We want visitors to Kaywana Hall to have a relaxed time thus we strongly recommend that they book restaurants. My heart sinks when an 8pm arrival on a Friday night asks for suggestions and then I desperately have to phone around and call in some favours! So here we go this is the current list updated as of June 2016. I tend to update it regularly so check back to see what has changed. Opening days and times do vary particularly over the winter months.
LOCAL RESTAURANTS AND PUBS
These are places that we like to visit. We hope you will enjoy them however sometimes restaurants have off nights and we cannot guarantee every visit. The Seahorse is still the best in our view.
A recent new addition to Kingswear is The Steam Packet, refurbished and just started doing food. Hopefully this will give The Ship the nudge it needs to up its offering. Jane Baxter (ex of Riverford Field Kitchen) has just started a company called http://www.wildartichokes.co.uk. This is doing events, demos and pop up suppers in a venue near Kingsbridge. No reports but knowing Jane it will be superb.
KINGSWEAR (walking distance)
The Ship Inn 01803 752348 www.theshipinnkingswear.co.uk
Sea-Jay’z Café 07885 778205 No website.
The Steam Packet 01803 752208
CHURSTON (5 minute drive)
The Weary Ploughman 01803 844702 www.wearyploughman.co.uk
DARTMOUTH (walkable via ferries approx 20 minutes)
The Seahorse 01803 835147 www.seahorserestuarant.co.uk
Rockfish 01803 832800 www.rockfishdevon.co.uk
The Dart Marina Hotel 01803 832580 www.dartmarina.com
Sails 01803 839281 www.sailsdartmouth.co.uk
Bushell’s Riverside 01803 833540 www.bushellsriverside.com
Taylors 01803 832748 www.taylorsrestaurant.co.uk
The Royal Castle 01803 833033 www.royalcastle.co.uk
Anzac Bistro 01803 835515 www.anzacstreetbistro.co.uk
Kendricks 01803 835515 www.kendricksrestaurant.co.uk
Furtherafield often good for a day out with lunch.
BRIXHAM (10 minute drive)
Rockfish 01803 850872 www.rockfish.co.uk
TORQUAY (20 minute drive)
Has some surprisingly good restaurants including a Michelin star, and sometimes easier to get reservations here.
The Elephant 01803 200044 www.elephantrestaurant.co.uk
The Orange Tree 01803 213936 www.orangetreerestaurant.co.uk
No7 Fish Bistro 01803 295055 www.no7-fish.com
The Carey Arms 01803 327110 www.caryarms.co.uk
Rockfish 01803 212175 www.therockfish.co.uk
STRETE (over the river from Dartmouth 15 minute drive)
The Laughing Monk 01803 770639 www.thelaughingmonk.co.uk
TORCROSS (At the end of Slapton Sands 45 minute drive)
The Start Bay Inn 01548 580553 www.startbayinn.co.uk
BEESANDS (Another 15 minutes on from Slapton)
The Cricket Inn 01548 580553 www.thecricketinn.com
DARTINGTON (10 minutes drive on from Totnes)
Riverford Field Kitchen 01803 762074 www.riverford.co.uk/fieldkitchen
TOTNES ( 20 minute drive)
The Curator Kitchen 01803 865570 www.italianfoodheroes.com
The Ship Inn. Good fairly priced Pub Food. As its local and walkable it has to stay on our list though it can be a little hit or miss. It is open every night for food in the summer. Advisable to book. Service can be a little chaotic but Colin is a great host and always looks after our guests. Good real ales.
Sea-Jay’z. More a café, ideal for light lunch or a pot of tea. Appears not to be doing evenings anymore. Nothing fancy but reasonably priced. Reviews are mixed maybe stick to the cup of tea and sandwich.
The Steam Packet. Recently taken over and refurbished with a young and willing team. Small restaurant upstairs with great river views or eat downstairs. Small pub style menu with steaks, burgers and fish & chips. All freshly cooked to order and well priced. We enjoyed our meal here and this should give The Ship a run for its money. UPDATE. Currently without a chef as of 16th July, great shame, but hopefully food service will resume at some stage.
The Weary Ploughman. We have always had good meals here. Big portions, fairly priced and open 7 days. This is a useful venue when other restaurants are closed.
The Seahorse. Well known chef Mitch Tonks cooks here, emphasis on fish. Excellent food but expensive, though lunch is a much cheaper option. Great atmosphere, small intimate venue. Still our current favourite! Closed Sunday evening, all day Monday. Recommended for a special occasion. Won the Observer Food Monthly Awards for 2012 beating Dinner by Heston which won in 2011.
Rockfish. Mitch Tonks also owns this great seafood cafe close to his restaurant, expect great fish but at fair prices. Also does take away. There is virtually no meat on the menu but a great choice of fish and shell fish. Open 12 noon to 9.30pm every day from middle of February. Winter times vary. Won Best Independent Fish & Chip Restaurant 2013. All restaurants including Dartmouth can now be booked on line. Brixham is now open and has a great position over the harbour. Well worth a visit.
Dart Marina Hotel. The dining room here has been redesigned recently and it is a great improvement. The food is excellent. Does tend to be full of the older generation who seem to be the hotels core market, perhaps not as buzzy as other places. However it is open 7 days a week, which is a bonus. Not a cheap option.
