Hand-picked places to eat, stay, shop & cook in the South West

Tour de fork: Devon hidden north tour

Published on January 3, 2018
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Less well known than its south Devon sister, dig around the north of the county and you’ll unearth quirky and (almost) secret insider’s finds that are off the beaten track


One of our fave new finds is Block (pictured). Charging Barnstaple’s historic Butchers Row with a jolt of urban cool, you’ll find speciality coffee and bircher muesli in the morning and pho and fiery meatloaf at lunch. But best of all are the regular kick-ass evening feasts which include the likes of homemade Korean spiced chicken bao buns, Vietnamese spring rolls and steamed char siu barbecued pork buns.

For more gourmet globetrotting, rock up for a Sri Lankan curry on Barricane Beach every evening from 5pm, from Easter until the end of September. Take your own booze and a blanket to sit on.

In Instow, The Glorious Oyster is the go-to haunt for briny bivalves and Bajan fish balls – sit out front on the picnic benches. Then cast your net over the stonking homebaked cakes and brownies down the road at John’s of Instow deli. Double your fun with a stay and dinner at nearby insider’s find, Instow Barton, which serves cracking home cooking and has five cosy bedrooms.

Another hush hush pleasure palace is Hidden Heaven‘s monthly dining night which takes place in a converted Baptist chapel in Swimbridge. Other pop-ups to keep an eye on include the Calaca Loca taqueria truck, Pig and Olive‘s mobile pizza oven and Seadog Foods‘ gourmet events. Or take it up a notch and head out to wild Hartland for fine dining in Scandi-inspired barn surroundings at Pattard Kitchen.

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Lycra at the ready, wheels ready to roll ... there's a proliferation of new foodie pit stops on the north Devon leg of the 180 mile cycle trail

Pattard Kitchen

Intrepid foodies (those brave enough to navigate the wiggly roads of Hartland on a wild winter night) are rewarded with a smorgasbord of sensual delights