This is the place for your light lunch or snack here in the village if you're not tempted by either of the pub's offerings. This is a perfect old-fashioned "Tea-room" with frilly lace tablecloths in pleasantly atmospheric surroundings and with the added bonus of a sunny courtyard overlooking the bay. But please don't sit on the dry-stone pebbled wall!
Favorite Dish: Well it has to be the Devon Cream Tea in the afternoon with lashings of clotted cream and jam to go with your scones. In the morning a freshly toasted tea cake will stifle the hunger pangs until lunchtime. Then at lunchtime a good variety of sandwiches and light lunches are on offer.
The Hoops Inn isn't actually in the village of Clovelly but rather at Horn's Cross a couple of miles to the East on the main Atlantic Highway but it is close enough to merit inclusion here on this page. Not only is it close enough to merit inclusion but is also one of my favourite eating establishments in the whole world and this is as good a place as any to give it a mention ;)
The Hoops is the perfect archetypal English Inn with its whitewashed walls and thatched roof, its wood-rich interior and roaring fireplaces, its formal dining areas and its little nooks and alcoves in the bar. Not only is this a stunning building, set in beautifully maintained gardens, but is also always welcoming, the staff seem to take great pride in their surroundings and service is always friendly even when busy. The food here is excellent too with the options of eating relatively upscalely in the dining room or more casually in the bar with menues to suit most tastes.
Favorite Dish: I've never eaten formally in the dining room here, sticking to the more relaxed bar (which also serves a superb range of mostly local brews) and strangely enough I've never actually eaten from the menu, having always eaten from the specials board.
Not that there's anything wrong with the menu but rather that the "specials board" is indeed special featuring the best of the season's local offerings including freshly landed fish and seafood, seasonal game and the occasional chef's whimsy.
Usually I stick to the fish here which is always good but the last time I ate here I went for the venison with a port jus which arrived perfectly pink and accompanied by a really tasty red cabbage.
The food here is not fast food, nor is it particularly cheap, and sometimes you have to wait awhile after ordering, but with friendly staff, excellent beer and the wonderful ambience - who cares? This is North Devon - don't come to North Devon if you're in a hurry!