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Wine glasses

Thomas Carr @ The Olive Room

AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Dishes of resonant depth on the tranquil north Devon coast

AA Inspector

At a glance

Open all year
Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu

One of the most encouraging aspects of the contemporary dining scene is that a cutting-edge kitchen might as easily be found on the tranquil north Devon coast, not far from where the ferries depart for Lundy island, as in the metropolitan heartlands. So it is with Thomas Carr's thrilling modern repertoire at The Olive Room, which at one glance is just the dining room of a local guest house, but at another is so much more. Cream walls and engaging staff set a relaxing tone, but the cooking will have you sitting up and taking notice. A bowl of fish bisque incorporating stone bass, crab and langoustine also contains fennel, grapefruit and ginger to add layers of depth to a starter full of aromatic appeal. That could be followed by a robust serving of tender venison with an oxtail fritter and a little red onion tart, alongside pickled mushrooms and mash, for a dish that also achieves great resonance. For dessert, carrot cake is reimagined into a luscious cheesecake, served with burnt orange purée and cinnamon ice cream, as well as a garnish of caramelised walnuts. Breads and nibbles are in keeping with the ambitious pace, and there is a compact list of well-chosen wines to accompany.

Opening hours

  • Open all year
  • Days closed: Sunday to Monday
  • Closed for lunch: Tuesday to Thursday
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 1.30
  • Dinner served from: 6.30
  • Dinner served until: 9


  • Chef(s): Thomas Carr, John Cairns

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Seafood
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 14
  • Wines over £30: 9
  • Wines by the glass: 9

Price guide

  • Credit cards accepted


  • Steps for wheelchair: 3
  • Assist dogs welcome


  • Seats: 18
  • Off-site parking available: NCP Fore Street

Additional information

  • Seats: 18

Getting here

A361 into Ilfracombe, through lights into High Street. At end fork left into Fore Street, continue straight down, pass no entry signs, on left hand side

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