Barnstaple Restaurants

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    Royal & Fortescue Hotel
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Most Recent Restaurants in Barnstaple

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    East & West Bakery: The Best Pastie In Town!!

    by johngayton Updated Jun 1, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Signage

    I'm not quite sure whether this is a "Shopping Tip" or a "Restaurant Tip" but for the time being I'll put it here (and I might put a variant under shopping too at a later date).

    I must have walked past this place 100's of times but for some reason was never tempted to pop in. Why? I don't know. It always looked like a nice little bakers but I never seemed to be here to go to a bakers and so I just walked by without a second thought.

    It was only the fact that I was visiting the Pannier Market one Monday with a little writing project to do that I actually spent some time just wandering and absorbing the atmosphere and part of that atmosphere was the delicious smells emanating from the little bakery just across the road on Butcher's Row.

    It was lunchtime and I was peckish and so popped in to see what they had to offer. DEAD IMPRESSED!!

    This is a tiny, tiny, shop crammed with all sorts of goodies, all baked on on the premises by the hardworking trio of artisan bakers and served by the equally hardworking, smiling staff. The place is so small that the bakers are almost sharing the shop front with their displays as they roll and knead their pastes and doughs. As customers we have to be Devon-friendly as we pack the miniscule shopfront with barely space to turn around - this is the sort of place where 3 definitely is a crowd!!

    Favorite Dish: It has to be the pasties! Meltingly crumbly pastry enclosing a rich meaty filling with just the right amount of root vegetables. It's not often a pastie maker gets everything right but here it is perfect - just the right balance between pastry, meat and veg and everything cooked spot-on.

    This has been my one and only visit so far but the lunchtime mini-pizzas looked pretty good as they came out of the oven and so on next visit...

    PS The pastie was so DELISH that I'd eaten it before I thought of taking its photo ;p

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    The Royal & Fortescue Hotel: Great food and service

    by Myfanwe Written Sep 13, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Royal & Fortescue Hotel
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    The Royal Fortescue Hotel is situated right in the centre of Barnstaple. As we were wandering round the town we noticed the elegant Georgian building and the best thing was, there was a sign outside offering Carvery lunches and snacks so decided to investigate. Meals and snacks can be taken in the lovely comfy bar area or more formal restaurant area. We sat in the restaurant. The staff were really friendly and accomodating. As well as cooked dinner from the carvery, there was also a curry on offer or you could choose a meal from the menu. I chose the curry and my mum ordered liver and onions off the menu. Both meals were really nice and went down a treat. I would definitely eat here again and would recommend it to others.

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    Wood's: Stick To The Fish 'n Chips!

    by johngayton Written May 16, 2012

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    Naff Fish Pie
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    On a rainy late spring evening I was between pubs and heading for Marshal's when I realised I hadn't eaten anything that day and so decided to drop into the fish 'n chip shop next door. Wood's is actually excellent for takeaways (I'm surprised I haven't written about it before now) but with it raining outside I chose to sit indoors.

    Well there's something about fish 'n chips which really does, to my mind anyway, require being eaten on the hoof with the fingers, out of the wrapping paper, not at a table from a plate with a knife and fork. So i elected for the Fisherman's Pie.

    Wrong move. It wasn't actually inedible, just bland and totally unfishy. Good veg though!

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    Prezzo: A Serious Pizza Oven

    by johngayton Written Jun 9, 2011

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    The Pizza Oven
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    The secret of perfect pizza (once you’ve mastered the dough) is having a decent oven to cook them in. You need an oven that provides a fierce but even bottom heat so that the base cooks quickly, rising and crisping simultaneously, whilst the toppings merely glaze without overcooking.

    This oven here at Prezzo is perfectectly designed for the task. The under-heated solid steel plate provides a uniform baking surface whilst the back burner allows a gentler convection heat for the toppings and so pizza is Prezzo’s forte.

    This is part of a national chain but none the worse for that as everything is cooked in-house with locally-souced fresh ingredients. As well as the pizzas the menu offers a good range of reasonably-priced Mediterranean-style dishes and is ideal for both grazing and casual dining. The décor is chicly informal, clean and unpretentious, and service is likewise. A well-selected wine list completes the experience and as to be expected they also make a mean cup of coffee.

    Favorite Dish: Despite the temptation of the pizza I was after something a bit lighter, taking advantage of an unseasonably warm spring afternoon to eat alfresco in the sheltered courtyard, and so went for the excellent value set-price, 2-course, lunch menu (which also has a pizza option). The tomato and basil bruschetta turned out to be more substantial than expected - a couple of slices of garlicky toasted Foccaccia literally heaped with red and yellow cherry tomatoes and liberally dressed with a fresh basil pesto - almost a meal in its own right. My Chicken Caesar was also a plateful - a whole char grilled chicken breast on a traditional bed of crisp romain lettuce, crunchy olive oil toasted croutons, plenty of Parmesan, a slightly bland dressing (unfortunately lacking the anchovy bite that I like in a Caesar) and made even more substantial by the little trio of dough puffs as an unannounced, and tasty, accompaniement.

