Eating out in South Devon and West Dorset

Photos: Devon restaurants, cafes & pubs

Otterton Mill restaurant, The Kingfisher Inn garden and the Cosy Teapot Cafe

Restaurants, cafés and pubs within driving distance of Sidmouth

When our holiday cottage guests fancy exploring further afield they find many restaurants, cafés and pubs in the area around Sidmouth. Here are some details and reviews of some of the eating places that we and our guests have tried. These are all within 30 minutes driving distance of Chandler’s holiday cottage and some are on local bus routes.

The Blue Ball Inn

Steven’s Cross, Sidford, tel: 01395 514062.

The car park is across a busy road with no zebra crossing so getting to the Inn can be a little hairy. Inside, it’s big with several different areas to eat including a cosy child-free bar area with a log fire. As the main restaurant was quite busy and we had children with us we ended up in a large room which lacked some of the atmosphere of the older parts of the Inn. We found the food to be average pub fare, but the children enjoyed it. There’s plenty of room to sit outside on warm days. It’s on one of the main roads into Sidmouth so makes a useful stop-off if you’ve been out for the day exploring South Devon and Dorset.

  • “We loved the Blue Ball Inn” Amy H from London, September 2016
  • “We love the Blue Ball at Sidford” LC from Bristol, September 2016.
  • “We enjoyed meals at the Blue Ball, highly recommend.” NL, August 2014.
  • “Don’t eat at the Blue Ball!” CT, June 2013.
  • “Good food, first class pub” R K, October 2013.

The Cosy Tea Pot café

13 Fore Street, Budleigh Salterton, tel. 01395 444016.

A pleasant spot for a tasty brunch, light lunch or cream tea with outside seating for sunny days. Recommended by S B (July 2013).

Frydays fish restaurant and take away

2 The Burrow, Seaton, Devon, EX12 2LW. Tel. 01297 23911.

One of the best fish and chip shops in the area, Frydays has a small restaurant and a take away service so in the summer you can enjoy fish and chips as they should be – on the pebble beach just a couple of minutes walk away. It gets very busy so get there early or ring ahead to pre-order your take away.

Halfway Inn

A3052 Sidmouth Road,  EX5 2JP. Tel: 01395 232 273

A handy gastro pub on the main road from Sidmouth to Exeter. Recommended as good value by CH for “good food and service”, August 2015.

Hare and Hounds

Putts Corner, Sidbury, EX10 0QQ. Tel. 01404 41760.

A country pub between Sidmouth and Honiton with a large garden and a traditional pub menu and carvery. Recommended by the C family, June 2014.

The Hideaway

The Chine, Seaton

You can only reach this beach-side café on foot and it’s worth the stroll along to the far Western end of Seaton Esplanade for the freshly cooked food and stunning views across the bay.

> Read more about it in our blog post.

Hive beach café

Burton Bradstock, Dorset, DT6 4RF, tel: 01308 897 070.

The combination of a perfect location and award winning food is definitely worth the above average price tag. The focus is on fresh fish and seafood, and they also have their own micro bakery so you can enjoy pastries, cakes and biscuits. If you’re exploring the Dorset coastline then we’d recommend stopping off here for lunch, a snack or even just an ice-cream. Parking is available in the nearby National Trust car park (free for members). Allow some time for a stroll along the beach or up to the coast path with stunning views towards Chesil Beach in the East and Lyme Regis to the West.

The Kingfisher Inn

Dolphin Street, Colyton, EX24 6NA tel: 01297 552476.

A traditional village pub with a pleasant courtyard for eating out on sunny days. The menu features freshly cooked food made with locally sourced ingredients. We had a lovely day at Easter – we took the tram from Seaton along the Axe Valley, strolled into Colyton for lunch at the Kingfisher followed by a return tram ride back to Seaton. If you’re visiting Colyton by car there’s a car park in the town centre not far from the pub.

The Otter Inn

dineotter.co.uk | Colaton Raleigh, tel. 01395 568 434.

