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Little Black Book

Food & Drink

Ilsington Country House Hotel & Spa

Muddy says: You heard it from Taylor: you need to calm down! And here's a chilled-out country house hotel on Dartmoor with a spa, sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy pool and two treatment rooms to do it in. Go get pampered!

Beauty Retreat

Riverford Field Kitchen

Muddy says: Love your food miles to be SMALL and your flavours to be BIG? You'll love Riverford's award-winning sharing menu, served up in the bucolic setting of their flower and herb-filled Field Kitchen near Buckfastleigh.

Cookery Schools and Courses

The Duck at Yeoford

Muddy says: Cor love a duck! You will this one. Yeoford's village pub has a new name, new owners and a fab new seasonal menu - with a great vegan range and ooh, 200 wines by the glass. Shall we have a gander?

Family-friendly Restaurants

Old Walls Vineyard

Muddy says: In vino veritas! The Romans quaffed wine on this very spot, 2000 years ago - now you can take a tour, tuck into tapas on the terrace and go home with a top-notch wine raised on the steepest vineyard in the UK.

Food & Drink

Exmoor White Horse Inn

Muddy says: Fancy a wifi-free walk where the wild things are? Grab your walking boots, hide the phone and take the first exit to Exmoor.

Food & Drink

The Flat

Muddy says: Love a veggie pizza? Love the planet? Looking for gluten-free? Then you've come to the right place! Hot-foot it to this Fore Street pizzeria for a guilt-free night out.

Food & Drink

Sea Arch Non-Alcoholic Gin

Muddy says: All the fun of gin but with none of that pesky headache inducing alcohol. Sea Arch is the perfect alternative with excellent flavours.

Food & Drink

Trevisick’s Pie Emporium

Muddy says: You will want to eat ALL the pies, pasties and Scotch eggs from this Barnstaple bakery. And that's a good thing, as their palm-oil free pastry is helping to save the planet.

Food & Drink

Finley Browns

Muddy says: Like good, honest, home-cooked food, family-run and family-friendly? Oh, and delicious three-layers cakes and waffles?? To Finley Browns you must go.

Cafés

The Green Table

Muddy says: Dartington's family-friendly cafe with a mid-century veggie/vegan vibe and fair-to-farmers ethos. The thinking woman's pit-stop.

Cafés

The Exploding Bakery

Muddy says: Cake lovers, listen up! This cool city-centre cafe is my go-to for GF tray-bakes, great coffee and fast quality food when you're on the go.

Cafés

Powderham Castle

Muddy says: A historic 14th century castle with a modern indie vibe. The home to Let's Rock Exeter and Radio One's Big Weekend in 2016, with centuries of stories behind it and an exciting future as a cultural hub ahead.

Cafés

Honky Tonk Wine Library

Muddy says: Who needs books when you can relax in a liquid library overlooking Sutton Harbour, with more than 100 curated wines for your delight and delectation. Bottoms up!

Bars

The Ship Inn, Teignmouth

Muddy says: If you love local ales, a choice of 10 West Country gins, including Teignmouth's own Granny Garbutts, and insta-worthy sunsets down the Teign Estuary, here's the place to be.

Food & Drink

Exeter Gin

Muddy says: All hail, Exeter Gin! Is this what the Romans drank when they came to the West Country? If what we've tasted is anything to go by, they would, if they could! Saluti!

Drinks

The Lamb Inn, Sandford

Muddy says: I'm planning to steal this wonderful village pub with rooms - or start a campaign to bring it my manor as every village should have one! In the meantime you'll just have to go Sandford.

B&Bs

The Farmers Arms

Muddy says: It's far too fantabulous to leave to the farmers - get yourself to Woolsery for gastronomic delights pronto!

Food & Drink

The White Hart, Dartington

Muddy says: Wholesome and family-friendly farm-to-fork food served up in a medieval Games of Thronesy hall. And a head chef with Jamie Oliver cred to boot.

Family-friendly Restaurants

Rockfish, Exeter Quay

MUDDY SAYS: If you like a better class of fishy on your dishy, come to Rockfish. The canal and riverside setting feel like you're eating outdoors on the quay all year-round and the fresh, flavourful seafood is to die for.

Fun Finder

Bearslake Inn, Sourton

Muddy says: Historic and moorsy, this 13th century inn off Dartmoor's Granite Way is THE spot for jaw-dropping views and slap-up Sunday lunches and pub classics; plus six cottage-style rooms.

Fun Finder

mansion house with flowers

Beyond Escapes, Berry Pomeroy

Muddy Says: A gorgeously secluded selection of luxury lodges, suites and apartments just outside Totnes, close to Torbay coastline, with a rather spanky spa and gym on-site, plus a relaxed restaurant, with views.

