Sorry, but your web browser is too old to display this page properly.
Please update it to the latest version or switch to a more modern browser,
Google Chrome or
Internet Explorer 11 (they're all free).
3-4 Beacon Terrace
Torquay may be synonymous with Basil Fawlty and co, but The Elephant has put this Devon seaside stalwart back on the foodie map for all the right reasons. Boasting a gorgeous location overlooking the English Riviera, here is a capacious modern destination with lots of possibilities – a Michelin-starred restaurant for the whole family. The action takes place in a casual bare-boarded room with terrific harbour views and a menu of bang-up-to-date brasserie cooking fuelled by produce from chef/proprietor Simon Hulstone’s 69-acre Devon farm. A starter of heritage vegetable ‘samosas’ with goats’ curd and pickled mustard might precede roast Southdown lamb with black garlic, Roscoff onion, savoy cabbage and thyme jus or pumpkin fondant with spiced carrot juice. There’s Devon-reared beef too, while sustainable fish from the West Country boats could yield sea trout cured in brown sugar with lime-leaf emulsion or Brixham plaice accompanied by confit chicken wings, clams, brown bread and fried capers. After that, perhaps try forced rhubarb with baked custard and blood orange sorbet. Cheery service does what’s needed, and the wine list offers excellent value.
SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2018 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2018. Thousands of readers took part and the results were moderated by SquareMeal’s editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The UK survey does not include any restaurants in London. Click here for the full list of SquareMeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
UK's Top 100 Restaurants 2015
UK's Top 100 Restaurants 2017
UK's Top 100 Restaurants
3-4 Beacon Terrace
Torquay Station 1km
Torre Station 2km
Torre Abbey Grounds 1km
Torre Abbey 1km
Tues-Sat 12N-2pm 6.30-9pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
The name suggests a sense of humour and it must have a certain amount of weight as intriguing publicity. Our curiosity has been aroused, and a visit to the English Riviera gave us the chance to try out the restaurant. The Room was surprisingly devoid of other diners when we arrived and, on enquiring if we were really the first there, we were amazed to be told that although the restaurant had been full the previous night (sadly perhaps because Wednesday is free wine day) this evening we were going to eat alone. So it was hats off to Simon Hulstone and his staff for devotion to duty and lucky us having a one-star chef cooking just for us. Difficult to judge for atmosphere, then, but a glass of fruity, appley, easy-drinking Gosset got us off to a good start with the rest of the dining experience. There was no amuse-bouche as such so we tucked into the honey spelt bread which was also a good accompaniment for the "Spring" salad made up of baby leek, heritage tomatoes, radish, beetroot, asparagus, a mixture of green leaves and a very good parsley emulsion. Most of the ingredients had come from the Hulstone farm and the freshness was quite evident. It would be surprising to have a menu in Torquay without any reference to the local fishing industry, and the next two courses took full advantage with shredded crab in a major match-up with crisp chicken cracker and dashi jelly and a touch of lemon balm, and local scallops enveloped in a sheet of lardo Iberico, another terrific combination, backed by a sweet and sour contrast from parsnip purée, sultanas and spring onion. Tender tasty Devon duck breast came next with a confit croquette, artichoke, celeriac purée and fondant/caramelised onion all contributing to the dish. We had two desserts, summer berries, sabayon and delightful lovage ice cream, and an elderflower and lemon tart, which was more sponge than tart, dressed with sugar crystals and flower leaves. The wine flight was generally well chosen, but it was a shame that it was not poured at the table. A chat with chef made it clear that the ups and downs of table occupancy in Torquay had not affected his optimism, but what a shame that this should happen in the summer holiday season when he already shuts The Room over the winter for lack of custom.
We cannot get availability for this restaurant. Please try a different date or time.
Book without an offer
If you would like to book an offer, make your choice below.
Sorry there are no offers available at this restaurant, at this time. Please click Continue without offer to continue with this booking or select another time.
Book selected offer
First Name is required
Last Name is required
E-mail is required
Wrong e-mail format
E-mail confirmation is required
Wrong e-mail format
The e-mail addresses don't match.
Phone is required
I am booking on behalf of someone else
Diner First Name
Diner Last Name
Diner Phone number
Please wait while we confirm your booking ...
I want to receive offers and news from The Elephant
By clicking 'CONFIRM' you agree to the SquareMealUser Agreement.
This reservation is processed by OpenTable. By clicking 'Confirm' you agree to their
Back to Offers
Confirm The Booking
SquareMeal Rewards points collected:
You will receive an email from SquareMeal shortly. Please add the booking to your calendar here:
Register with SquareMeal