Plymouth and Beyond, Where to visit in Plymouth
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Destination: Dartmoor Diner, The
Plymouth and Beyond Star Rating

General - On the edge of Dartmoor National Park, and on the northern outskirts of Plymouth, the Dartmoor Diner is a fully-licensed restaurant/cafe with an interesting indoor miniature train chuffing around the heads of customers! There are tables outside which would be perfect on a sunny day. The venue is ideal for walkers on Dartmoor. During busy times of the day, tables inside appear to be for those having a meal only, and if you just wanted a drink you would have to sit outside. Staff are cheerful, friendly, smart, and efficient. There is usually a senior member of staff co-ordinating the service and making sure everyone is being looked after adequately. The tables and surroundings appear clean. In our opinion, a good working manager with his/her 'finger on the button', can make a real difference to the standard of any venue, and this venue is very successful in this respect.

Our only caveat is that the restaurant may become a victim of its own success, as we have felt rather rushed at busy times (experienced at lunchtime on several occasions). The restaurant is becoming rather too small to accommodate the increasing number of customers. The aisles between tables and counter are narrow and can get busy when staff are carrying meals or when customers are making their way to the tables/toilets, paying their bill at the counter, or looking at the choice of gateaux on offer. There is no dedicated waiting area and, as such, customers tend to also block the aisle when waiting to be shown to a free table. This, of course is compounded by the increased popularity of the restaurant, hence our 4 stars instead of 5. Prices are very reasonable, considering the quality of the meal served.

Food and Drink - The menu is extensive and the food remarkably good. We have never had a bad meal and, in fact, the meals have been superior to, or at least equal to, any local 'high class' restaurant. The meals and portions are more in terms of the regular 'homemade' kind. There is another area on the first floor, but this is mostly used for functions or when the ground floor is full.

Disabled - The restaurant is disabled-friendly on the ground floor (ok for walking impaired, but there may not be a lot of room to manoeuvre a wheelchair). This also depends on how busy the restaurant is (see GENERAL comments above).

Toilets - There are toilets (including disabled toilet) on the ground floor. Again this may not be easy if in a wheelchair, but is fine for walking-impaired customers. It is not known if there are toilets on the first floor.

Children - Children would be fine and would enjoy the working miniature train. There is a dedicated children's menu, which would appeal to the majority of small appetites. These meals are for children under 10 only.

Car Parks - There is a large but fairly rough on-site car park, which would benefit from a bit of re-surfacing. Disabled parking (3 spaces) is usually full. Additional dedicated spaces would, therefore, be appreciated. From the present disabled spaces, the distance to walk to the restaurant door is approximately 7 metres.

Review Date - 2011-03-05