No, I'm not just saying this because my sister happens to work there - or because both my brothers have also worked there at some point. Everything about The Ness was brilliant, from the menu to the decor and especially the view. Sadly, my sister wasn't working on the day we went for a meal (she actually came with me and the husband) so I can't even make a crack about the service.
My sister had managed to book us a table the day before to ensure we got one near the window. I wasn't sure this was going to be necessary as we visited at the end of tourist season and were having a late lunch, but the restaurant was still pretty busy when we arrived, which is always a good sign - especially when locals are eating there.
Both the bar and restaurant are wonderfully clean and warm and you can see that a lot of care and attention have gone into putting everything together. There's a lot of wood and natural light, which works well with the sea green and blue shades used. One aspect I really loved was the compass painted on the ceiling in the main area of the restaurant, as well as the boat-shaped booths at the back, which seemed popular with families.
As well as the main restaurant area, there is a conservatory section, which seemed popular, as well as a fantastic room that combined tables and cosy armchairs. This room even had a fireplace and book pages on the walls so I could easily see myself enjoying a drink there with a good book during the winter months.
However, one of the best parts about the restaurant's decor is the windows, as these allow you to look out across the estuary of the River Teign and Teignmouth. The view is absolutely stunning and just the thing to look out on when enjoying a fantastic meal. I have to admit, my sister definitely chose the best table in the house as our view showed everything.
As they actually had a veggie burger that didn't have a mushroom insight, I ordered that. I also asked for it to come without a bun and with cheese, both of which were requests they were happy to deal with. The husband ordered 1/2lb cheese and bacon burger with extra cheese (of course) and my sister went for a meal she had been eyeing up for ages, cod loin with ratatouille and chorizo.
Everything on the menu is prepared fresh to order, which means you aren't going to get your food within five minutes of telling them what you'd like. However, we also weren't waiting for ever for food to arrive. Plus, we had good wine and that view to keep us going, as well as a chance to catch up with my sister.
Too often, veggie burgers lack in flavour and are just patties made of mush, but my burger had a little kick to it, while the the chickpeas, squash, beans and everything else that went into it weren't blended down completely so it had some great texture. The tzatziki was really fresh and flavourful and it was easy to tell it wasn't simply bought it, while even the chips were phenomenal.
For me, the icing on the cake - so to speak - was the garlic mayonnaise. So many times I've had garlic mayo with a meal and it has hardly had any garlic in it or it has tasted like fake flavouring. I wanted to take a tub of the mayo from The Ness home as it was absolutely delicious. I may have had garlic breath afterwards, but it was totally worth it.
We had intended to have dessert as well, but the food portions were so generous that we were left absolutely stuffed. It was one of those times when you wish you had a second stomach as the dessert menu looked incredible too and there were a few things I could happily have eaten. At least now I have an excuse to go back the next time I'm in Devon so I can have a pudding and report back - you know, for a balanced review.
As a matter of fact, after seeing the interior of the restaurant, my husband is keen to book a room there at some point in the future. There is a hotel attached to the restaurant and the rooms look fantastic too, not to mention the fact they come with even better views.
Just make sure you do book a table first, as I would not be surprised to find that they are crazy busy throughout the entire year.