Tucked away in the rugged expanse of Exmoor are a smorgasbord of eateries, each with their own unique style and charm.
Championing local produce and home grown chefs, these establishments make up the gastronomic fabric of the region with a treasure trove of major food awards amongst them.
If you’re thinking of making a trip to Exmoor and fancy splashing out on an expensive meal then just make sure you book well ahead of time as these restaurants are much in demand!
Run by experienced Head Chef Mark Dodson and his wife Sarah, The Masons Arms was awarded a Michelin Star within six months of opening and has retained it ever since. Perched on the edge of Exmoor in the village of Knowstone, this is truly a one of a kind pub. Whilst a portion of the 13th century inn is still dedicated to serving the village as a traditional pub, Dodson has transformed the rest of the building into an outstanding restaurant that exemplifies the best of what Exmoor has to offer.
Cross Lane House
You could easily drive straight by Cross Lane House, assuming that it was simply another pretty country home but by doing so you would be missing out on one of the true gastronomical gems of the area. The team at Cross Lane have perfected their craft, serving a classy dinner menu that even caters to al fresco dining during the balmy summer months. The presentation is modern, the cooking is immaculate – but the prices are reasonable at just £37.00 for three courses.
The Royal Oak
To say that The Royal Oak in Winsford is picturesque would be an understatement, this 12th century farmhouse has been lovingly cared for by its local owners Mark and Sally Bradley for years, winning numerous awards in the process. Head Chef David Sylvester has worked at The Royal Oak for the best part of 30 years, creating innovative food that boasts the very best of Exmoor produce.
Woods Bar & Restaurant
Although Dulverton has been at the centre of some unwarranted negative attention in recent years, Woods Bar & Restaurant is a perfect example of why you should never take the press at face value. Head Chef Ed Heard is in charge of the food output at Woods and his menu of classic British dishes are crowd-pleasers: pure and simple. Take your pick of carefully arranged Beef Bresaola to start or Creedy Carver Confit Duck with Foie Gras Terrine, before diving into a Roast Loin of Northcombe Lamb or Fillet of Brill with Tiger Prawns.
Tarr Farm Inn
No trip to Exmoor is complete without a trip to Tarr Steps. During the summer months this 55-metre long clapper bridge is a magnet for tourists, all of whom are looking to tentatively make their way over the bridge without slipping into cold river water. Watch the frolicking from a comfortable seat on an outside bench whilst tucking into fresh Cornish seafood, Ruby Red Beef from Devon and locally produced Exmoor Lamb. Lunchtimes are informal affairs, whilst the dinner menu is much more refined whilst still remaining relaxed.