OUR TOP DARTMOOR & DEVON DINING DESTINATIONS
We’ve enjoyed quite a few meals out during our breaks to Dartmoor and Devon but there are three family-friendly restaurants in Dartmoor we’d recommend visiting, all for quite different reasons.
1- BEARSLAKE INN, SOURTON, DARTMOOR
We had an energetic day out when we hired bikes from Devon Cycle Hire at Sourton and cycled along The Granite Way. Not surprisingly, we worked up quite an appetite during the ride and decided to stop off for lunch at one of the pubs dotted along the eleven-mile trail. There are plenty of potential refreshment options along the route and we decided to try out The Bearslake Inn which had been recommended to us by Dartmoor Accommodation.
A steep side turning off the main cycle track led us through some stunning scenery alongside a stream and offered a tempting glimpse of the pub and grounds from above before we arrived at the pub carpark where there was space to chain up our bikes.
The attractive country pub building was originally a Devon longhouse and is thought to date back to the thirteenth century.
As we were mid bike ride we didn’t want to overindulge so ordered ‘light bites’ which were reasonably priced and turned out to be pretty substantial and good quality.
The children enjoyed messing about by the stream in the grounds while we waited for our food to arrive. As it was a glorious day and the outside space was so attractive, we ate outside and enjoyed views of moors and tors from the extensive pub garden.
- Good quality, good value for money, substantial meals.
- Handy for The Granite Way and cyclist friendly.
- Friendly staff.
- Plenty of scope for creative play amidst beautiful surroundings. The gardens are large enough that there’s plenty of space for dog walkers, cyclists and children to happily co-exist without treading on each other’s toes!
2- THE ORDULPH ARMS & TERRACE RESTAURANT, TAVISTOCK, DEVON
While staying at The Bedford Hotel we took advantage of our central Tavistock location and strolled the few minutes across town to the Ordulph and Terrace Restaurant.
Originally built as a temperance hotel, The 19th Century pub has been treated to a fairly recent refurb and is now sharpening its focus to concentrate on music and food.
From the outside this looks like a traditional victorian town pub so the interior styling was quite a surprise!
Our friendly waiter, who also doubled as the barman, greeted us, showed us to our table and offered us funky music-themed menus.
Once they’d made their selections, aiming his question at our seven-year-old, our waiter asked if the boys would like colouring books. Now I can’t even remember the last time they participated in such a pursuit and I don’t know whether it was because of the holiday mood or because they’ve entered this post-cool phase of ironic humour, but all three of them eagerly chose a book with the eldest two being particularly keen to claim the pink ‘girls’ book! I really don’t mind what the reason was, but it gave the husband and I chance for a bit of peace so many thanks to the waiter for that idea which kept all three boys amused until the food arrived.
Our eldest son particularly liked the styling, the interesting signs on the walls, the soft rock music playing while we ate and the fun music themed menus.
He pointed out:-
Our waiter is really nice and friendly even though he has to go to bar and take people’s drinks orders too.
The main meals the children chose from the ‘Little Rockers’ menu were simple, good quality and freshly cooked.
The husband and I chose the speciality Ordulph fried chicken which was really tasty and not at all greasy.
and a beautifully cooked steak with all the trimmings.
We had no complaints whatsoever with the main meals and accompaniments which were cooked well, attractively presented and tasty – but then there were the puddings! These were amazing and worth a visit for these alone. All five of us were convinced we had personally chosen the best one!!
The boys loved The Ordulph experience, from the decor & funny signs to the banana split and singing along to “Don’t stop believing”. With it’s music theme and cool styling it’s a great grown up, pre-teen destination.
- Town Centre location
- Good quality meals, freshly cooked to order and good value for money.
- Fun music theme throughout which was perfect for older children.
- Good atmosphere and friendly staff
- Some sort of ‘magic’ colouring books which kept a 7, 10 and even a 12 year old amused!
3- WHITE HART HOTEL, MORETONHAMPSTEAD
Last but not least is the White Hart Hotel, an old posting house in the centre of Moretonhampstead, within Dartmoor National Park. This is the kind of place which is beautifully presented and feels a bit special from the moment you walk in.
Every element of the decor works together and the soft green colour scheme and period pieces work together to create a classy and relaxing environment.
The wooden menu hints at the quality of the food to come:-
“our chefs produce delicious yet uncomplicated dishes in a regularly changing menu.”
My boys have good appetites and the ten-year-old is already finding children’s meals too small, so he opted for burger and chips from the adult menu. Oh my goodness – look at the size of that!
The ten-year-old said:-
The bacon, cheese and burger meat was really nice and the burger was thick.”
My twelve year described his pan fried chicken from the adult menu.
“A lot of chicken is dry but this was tender and moist.”
My venison and the mash and sweet jus accompaniments were all delicious.
My seven year old went for battered cod and hand cut chips from the children’s menu. He said
“The fish was the best part but I also liked the tartare sauce.”
We enjoyed some hilarious banter with our lovely waitress, who couldn’t have been more helpful. We enjoyed the hospitality of the White Hart and the lovely cosy decor so much that we’d like to come back and stay at the hotel one day.
- Town Centre location
- High-quality interesting meals.
- Beautiful cosy decor.
- Fun, friendly staff
So there you have it. Three fabulous family friendly restaurants in Dartmoor and Devon. Take a look at these other posts about what to do and where to stay with children in Dartmoor!
Thanks to Dartmoor accommodation who did an excellent job of organising this trip.