Living in Devon, blessed with its two coastlines, we’re quite used to dining beside the sea, but it can be difficult to find a restaurant where the quality of the food matches the view. Brasserie 16 at The Devoncourt offers just that. Sitting slightly back from the seafront (only a few minute’s walk away), it gives diners an opportunity to enjoy delicious food while taking in the stunning sea view across Exmouth’s golden sandy beach.

The friendly staff make you feel welcome right away, and although we arrived before the restaurant was due to open, we were happily guided to the bar where we ordered a pre-dinner drink. The bar area also boasts sea views, and with plenty of seating, it offers an alternative option to simply grab a drink and relax. We were then invited into the restaurant and guided to our table located in one of the large bay windows overlooking the gardens and seafront. The decor was quite traditional, very clean and notably spacious – unlike many newer restaurants that can feel a little claustrophobic.

The restaurant offers a Gastropub style specialty menu each night, with fish night, pie night and steak night being some of the firm favourites. This is accompanied by the A La Carte menu for those that want something different. When I visit a restaurant, I spend far too long agonising over which dish to choose if there is a great selection on the menu. This was exactly the case here. With an excellent variety of mouth-watering dishes, from classics to gourmet creations, it was a real struggle to make my decision.

To start, we opted for the Goats Cheese & Onion Marmalade Crostini with Ratatouille & Balsamic Drizzle (£6.50), and the Whitebait with Tartare Sauce. The presentation was second to none, and I really wasn’t prepared for the delectable flavours that hit me when I took my first bite. The portions were incredibly generous in size too – a theme that carried on throughout the night!

As it was steak night, it would have been rude if one of us didn’t give it a try. The steaks on offer are locally sourced in the Westcountry, and on steak night include a glass of wine. The 6oz Chargrilled Fillet Steak (£18.50) was cooked to perfection, and served with either chips or new potatoes, peas or salad, mushrooms, tomato and onion rings. The onion rings were much bigger than you’d usually expect, and were nice and crispy. I opted for the A La Carte menu, choosing the Pork, Sage & Apricot Pie (£10.75) which was packed full of tender pork, with the apricot adding a unique twist.

Our waistbands had expanded significantly by this point, but we knew that dessert was a must. There was once again a large selection of home-made treats, as well as a variety of ice creams to choose. We decided on the Dark Chocolate Cherry Pie and for myself, the Banoffee Pie (both £5.95), which for me, was the star of the show. Naughty and sweet, yet somehow light and delicate – I’d definitely recommend it to anyone.

So if you’re looking for a good quality dining experience with a sea view away from the hustle and bustle, look no further than Brasserie 16 at The Devoncourt.

By Jake Tucker

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