Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Preston
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best Preston restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 11 restaurants in Preston and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Preston restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Preston Restaurants
1. Lympstone Manor British, Modern restaurant in Exmouth Courtlands Lane - EX8
“Beautiful food, served in a perfect location” makes Michael Caines’s “very special” Georgian mansion and vineyard – overlooking the Exe estuary – nowadays one of the Top-5 most commented-on restaurants outside London in our annual diners’ poll, and one of the country’s foremost luxury destinations (with 21 bedrooms). “Great views out of the lounge and bar windows” contribute to an overall experience that’s “truly a wow”. “Impeccable” staff (“immensely efficient but low key”) deliver “exceptional” modern cuisine, with the highlight being the ‘Taste of the Estuary’ tasting menu, supplemented by “a great variety of wines” (including, of course, those from the surrounding vines). There are three dining rooms: the Berry Head (with the best views), Powderham and Mamhead. On the downside, “prices are way off scale”… but hardly anyone seems to mind!
2. Elephant Restaurant & Brasserie British, Modern restaurant in Torquay 3-4 Beacon Ter, Harbourside - TQ1
“Stunning food with excellent service” have earned plaudits for high-profile chef Simon Hulstone’s “faultless” flagship, which he opened 20 years ago – in the town where he grew up, as the son of a chef. He now has a 100-acre farm in Brixham, to guarantee supplies of his favourite produce.
3. No 7 Fish Bistro & Wine Bar Fish & seafood restaurant in Torquay 7 Beacon Terrace - TQ1
The “best fish”, landed across the harbour at Brixham, is what the Stacey family fixture, now 30 years old, is all about. Upstairs there’s an evening wine (and oyster) bar with panoramic views, and both venues provide ever-changing blackboard menus.
4. The Seahorse Fish & seafood restaurant in Dartmouth 5 South Embankment - TQ6
Mitch Tonks’s Mediterranean-inspired harbourside HQ “always hits the spot” and is run “with charm and polish” – “the anchoiade and focaccia alone is worth a trip from the northern Highlands!”.
5. Rockfish Fish & chips restaurant in Dartmouth 8 South Embankment - TQ6
“A menu with a huge range of fish might suggest a serious fish place” but the original Rockfish (opened in 2010) overlooking the River Dart “feels more like a fish ’n’ chip restaurant with less-than-smart tables, chips with everything and the usual few leaves for salad. People seem mostly to eat the fried food. That said, you could have whitebait, a huge crab at a huge price and juicy gurnard not fried. Service is fast and cheerful”.
6. Crab Shack Fish & seafood restaurant in Teignmouth 3 Queen St - TQ14
“Seafood platters on the back beach” are the big draw to this popular shack. All feedback this year was fundamentally positive, but sometimes with a catch. For example: “can’t help feeling the magic has slipped a bit and prices seem to have gone up”. But “the owners try hard, and it’s still worth a visit when you're in the area, especially on a sunny afternoon”.
7. Riverford Field Kitchen British, Traditional restaurant in Buckfastleigh Wash Barn - TQ11
“A vegetal cornucopia delight!” – this canteen at an organic veg box company’s HQ “oozes with enough excitement and deliciousness to make even the most hardened of meat-eaters squirm with pleasure”. They do serve some meat, but “vegetables are always the star” – “though the puds are pretty tasty too” – “all homemade of course and quite delicious”.
8. The Rock Inn restaurant in Newton Abbot Haytor Vale, Dartmoor National Pk - TQ13
Beautifully situated on Dartmoor, this rural pub was consistently well-reviewed this year for its hearty and enjoyable bistro-style menu (it’s not a pub grub kind of place). There are nine bedrooms, too, and – if you stay – there’s the additional option of a lighter early bird supper.
9. Rockfish Exmouth Fish & seafood restaurant in Exmouth Pier Head - EX8
“We love the Rockfish chain” – and “Exmouth is our favourite”, say fans of Mitch Tonks’s West Country seafood group, which had eight branches as we went to press, with two more (Salcombe and Topsham) about to open, along with an online seafood market and a pioneering canned-fish operation. Despite being a multiple, it offers “top seafood, and the staff seem really passionate about the subject”.
10. Shoals Fish & seafood restaurant in Brixham 10 South West Coast Path - TQ5
“Best, freshest fish I have tasted for years – right off the Brixham fishing boats, served down by the sea”. This “affordable and fun” venture looks like a beach shack. “It’s in a strange location”, above the seawater lido – on the coast path leading away from Brixham to Berry Head – but worth hunting out (and there is a car park at the back if you are driving). Only a few covers, so you need to book. Ask for the table by the window, and you have glorious views in the evening of the sun setting over Tor Bay. But what you come for is the fish. Not a sophisticated menu, but the fish doesn’t need anything other than very simple cooking. The owner is one of the wholesalers at the Brixham fish market, so the fish will come from that morning’s auction and is as fresh as it can get. One of the South West’s best-kept secrets (well, it was…)
11. The Pool House, Lympstone Manor restaurant in Exmouth Courtlands Lane - EX8
A new addition to Michael Caines’s luxurious destination, this relatively relaxed 40-seat operation (with another 60 alfresco) overlooks the hotel’s new outdoor pool and offers a casual menu of salads, seafood and BBQ from brunch time till mid afternoon and then again in the early evening.
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