SquareMeal Review of
Thomas Carr at The Olive Room
A seaside B&B on the north Devon coast isn’t the kind of place you expect to find cleverly honed Michelin-starred food, but that’s the deal at the Olive Room in Ilfracombe. Located within the Olive Branch Guest House, it’s home to chef Thomas Carr, who earned his spurs working alongside West Country superstar Nathan Outlaw. Like his mentor, Carr has a passion for local seafood, and his dinner menus are peppered with brilliantly inventive, clear-flavoured assemblies ranging from roast scallop with watercress velouté, hazelnut and lemon oil to sea bream with prawns, mussels, red pepper and saffron shellfish sauce; also check out his clever ‘BLT’ – a combination of local brill with bacon, lettuce, roasted tomato and potato dumplings. There’s room for Devon beef and lamb too (roast loin, belly and sweetbreads with bubble ‘n’ squeak and a fried egg, say), ahead of West Country cheeses and desserts such as frozen passion fruit parfait with doughnuts. Meals conclude with coffee and ‘treats from the kitchen’.