French Restaurants in Devon
1. Lympstone Manor French restaurant in Exmouth Courtlands Lane - EX8
“Gidleigh Park on steroids!”. Michael Caines “has shown exceptional skill” in creating this hugely ambitious and “luxurious” two-year-old (“you can see a lot of money has been pumped in”), which has a “wonderful setting, now complete with a vineyard”; and “once the grounds have matured a bit, it will be even more stunning than it already is”, and with excellent views of the Exe estuary. “Dining is split between several rooms so you do not feel you are in a crowd” and the “very confident” cuisine is “as you would expect of Caines: if not overly inventive, then classical, delicious and executed to perfection” from either the à la carte or the ‘Signature’ or (in the evenings only) ‘Taste the Estuary’ eight-course tasting menus. For many reporters it’s just an all-round smash hit, and an “unpretentious” one too. But there are others who qualify their praise. The “ornate surroundings” (“the pomp factor is off the scale”) can feel “very quiet and refined, but lacking buzz” and service though generally “very helpful” and “unobtrusive” is found on occasion to be a “work in progress” or “stilted”. Top Tip – afternoon tea is another option here: “the scones and sandwiches are particularly delicious”.
2. The Mason’s Arms British, Modern restaurant in Knowstone South Molton - EX36
“The quality and style of the food produced at this Devon country pub” is testament to chef-patron Mark Dodson’s 12 years as head chef at the Roux brothers’ legendary Waterside Inn. The pub itself is a gorgeous thatched cottage on the edge of Exmoor, dating back to the 13th century.
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