The Hartnoll Hotel
The Hartnoll Hotel is within easy reach of the M5, five minutes’ drive from Tiverton, just off the A361 (which leads straight to north Devon). After dropping a friend to Bristol Airport it was the ideal place to grab a lunchtime bite on my way back to Ilfracombe.
The Hartnoll is an established country house hotel. Eating here is a relaxed affair, with the dining conservatory overlooking a woodland garden with flowers, shrubs and trees subtly lit by delicate fairy lights. It’s a beautiful English country garden scene, providing an ever-changing view for all seasons.
The menu offers the likes of mouthwatering locally sourced selection of West Country beef, Heal Farm slow-cooked pork belly, goats’ cheese and black truffle, smoked fish platter, battered haddock, and salmon roulade.
Having eaten here before I can vouch for all of those dishes and for dessert I indulged in an intriguing blackberry and gin mousse, served with caramelised apple, candied raisins, toffee sauce and sloe gin ice cream… and yes it tasted as wonderful as it sounds!
The restaurant is fast becoming a go-to Devon destination for food lovers and celebrated a double-award-winning year in 2017, receiving “Best Dining Experience” and “Best Tasting Food” at the Exmoor Food Festival Awards.
The Hartnoll is going from strength to strength. The only question remaining is: will you dine and drive away, or dine and stay to enjoy more the next day?
By Fiona Hennessy White, Devon correspondent
Photos: Hartnoll Hotel Facebook page & Fiona Hennessy White