Sails. Excellent food and mid range prices. Lovely views if you get a window seat. Personally feel that the restaurant lacks atmosphere and could do with a make over. Open Monday – Saturday 7pm to late. Good discount if you are a Gourmet Society member.
Bushell’s. Used to be Annabelle’s. Been up and running for more than a year now. We have visited once and thought it could be better, but it always seems to get good reports. Very small and tables quite close together. Closed Sunday & Monday. Dinner only.
Taylors. Long established restaurant with friendly relaxed service. On the first floor so some nice views from window tables. Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.
The Royal Castle. There are two options here. The Grill Room on the first floor of which we have had good reports, seafood and steaks and a carvery on Sunday’s. This is also open on Sunday evening’s so a good option when other places are closed. Downstairs the bar serves a good selection of food with daily specials in a more informal setting. Open 7 days a week.
Anzac Street Bistro. Took a while for us to try this after its sale by local chef Serin. One half of the couple who purchased it is polish and the menu has a slight slant in this direction. We had a great meal and liked the different menu. Not expensive either. Open Monday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. Particularly good for Mondays when not much else is open.
Kendricks. We are not regulars here but it fills a niche in the Dartmouth Restaurant Scene, by providing good steaks, burgers and ribs. Daily specials may include curry and fish. Mid priced and perhaps a little on the high side for what is provided. However it is open every night from 6pm so a good option on Sunday and Monday nights.
The Elephant. It’s all change here for 2016 with the two separate restaurants combining. The tasting menu will be available on both floors of the restaurant along side the a la carte. The slightly formal service for the tasting menu when it was just served upstairs has gone. I think this is a good move. The restaurant has a Michelin star, this may of course change when they are reassessed. Excellent food. We had one of the best meals of 2015 here. Open Tuesday – Saturday for lunch and dinner.
The Orange Tree. Intimate mid priced. Well respected restaurant. Marketed as an English/European menu. Easy parking close by. Open Tuesday – Saturday from 7pm.
No 7 Bistro. A small family run Bistro style restaurant providing fresh fish and shellfish either from local boats and markets or Scotland. Mostly fish. Nov – May closed Sunday & Monday. July to September open 7 days a week for dinner. Lunch Wednesday to Saturday.
Carey Arms. Recently refurbished, great position overlooking the bay. Great food mid priced. Described as gastro pub food with a young local chef. Mentioned in 2011 Michelin Eating Out in Pubs guide 2011. Open every day for lunch and dinner. Very bad at answering the telephone, but worth persevering! Very popular in July & August, less frenetic out of season.
The Laughing Monk. This is worth the journey as the food is excellent, run by husband and wife team. Good value. Open for dinner only and closes for some holidays in the winter. Tuesday to Saturday only.
Start Bay Inn. If you like fresh fish this does not come any fresher with the sea on the doorstep. Huge portions reasonably priced thus always busy. You can’t book here so better to avoid peak periods. Open for lunch and dinner every day.
The Cricket Inn. Another great pub restaurant right on the beech, great for walkers. A large restaurant open every day, tables should be booked in the summer months. Mid price range. Open 7 days.
Riverford Field Kitchen. Giles Coren said he had the meal of his life here and I would agree. The emphasis is on vegetables with one meat dish. Sitting at tables of 8 on wooden benches the food is served family style with dishes arriving at the table for you to help yourself. Change of chef during 2012 seems to have made no difference to quality. Very reasonably priced for quality of food lunch £23.50 for 2 courses dinner £27.50 for 3 courses. Open for lunch every day. Not open every evening so call to check. Booking essential. Highly recommended.
The Curator Kitchen. At last a buzzy interesting very modern Italian venue. Small menu but perfect for sharing plates. Excellent food with Italian owners who know how to cook. Stands out by a mile from the other local restaurants. You have to book. Open for lunch and dinner. Coffee shop downstairs also very good. We loved our recent meal here in Nov 2015.
GETTING TO DARTMOUTH. If the weather is good it’s a nice gentle stroll down to the ferries. The best route is to turn right out of our drive and almost immediately take the next left turn. Walk down the road until you reach the head of the creek on your right, there is a path on the left of the creek which follows the water down to the Marina. Walk through the marina car park and cross the railway line, turn left and walk through the marina, you will come to another small car park next to the Royal Dart Hotel there is a ramp down to the passenger ferry, this runs back and forth taking about 4 minutes at a cost of £1.50 per person. You can also go through the arch turn right for the lower car ferry and travel on this as a foot passenger. TAKE THE TORCH PROVIDED IN YOUR ROOM FOR THE RETURN JOURNEY! Last ferry times are around 10.45 to 11pm, remember to check.
If it is wet or you do not fancy a walk drive to the little car park by the Royal Dart Hotel park and take the ferries. (during 2016 work commences on the refurbishment of the Royal Dart and this car park is now unavailable we would suggest using the Marina car park.) For the Marina car park drive into the village until you come to the turning circle, turn sharp right as though you were coming back to the house. The car park entrance is on your left. Pay at the pay station prior to leaving. First hour is free.