Home Travel Great British boltholes: A review of The Bull Inn, Totnes, Devon

Great British boltholes: A review of The Bull Inn, Totnes, Devon


Great British boltholes: Finding an indulgent escape for the eco-traveller in chillaxed Devon

  • The Bull Inn, located in Little Totnes, Devon, is Geetie Singh-Watson’s fourth organic venture
  • There are eight rooms adorned with modern and vintage furniture – bathrooms have organic waffle towels 
  • Wake up to the sound of seagulls and breakfast on granola, lemon curd and yogurt or the Full Bull fry up

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Just like the eccentric family member who bears little resemblance to his or her relatives, Totnes is an energised, forward-thinking, sustainability-driven hub in an otherwise chillaxed Devon.

Locals passionate about community-led projects give the town a spring in its step that you can’t help but pick up on. It is home to the UK’s first zero-waste shop, sustainable-footwear store Conker, and Geetie Singh-Watson, who opened the world’s first certified organic pub in London in 1998.

To discover her fourth organic venture, The Bull Inn, wind your way up the High Street to Rotherfold Square in Little Totnes.

The Bull Inn, located in Totnes, is Geetie Singh-Watson's fourth organic venture. Pictured is one of the eight rooms

The Bull Inn, located in Totnes, is Geetie Singh-Watson’s fourth organic venture. Pictured is one of the eight rooms 

In fine weather, tables are set beneath the trees in the square, a former cattle market overlooking the chalky pink exterior of The Bull. Sip an organic gin and tonic and, if you can, check in to one of its eight rooms. Inside it’s an artful scene. Chairs and tables are socially distanced on rather lovely Persian rugs over flagstone floors. Emerald and ivory hues for the walls are picked up in tiles at the bar, and what looks like casual detail is carefully thought through (and expensive).

A delightful mix of ages were happily dining, from early-bird date-nighters to arty sorts, and attentive staff ensure it’s a relaxing destination restaurant.

A chalkboard proclaims its ethics: produce that’s seasonal, organic, and field not flown; day-boats only for fish; and – one that every mother will love – ‘VEG first! The starting point of all our cooking.’

Enchanting: Totnes is an energised, forward-thinking, sustainability-driven hub in an otherwise chillaxed Devon, writes Sarah Hartley

Enchanting: Totnes is an energised, forward-thinking, sustainability-driven hub in an otherwise chillaxed Devon, writes Sarah Hartley

The menu is short and exciting. Whether you fall for pork belly or monkfish, you’ll want to share mouthfuls of this sensational cooking. Ease up on the fresh bread and save room for pudding such as plum, pistachio and cardamom parfait.

Bedrooms are sparingly adorned with modern and vintage furniture, meticulously curated. Wake to the sound of seagulls and breakfast on granola, lemon curd and yogurt or the Full Bull (an organic fry-up).

Set on the River Dart between Dartmoor and the sea, Totnes makes a natural pause en route to Cornwall. Take a riverside walk or meander up to the Norman castle before browsing the independent boutiques and shops that rule in Totnes. Love the organic waffle towels in your room? Find them in Greenfibres organic and ethical store. History-lovers should head to the Elizabethan House Museum, one of the finest restored Tudor townhouses in the country.

Totnes is an enchanting town and The Bull provides a refreshing stay that knocks others off your favourites list.

The food: Curious flavours mingle with the familiar. Most memorable dish of the summer: a starter of fresh mackerel with watercress and aioli – heavenly. Three courses, £29.

The USP: Ethical and sustainable does not mean abstaining from luxury or deliciousness.

The rooms: Eight rooms showcase bespoke Devon-made beds. Expect pared-back design, chintz curtains, exposed walls, and vintage desk and chairs. The 1930s-feel bathroom with potted fern, monochrome tiles and custard-yellow floor had a blasting shower and organic toiletries.

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