Dartmouth venue scoops best restaurant award despite ‘difficult year’

The Angel restaurant in Dartmouth has bagged a Best Restaurant award in the Devon Tourism Awards.

There were 67 awards presented in 24 categories with a surprise ‘Outstanding Contribution to Tourism’ award being the final announcement.

Devon Tourism Awards have now been going for eleven years and received 124 entries from different establishments across the county this year.

We spoke to the restaurant manager of The Angel, Jordan Wiltshire, who told us how the pandemic changed the way the awards were determined this year.

He said: “We put ourselves forward for the award, last year we won silver and then we got gold this year so there has been some improvement there.

The kitchen team at The Angel- Taste of Devon

“Because of the pandemic, the people didn’t actually visit the restaurant they based it on reviews from Trip Advisor and various different websites and our social media, they’ve really delved deep!”

Last year, Jordan said that they would visit the restaurant anonymously and then when they were finished would announce who they were.

However, this year the awards were given out based on their reviews from others online.

Jordan told DevonLive that on TripAdvisor they usually get between 4-5 stars and held the top restaurant spot in Dartmouth for a long while before falling to second place more recently.

In regards to how The Angel have coped during the pandemic, Jordan stated that it’s been a difficult year.

The front of the restaurant

He said: “It’s been difficult I will admit, at the start I was worried as this time last year all the tables were cancelled and then you’re wondering what will happen.

“The government furlough scheme really helped us and then when we re-opened again in June and July we did really well.

“It was better than in 2019 as we were booked up for lunch and dinners but before it was only really booked up for dinner and sometimes as lunch. Even though our capacity was cut in half it did help.”

The Angel- Taste of Devon are currently refurbishing and are planning on opening again on May 19 if nothing changes in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Head chef Elly Wentworth said: “It’s fantastic to be able to showcase the amazing produce Devon has to offer. Such a pirvlige to maintain the restaurant in these different times and to bring this fantastic award to Dartmouth and our teams. I Thankyou for you recognition.”