The Countryman Devon has a lot of history. Please feel free to read through and found out how it all started.
The History of “The Countryman” Devon
During the 1950’s, 60’s and early 70’s, the property known as “Highgate Rest” was a successful commercial shop, offering Tea, Ice Cream, sweets, tobacco products etc., to local people and travellers alike, and was owned by Gordon & Nora Cave.
(An original oil painting hangs on the wall in the restaurant, painted by Phyllis Aldred of that period).
It was then sold to Mr & Mrs Clowe who converted it into the property you know today, taking the licence from The Railway Pub, opposite Sampford Courtenay Station. Suggested names were put into a hat and the daughter of Mr & Mrs Clowe drew out the name “The Countryman”.
Visiting the restaurant for the first time, many customers comment on the 3 large glass chandeliers that hang from the ceiling in the main area. These are one of two sets that where commissioned by a Totnes Design Studio for an Arabian Prince at that time. They were made by Dartington Crystal and are pure lead crystal formed by pouring the glass into sand moulds, cutting them in half and polishing, all undertaken by Bent Gotze, who joined Dartington Crystal, from Sweden, as a young man and has since retired. The lights where purchased by Mr & Mrs Clowe for £15000 in the late 1970’s, and have remained there since.
We purchased the property in 2005 and carried on successfully trading, mainly as a Carvery House, bringing the property up to date to cater for all our customers’ needs.
As we come out of the COVID pandemic, we are modernising our restaurant and will be expanding our opening hours. Please follow our Facebook page to keep up to date with our plans for the future and our Faecbook exclusive competitions and promotions.