Continuing our celebration of Devon Restaurant Month, next on our list of top places to enjoy fantastic local food and drink is the Salutation Inn in Topsham.
The Grade II Listed building is run by chef director Tom Williams-Hawkes, formerly of Gidleigh Park, and his partner Amelia Baulch. The building has been transformed into a 45-cover glazed atrium café, a 30-cover fine dining restaurant and function room for up 35 people, plus four en-suite rooms and two suites.
The restaurant serves up some of the best local ingredients on weekly changing menus with a modern, French-influenced style that has had foodies in Devon coming back again and again.
We caught up with chef director Tom for a quick Q&A about Devon’s food and drink highlights.
Q. What can people expect when they visit the Salutation Inn?
A. A friendly face serving quality, locally-sourced food made with the same care and attention whether it is breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.
Q. What’s your favourite dish on the summer menu in the restaurant?
Wild River Exe Salmon (pictured above); we change the accompaniment to what's best from the greengrocers that day. Topsham holds 3 seine netting licenses and my father Ed is in one of the boats, so we are very lucky to have lots of wonderful fish brought straight up from the river and on that night's menu. We also have some smoked by Jacksons in Newton Abbot, which is perfect for Christmas.
Q. What do you love the most about living and working in Topsham?
A. The River Exe has always been my playground and being able to live and work in Topsham means that it is just on our doorstep. We are fully family-run business which is rare to find these days. Amelia and I head out on the boat on our days off and enjoy eating out about the river!
Q. What do you think makes the food and drink of Devon special?
A. We use some of the finest ingredients from such businesses as Greendale Farm, Celtic Sea Fare, Stuart Baker-Dartmoor, Richards, and Country Cheeses. Our menus are always changing, written to include what is local, seasonal and fresh, we get to speak to the supplier and know where it has come from.
Q. Do you have a top tip for any food and drink lovers visiting Devon?
A must-visit is El Olivo in Exmouth (as well as the Salutation Inn of course!) Topsham Food Festival is also great fun, taking place on 2 July.
For more information about Devon Restaurant Month, visit www.devonrestaurantmonth.co.uk and keep an eye out for the rest of our restaurant recommendations throughout the month.