    Apart from the slightly bland dressing (I supposed I could have used the balsamic and olive oil table condiments but that would have kinda defeated the Caesar principle) this was an excellent lunch and at £10 for two courses, including a glass of nicely chilled pinot noir, was a definite bargain.

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    Chambers Brasserie: Sitting in the Sun, Watching the Traffic!

    by johngayton Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Lunch :-)
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    Chambers, on the corner of The Square and Boutport Street, is a buzzy modern brasserie in an elegantly refurbished former Victorian bank chambers. This isn't the first time I've been here but usually I've just dropped in for a coffee or a beer on my way back to the railway station. On all my previous visits I've been impressed by the fish offerings on their "Specials Board" and had been promising myself that I would try it out someday, especially given that even tho' it was normally just a coffee or a pint, sitting outside on the small terrace overlooking the (as was) redevelopements of The Square in the afternoon sun, I have always enjoyed excellent and friendly service and at very reasonable prices too.

    So here I was in Barnstaple at lunchtime with everything done that needed to be, and a proper lunch the order of the day before my 12 mile cycle home. Chambers then it was, and dissapointed I was not!

    Favorite Dish: As I said above, I've always been impressed by the look of the fish specials here and on this visit the rather unusual dish of: "Ling poached in red wine with creamed leeks." immediately caught my attention.

    Yep, delish it was despite its violent violet appearance - beautifully chunky, flaky, fresh white fish, sympathetically cooked to a just melt-in-the-mouth degree of doneness. A well-flavoured leek sauce and good veg accompaniements.

    As always great service and a very reasonable bill.

    The only slight drawback about eating outside is that The Square is the main thorofare in the town for local traffic - Ach, if they moved this place about 50 metres to the riverside it would be perfect!

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    The Quay Cafe, Fremington: Only Dropped In For A Coffee So Far But......

    by johngayton Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Fishcakes!!
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    ...this looks well worth another visit purely to try the food.

    Every so often there's a little place that I stop by just for a coffee or a beer or whatever and then wish that i hadn't had that late breakfast elsewhere and this is one such. There is a real qualitative feel about this little cafe, despite its idyllic location which often tends to result in disappointment. There is something about here that makes a revisit, with an appetite to do it justice, an absolute must - well it must be good seeing as they buy their ice-cream from the same people as I do!!!

    Favorite Dish: So far only the coffee, but watch this space for updates!!!!

    And the update is..........THE FISH CAKES!! Fishcakes actually made of fish, tasting of fish and absolutely Delish! These are not the cheapest fishcakes around but are certainly amongst the best - a good mix of fish, including a touch of something smokey, lightly crumbed, served with a zingy chilli dip and a mustardy dresssed salad.

    An almost perfect lunch on a warm May afternoon.

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    Han Court: Great Set Dinner and an Impressive Carved Fish!

    by johngayton Updated Mar 24, 2009

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    Crispy Duck and The Fish!
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    Han Court is a few miles out of town but well worth the journey for some of the best Cantonese and Peking cuisine in North Devon. This is a spacious modern restaurant which has its obligatory fish tank but is otherwise subtley subdued in its Chinese-ocity (I know - I just made up that word!).

    The main road location and slightly austere building don't perhaps do the place justice but the food and service have established Han Court as one of the areas most popular destination restaurants. Service is welcoming, the atmosphere pleasantly buzzy, and no matter how busy it is equally suited for both parties and more intimate dining.

    I've only eaten here once, on a "work's do", but was suitably impressed. The menu covers pretty much everything you would expect from the Cantonese/Peking repertiore, with a slight emphasis on local seafood - notably turbot, sea bass and scallops. The wine list has some some interesting offerings and as well as the usual selection of other drinks (alcoholic and non) the light refreshing Tsingtao beer makes for a perfect aperatif.

    Service manages to be both casual and professional and so there is no stuffiness here, just good food in relaxed, atmospheric surroundings.

    Favorite Dish: Since we were a small party of seven we opted for the Chef's Special Set Menu. Set menus are usually the best way to enjoy Chinese food eating as a group. The Special Set Menu depends on what the kitchen has to offer on the day and a good chef will only offer what is the best - here the chef is a good chef!!

    The Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup starter was as good as it gets - good chicken stock and nicely thickened with egg. The selection of Won Ton, Sesame Prawn Toast and Spring Rolls would have made for a pleasant light meal in themselves. Then came the Peking Duck with the usual accompaniements of pancakes, sping onion, cucumber and Hoi Sin. This was a veritable mound of crispy succulent shredded meat and garnished with an impressively carved melon fish which we did think about divvying up and eating but it was too pretty.

