Consumer News

Our pick of Devon’s top spots to eat and drink alfresco this summer

Posted by
Food Drink Devon
Posted on
2 Aug 2023

Of course, we ALL enjoy eating out, but how about eating out out? Yes, we mean outside, in the fresh air, in a lush garden, by the water, taking in a fabulous Devon view or a watching a spectacular sunset.

We’ve asked around our community and done a bit of digging and present our pick of Devon’s top alfresco spots! With a few special dining events and live music thrown in.

It goes without saying that the food and drink will be top notch – we’re Food Drink Devon after all – but here you can be sure that your fine dining, terrific tapas, Sunday brunch and summer BBQ will also come with a great Devon view.

Terrific tapas

Heron Farm Vineyard
Heron Farm near Honiton is a working farm with an award-winning cafe, vineyards, orchards and kitchen garden. Enjoy their fresh, seasonal, garden-to-table food and award-winning wines in their walled garden all summer, and during August you have three fabulous opportunities to share special mezze and tapas dishes in their garden and vineyard (Aug 11, 18, 25). More info HERE.

Coldharbour Farm Kitchen
This farm shop and field kitchen near Ottery St Mary uses local produce and has a large deck and far reaching views across the East Devon countryside. Breakfast, lunch and snacks from Tuesday to Sunday, plus Summer Sundowner evenings every Friday and Saturday, serving tapas and shared dishes. A great spot to soak up a glorious sunset.

Vineyard Vibes

Sandridge Barton Winery
Circa, the onsite restaurant at Sandridge Barton Winery in Stoke Gabriel, showcases the best produce from the local area. The two large sunny terraces are a great spot to relax and enjoy a guided tasting or Circa’s wonderful food paired with some of the best English wine, made just a stone’s throw away. Open for lunch every day and on Friday for dinner during summer. More info HERE.

Every summer weekend diners can also enjoy Vineyard Vibes with chilled tunes from local musicians and DJs. Booking recommended.

Alder Vineyard
With far-reaching Dartmoor views from their terrace, why not share a platter, some nibbles and award-winning wine and listen to live music at Live in the Vines at Alder Vineyard near Okehampton. On Sunday 27th August they will be joined by soul singer, Phoebe Jane. Book a table.

Big glorious gardens

The White Hart
Enjoy a summer of alfresco dining on the Dartington Estate where The White Hart pub will be serving fresh pizza and BBQ favourites every day from 5-8pm on the Great Lawn. Plus, you can now get 10% off food and drink with a valid entry ticket to the Grade II* Listed Gardens. More info on the White Hart website HERE.

The Folly at The PIG at Combe
A hideaway tucked in amongst the magnificent gardens of this East Devon ‘restaurant with rooms’ near Honiton. Serving wood-fired flatbreads, kitchen garden salads and light bites, The Folly is open come rain or shine, with a log burner for chillier days, but the flagstone terrace with an awesome view is the draw here in the summer. Open every day 12pm – 9pm (last orders at 8:45pm)

Rosemoor Garden Kitchen Restaurant
Gardens don’t come much more beautiful than RHS Rosemoor in Great Torrington, and their recently refurbished restaurant serves up dishes made with produce from their own fruit and veg patch! Open every day with idyllic garden views from their spacious terrace. Find out more HERE.

Home Farm Café at Parke
This delightful café with outside seating is set in the beautiful grounds of Parke, a 250-acre National Trust estate on the edge of Dartmoor, just outside Bovey Tracy. Home-cooked food and Dartmoor produce is celebrated and showcased on the daily specials board. Eat then walk or build up an appetite first. Visit the website HERE.

‘Secret’ gardens

High Grange
A giant oak woodland feasting table set under a stretch tent roof festooned with lights, is the magical setting you’ll find at High Grange, near Axminster. It’s the venue for a wide range of fire cookery classes and monthly Signature Feasts hosted by chef, Luke Vandore-Mackay and team.

Fig Tree @36
An award-winning Plymouth bistro serving locally sourced food for every occasion – try their amazing Trust the Chef menu. In the restaurant garden there are just 12 seats available around a table under the eponymous Fig Tree. Book HERE.

Wild Thyme Kitchen & Deli
You can enjoy alfresco dining in this secret garden style patio next to the Wild Thyme Kitchen at China Blue, Totnes. Their aim? To bring people together for a mutual love of great food. Visit the website.

Mange Tout Deli & Café
Join the Sunday Brunch Gang on the lovely, covered terrace behind Mange Tout Kingsbridge. Serving Sunday brunch from 9.30am through to 2pm, and open Monday to Saturday 8.30 – 5.00pm.

By the water

With two coastlines in Devon, we’re spoilt for choice!

The Crab Shed
The Crab Shed is a vibrant and hugely popular quayside seafood restaurant perched right on the waterside overlooking Salcombe Harbour. Serving the finest fish and shellfish – you won’t find fresher. Book HERE.

