The George Revitalised Restaurant Launch

The George Hotel in South Molton ( ) has been refreshing its restaurant over recent months, employing a new chef, refocusing its menu on local, seasonal produce, lengthening opening hours and redecorating.

I went along, on Thursday 23 May, when the Hotel hosted a launch night, where local people could come, sample special bite-sized items from the new lunch and evening menus and meet the food and drink producers.

Chef Anthony Long excelled himself by producing mouth watering dishes such as twice roasted quail in a rich butter gravy, chicken, ham and mushroom pies served in ramekins, and miniature bowls of red Thai curry and rice. Sample platters of mezze dishes were also available along with tomato and mozzarella crostini and honey and mustard sausages.  All the meats on the new menu come from South Molton butcher John May, and can be traced directly to the local farm suppliers.

Bray Valley Wines offered a glass of wine on arrival, and the beer was provided by Bideford based Jolly Boat Brewery (Mainbrace) as well as St Austell Brewery (Tribute) and Sharps Brewery (Doom Bar). Jams and chutneys from award-winning Waterhouse Fayre could be tasted, alongside delicious cheeses from West Country cheese. For dessert what could be more fitting than a choice of Bakewell, Chocolate or Lemon tarts made by the chefs at The George, accompanied by a selection of Verney’s Molton Ices. These are made on a farm just miles from The George, and their Vanilla Ice scooped yet another First prize at the Devon County Show.

To create the perfect ambiance, and in keeping with The George’s reputation as a venue for live music and comedy, Swing 2010 provided a gentle jazz swing background for the evening.

On departure, guests received a goody bag full of treats including a 10% discount voucher for The George’s restaurant. These vouchers will be available from South Molton Tourist Information as well as in the South Molton pannier market during June.

Proprietor Cathy Doel says: “We are extremely pleased with the turnout to the event and the support we have received for the new look restaurant and menu since we launched before Easter.  Our food is now Modern British cuisine, with elements of classic French and Eastern fusion.  The restaurant menu changes regularly, so there is always something piquant for the palate! However, typically you will find Hand Carved Ham, Duck Eggs and Chips, Thai Green Chicken Curry, North Devon Steak and fries, Twice- cooked roast Chicken plus special dishes each day.”

Cathy continued: “Chef Anthony Long is regularly complimented by our patrons, and has built strong links with our local food and drink providers, of which there are many in such a traditional agricultural area as North Devon.  We are proud to say that our menu is now a celebration of the some of the best produce of this area.” 

The George’s Exmoor Bar serves mezzes from 5.00, and the restaurant opens 6.30 pm Monday – Saturday. Lunches are served on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 12-2pm.