This family friendly inn and restaurant is a very useful stop off on the way back to Sidmouth from Bicton Gardens or Budleigh Salterton. They have a climbing frame and bouncy castle in the garden so it’s ideal for letting the children burn off some energy while we enjoy tea and coffee or something stronger. We found the food to be nothing special so it wouldn’t be our first choice for an evening meal.

Otterton Mill restaurant

ottertonmill.com/eat | Otterton, near Budleigh Salterton, Devon, EX9 7HG. Tel. 01395 567041.

This award winning licensed restaurant is open from 10 to 5 for fresh baked snacks, lunches and cream teas. The working mill, gallery and craft shop are worth a visit and there is a lovely walk down the river Otter to Budleigh Salterton to help work off that slice of home made cake that could be hard to resist. They feature locally sourced ingredients and have their own on-site bakery where you can see the flour that is stone ground in the mill being turned into a wide variety of breads. Note that it gets very busy on warm summer lunch times.

La Rosetta Italian restaurant

High Street, Newton Poppleford, EX10 0DW, tel: 01395 568136

A friendly and popular Italian restaurant about a 10 minute drive from Chandler’s holiday cottage. Parking is available in the town car park across the road and it is also on one of the main Sidmouth – Exeter bus routes. It’s ideal for families and we all enjoyed the food and will be going back. It’s a good idea to book a table if you’re planning a meal at a peak time.

The Redwing restaurant

Lympstone, near Exmouth. Tel. 01395 222156.

A bar and restaurant with a varied locally inspired menu, recommended as ‘Excellent’ by J D, (September 2012).

River Cottage Canteen and deli

Trinity Square, Axminster, EX13 5AN. Tel. 01297 631715.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage deli and canteen in Axminster is about 20 minutes drive from Sidmouth. The decor is basic rustic (it is a canteen rather than a restaurant) and the food is good quality with plenty of local, seasonal produce on offer. It is very popular so booking is essential if you are planning an evening meal and be prepared to queue in the deli and café area.

The Salty Monk

Church Street, Sidford, EX10 9QP. Tel: 01395 513174

We haven’t tried this one yet but it has a good reputation for high quality dining.

  • “Overpriced and expensive, with mediocre food” said Brenda H in June 2017.
  • “Definitely worth a visit” wrote Angela P after her stay in October 2016.

The Ship Inn

Church Street, Axmouth, EX12 4AF. Tel. 01297 21838.

This gastro pub offers good quality food in pleasant surroundings with a large garden for sunny days.

The Shed Steakhouse

4 Harbour Road, Seaton, Devon, EX12 2LS. Tel. 01297 625 926

This restaurant is a pleasant surprise – the owners have obviously put a lot of thought into creating an attractive environment where you can enjoy good quality food. There is a children’s menu and tasty fish and vegetarian options if you have a non-meat eater with you. It’s popularity is growing rapidly so I recommend that you book in advance if you are planning a meal there on a Saturday night.

Steamers

New Cut, Beer, Devon EX12 3DU. Tel. 01297 22922

Tucked away in a side street in Beer village this restaurant is worth seeking out. The freshly cooked dishes are a mix of English and Mediterranean cooking using local ingredients, particularly fish and seafood.

  • Recommended by Julia F for their taster menu, June 2017.

 

Farm shops and eating in

If you want to eat in for a change then how about calling in at one of the many farm shops in the area on the way back from a day out? You’ll find fresh locally grown produce sold by people who know all about where it comes from and can suggest ways to cook it (and sometimes you can count the food miles in single figures!). R&JG recommended the Greendale Farm shop, after their stay in October 2014. It’s on the main road to Exeter (A3052), is open every day and also has its own café.

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Find out more from these web sites:

  • The AA restaurant and pub guide: includes several restaurants within easy driving distance of Sidmouth.
  • The Michelin web site: lists restaurants within Michelin recommended hotels as well as other restaurants in the area. Get started by clicking on the word ‘restaurants’ at the top of the Michelin page to bring up the search page.
  • Tripadvisor: has a section on Sidmouth and East Devon including restaurant reviews.
  • Eatoutdevon.com: lists and reviews restaurants in the area.
Photo: The Hive beach cafe at Burton Bradstock

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