Baby Friendly

fig tree blue sky

The Fig Tree @ 36, Plymouth

Muddy says: Like your meals cosy, intimate and more than a bit delicious? You'll love the Fig Tree @ 36 then, an every-occasion restaurant located in a quiet backwater.

Family-friendly Restaurants

harrys sign against blue sky

Harry’s, Exeter

Muddy Says: We've a lot of love for this Exeter indie. Open all day, every day for casual dining in a buzzy atmosphere, with seasonal menus, huge variety and a naughty cocktail list to boot.

Bars

Black and white sign above door Crocketts

Crocketts Gin Bar, Exeter

Muddy says: A cosy, elegant bar in Exeter's bustling cultural quarter, with so many artisan gins it would take months to work through them all (or just a really, really good weekend!)

Bars

exterior white hotel with green and outdoor seating

Thurlestone Hotel, Kingsbridge

Muddy says: A super-pretty playground with a timeless charm, this family-friendly hotel will have you yearning for a staycation (not least because of *that* spa).

Baby Friendly

exterior georgian red brick building with pillars

Southernhay House, Exeter

Muddy Says: In a city where bland chain hotels dominate, what a relief to discover a small, indie, boutique hotel that should be on everyone's 'must-stay' list. Exeter's best-kept secret. 

Bars

Home farm cafe

Home Farm Cafe, Bovey Tracey

Muddy says: Every Dartmoor walk needs a cosy cafe at the end of it; every town needs a twinkly restaurant; Home Farm Cafe, on the National Trust's Parke estate, is Devon's little delight.

Cafés

Thatched Inn Ilfracombe

The Thatched Inn, Ilfracombe

Muddy says: You voted, we totally agree! Cosy and with the warmest welcome in town, everyone needs a pub like 2017's Muddy Award-winning Thatched Inn in their lives.

Family-friendly Restaurants

Whitehouse Chillington

Whitehouse, Chillington

Muddy says: Brought to you by the people behind two of the area's most stylish foodie destinations, we're bowled over by this glam bolthole near the south Devon coast.

B&Bs

Paschoe House exterior night

Paschoe House, Bow

Muddy says: Romantic, relaxed, super-stylish and the ultimate in fun and luxury. As Devon's destination hotels go, Paschoe House, the newest bolthole on the block, takes some beating.

Dog Friendly

Ashburton Cookery School academy exterior

Ashburton Cookery School

Muddy says: Intimidating? No. Hard to follow? Nope. Fun, engaging and confidence-inspiring? Yep, yeppity-yep! There's a reason why this super-welcoming cookery school on the edge of Dartmoor has awards and accolades coming from every direction. In fact, there's at least ten, if we're being honest.

Cookery Schools and Courses

owners jim and lucy against sign

Exeter Cookery School

Muddy says: aprons on and mixing spoons at the ready! This exciting new school on the culinary block is brilliant for people of all ages and abilities wanting a cookery course that's fun, relaxed and tasty! *disclaimer: calories involved. Good ones.

Cookery Schools and Courses

Wicked wolf gin bottles

Wicked Wolf Gin

Muddy says: If you like gin, you'll love the taste of Wicked Wolf, produced on the banks of the River Lyn, in the wilds of Exmoor National Park. Launched in 2015, it's a premium spirit carving quite a reputation for itself. See if you can spot it on the shelves of some of Devon's top bars, restaurants and hotels...and then make sure you order a double.

Drinks

Exterior with water wheel

Turtley Corn Mill, Avonwick

Muddy says: This is one of the South Hams' prettiest places to hang out. Gorgeous gardens where peacocks wander and cosy corners for delicious dinners, plus six stylish bedrooms.

B&Bs

The Cheese Shed

Muddy says: Love cheese, but feeling bored by the same old blocks at the supermarket deli counter? You're guaranteed to broaden your cheese-tasting horizons at this super online shop, based out of Bovey Tracey, specialising in some seriously tasty Westcountry artisan cheeses.

Artisan Cheese

interior wine bottles

Jaded Palates

Muddy says: two lovely stores in pretty Dartmoor towns, one passionate wine expert who knows his grapes (and spirits!) and a cracking website, making the personally curated selection of top-notch wines and spirits accessible across the country. Jaded palate? Not a chance.

Food & Drink

Le Vignoble Wine Lounge and wine merchant interior

Le Vignoble Wine Lounge & Retail, Plymouth

Muddy says: If you've a love of the vine, then you'll be in great company at this sophisticated indie wine lounge and merchant based in Plymouth's historic Royal William Yard.

Bars

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Devon