After a long week bimbling around Dartmoor it was time to head home, but not before visiting The Moorland Garden Hotel and Wildflower Restaurant in Yelverton.
For those of you who’ve met us in person, you’ll know we’re more fish and chips than fine dining. From the outset, it’s clear the hotel and restaurant are all about the experience, the quality and of course fine dining.
That said, and much to our surprise, the award-winning Wildflower restaurant offers all of the above without being pretentious. We may not ooze wealth or refinement, but we were made to feel welcome all the same.
I won’t pretend to be a food critic. If you’re looking for in-depth ingredients and cooking styles, I’m going to disappoint. To be honest, I have no idea what some of the food was, but it tasted fantastic.
I am, however, qualified to talk about disabled access, so let’s start there.
Disabled Access in The Wildflower Restaurant
The car park is large with ample dedicated disabled parking spaces close to reception. There’s a disabled access call button outside reception should you need assistance.
When we arrived a member of staff noticed the wheelchair and without fuss came outside to put down a portable ramp. It just goes to show how easy access can be, no need for expensive adaptations, a simple solution to a common problem.
The disabled toilet is on the ground floor near the entrance, and access to the restaurant is by way of a bright, wide and flat lobby.
Tables in the restaurant are well spaced and at a decent height should you need to stay in your wheelchair. Bridget can get out of her chair, a friendly member of staff seated her then moved her wheelchair to a safer place.
Throughout the evening, staff were attentive without intrusion, understanding of our needs without patronising (yes that happens) and more than happy to help us enjoy the experience.
Take a look at their full Access Statement
OK, enough about access, let’s get on with the main event – the food!
The menu is predominantly British, with an emphasis on serving locally sourced produce. The wide choice of dishes should satisfy every palate, and the menu is dynamic reflecting the fresh produce available.
You can see sample menus on their website The Wildflower Restaurant
Bridget opted for the Chicken Terrine, she tells me it tasted as good as it looks.
I’m less adventurous when it comes to food. I tried Pea and Mint soup, in fact, thinking about it, that’s actually quite out there for me!
Bridget called me common because I described her dinner as Lamb and Mash, obviously it’s so much more than that.
For future reviews, I’ll work on writing down the details of what we’re eating because I’m sure you want to know.
Here’s me playing it safe again with a Mushroom Risotto. Although it was the best Risotto I’ve ever tasted, I have no idea what the chef did to it, but it worked.
I used to think ice cream was all the same until I ate this…
The locally produced ice cream was beautifully presented, tasted like ice cream I’ve never tasted before and the sprinkle of quality chocolate nearly had me dancing in the aisle.
And here’s the result…
Bridget finished off with sticky toffee pudding, she actually got two pieces and judging by the look on her face, she loved every mouthful. I don’t ever recall seeing sticky toffee pudding looking like this… just saying!
My food critic career is probably over before it starts, but don’t be fooled into thinking the experience was wasted on us. We came away with a new appreciation of a chef’s skills and an understanding of the difference quality produce can make.
We probably represent the demographic who shy away from fine dining. It’s not that we don’t like food, it’s more we don’t want to look out of place. With hindsight, we had nothing to fear and everything to gain.
The Wildflower Restaurant opened our eyes and taste buds to good food, it taught us what a difference a passionate chef can make to ingredients and it was the perfect way to end our Dartmoor trip.
If you’d like to see what else we got up to in Dartmoor, take a look at – Our Accessible Dartmoor Road Trip