CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Review: The Cott Inn, Dartington

PUBLISHED: 11:15 10 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:15 10 April 2017

The Cott Inn, Dartington

The Cott Inn, Dartington

Archant

In his regular series of columns for Devon Life, Patrick McCaig of The Otter Brewery takes us on a trawl of some of his favourite pubs

With wild garlic shoots in the hedgerows already beginning to soften the memory of winter this time of year provides a welcome turning point in the brewer’s calendar. Golden, hoppier combinations now replace the heavier, warming seasonal ales we craved before. Soon the summer music festivals will be upon us and our ever optimistic brewery cricket team will start squeezing into their after work whites.

The destination this month is a small village, a little west of the River Dart, sitting in a low-slung spot about a mile from Totnes, somewhere between wild Dartmoor and the South Hams coastline. If you pick your pubs in terms of their historical aesthetic then this one certainly ticks all the right boxes.

Built in 1307 during the reign of Edward II and at the time of a thriving local wool and tin trade, the Cott - with its wooden beams and low ceilings, inglenook fireplaces, cob walls, thatch and 15th century ‘scrumpy’ front door - is big on character. A fire in 1989 inflicted serious damage but did not sound the death knell that it so easily could have had it not been for the quick thinking of local firefighters.

Recent success has come from hard work and vision. Husband and wife team Mark and Mel, both from Dartington, have assembled a team with a breadth of age and experience able to create that special space where customers can easily become friends. Mark previously owned a cocktail bar in Bristol and it was here that he learned the ‘theatre’ involved in presentation. Since July 2010 he has instilled that same sense of theatre into running a historic pub, appreciating that being a landlord is to some degree a daily performance and that there is a method behind good service that can be taught.

Mark’s GM for the last 3½ years, Anton, is the personification of assured calmness and equally knowledgeable about their wines as he is of the menu and the local area which, of course, boasts the renowned Dartington Hall. Stability in the kitchen comes from head chef Adam Parnham for whom time spent training in Italy revealed the finer points of seasoning. For all this collective effort, last year the Cott finished eighth in the Telegraph’s ‘30 Best Pubs in Britain’.

Sam, the latest addition to our sales team, was experiencing his first ‘working’ lunch, and he quickly dispatched a perfectly judged Scotch egg – he was clearly enjoying a rep’s life on the road! Bouillabaisse followed, as did a hearty lamb special. Whilst this pub is undoubtedly a valued community resource and very much open to all, the food displays ambition and an offering that is deliberately versatile. More sophisticated dishes like tempura oysters or crispy pig’s cheek sit comfortably alongside the normal lunchtime staples of soup and sandwiches. Beef is hung for 28 days and excellent artisan sourdough comes from the village. Tuesday night is always fish and chips night.

Given this area is a hotbed of musical talent it’s perhaps little surprise that live sessions happen each Wednesday and Sunday evening. During the summer months the elevated, family friendly beer garden is a real suntrap, sporting its own outdoor kitchen. The annual beer festival pulls in yet more thirsty folk.

There’s so much going for this pub; it’s friendly, consistent, well run, has accommodation and is ambitious and adaptable in equal measure – it really is a credit to everyone who works here.

'There’s so much going for this pub; it’s friendly, consistent, well run, has accommodation and is ambitious and adaptable in equal measure''There’s so much going for this pub; it’s friendly, consistent, well run, has accommodation and is ambitious and adaptable in equal measure'

Real Ale:

Abbot Ale, Greene King

Otter Bitter,

Otter Brewery

Local Cider:

Ashridge Traditional, Ashridge Cider

Heritage & Gold, Thatcher’s Cider

Contact details:

The Cott Inn, Dartington, Totnes,

TQ9 6HE.

Tel: 01803 863777

Website: cottinn.co.uk

Related content:

14 historical pubs you must visit in Devon

Pubs in Totnes: 6 of the best to visit

10 cosy pubs to visit in Devon

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Fri, 10:27

Devon Life’s readers and followers have been voting for their favourite food & drink stars and we can now reveal our winners who were honoured at our glamorous ceremony at Sandy Park on November 15

Read more
Wed, 08:31

Public Houses are a cornerstone of life here in Britain, dating back as far as the Roman invasion in 43 AD. Devon is no different and its humble establishments are steeped in history and nostalgia. We’ve taken a look at 11 of the county’s most historical pubs

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A traditional Christmas pudding recipe, served with clotted cream and a brandy Crème Anglaise with a dash of cognac

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Whether you have strawberry or raspberry jam on your scones, or prefer Earl Grey to English breakfast tea, we’ve found 12 of the best tearooms that Devon has to offer

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

We’ve spoken to award-winning chef Michael Caines MBE to find out more about Lympstone Manor’s wine celebration evenings and when their new vineyard will produce its first bottle of wine

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Sunday lunch is an enduring British institution that’s incredibly important to get right. We’ve chosen 12 places in Devon that will guarantee sublime stuffing, mouth-watering meats and Yorkshire pudding perfection.

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

As the winter begins to close in, there’s nowhere better to take refuge than one of Devon’s many cosy pubs. Here are 9 you should look for when needing to escape the nippy British weather

Read more
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Check out Michael Caines’ column in the latest issue of Devon Life where you can read more about what this recipe will be perfect with

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner of Devon’s Tea Room / Coffee Shop of the Year. Sponsored by Radio Exe

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner of Devon’s Best Sunday Roast. Sponsored by cottages.com

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner of the Pub of the Year award. Sponsored by WBW Solicitors

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner for the Restaurant of the Year award. Sponsored by Westchem

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner for the Local Producer of the Year award. Sponsored by Exeter Chiefs

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

We reveal the winner for the Independent Retailer of the Year award. Sponsored by NFU Mutual

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search