I have never been someone who enjoys exploring a new kitchen or spending hours in preparation for a special meal, so I was all too easily persuaded to spend a week trialling some of the local eateries!
The first important thing to note has nothing to do with food or service, but is simply that everywhere around here fills up much quicker when the sun comes out. If it’s been a glorious day it is advisable to book whichever pub or restaurant you want to visit that evening, or be prepared to sit in the bar or garden for up to an hour waiting for a table to become free.
Come the evening, Widemouth has two choices within easy stumbling distance of Seascape (the Beach House and the Bay View Inn) with Widemouth Manor Hotel being a little further away in the opposite direction. At the time of writing, both the hotel and the Beach House only serve food between Wednesday and Sunday (and only lunch on the Sunday), but the Beach House also offers a good takeaway menu for evenings when you’ve forgotten to book. The food is locally-sourced and freshly prepared with good pub grub on the takeaway and bar menu rubbing shoulders with more exotic fare in the restaurant, with several very good fish dishes as befits its location.
The Bay View Inn is good for family dining, with a relaxed and bustling atmosphere. The menu is more akin to a pub, but freshly prepared and well cooked with portions to feed a hearty appetite. Food is served from 12 noon till 9pm throughout the summer months.
A little further out on the road to Bude is the excellent Elements, which nearly always requires advance booking. The restaurant offers views to Lundy Island and serves food between 12 noon till 9.30pm during the summer holidays. The food is Italian in style and the chef’s flexibility makes it perfect for anyone with special dietary requirements. The boutique atmosphere makes it a perfect retreat for couples, or families with older children.
Bude itself offers a multitude of takeaways and restaurants with a variety of different cuisines, but our favourite (to date!) is the Olive Tree on Lower Wharf Road. Again, it’s worth booking ahead as it can get very busy at peak times. Once again, the restaurant prides itself on using local ingredients and the menu includes a list of its suppliers. The menu is small but the food excellent and the wine always enjoyed.