Just awarded the title of UK’s Bed and Breakfast of the Year, The Salutation Inn is yet another delightful reason to visit the foodie empire of Topsham near Exeter. Jo Rees visits
He’s a talented chap, chef Tom Williams-Hawkes. Coming from the Michael Caines stable (Gidleigh, Abode Exeter) he launched out on his own at The Salutation in 2012. With partner Amelia Boalch ably running front of house, the pair have built a reputation of note, this month appearing alongside the likes of The Hand & Flowers and Claridges in the Food and Travel Magazine Reader Awards where they walked away with Bed and Breakfast of the Year.
VISIT FOR the cooking. Tom’s technical flair and experience show in the seasonal, local (natch) menus. Choose the four course dinner with dishes such as Kenniford Farm pork tenderloin, peas, bacon, tempura ear and lightly spiced jus, or go for a full blow-out with the six or eight course tasting menus.
DON’T VISIT for a speedy dinner. Savour the moment and kick things off with exquisite canapès and a glass of sparkling pinot rosé in the attractive lounge.
WE LIKED the thrilling desserts and petit fours from pastry chef Nikoletta Patkos under Sylvain Peltier. Oh and the HUGE top floor suite with lounge, two bathrooms, hall and airy bedroom (yep, we were spoiled).
INSIDER’S TIP Make a weekend of it. Tom and Amelia do excellent dine and stay deals (£195 for two including the four course menu) and there’s loads to explore in this historic town.
What we ate (dinner)
Appetiser Pan fried local scallop, Ladram Bay lobster tail, lobster bisque
Starter Local mackerel, pickled beetroot, horseradish ice cream
Mains Kenniford Farm pork tenderloin, peas, bacon, tempura ear, lightly spiced jus
Pud Coconut mousse, mango, lime jelly, coconut and ginger sorbet
With its cornucopia of delightful ingredients, from luxurious comfort to drop-dead-gorgeous dining, this country house hotel has plenty of reasons to blow its own horn