The Two Bridges Hotel enjoys the most wonderful setting in the heart of Dartmoor, perched on the banks of the beautiful West Dart River. Whatever time of year, the surrounding moorland guarantees an atmospheric arrival at this historic hotel. Last Sunday evening I was joined by Moss and her owner Julia for dinner. It was misty and mysterious when we arrived, and the Hotel’s log fires and gleaming brass work provided exactly the kind of warm welcome we needed.
Moss, the Dartmoor Dog Blogger was with us and, while the Hotel is very dog-friendly, dogs are not (quite rightly) allowed in the main restaurant. Attentive staff immediately offered to set up a table for us in the bar in a cosy corner near the fire so that Moss could remain with us. We were all very happy with this arrangement especially as the Hotel’s Tors Restaurant menu can be enjoyed in the bar as well as the restaurant.
The menu is traditional and offers a good choice across three courses at a set price of £37.50. But be warned, portions are generous! There is also a separate vegetarian menu that presented us with even more delicious choices. In the end, we both decided to opt for dishes from the main menu.
After placing our order and relaxing, an impressive array of homemade breads was brought to us – a selection of brown mixed seed, sour dough and sun-blushed tomato and cheddar cheese – served with homemade butter, pesto, olive tapenade and an oil and balsamic dip.
Next came an amuse–bouche of leek and potato soup with truffle oil which was extremely tasty. All this amounted to a starter in itself!
And then… our proper starters arrived. We had chosen chicken liver parfait, apple, black pudding and fig, and a Jerusalem artichoke risotto with chicken, hazelnut and truffle. Both were plentiful and delicious.
For our main courses, we chose Devon hake, fishcake, crayfish and baby gem and Devon Pork. The hake was perfectly cooked and a well-balanced dish. The Pork was good and meaty and the interesting ‘popcorn’ style coating on the croquette gave an interesting crunchy texture. All the dishes are served on attractive pottery bowls and plates which really add to the overall presentation.
Then it came to dessert. Of course, having merrily troughed our way through the bread selection and the amuse-bouche ahead of the main items, capacity was by now severely limited! We decided the best we could do was share a dessert simply described as ‘Everything Chocolatey’ which, indeed, it was! A delicious mix of white, milk and dark chocolates that was extremely rich and accompanied by chunky crunchy nuggets of honeycombe. Delicious.
Feeling completely sated, wonderfully cosy and not a little sleepy, we had to pass on the offer of coffee. Thank goodness we only had to stagger upstairs to bed and not drive home!