The West Country Restaurants

The last several years have seen a food renaissance in England's West Country. In the top restaurants the accent is firmly on local and seasonal products. Seafood is the number one choice along the coasts, from Atlantic pollock to Helford River oysters, and it's available in places from haute restaurants to harborside fish shacks. Celebrity chefs have marked their pitch all over the region, including Michael Caines in Exeter and Dartmoor, the Tanner brothers in Plymouth, Rick Stein in Padstow and Falmouth, Mitch Tonks in Dartmouth, and Jamie Oliver in Newquay. Better-known establishments are often completely booked on Friday or Saturday, so reserve well in advance.

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  • 1. Gidleigh Park

    $$$$ | Modern British

    One of England's foremost country-house hotels, Gidleigh Park occupies an enclave of landscaped gardens and streams, reached via a lengthy,...Read More

  • 2. Gurnard's Head

    $$ | Modern British

    This pub with bright, homey furnishings and a relaxed ambience looks past green fields to the ocean beyond. The frequently changing menu features...Read More

  • 3. Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall

    $$$$ | Italian

    Bright and capacious, this modern Italian restaurant has won plaudits both for its fabulous food and for its fine location overlooking magnificent...Read More

  • 4. Locanda on the Weir

    $$$ | Italian

    Set in a sea-facing Georgian building on one of the West Country's most enchanting stretches of coast, this restaurant with rooms run by an...Read More

  • 5. Number 7 Fish Bistro

    $$ | Seafood

    Seafood fans can indulge their passion at this unpretentious, convivial spot near the harbor; wood floors and an array of maritime knickknacks...Read More

  • 6. Paul Ainsworth at no6

    $$$$ | Modern British

    Paul Ainsworth is gradually expanding his culinary presence in Padstow to rival that of Rick Stein, and for many foodies, Ainsworth offers the...Read More

  • 7. Riverstation

    $$ | Harbourside | Modern British

    Occupying a former police station, this modern, clean-lined restaurant affords serene views over the passing swans and boats. Upstairs, the...Read More

  • 8. The Horn of Plenty

    $$$$ | Modern British

    The restaurant within this Georgian house has magnificent views across the wooded, rhododendron-filled Tamar Valley and a sophisticated menu...Read More

  • 9. The Seafood Restaurant

    $$$ | Seafood

    Just across from where the lobster boats and trawlers unload their catches, Rick Stein's flagship restaurant has built its reputation on the...Read More

  • 10. 2 Fore Street

    $$ | Modern British

    Within view of Mousehole's tiny harbor, you can dine on some of the area's freshest seafood in this popular bistro. The seasonal, Mediterranean...Read More

  • 11. Admiral Benbow

    $ | British

    One of the town's most famous inns, the 17th-century Admiral Benbow was once a smugglers' pub—look for the figure of a smuggler on the roof...Read More

  • 12. Ask Italian

    $ | Italian

    This outpost of an Italian chain has secured an enviable site in a part-medieval, part-Georgian building opposite the cathedral. With three...Read More

  • 13. Bell's Diner & Bar Rooms

    $$ | Montpelier | Mediterranean

    A local institution, this bistro in a former grocery shop concentrates on delectable Mediterranean-style tapas using locally sourced ingredients...Read More

  • 14. Blas Burgerworks

    $ | Burger

    This tiny backstreet burger joint has been drawing enthusiastic crowds and critical plaudits since it first joined the St. Ives dining scene...Read More

  • 15. Boston Tea Party

    $ | British

    Despite the name, this laid-back and vaguely eccentric place is quintessentially English and ideal for a relaxed lunch away from the nearby...Read More

  • 16. Box-E

    $$ | Modern British

    The finest of a slew of restaurants and cafés clustered in Bristol's trendy, newly developed Wapping Wharf harborside district, this compact...Read More

  • 17. Dartmoor Inn

    $$ | Modern British

    Locals and visitors alike make a beeline for this gastro-pub in a 16th-century building with a number of small dining spaces done in spare,...Read More

  • 18. Goodfellows

    $$ | Modern European

    This little café-resaurant near the cathedral adds a continental touch to sedate Wells. By day exquisite cakes and pastries, chocolate concoctions...Read More

  • 19. Goram & Vincent

    $$ | Clifton | Modern British

    For glorious views of Bristol's most iconic sight, this restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension...Read More

  • 20. Gylly Beach

    $$ | Modern British

    For views and location, this beachside eatery with a crisp, modern interior and deck seating can't be beat. By day, it's a breezy café offering...Read More

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