Take 5: Plot-to-plate dining

Plot-to-plate dining continues to take root in the South West restaurant scene, but a few restaurants are moving things forward in an extraordinary way. Discover five spots where you can experience new-wave hyper-local cooking in 2022

Plot-to-plate dining at The Farmers Arms, Woolsery

The Farmers Arms, Woolsery

This creative dining pub in the north Devon wilds goes from strength to strength as the team develop its farm and gardens as the source of produce for a casual but carefully crafted pub menu.

Dine in any of the three beautifully rustic dining rooms or, in warm weather, bag a table in the courtyard. Wherever you sit, you’ll feast on talented head chef Ian Webber’s phenomenal interpretations of British classics.

Top-notch produce – grown and reared on the pub’s own Birch Farm – forms the heart of the experience, with the house lamb and pork being particular highlights. In season, hogget is also available, while vegetables and herbs are picked daily year-round.

Visit to revel in beautiful ales and fine wines, crackling log fires, hearty yet exquisite dishes and jolly joie de vivre.

Take a virtual visit here.

THE PIG–near Bath, Somerset

THE PIG-near Bath, Pensford

Even the greediest little piggy wouldn’t need to trot to market when there’s so much good food produced within the grounds of THE PIG-near Bath.

The Grade II-listed Georgian mansion, nestled between Bath and Bristol, has its own wildflower orchard, fruit cages, greenhouse, beehives and smokehouse. The buzzing restaurant with rooms, set in 20 acres of the Mendip countryside, also boasts the largest kitchen garden of the entire litter of PIG hotels.

Menus change twice daily for lunch and dinner service, with any ingredients not produced in-house sourced within a 25-mile radius. Somerset’s finest produce is showcased in creations such as Whitelake Rustler and pea risotto, and foraged nettle-leaf polenta.

The Bear And Blacksmith, Chillington chef

The Bear & Blacksmith, Kingsbridge

The Bear and Blacksmith specialises in dishes crafted from ingredients with the most incredible provenance: practically everything on the menu is grown, harvested or reared inhouse.

Chef patron Malcolm Church wears a range of hats (including farmer, butcher and gardener) to deliver the Chillington inn’s impressive plot-to-plate ethos.

Daily specials sit alongside a menu of classics fashioned around lamb from the pub’s farm, free-range pork from its smallholding, house-reared free-range poultry, and veg from its gardens. Even fish comes from sister business The Salcombe Fish Wife, while the grass-fed Angus beef (hung for 30 days, minimum) is reared nearby by Jack Perry at Westdown Farm before being cut in the pub’s butchery. The team also cure bacon, make sausages and smoke own-reared produce.

Gather, Totnes restaurant

Gather, Totnes

The term ‘hyper-local’ is often overused, yet the efforts of this Totnes restaurant justify the description: a co-op of local allotments stock the Gather kitchen with field-fresh vegetables; fish and seafood are landed down the road at Brixham; and meat is reared within the county.

Talented chef Harrison Brockington leads a young team who use this glorious produce to create dishes to delight. And although the food is smart, the relaxed vibe and friendly service make it a go-to destination for all manner of occasions.

The kitchen team showcase their talents via full and half tasting menus – and there’s also a vegetarian version. The line-ups focus on flavour and provenance, and dishes such as roasted pollock with sweet garlic, aubergine caviar and Sauvignon Blanc are polished without being overly fussy.

Take a virtual visit here.

The Barley Sheaf, St Austell

The Barley Sheaf, St Austell

Chef proprietor Tim Kendall has built a cracking reputation for delicious and well-executed dishes which perfectly reflect the surrounding seascape and countryside.

A rich abundance of produce from the farms and coast of Cornwall and the wider South West are reflected in the cooking, and Tim and team also use fruit and veg grown by local parishioners.

The chef’s crowd-pleasing pub classics – favourites include gourmet bangers and mash – sit alongside more adventurous dining fare such as wood pigeon with beetroot, black pudding, savoury granola and red chard. Tim also puts a local spin on trad puddings, including a white chocolate mousse dish crafted using Cornish fairings.

Take a virtual visit here.

Discover more plot-to-plate dining experiences across the South West in the 29th edition of the Trencherman’s Guide. Get your copy here.


april, 2024


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