Written and curated by Rachael Brown.
When all this blows over, one thing we’re looking forward to is a pint of Devon ale and a pub lunch by the fire. Here’s a pick of some of our favourite pubs for lunching in the region, based on their food and location.
A smart gastropub in a wonderful location, this is a 16th century village inn joined onto Thurlestone Hotel, perfect for a cosy pub lunch in gorgeous coastal surroundings. Thurlestone itself is a sleepy hamlet by the sea, just down the coast from pretty Hope Cove and Salcombe.
Although this rustic red stone building seems to house a quiet inn, the plates served are of restaurant standard, using the finest ingredients in the South West’s natural larder. Visually, it’s a contemporary take on the country pub with a welcoming atmosphere. Expect inventive twists on pub favourites such as crispy braised venison or Tonka bean crème brûlée.
Five Bells, Clyst Hydon (food & inn pictured above)
Set in a whitewashed thatched farmhouse in Clyst Hydon, The Five Bells does traditional food well – beautifully cooked and with contemporary flair (not to mention award-winning). They also have a bucolic little beer garden for the warmer months when a pint of sunny Devon cider is on the cards.
A blazing fire warms up The Cleave, which is nestled in the Wrey Valley on Dartmoor. Food is high quality for what, at first glance, looks like a traditional village pub, offering the likes of pork belly with cider gravy and River Teign mussels. There’s also a solid selection of veggie options.
The Beer Engine is a darker, cosier, ‘cockles-of-your-heart’ warming pub situated in Newton St. Cyres. What really elevates this place is its working brewhouse and the selection of their home-brewed beers on tap in the bar. Food is also excellent, a delicious encounter with their wild garlic mushroom focaccia springs to mind.
If, like many revellers, you are looking for a historical pub with a crackling log fire as a welcome, you could do a lot worse than to book a quiet lunch at the Duke of York. They offer cask ales and a specialty of steak & kidney puddings, otherwise there’s classic pub dishes and a specials board.
The Agricultural Inn, Brampford Speke (food pictured above)
Head to The Agricultural for a moment in rural heaven. Sitting in the countryside village of Brampford Speke, it’s close enough to the river for a walk. Top it off with one of their Sunday roasts. The pub itself has a contemporary, yet ruddy feel with an innovative and exciting menu.
Right on the picturesque banks of Bow Creek is The Maltsters Arms in Tuckenhay. Plates such as wild sea bass with Jerusalem artichoke and game stew with crispy kale catch our eye. But it’s the pubs stunning location which is a winner, soaking up the sunsets that brush over the River Dart’s jade waters.
The Bear & Blacksmith, Chillington
This charming country pub near Kingsbridge prides itself on serving only the very best ultra-local produce. Menus feature the freshest fish and seafood from surrounding shores, as well as a selection of Devon’s finest meat sourced and butchered from their very own farm.