    Last, but not least, came the main course - just as we thought we could eat no more! Sizzling Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork (with just a hint of crackle to it), Black Bean Chicken, Turbot with Ginger, Special Fried Rice - all got the chopsticks working overtime.

    Yep: excellent food, good service, good company and seeing as the boss was picking up the bill, very satisfied ;)

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    Jalapeno Peppers: North Devon's Little Mexico!!

    by johngayton Written Dec 27, 2007

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    Colourful Frontage!

    Despite having been totally spoiled by Mexican restaurants in the US, and especially those in Southern California, I must take my sombrero off to this little place here on a slightly off-track Barnstaple sidestreet. This is a pleasantly atmospheric restaurant with the Mexican theme not so overdone as to render it kitschy but with all the necessary bits in place such as an interesting range of Tequila's and a menu with all the taco and tortilla variations as expected. Adding on a couple of Southern US classics including burgers, ribs, gumbo and some interesting daily-changing specials makes this place well worth a visit just for the food alone.

    Service can be a little haphazard when it gets busy but is always friendly. With an average main course price around the 10 quid mark and reasonably priced drinks there are no complaints from this corner!

    Favorite Dish: The "Threeways Combo" which consisted of a mix of chicken, beef and vegetable taco, taquito and enchilada (I can't remember which was filled with which!!) was pretty good and accompanied by the usual gaucamole, sour cream, tortilla chips and salsa and a bit of side salad made for a perfectly tasty and filling repast. OK perhaps not quite up to Southern Californian standards tastewise but as I've said I have been spoiled!!

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    The Tarka Inn: Fishcakes, Guiness and a View!

    by johngayton Written Nov 1, 2007

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    Facade (From Tarka Trail)
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    OK this is part of a National chain: the Vintage Inns "concept" of the Pubco: Mitchells and Butlers, BUT it is a stunning Inn with great views over the Taw Estuary, friendly staff, good food and immaculately appointed interior. The building itself too is stunning with its crenellated wings and Devon stone - whether it was built as a coaching inn or a private house I don't know but it certainly is a striking building.

    Even on an overcast November lunchtime the gardens are definitely the best feature, tho' the inside didn't look "too shabby neither!". Yep, well worth a visit, tho' I can imagine it gets a bit hectic when the sun's out!!

    Favorite Dish: Only one visit so far and a quick light lunch of Salmon and Broccoli Fishcakes, served with a toss of well-dressed salad leaves and a pot of mayo, certainly did the trick for me and washed down with a pint of Guiness and a view to die for - hey! I AM Mr Chill!!!

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    The River Front Cafe: Sitting in the Sun, Watching the Birds;)

    by johngayton Updated Oct 19, 2007

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    Frontage? or perhaps Rearage!
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    This is no great shakes on the culinary front but when the sun's out and a sausage sarnie (with brown sauce of course!!) is the order of the day then this as good a spot as any to sit and watch the gulls and guillmots pecking around in the mudbanks of the low-tide Taw Estuary by the Long Bridge here in Barnstaple.

    This is pretty chill place with friendly service and whilst a little formica-ish is none the worse for being so - a proper little caff!!

    BTW The Riverfront is also a licensed bar and by all accounts does a bit of evening music and quizzes too.

    Favorite Dish: It has to be the sausage and egg sandwich along with a mug of coffee - Five pounds and five pence, but "Call it a fiver for cash!" BARGAIN!!!

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    Zena's: Al Fresco in Barnstaple

    by johngayton Written Jul 11, 2006

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    A Touch Of The Continentals!
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    Zena's is a modern upscale establishment nestled in the courtyard beside the arched entrance to the Pannier Market and seems to have become an immediate hit with the "ladies who lunch" market, especially if the sun is shining.

    Not having had any specific lunch intentions on my first visit to Barnstaple for quite some time (tho' I did quite fancy a Whimpy - I do do these sort of things from time to time!), I was leaving the market on the search for a spare camera battery when I noticed this shaded and sheltered courtyard full of people enjoying lunch. First impressions!!

    Shopping duly completed, a bee-line was made back to here for a lateish lunch and excellent it was too. The courtyard is sheltered on all four sides but open enough to allow the sun its access, though this too is shaded by the tree and the strategically-placed parasols. The lunch menu covers the usual British bits and bobs with little twists and turns upon the way towards the continent. Service is smart/casual with black and white clad servers but totally informal and of course Devon-friendly:)

    Favorite Dish: Ah! favourite dish? Did you mean the rather attractive 30-ish blond sitting with her equally attractive friend on the next table, or do you want to know about the food?

    OK We'll stick to the food - I was only after a light bite and the home-made fishcakes were exactly what I was looking for, salmony with plenty of flavour and a good tzatziki accompaniement. Cappucino in an interestingly arty cup and a bill less than GDP 9 made for a spot on lunch.

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