Devon restaurants are starting to reopen after weeks of lockdown
- Credit: . Photo: Rockfish
Some of Devon’s most popular restaurants have been explaining how they will open for diners again after the easing of lockdown restrictions from Super Saturday 4 July using one metre plus social distancing
Rockfish which has several seafood restaurants in Devon, will opening the doors of its Plymouth restaurant on 4 July. There will be a new menu and a new ordering system. Other restaurants in the group, including in Exeter, Exmouth and Brixham, will open in the weeks afterwards.
Founder Mitch Tonks says: “We’re opening our restaurants up one at a time and making sure all the changes and measures we’re introducing absolutely work for our customers and our teams. It will be a little bit different, with a changed menu and ordering process for instance, but we’re retaining all the Rockfish magic that customers have come to love. Plymouth is opening first, it is a great big spaced out restaurant overlooking the boats and water, it has loads of outdoor space, different entry and exit doors and so on, it’s the perfect place to reopen first. The marine aquarium next door to us are also opening, feels good to be back! I believe we will emerge from this as one of the strongest restaurant businesses in the south west. We’ve updated everything, in line with all the government guidelines and have produced support documentation and training programmes for all staff, which start this week. It’s a big operation but it is also an exciting one, a chance to reboot!”
SALUTATION INN, TOPSHAM
At the historic Salutation Inn ,in the heart of Exe estuary town Topsham, diners will be able to enjoy chef Tom William-Hawkes’ cooking from Wednesday 8 July.
The inn will be serving meals in the Glasshouse, which will be open for lunch, afternoon tea and evening meals. Only two households may book together and tables for no more than six people. The hotel is also offering accommodation on a room-only basis and is continuing with its wet fish shop, started during lockdown, with a selection of fresh seafood for sale supplied by Greendale Farm.
THE OLD INN, DREWSTEIGNTON
You may be lucky to get a table at The Old Inn, Drewsteignton, after it reopenss for business from 8 July but be warned, it is almost fully booked for the month.
The restaurant will serve dinner from 7pm Wednesday to Saturdays and at other times for parties of more than six people. Owners Anthea Christmas and Duncan Walker say: “We are able to ‘distance’ all our tables and have adjusted our maximum customer amount accordingly. We are the only two people cooking/serving and therefore are low risk.” A sample menu is available on The Old Inn website and to book you should call 01647 281276.
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RODEAN RESTAURANT. KENTON
The Rodean Restaurant at Kenton has been offering takeaway meals during lockdown but is now looking forward to a return to table service.
Customers of the restaurant, which features in the 2020 Michelin Guide, are being asked to order their meals via email to reduce contact with staff and remove the need to share menus. Owners Lizzie and Matthew Tilt say: “This is of course an incredibly difficult time for everyone. We want our guests to have the best experience possible, within the Government guidelines, and we really appreciate their continued support as we take our first tentative steps back to reopening.” The Rodean menus will be posted every Tuesday on their website .
THE CORNISH ARMS, TAVISTOCK
Customer safety is paramount at Tavistock’s Cornish Arms which plans to open on the weekend on 4 July and will then be open Wednesday to Sunday offering lunch, dinner, beer garden, takeaway and accommodation.
General manager Steve Eperon says: “We are looking forward to welcoming back all of our wonderful customers. We are planning an outside bar in addition to our main bar to help with safe social distancing. We have removed some tables and created a safe space for our customers to enjoy. We have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and we have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance.” You can call to book on 01822 612145 or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org .
ILSINGTON COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL, DARTMOOR
Staff at the Ilsington Country House Hotel on the edge of Dartmoor are getting ready to reopen on 16 July. Social distancing will be in place with a one-way system, additional cleaning and sanitiser stations.
Daytime dining will be in the spacious and airy bar, lounges, terrace or garden. Evening dining will be in the main restaurant only, a large spacious room with two metre spacing between guests and lovely views to Haytor. The evening menu will be a combination of bar classics and more restaurant style dishes to compliment the hotel’s 2 AA rosette cuisine. Non-residents will be welcome for coffees, drinks, afternoon teas throughout the day.
LA PETITE BOUCHEE
The multi-award winning brasserie La Petite Bouchee will be reopening its doors to diners from 24 July.
Chef proprietor Anita-Clare Field, who relocated the business to Witheridge in 2017, says: “Things will be a bit different for a while. There won’t be the same amount of tables and we will all have to follow the current government guidelines to ensure your safety and ours. In all other respects nothing’s changed. Still the same, multi-award winning service and food, just served a little differently.” The restaurant will continue to be reservation only and will only take bookings online. Customers will order their food and drinks ahead of their visit and pay contactlessly in advance. The barasserie will only accept bookings of up to six people from two different households or six from the same household. For full details check their website.
KENTISBURY GRANGE, NORTH DEVON
At the Kentisbury Grange Hotel on the edge of Exmoor, which closed before lockdown, they have announced that the bar at the Coach House Restaurant will be open on 4 July,
The restaurant is expected to open for lunch and evening dining very soon. As well as dining the hotel has luxury rooms, suites and self catering family lodges, providing a perfect base to explore all the best that North Devon has to offer.
THE MASONS ARMS, KNOWSTONE
At The Masons Arms in Knowstone owners Mark and Sarah Dodson are happy to be opening their doors again from Saturday 4 July,
They say: “As before we will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday - Saturday and for lunch on the first Sunday of the month. We shall be limiting our availability for the time being to operate safely for our guests and staff and to be able to operate within the one metre plus guidance. Also we shall be open throughout the whole of August this year as there won’t be our usual late summer closure.” Bookings are being taken over the telephone. The largest available table is now a six (for members from two households only). This will allow us tables of twos and fours in the restaurant with one metre plus social distancing.
Bill’s Restaurant & Bar will reopen in Exeter’s Gandy Street on Friday, 17 July. The chain says that while service will still remain a priority, all restaurants will be implementing the highest standards of health and safety, ensuring both guests and employees will be dining and working in confidence and in a safe environment.
Measures for guests will include thermal cameras for temperature checks on arrival and new seating arrangements in line with Government social distancing rules. All surfaces will be freshly cleaned before and after each use, and professional deep cleaning and disinfecting of each restaurant will take place on a daily basis. Dedicated members of staff have been appointed to ensure that health and safety is at its highest standard on an on-going basis.
THE FIVE BELLS, CLYST HYDON
The Five Bells is opening for sit down meals on Saturday 4 July from 12pm - 2pm and from 5.30pm - 9pm.
THE JACK IN THE GREEN, ROCKBEARE
The Jack in the Green will be reopening on Thursday 16 July with some new summer menus from chef Matt Mason. There will be full table service inside and in the courtyard with a maximum of 2 households allowed per table (up to a maximum of 8 people).
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