The Belfry restaurant

Characterful restaurant with rooms in the Blackdown hills

Why not go back to school and enjoy an evening out in a Victorian classroom in a Devonshire village? The Belfry is a Grade II-listed building in Yarcombe, a historic village in the heart of the Blackdown hills, not far from Honiton and 30 minutes from Exeter. Its owners and your hosts are Sarah-Jane and Neil Martin who bought the old school in 2007 aiming to create a beautiful restaurant with rooms, with all the personal care and attention to detail they themselves love to experience when dining out.

They’ve certainly succeeded with The Belfry, which has been lovingly restored, respecting and retaining original features at the same time as creating a comfortable, luxurious place to eat and stay.

The restaurant is in what was the infants’ classroom and refectory for the whole school, and on sunny days you can also have drinks on the south facing terrace. Chef Sarah-Jane cooks everything in house for her modern British menu, and you order 24 hours in advance, so ingredients are bought daily, perfectly prepared, fresh from the oven and with no waste – in fact The Belfry was honoured this year by the Sustainable Restaurant Awards because of its innovative approach to food waste. There’s also care taken over individual needs, with all diets catered for.

At the end of the day, you can choose to stay in one of the characterful guest rooms, with their supremely comfortable beds and views over the village and valley. Again, little details like fluffy towels, luxurious fabrics and tasty treats (homemade flapjack anyone?) demonstrate the personal approach. Then of course there’s the Full Belfry breakfast the following morning – a perfect way to end your stay.

Sample menu

Starter

Hollie’s smoked trout and quail scotch egg with crème fraiche hollandaise

Main

8oz Devon lamb rump steaks wrapped in filo pastry with pea mousse and a masala sauce

Pud

Flaming baked tiramisu alaska – tiramisu with zuidam coffee liqueur soaked sponge, between mascarpone and marsala, topped with coffee ice cream and enrobed in hot meringue, flambéed in brandy at the table

Two courses £23.50, three courses £29.50 including vat

Insider’s tips

Enjoy a fabulous one hour walk to The Candlelight Inn for lunch, or find antiques galore in Honiton. The Belfry is just 20 minutes from the coast.

Each of the six guest rooms has been named after a 19th century poet and and you’ll find a complete set of their works in the bedroom.

Yarcombe, Honiton, Devon EX14 9BD

01404 861234

Opening hours

Dinner daily except Sunday and Tuesday with one sitting at 7.30pm. 24 hours advance dinner reservation with menu choices required.

Chef: Sarah-Jane Martin

Owner: Neil and Sarah-Jane Martin

Bedroom rate: £92

Bedrooms: 6

  • Wifi
  • Disabled access
  • Parking available
  • Private dining available
  • Gluten free options
  • Beer garden
  • Exclusive use
  • Online booking

Awards

AA 4* Restaurant and Rooms, AA Breakfast Award, AA Dinner Award, Best Food Waste Strategy Award 2014 from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, and Highly Commended B&B/Guest House Free From Award 2014

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