Passionate about food
Our passion for food and the philosophy behind our kitchen and menus comes from owner Lucy whose childhood in remote Northern Scotland is full of memories of food. From local oysters and mackerel, home-grown vegetables and foraged herbs to roadkill deer expertly butchered by her father, this was an unusual upbringing! Lucy has shared her love for food all around the world, cooking in Scottish holiday homes, chalet hosting in the Alps and leading walking and eating tours all over Italy.
When she and Alex took over the Guardhouse in 2014, Lucy introduced the philosophy of Seasonal, Local and Unusual food that still lies at the heart of our breakfast and lunch specials. At the same time we recognise that a lot of customers want more traditional cafe fare – a bacon sandwich is still our top seller! So we combine the more adventurous specials menus with plenty of cafe favourites, whilst still making sure that these are as good as we can possibly make them.
Our head chef Stacey joined us in 2018 and has built a team of excellent chefs, each with their own experiences and inspirations (for example Emily’s Italian grandmother’s home cooking; Debbie’s amazing curries; the Japanese cuisine of Kyoko’s home). The team have added skill and professional kitchen experience and have taken Lucy’s philosophy to new levels, for example with home-made stocks, and making our own goujons from local fish. Their creativity and passion in the kitchen are portrayed through each dish, whether it is a seasonal special or a Full English breakfast. We bring you high quality, homemade food which we hope leaves you pleasantly surprised for a small, local cafe.
We are very used to dealing with all kinds of dietary needs. From coeliac to a vegan diet please just ask us when we are taking your order – options should be available for everyone.
NB. This isn’t just for our breakfasts and lunches: our cake selection always includes some vegan and some gluten free options, we stock gluten free scones, and we offer Soya or Oat milk as dairy alternatives. In some cases we charge a small premium for alternatives due to their cost.
A flavour of what we offer
Fresh homemade cakes
Our cakes are freshly made by our chef Sam Camplin, via his small local business Camplin’s Cakes, and Karen Miller of Paignton. These are gluten free chocolate & raspberry brownies.
Devonshire Cream Teas
Huge freshly baked scones from Halletts the baker, with fruit-rich strawberry jam and lots of clotted cream!
We vary our special drinks by season. Here are some autumnal ideas: turmeric, beetroot and chai lattes
Lovingly made coffee
Our coffee is made from fairtrade, rainforest alliance and organic Arabica beans, roasted in Devon by Owens Coffee. Every cup is brought to life by our talented baristas
Our specials change every 6 weeks or so, using local and seasonal ingredients. This spring example is a beetroot and goats cheese quiche with asparagus.
Fresh homemade cakes
Our cakes are freshly made by our chef Sam Camplin, via his small local business Camplin’s Cakes, and Karen Miller of Paignton. Here are some of Karen’s amazing selection from Easter time.
Brixham Crab Sandwiches
In the summer months when local crab is reliably available we love to serve the finest, freshest crab sandwiches around!
Our evening activities are limited by rare bats! But throughout the summer & winter months we love to host themed restaurant evenings at the Guardhouse. The menus feature local ingredients such as this mussels dish from last summer.
The Guardhouse Breakfast
Always our most popular breakfast option, the Guardhouse Breakfast is everything you’d hope for in a Full English!
Ice Cream Milkshakes
One of our favourite summer drinks…
Our specials change every 6 weeks or so, using local and seasonal ingredients. This example is a variation on smoked salmon and poached eggs on toast.
England’s Seafood Feast
The seafood caught along this stretch of South Devon coastline is amongst the best in the world. Each year the region celebrates with a festival, England’s Seafood Feast at the end of the summer. Our Scallops Benedict is a firm favourite at this time of year!
No summer walk is complete without an ice cream! We are lucky to have a quality local ice cream company, Yarde Farm, with a range of excellent flavours.
Our specials change every 6 weeks or so, using local and seasonal ingredients. Our chefs love to devise new and delicious breakfasts that you might not see in most cafes, such as this kedgeree.
Vegetarian and Vegan
We always offer a range of food, drinks and cakes for vegetarian and vegan customers. Our year-round menu and breakfast and lunch specials always have several options to choose from. This goats cheese salad was a popular vegetarian dish last summer.
Almost all of our food and drink is bought from local businesses. We sell Bay’s Beers from Paignton; Hunts Cider from Stoke Gabriel; Sausages from Newton Abbot; milk and cream from dairies in the South West. Our incredible cakes are made for us by local customer Karen Miller, and our own chef Sam Camplin. Our coffee is roasted in Ivybridge by Owen’s. By visiting the Guardhouse, you know that you will be supporting local businesses and local people.