Clovelly’s Red Lion Hotel is the perfect secluded spot for a meal. The building dates back to the 18th century and its historical charm and character oozes throughout.
The Harbour Restaurant within the hotel has had a major facelift this year and is bright, fresh and airy. The décor is simple yet elegant with accessories and paintings echoing the sea theme.
What’s more, this really is a room with a view. The restaurant overlooks the harbour, cliffs and the sea.
My companion and I were shown to a quiet table next to the window. I don’t think I could ever tire of that glorious view. As the sun went down that evening, the rays bounced off the water, giving the harbour a sense of peace and tranquility.
After studying the menu we opted for seared scallops topped with sesame seeds, sauteed spring onions and a honey-glazed goat’s cheese and red onion tart for our starters.
Both dishes were quite simply works of art on a plate. The scallops were beautifully cooked and tender while the goat’s cheese tart was rich, creamy and moreish.
For the mains we went for a sirloin steak with all the trimmings and a roasted pork loin with black pudding fritter, asparagus, red cabbage colcannon mash and a coarse grain mustard cream sauce.
The red cabbage colcannon gave the dish a glorious injection of colour. The pork was tender and the asparagus was cooked just right.
Of course, I had to sample the steak too. The meat was melt-in-the-mouth tender and was accompanied by triple cooked chips which were crisp and fluffy – the perfect combination.The steak also came with cherry vine tomatoes, portobello mushroom, rocket and garlic butter.
Perhaps gluttony got the better of us. We were so full from the two previous dishes we probably should have called it a night.
However, there is something so wonderfully appealing about the words “chocolate” and “salted caramel”.
I have convinced myself there is a separate appetite for a pudding.
I went for the chocolate tartlette with strawberry ice cream and chocolate sauce while my other half went for the thin puff pastry apple tart with vanilla ice cream and a calvados salted caramel.
Both were beautifully presented, it almost seemed a shame to eat them.The apple tart had the most delicate, flaky pastry which made the dish light and not at all stodgy.
The pudding I chose would satisfy any chocoholic out there. It was the perfect dish for those with a sweet tooth. Rich, decadent and the ideal way to finish the evening.
The Harbour Restaurant has a concise menu but there is something to suit all tastes. Other starters included pan-fried red mullet and a soup of the day.
Main courses included Clovelly-caught whole lobster, pan-fried duck breast and grilled fillet of trout with a squid ink spaghetti.
For puddings there was also a Clovelly fruit posset with homemade shortbread and a cheeseboard to tickle your tastebuds.
Fresh fish is landed daily outside their door and the Red Lion sources as much produce from the local area if it cannot obtain it from the estate.
During the autumn and winter season, partridge and pheasant come from the estate and venison comes from Exmoor.
A three-course meal for two people costs £68.
Source: Devon live