Philip Burgess, Andrew Honey and their staff imbue this 16th Century roadside coaching inn with warmth and personality. It’s set against the backdrop of Dartmoor’s spectacular landscape, just a short drive from Lydford Gorge and is in great walking country.
Inside the relaxed, laid-back, lovingly restored and refurbished interior is made up of a rambling succession of wood and slate floored dining rooms, many with their own open fire or wood burning stove, while a tiny bar dispensing pints of Otter Ale or Dartmoor Best Bitter keeps the pub tradition alive.
This is rural chic at its best, with a French country feel; the soft colours, lamps and an eclectic mix of furnishings and tasteful bric-a-brac, which is picked up in the three bedrooms upstairs. All are spacious and highly individual. One, decorated in powder blue is dominated by a lovely cream painted, French provincial style bed: another has a high beamed ceiling hung with a chandelier. All of the bedrooms have antique pieces, plus modern, well appointed bathrooms.
The kitchen at the Dartmoor Inn is committed to using first class ingredients sourced from the very best suppliers in Devon and Cornwall. Regularly changing menus list some comfortingly familiar traditional dishes alongside a range of imaginative modern ones, with the overall standard of skill, quality of ingredients and presentation being well above average for a country inn. Light bites in the bar may include devilled sprats with a mustard dressing, fish and shellfish cakes with a tomato sauce and fish and chips served with a deliciously different green mayonnaise.
In the evening the choice extends to Cornish crab and saffron risotto with parmesan, or avocado and asparagus salad with pea shoots and balsamic wine vinegar, while main courses may consist of croustade of hake and sea bass with saffron and leeks, and slow cooked shank of lamb with thyme and shallots. Similarly, chargrilled rib steak with herb butter and Maris Piper chips is a classic done well.
There could be warm caramelised rhubarb cake with clotted cream for dessert and an exceptionally well chosen wine list at ungreedy prices proves a happy match to the food. There’s a lovely walled patio for summer dining.