take a virtual visit here.

The Horse, Dartmoor, Devon dining

The Horse, Moretonhampstead

Step into The Horse, with its leather sofas, crackling fire and sociable atmosphere, to discover why it enjoys a cult following among locals and visitors to Dartmoor. Spoiler: while the pub’s pretty Moretonhampstead location and rustic vibes speak for themselves, it’s the delicious Mediterranean-leaning menu that really clinches the deal for foodies.

At lunchtime, those-in-the-know head to the pub to sip an award-winning ale and tuck in to specialities such as the ultimate gourmet reuben- sandwich crafted from home-smoked pastrami.

In the evening, chef Nigel Hoyle lets his creativity fly in daily changing menus which resound with gourmet indulgences like home-cured bresaola (Dartmoor beef topside cured for two weeks in red wine) and crispy rice arancini with Dartmouth Bay crab, lemongrass and chili.

Take a virtual visit here.

Lewtrenchard Manor, Devon

Lewtrenchard Manor, Lewdown

This family-run Jacobean manor house hidden away on Dartmoor is a delicious place to dine and stay.

A visit is rather like stepping back in time, thanks to Lewtrenchard Manor’s wood panelling, stucco ceilings, ancestral portraits, and the crackling logs lighting up the huge elegant fireplaces.

David Brown is the new head chef and is busy crafting the next phase of the country house hotel’s culinary reputation. He’s got great raw ingredients to work with – including many freshly plucked from Lewtrenchard’s kitchen garden.

Take a virtual visit here.

Dartmoor Inn, Okehampton

The Dartmoor Inn, Okehampton

This country inn is a huge hit with savvy foodies on the hunt for sophisticated Dartmoor dining.

There are country inns aplenty for a pint at the bar after a moorland yomp but, for something smarter than post-hike pub grub, The Dartmoor Inn hits the sweet spot between homely bar and quality restaurant.

Jay Barker-Jones has led the kitchen since he and wife Tess (front of house) took over in 2019. His CV namechecks a number of award-winning kitchens but his focus at the inn is on crafting refined fare in a welcoming and unstuffy setting. The rabbit warren of a building has undergone extensive renovation so the decor is as attractive as the food.

Take a virtual visit here.

Discover more notable dining experiences on Dartmoor and across the South West in the 29th edition of the Trencherman’s Guide. Get your copy here.


april, 2024


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