We thought we’d tell you about our favourite places to eat near your Devon holiday home because that kind of thing is useful to know, isn’t it? Eating out with your nearest and dearest is one of the simple pleasures of life and it’s what we all do when we’re on holiday, so it helps to know the best places to go.
We think we’re qualified enough to tell you about our favourite places to eat near your Devon holiday home, after, we’re a local bunch. We were born and bred in these parts so ever since we were teenagers we’ve been going to the pubs, cafes and restaurants for miles around. Things change of course, some close for good, others change hands over the years, but one thing they all have in common is that they make good use of the abundance of seasonal local produce that’s grown, raised or made round here, which is how it should be.
So, here goes. Six of our favourite places to eat near your luxury large group accommodation in Devon, all within a few miles of Wayside, Foxhill Lodge, Herons Bank and our latest property, The Cedars.
The Ashill Inn, Ashill, Cullompton
We like to think of The Ashill Inn as a proper country pub in a proper country village, in this case, a picturesque one too. It’s been modernised a bit inside, like most pubs have, but it still retains so much charm and the fact that it attracts locals and visitors alike is testament to how welcoming it is. Pop in after a walk in the area, take a pint of the local brew out into the garden if the sun is shining. If you go for food you won’t be disappointed – it’s excellent, just the right mix of pub favourites and their own creative dishes with world influences. So if pub food is more your thing you could have Beer battered hake fillet with hand cut chips, garden peas and tartare sauce, the popular Ashill burger (bbq pulled beef burger in a Brioche bun with garlic mayo, tomato chutney, gherkins and leaves, with hand cuts chips and red slaw) or Steak Onglet with roast field mushroom and cherry tomatoes, hand cut chips and onion rings. If you fancy trying something different there are temptations like Chorizo, chill and lime couscous stuffed squid on a tomato sauce with dressed leaves, Indian spiced chicken breast with Bombay potatoes, wilted spinach and a creamy mushroom sauce, and Mushroom Bolognese tossed through linguine topped with fresh rocket and Parmesan and served with garlic bread. Just the thought of it has us salivating – and we haven’t even mentioned the roasts yet! Oh yes. Go for Sunday roast. You’re in for a big treat.
The Culm Valley Inn, Culmstock, Cullompton
We love the Culm Valley Inn, down by the bridge in the peaceful village of Culmstock. We love how they make everyone feel so welcome, whether it’s one of the local tradesmen who’s popped in for a pint after work or whether it’s a big party of folk out for a celebration, they treat everyone with respect and big smiles come gratis. Inside it’s packed with charm and style, oodles of country pub character, and outside there’s a seating area for those warmer days. The food, well, it’s nothing short of amazing, with a few pub classics and more sophisticated dishes. Let’s stick with mains; how does Homemade Culm Valley burger, chilli jam, crispy onions, smoked cheese and homemade chips grab you? Sirloin steak, homemade garlic fries, with a rocket and Parmesan salad? Maybe you’d prefer Duck breast with Hasselback potatoes, bacon and carrots, or Black ink tagliarini and crevettes mussels and tomatoes. And then there’s the Sunday roast…. We promise you – it’s all good.
The Lost Kitchen, Chettiscombe, Tiverton
Wood fired cooking is the focus at The Lost Kitchen, set in what was once a cider barn and linhay, where animals were kept, and is now what they call a feasting barn. The setting is bucolic, in a quiet hamlet with beautiful views of the rolling hills of Devon. Indoors is equally appealing, rustically stylish with floor to ceiling windows and chunky bespoke tables made using timber from the nearby Knightshayes estate (NT). The ambience is informal and relaxed, the staff are friendly and smiley, the fare is seasonal with a modern European menu. Mains on the lunch menu include Wood roast hand dived Devon scallops with herb butter and sourdough, Green and black eyed bean filo pie with feta and honey, black mange toute and a spring salad bow, and Slow roast beef with harissa and spices, flatbread with garden greens, summer salad and chill sauce. And then there are the pizzas, and a very good choice of them too. If the weather is behaving itself park in Tiverton and follow the footpath through the fields to The Lost Kitchen, fill your bellies and stroll back. A lovely thing to do when you’re on your big group holiday in Devon.
The Bakehouse, Cullompton
It’s into town for this one – The Bakehouse, a café-bistro that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a very relaxed setting where old meets new with a bit of an industrial edge added in. It’s very nice, the staff are attentive and the food is delish. The great thing is it’s all homemade and there’s so much choice, so whatever mood you’re in you ought to find something to satisfy you. You might just want a slice of cake and a coffee, or you might be tempted by all the toasties, wraps, burgers and salads at lunchtime. In the evening you can start off with a cheeky cocktail followed by say, a Seafood platter, Chicken & avocado linguine or a Thin crust pizza. The Bakehouse is licensed so apart from a prolific range of hot and cold drinks they have a diverse choice of wines, beers and spirits. We highly recommend.
The Strand Stores, Culmstock, Cullompton
Back to Culmstock, to The Strand Stores, a café, bar, deli and shop all in one. It’s good this place, very good and if you pick a nice day you can cycle or amble down the lane from Foxhill Lodge, Wayside or The Cedars, taking in the glorious Devon countryside on the way. Imagine it; the breeze in your hair, cow parsley billowing in the hedgerows, perfick. Anyway. When you get to The Strand Stores you can browse the wares and fill your basket with local goodies, but you really should stop for a bite to eat because it’s all homemade and it’s delicious – they do the most scrumptious cakes, and the scotch eggs - well! Plan it so that you come for a breakfast bap, or for lunch when you’ll find the likes of frittatas, pasties, soup, pancakes, quiche, sandwiches, salads and jacket potatoes on the menu. If you’re in a rush you can buy food to takeaway, but in any case, you must ring them if there’s a big group of you so that they can be prepared. Back before lockdowns they used to do pizza nights on a Friday, which was proving to be a great success; let’s hope they can start that up again soon. A great place, if only all village shops were like this.
The Five Bells Inn, Clyst Hydon, Cullompton
The Five Bells at Clyst Hydon HAS to be on our list – go there for lunch or dinner and you’ll see why. The building alone is lovely, old whitewashed cob walls, a thatched roof, set in a sleepy village with the Devon countryside rolling all around. The chef at The Five Bells has a Michelin starred background so you know the food is going to be very good. Choose from pub classics with an original twist or seasonal dishes created using the best of local produce – they strive to work with independent or family run businesses within a 10 mile radius. From the pub classics, let’s start with one for the vegetarians – the Five Bells black bean burger with avocado, smoked Hawkridge cheddar chilli jam, lettuce and chips. The carnivores can have the meaty version, or tuck into Middle White pork sausages with proper crackling, salt baked potato mash, pork gravy, buttered greens and Cox’s apple. The Specials menu includes dishes like Oven roasted hake loin, Shutelake lamb saddle, and ‘Coddled’ salt-baked shaved celeriac, all cooked with passion, bursting with flavour. We’d bet our bottom dollar you’ll like The Five Bells. It’s a gem.
So there we are. Our favourite places to eat near your Devon holiday home. There are more of course, but these are our top six, the ones we frequent the most. They all come highly recommended from us – we love them, we want to shout about them, but most of all, we want our guests to have the very best dining experience when they’re staying at our large holiday houses in Devon. So go see, enjoy.