Devon eateries named among UK's top 50 gastropubs: See them all
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Six Devon pubs have been named in the top 100 UK gastropubs.
The eateries were included in a list compiled by hundreds of judges, who vote for their top three venues visited in the last year.
These responses are then analysed to build the Estrella Damm Top 100 Gastropubs list.
So if you're looking for a place to eat in Devon - this is a good place to start.
The best gastropubs in Devon, according to the list, are:
The Cadeleigh Arms
Cadeleigh, near Tiverton, EX16 8HP
The list says: "Owned by Nicholas Hack and Tina King, the Cadeleigh Arms has also been crowned the most dog-friendly pub in the region.
"But far from just looking after our four-legged friends in award-winning fashion, the Cadeleigh Arms has carved out a stellar reputation catering for their owners too.
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"Over the last 30 years, the pub’s operators have integrated the best of the southwest into their efforts to keep pace with the fast-moving world of cooking – making the most of the abundance and quality of produce they have on the pub’s doorstep."
The Cornish Arms
Tavistock, PL19 8AN
The list says: "Run by enthusiastic husband and wife duo John and Emma Hooker, the pub serves unpretentious, mouth-watering dishes, featuring superb local produce.
"It has featured repeatedly in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list over the past six years and has been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for offering high-quality food at an affordable price.
"It was also named as one of six national finalists for the title of Best Food Pub in 2016’s Great British Pub Awards.
"The pub’s four menus are beautifully put together with a significant amount of thought, while dishes are presented beautifully at the table, representative of the talent in the kitchen."
Barnstaple, EX31 4LX
The list says: "Formerly a village post office, the Pyne Arms in the historic Devon village of East Down, landed on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list in 2021 in 32nd place, but has quickly risen up the ranks.
"The pub, whose building bears the hallmarks of ancient and medieval occupation, has risen this year to a comfortable spot within the top 20 and we can see why.
"Success has long been in the post for the Exmoor National Park pub with rooms, however, it has well and truly stamped its position as one of the greatest gastropubs in the country.
"A recipient of accolades such as Taste of The West Gold 2017/18, Devon Life pub of the year 2017, and Trencherman’s guide pub of the year 2018, owners Ellis and Amie Pannell brought the historic pub into the 21st century almost a decade ago.
"Now, the family-run Pyne Arms prides itself on welcoming guests with open arms to sample its “good honest” food and drink created using fresh and seasonal produce sourced from across the southwest."
The Masons Arms
Knowstone, South Molton, EX36 4RY
The list says: "Headed by chef-owner Mark and partner Sarah Dodson, the venue re-entered the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list in 2021 at number 44 and his since launched up well above the halfway mark.
"Their picturesque, thatched 13th century Inn and award-winning restaurant on the edge of Exmoor boasts exceptional local cuisine using only the finest ingredients, all presented with taste and style.
"Michelin starred for the 16th consecutive year, the inn features seasonal, and ever-changing, lunch and Sunday lunch menus alongside an à la carte offer typically including fresh fish and locally sourced meat.
"Indeed, the latest Michelin Guide recommends roast quail with salted caramel shallot tarte Tatin and hazelnuts; fillet of halibut with potato crust, bouillabaisse style sauce and anchovy aioli and its trio of raspberry desserts as specialties, praising the pub for exuding “rural charm” and classing it among their 'most delightful places'.
"You’ll also find a range of quaint local accommodation close to the pub should you wish to stay following your drinking and dining experience at this outstanding venue."
Bampton, EX16 9NG
The list says:
"Run by husband-and-wife team Paul and Donna Berry, the classic English country pub is more substance over style – but far from winging their food offer, the pair have invested a whole lot of thought into each carefully crafted dish. The Swan is far more than somewhere to just whet your beak.
"In fact, the accolade-laden Swan – an AA Four Star Gold Inn, holder of two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence and winner of several Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs awards – has been so successful that the cheffing couple launched local bistro Spelt not too long ago, which allows them to experiment with new cuisines.
"Previous small plates on offer at the Swan have included chicken liver parfait with apricot purée, pistachio and brioche; scallops, roasted cauliflower purée, chorizo and scratchings; and faggots with onion purée and crisp onion.
"Setting you back a modest sum, the Swan’s main menu comprises pub classics and some more modern dishes – with steak, kidney and ale pudding; fillet of Brixham cod; and slow-roasted Mary sheer pork belly, apple compote, savoy cabbage, bacon and cider sauce have all been recent features.
"The Swan was presented with a Gold Tourism Pub award in the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards and won Best Dining Pub at the Trencherman Awards 2018."
The Five Bells Inn
Clyst Hydon, Cullompton, EX15 2NT
The list says: "Head chef, Charlotte Vincent, oversees an impressive menu put together with expertise and great skill.
"Charlotte was appointed head chef in 2019 following a 20 year career in catering, which included a decade as pastry chef at the Gidleigh Park and Royal Clarence Hotels.
"Backing Charlotte is a team of two young chefs who are being imbued with her knowledge and skill to ensure standards at the Five Bells Inn remain exceptionally high.
"The venue is owned by co-owners James and Charlie Garnham who took on the site in December 2017 with the view of making it a centre of gastronomy in the region."
Do you have a favourite pub that should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below...