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Restaurant review: Two Bridges Hotel, Dartmoor

Published on April 11, 2016
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The historic hotel on wild Dartmoor has entertained Vivien Leigh and Edward VIII and is a portal to the past with its antique clocks, gramophones and gleaming copper. But the most surprising discovery of all is the exceptional, two AA rosette cooking

Two Bridges

Exploring the Two Bridges‘ photograph-lined walls leaves you feeling that you might just have missed fifty years of fabulous parties and good fishing, but if you were born too late to hobnob with the smart set on the moor, this living period piece brings the past to the present in seductive style.

VISIT FOR seriously good food. Executive chef  Mike Palmer and team have just been awarded a second AA rosette, and rightly so, as the modern European cooking is exceptionally good. Exquisitely executed and contemporary, it’s not what you’d expect to find in this traditional environment, and the pleasure is in  the contrast.

DON’T VISIT for clean-lined modernism. Embrace the charming authenticity of leather chesterfields and a jumble of clocks, pictures and antique ephemera, knowing they’ve been here forever – not bought in wholesale to provide a sense of heritage. This is the money-can’t-buy real deal.

WE LIKED the furniture stuffed lounge where you can eat supper in front of a roaring fire, the tasting menu that offered delight after delight, and the wild, moorland setting. It may have been a trick of the moonlight but as we drew our bedroom curtains, we could have sworn we spied a deerstalker-hatted figure tramping across the moor.

INSIDER’S TIP the rooms are comfy and delightful with a hearty Dartmoor breakfast the next morning.

What we ate and drank (evening tasting menu)

Tomato velouté with whipped goat’s cheese and pesto
Sladesdown chicken with jerusalem artichoke risotto, hazelnut and truffle
Brixham crab ravioli with brown shrimp and langoustine bisque
Fillet of Dartmoor beef with asparagus, king oyster mushroom, bone marrow and braised shin
Dark chocolate pannacotta with lemon curd and blood orange
Rhubarb and egg custard

Jo Rees

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