To get you yearning for rolling hills and heading down south for a weekend in Devon guide, here are the best new openings on the southwest scene
Words Jessica Burrell
With a crop of new openings, Devon is increasingly earning its place on the boutique, foodie map. You can also guarantee that every opening will be complete with the same stunning, unspoilt scenery as always.
Devon Guide: Where to Eat
The Schoolhouse, Mothecombe
Within three weeks of opening, this beachside gem was lauded as one of the best up-and-coming foodie spots in Europe. Upon arriving at The Schoolhouse and feasting one’s eyes on the unbeatable sea views – not to mention the innovative, locally sourced seafood menu – it’s not difficult to see why. Whether you’re ravenous post-coastal walk or settling in for a leisurely lunch, there’s something to please everyone. The varied offerings combine classic, refined seaside fare with intriguing Asian and Italian influences.
We recommend the starter board of unctuous taleggio arancini and delicately fried squid with a dill-streaked salad. Don’t forget to indulge in market fresh fish of the day for a taste of endless summer. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, try the tasty kimchi prawn and wasabi mayo ‘po boy’. Accompanied by a well-chosen wine list and attentive yet unhurried staff, you’ll want for nothing. With charming touches that nod to the building’s schoolhouse origins (from blackboards to Bunsen burners) and great seats inside and out, you may well find yourself settling in for the entire afternoon. Prepare to be lulled by the satisfied sound of hungry beach-goers and the distant lapping of the tide.
Devon Guide: Where to Stay
The Pig at Combe
Utterly secluded (yet pleasingly accessible at just over three hours from London) this striking, honey-hued Elizabethan gem of a hotel is yet more proof that The Pig is the perfect place to while away a long weekend. Set in acres of lush Devonshire countryside near Honiton, Devon, this 27-room retreat benefits from all of the features for which The Pig hotels have become famous. Each hotel is adorned with cleverly, lovingly converted architecture that makes use of original features, free-standing baths, king-size beds, in-room larders and a sublime restaurant.
There are three kitchen gardens – growing vegetables, herbs and infusions – that form the beating heart of both the hotel and the menu. The home-grown offerings are matched by meat and fish (think Lyme Bay hake and Devonshire duck breast) sourced within a 25-mile radius. As well as the restaurant and stunning bar set in the Great Hall, the original Georgian Kitchen, semi-restored indoor-outdoor folly and beautiful underground cellar are all available for unique private dining experiences.