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Overview

Organic entrepreneur and publican Geetie Singh-Watson (MBE) snapped up the Bull Inn at the top of Totnes High Street in late 2018 and spent the following year and £1.5m restoring the Grade II listed inn back to its former glory.

Geetie opened the first organic pub in Britain in 1998, the multi-award-winning Duke of Cambridge in Islington, London, before selling it to Riverford Organics owner Guy Singh-Watson in 2014, who she later married.

Through her passion for sustainability and experience in running a successful ethical business, she has realised her vision for the Bull, transforming the place into a 'radical organic inn' (her first pub with rooms) without losing its traditional heritage. It's not just about offering organic food, everything from the lime plaster on the walls to the flowers in the halls are organic, chosen to be as natural and low impact as possible. 21st-century technology has also been embraced with the addition of solar panels and heat capture technology from the kitchen to heat water.

Beyond the distinctive traditional Devon bulls blood pink façade expect to find a simple, paired-back interior with rugs on rustic stone floors, an eclectic mix of old tables and chairs, a wood-burning stove for chilly winter nights, an open-to-view kitchen, a relaxed, buzzy vibe, and great service from informed staff. The sensitively revamped Bull now thrives as a community pub and a destination inn (with a difference) and fits in perfectly with the bohemian feel of this quirky market town.

Rooms from:

8 doubles: £120

Good to know

Credit cards accepted (except Amex)

Alfresco dining

Organic Inn

Dogs allowed in two rooms

Alfresco

When the sun shines drink and dine alfresco at rustic tables under the trees on Rotherfold Square.

Riverford Field Kitchen

Family-friendly organic restaurant at Riverford Organics (near Buckfastleigh) with a set menu that only uses the finest, seasonal, organic food, with herbs and vegetables picked daily on the farm. Visit the Field Kitchen Garden just yards from the restaurant. Cookery workshops and demonstrations.

Rooms

Rambling stairways and corridors made interesting and welcoming with antiques, quirky paintings, feature windows lead to eight hugely individual bedrooms.

They have been lovingly renovated and furnished with great attention to detail, just like the rest of this historic inn, with careful thought given to ethical and sustainable paints, materials and furnishings. Rustic original walls are either bare lime plaster or painted in muted tones and upcycled fabrics are used throughout. The very comfortable Naturalmat mattresses are made in Exeter from organic materials and topped with organic linen from Greenfibers across the road.

Geetie has scoured local antique fairs and flea markets to furnish the rooms, so you'll find fat retro radiators, the odd antique table, dresser or upholstered chairs, depending on size of the room, and some lovely paintings and unusual objets d'art. Local artisans were commissioned too - lookout for the bespoke lamps and shades, made in Dartington. We stayed in cosy room 9 which has a view of Totnes Castle. Contemporary, white brick-tiled bathrooms have walk-in showers (two have baths), antique mirrors, waffle-style linen towels and bathrobes, and ethical shampoos from Tabitha James Kraan.

Expect fresh organic coffee, Pukka teabags, bottles of filtered water, a jug of milk on arrival, a mini-radio, and in keeping with their philosophy there are no televisions in the rooms , so enjoy the vibe in the bar.

Restaurant & bar

Organic, ethical, local, seasonal and delicious sums up to food at the Bull and head chef Jonny Tilbrook has truly embraced Geetie's deep-rooted food values - they are organic to the core.

Dishes on the enticing daily-changing menus evolve with the seasons and the fabulous organic ingredients they source from like-minded artisan producers across Devon and the West Country. Their passion for an ethical, sustainable approach to food extends to using only local field-grown vegetables, so there's no air-freighted or heated greenhouse produce on the menu, while meat is used sparingly and with respect, using whole animals that have been reared organically on local farms, while fish comes from Cornish day boats.

Expect simple, unfussy dishes packed with flavour and creativity, often using unusual ingredients and built around the imaginatively prepared seasonal greens, as we experienced during our stay - a beautifully cooked leg of lamb steak with salsa verde and heaps of delicious purple sprouting. Depending on the season, perhaps tuck into pheasant Kiev, creamed leeks and salsify, cod, haddock, wild garlic and caper pie, bavette steak with bèarnaise and custard tart with gooseberries. Menus are short and everything is made in house, from bread to ice cream.

Naturally, the wine menu brims with unusual wines from smaller organic, natural and biodynamic producers - all served by the glass. Craft beers on tap includes brews from Stroud Brewery and the New Lion Brewery in Totnes, and there's also great organic coffee from Owen's in Ivybridge.

Things to do

Totnes is a mecca for foodies - throw a stone and you'll hit a good butcher, cheese shop, fishmonger or grocer. Ben's Farm Shop is an organic 'convenience' store, the urban outpost of the Watson family's Riverford Organics, where you'll find meat, poultry, fruit, veg and wine. The Ticklemore Cheese shop sells local artisan cheeses, including those from Sharpham. Cranches Sweet Shop is packed with goodies you haven't seen for years - sherbert lemons, pear drops and midget gems.

Sharpham Vineyard is set in one of Devon's most magical locations. The beautiful 550-acre estate is set on the bank of the River Dart, with 12,000 vines basking in the sun on the south facing slopes. The Estate also has a herd of 80 Jersey cows that graze the grassland whose milk is used for a range of handmade soft cheeses. The cheese dairy has viewing windows so you can observe the cheese-making process. Book a tour of the vineyard and visit the café overlooking the River Dart.

Enjoy unspoilt Devon from the comfort of a vintage steam train on the South Devon Railway. The line hugs the beautiful River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes for seven miles - period uniforms, original station buildings and vintage motors complete the picture.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest railway station: Totnes

Taxi from station: 3min

Drive: Dartmouth 28min; Plymouth 34min; Exeter 39min; Torquay 22min

Address

Rotherfold Square, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5SN

Enquire to book

To make a booking, please use the form below or you can call our reservations team on 020 8161 0100. Our phone lines are open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5.30pm.

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