Devon Life - - Leftovers Recipes -

Pa­trick Mccaig

In a slight de­par­ture from his reg­u­lar se­ries of columns for Devon Life, of The Ot­ter Brew­ery takes us on a trawl of some of his favourite ho­tels

This is a ho­tel where all the staff go be­yond the call of duty to make their guests feel wel­come. The bar here is very Ot­ter friendly and they keep a mean pint of Ale. A break from the mould of nor­mal Mer­cure ho­tels, it is set in the lower reaches of South­ern­hay Gar­dens and just a short walk into the heart of the city.


Perched on a Devon clifftop, come rain or shine this is Devon’s lat­est grand de­sign. Built on the foun­da­tions of the old ho­tel, the big glass win­dows have views out to Gam­mon Head and the wider Start Bay - some of the most beau­ti­ful and hyp­notic coast­line in South Devon and the coun­try.

In its old guise, this ho­tel re­minded me of a scene from the Camomile Lawn. Now, with its in­cred­i­ble clifftop as­pect and golden sands be­neath, Gara Rock is a mod­ern take on that beauty and a place to trea­sure what­ever the weather. The per­fect win­ter es­cape and a home-from-home by the sea for Tarka.


wel­com­ing guests for over 100 years. With an en­vi­able po­si­tion in the heart of Dart­moor and al­most in the shadow of Hay­tor it­self, this is truly a walker’s par­adise.

Packed with tra­di­tional char­ac­ter, there’s a laid-back vibe at work here and a warm wel­come as­sured from the Has­sell fam­ily and their team. From the Ti­betan spa to the restau­rant and on-site ‘pub’ there are plenty of ways to en­joy some hol­i­day down­time even if it is freez­ing out­side.


En­joy­ing pride of place on Dart­mouth’s water­front, a town not short on naval her­itage, this is the first place my boys had a proper lunch (with nap­kins). They were far too young to be­have and I far too happy to con­trol them (apolo­gies).

Happy be­cause we had spent the pre­vi­ous hour in their lively bar where you for­get you’re in a ho­tel, rather a com­fort­able and very pop­u­lar Dart­mouth pub with its huge oak beams. There’s a great mix of char­ac­ters here and an ed­u­ca­tion for all con­cerned (heads up lads) where fine din­ing meets the re­lax­ing at­mos­phere of a great hostelry.

An in­valu­able part of the town’s fab­ric and a great base for ex­plor­ing the many in­de­pen­dent shops and gal­leries around it.


Ev­ery­one talks about the Thurlestone – it has set a bench­mark for beauty in the South Hams. The ho­tel has been un­der the ste­ward­ship of the Grose fam­ily for five gen­er­a­tions. Time in­deed to have de­vel­oped a place (and suc­cess­ful for­mula) where its clien­tele re­turn year af­ter year to en­joy all the trim­mings from their fine­ly­tuned set up.

There’s a great gym, spa, sen­sa­tional sea views, squash and golf course. All fine set ups to a well-earned pint in their very own pub - The Vil­lage Inn. The per­fect ad­di­tion to the ho­tel.

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