The Glorious Oyster
This award-winning seafood shack, oyster bar and beach café was a finalist in 2016’s BBC Food & Farming Awards. Catch them at their beach cafe takeaway, nestled behind the sand dunes at Instow Beach, where you can bring your own wine and beer and enjoy alfresco dining. Visit their Facebook page HERE.

Venus Cafes
A short passenger ferry ride from Salcombe will bring you to the Venus Cafe at pretty East Portlemouth Beach with glorious views back over the estuary. In fact, all three Venus cafes are in spectacular beachside locations. Find the others at Bigbury-on-Sea and Broadsands; the latter has a brand new and fully accessible deck.

Offshore is a busy cafe-bar by day and a restaurant and live music venue by night. Situated in an enviable location overlooking Torquay harbour, with 100 seats on the pedestrian area outside, it’s the perfect summer spot for alfresco dining and people watching.

Embankment Bistro
With probably the best view of the water in Dartmouth this classic bistro restaurant has Executive Chef Elly Wentworth at the helm… with alfresco dining and Bollinger champagne ‘on tap’ on ‘La Terrace’. Visit the website.

Also try the Bucket & Spade, Shaldon and Shoreline, Paignton Beach.

Spectacular street food

The Bosko Bus
The Bosko’s Bus serves up delicious, gut friendly food and the good news is they’ve taken a spot at Bantham Beach for the whole of the summer school hols. Head to the nearby picnic tables or huge beach to scoff your amazing Egg & Halloumi Breakfast Bap (a personal favourite, other items are available!) Make a bee line for Bosko at Bantham and your gut and taste buds will thank you for it! Find out more.

Run by Sri Lankan born chef, Dinesh, the Tambapanni food truck is based all summer at Cherry Tree Farm campsite, Croyde and open from 5.30-8pm to campers and non-campers. It’s worth a trip to experience the true flavours of Sri Lanka, only using freshly ground Sri Lankan spices and the freshest vegetables, high quality chicken, fish and seafood.

Park Life Heavitree
Every Thursday and Friday from 4-8pm, two local street food sellers base themselves outside the cafe offering fish and chips (Thursday) and wood fired pizzas (Friday).There are lots of picnic tables, and drinks including alcohol are available from Park Cafe

Beer gardens with that bit ‘extra’

The Tors Inn
Crowned Best Pub in our most recent Food Drink Devon Awards, The Tors at Belstone is a proper pub which takes great pride in using only the best possible ingredients. Belstone is the gateway to the north of Dartmoor National Park with some of the best hiking in the country, and The Tors enjoys some of the most spectacular scenery and sunsets imaginable from any beer garden.

The Bull Inn
Winner of our Sustainable Pioneer Award last year, The Bull Inn takes over Rotherfold Square in Totnes in the summer months. The perfect post-work micro-climate to enjoy organic small plates and a seasonal cocktail in the sunshine.

Castle Inn
With a wonderful large garden and many tables overlooking the Saxon castle next door, the Castle Inn, Lydford ticks all the boxes for an alfresco dining venue… tasty, locally sourced food, great beer and a lovely outside space – you can even book a table in their stretch tent strung with fairy lights. Garden tables are first come first served. Find out more.

Outside with the cool kids

Outside is a unique and magical space on the outskirts of Bantham and has been designed and built with community right at its heart. Café, skate bowl, pottery studio, kitchen garden and more. Outside BBQ nights happen every Friday night throughout the summer from 5pm-10pm with food, drinks and music.

Afternoon tea on the lawn

Boringdon Hall has partnered with renowned Champagne house Laurent-Perrier to offer a limited-edition afternoon tea this summer and weather permitting you can take tea on the lawn! The award-winning hotel in Plymouth is offering a trio of tiered afternoon treats, perfectly matched with the distinctive and elegantly sweet notes of the Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Champagne. Book HERE.

Pack a picnic?

Eat alfresco in your own garden or just pack a picnic and head to the nearest beach or moor. Here are two top ideas to take along… and a cracking cocktail discount offer.

Bar Buoy Cocktails
Bar Buoy bottled cocktails were created with sunsets and summer evenings on the beach in mind.  Each one is carefully crafted on the Devon coast using premium Devon spirits and high-quality ingredients. You can raise a glass to alfresco living for less with £5 off online orders at Bar Buoy! See HERE for offer code and T&Cs.

Sharpham Cheese
The easiest food to share outdoors is surely a cheeseboard. Sharpham Dairy shows you how to assemble the ultimate alfresco grazing platter with cheeses, meats, fruits, nuts and herbs HERE – and you can buy their new Summer Cheese & Deli Box HERE for just £30 plus P&P.

Want to tell us about YOUR top Devon alfresco spots? Share your top tips on our socials @fooddrinkdevon on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Threads.

Live in The Vines at Alder Vineyard


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