Whether you’re treating yourselves to a Valentine’s getaway or a romantic weekend away at any time of year, there’s no shortage of intimate places to eat out in the South West.
The beautiful scenery and relaxed pace of life in this part of the world will soon work its magic, providing the perfect setting for quality time with your loved one.
Work up an appetite whilst enjoying the natural romance of a remote moorland walk, a peaceful amble along a pretty wooded creek, or a windswept clifftop hike with magnificent views – there are countless stunning spots here to appreciate with the one you love.
Add mesmerising sunsets in Western skies, deserted beaches at night with moonlight reflecting on the water and waves crashing gently at your feet, spectacular starry skies untouched by light pollution – and you have all the ingredients for the perfect romantic weekend break.
When it comes to eating out, lingering over a leisurely meal together far away from the distractions of your busy lives is one of the best ways to reconnect. Here, the choices include seafood restaurants serving only the freshest locally landed fish; fine dining establishments serving exquisitely prepared meals; or family-run country pubs with friendly welcomes and cosy fires – all serving high quality, local food lovingly prepared by some of the best chefs in the country.
Here’s our pick of the 15 most romantic places to eat in the South West…
Romantic places to eat in Dorset
1. Rick Stein, Sandbanks
Famed for serving beautifully prepared, fresh-from-the-sea fish and seafood in stunning locations, Rick Stein Sandbanks lives up to its reputation. Soak up the superb views of the harbour and let the aphrodisiac powers of the seafood work its magic.
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2. Pig on the Beach, Studland
Uncomplicated, simple, seasonal food sourced straight from their kitchen garden, or no more than 25 miles from the restaurant – this is local food at its best. You’ll fall head over heels for The Pig’s homely charm, intimate atmosphere and beautiful views of the Dorset coastline.
3. The Seaside Boarding House Restaurant and Bar, Burton Bradstock
Relaxed informal dining where you’re welcome to linger over dinner as long as you like. Serving uncomplicated, fresh seafood from the sea at their toes, and everything else sourced as locally as possible, naturally seasonal, and always delicious.
Find your perfect romantic holiday cottage in Dorset
4. HIX Oyster and Fish House, Lyme Regis
Perched high on a hillside offering far-reaching views of the Jurassic Coast from its floor to ceiling windows, HIX is a stunning and intimate setting to enjoy locally sourced fish and seafood lovingly prepared by celebrity chef Mark Hix and his talented team.
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Romantic places to eat in Devon
5. Gidleigh Park, Dartmoor
An elegant yet intimate, award-winning fine dining restaurant, set in a moorland manor house hotel, offering decadent tasting and à la carte menus for those looking to enjoy a taste of luxury.
6. The Rugglestone Inn, Dartmoor
Quaint, unspoilt country pub on the edge of the picturesque village of Widecombe-on-the-Moor. With free-range chickens and ducks (and a pretty stream) running through the garden, and several separate rooms inside, each with a fire to cosy up in front of, the Rugglestone serves simple, satisfying, hearty dishes in an idyllic rustic location.
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7. Millbrook Inn, South Pool
Set in the charming South Devon creekside village of South Pool, this traditional village pub serves delicious French cuisine prepared by their talented French chef using the very best of locally sourced, fresh, seasonal English ingredients.
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8. Britannia at the Beach, Beesands
Shack-style seafood restaurant serving the freshest, most delicious, simply prepared, locally landed fish and shellfish in a quirky beach side setting.
Find your perfect romantic holiday cottage in Beesands
9. The Journeys End, Ringmore
Historic 13th Century pub with four cosy fires in separate rooms to enjoy in the winter months. The menu is inspired by the stunning coastline and landscapes of the South Hams with an emphasis on delicacy, simplicity and provenance, and is the perfect place to stop to eat after a coastal or rural walk.
Find your perfect romantic holiday cottage in South Devon
10. South Sands Hotel Beachside Restaurant, Salcombe
Hidden away just down the estuary from the main hustle and bustle of Salcombe, South Sands Hotel Restaurant enjoys picturesque views of sparkling waters from its beachside windows and deck. Serving freshly caught, expertly cooked seafood and local seasonal dishes in a truly stunning seaside setting.
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11. The Sea Horse, Dartmouth
Set on the banks of the river Dart, The Sea Horse is an intimate dining venue with some of the best fish and shellfish in the world, landed right on its doorstep. Celebrity chef, Mitch Tonks, and his talented team, serve it roasted over an open charcoal fire with just a few herbs and their own olive oil, making for a superbly delicious simple seafood feast.
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Romantic Places to eat in Cornwall
12. Old Sail Loft, Looe
This historic quayside warehouse overlooking the harbour serves classic and modern dishes in the snug comfort of one of the oldest buildings in Looe. A former haunt for smugglers and sea faring men of the 16th Century, today its renowned as one of the best restaurants in Looe, specialising in steaks and fresh local fish landed on the quay outside.
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13. The Blue Peter Inn, Polperro
Nestled between ancient smugglers’ cottages on the old Fish Quay, this is probably one of the quaintest pubs you’ll ever visit. Offering a friendly welcome, hearty freshly prepared food, and a cosy atmosphere in an idyllic and historic setting.
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14. Rojano’s in the Square, Padstow
This homely, friendly, family-run restaurant serves up delicious Italian dishes in laid back surroundings. It’s a great choice for pasta lovers, or anyone looking for an exceptional, yet reasonably-priced, meal out in Padstow.
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15. Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac
Perched at the top of Port Isaac, overlooking the rugged Cornish coastline, the Nathan Outlaw Restaurant serves an elite seafood tasting menu in the intimate dining room of a boutique seaside hotel. Specialising in the finest sustainable seafood caught off the Cornish coast by small day boats, Nathan’s simple and honest approach to seafood cookery provides a truly memorable dining experience.
Find your perfect romantic holiday cottage near Port Isaac