Ilfracombe & Combe Martin Food & Drink
From down-to-earth boozers to upmarket dining, Ilfracombe is full of treats.
If you’re a fan of contemporary art, The Quay is a must-visit. You’ll be treated to stunning views of the harbour and sea, while dining alongside original works by artworld enfant terrible, Damien Hirst (who also happens to own the restaurant). The menu takes its inspiration from British and European cuisine and prides itself on sourcing produce as locally as possible. Enjoy a drink in the bar or on the outside terrace facing the harbour, before moving into one of two dining areas. A slice of metropolitan sophistication in North Devon! And along Fore Street, you’ll discover many new eateries offering an array of cuisines, using only the best local produce.
By contrast, the Ship and Pilot is a more down-to-earth venue. A no-frills pub that only serves sandwiches, crisps and snacks, it nonetheless attracts a loyal following for its exceptional range of real ales and ciders. At any time, visitors can expect six ales on tap, which will have been carefully chosen from breweries in Devon and Cornwall – among them Exmoor, Otter, Wizard (in Ilfracombe itself), St Austell, Bays and Teignworthy.
At one point in time, Combe Martin was home to nine pubs, all scattered along the main high street. Today the number of pubs has been significantly reduced, but the quality of the food and drink still remains. Ye Olde George and Dragon is a tavern steeped in over 400 years of history, you will never be short of an ale or two inside. It is also home to the Quackers Restaurant, serving up delicious pub grub Wednesday-Saturday, and a speciality carvery on a Sunday.
And lastly, but certainly not least, no trip to Combe Martin is complete without a visit into the Pack O Cards Inn. Its unique shape, design and name are rumoured to have originated from a gentleman named George Ley. He reportedly built the inn following his successful gambling exploits, and in homage to his victory, he built the property to reflect a pack of cards. The inn originally had 52 windows, 13 rooms, and four floors. Today it serves up a tasty a la carte menu with locally sourced produce, complete with stunning riverside garden and fantastic children’s play area.