Eight great fireside dining venues in Devon
PUBLISHED: 14:23 13 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:23 13 February 2015
There’s only one place to dine this winter and that’s by the side of a roaring log fire. LIZ MILLER has been for lunch at Devon’s best pub snugs and come back all aglow
The Bridge Inn, Topsham
“A museum with beer” is how fourth generation owner Caroline Cheffers-Heard describes this historic pub on the outskirts of Topsham.
The super-snug lounge bar, complete with 17th century furniture and fittings and even original bunting still hanging that dates back to Edward VII’s coronation, is warmed by a roaring wood burner.
This is a real-ale drinkers’ pub with beer traditionally tapped straight from the barrel, while food majors on local cheeses, pasties and pies. There’s also an amazing vintage-style function room in the old malting barn, full of sofas, crockery and other Bridge Inn memorabilia. The Bridge Inn, Topsham, Exeter EX3 0QQ,
Warren House Inn, Postbridge
Legend has it that the fire in this traditional Dartmoor pub has been burning since 1845 when local miners used to congregate and warm-up after a day outside toiling on the bleak moor workings.
Pub owner Peter Parsons still keeps the fire burning constantly, so even on the sunniest days there is a warm welcome atop the moor. “This used to be Dartmoor forest until we lit the fire,” he jokes.
Serving hearty specials such as rabbit pie and steak and ale pie the pub sells local real ale including Otter and Doombar.
Warren House Inn, Postbridge,
The Grove Inn,
Award-winning thatched country pub, The Grove Inn, in the heart of pretty village Kings Nympton, is renowned for its locally-produced food, much of which is made from scratch in the kitchens.
Customers can enjoy a drink in front of the warming fire whilst deciding what to order from the pub’s extensive menu, which runs from meaty favourites, such as Wellington of North Devon beef to veggie dishes like root vegetable stew.
Listed by The Good Food Guide and previous Taste of the West award winner, this pub offers a good range of West Country real ales, Devon cider, an extensive wine list and an impressive 65 single malts.
The Grove Inn,
Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe-in-the-Moor
Nestled down a lane in this pretty moorland village the Rugglestone Inn’s cosy bar has a warming wood burner while the old bar, now used for food, has a roaring open fire.
Originally a cottage, this homely pub offers warming meals using locally-sourced produce and including beef and ale pie, fish pie and lasagne.
Real ales are served from the barrel and include Rugglestone Moor Beer and Legend alongside a range of different guest ales, local farm ciders and a well chosen wine list.
Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, TQ13 7TF,
Double Locks, Exeter
Situated in a beautiful spot by the Exeter Ship canal, the Double Locks is the perfect place to warm up frozen fingers and toes after canoeing, cycling or dog walking.
With two fires, a selection of Youngs and guest ales, local cider, lengthy menu and doggie treats, this pub is a popular place for all age groups to gather, including the Exeter University cycling club.
General manager Phil hosts a wide range of events at the pub including a large firework and bonfire night party, real ale festival, cider and sausage festival and dog show.
Double Locks, Canal Banks, Exeter EX2 6LT,
The Rock Inn, Georgeham
Whether your tipple is a pint of real ale or a large glass of warming red wine, the 17th century Rock Inn is the place to head for cosy fireside food and drink this winter.
With two real fires in the low-beamed pub, customers can chose from five real ales on tap from a selection of local breweries, including Tribute and Doombar as well as Otter and Exmoor. For wine drinkers the extensive and global list offers almost every bottle on that list by the glass.
Menus include pork reared from the pub’s very own smallholding, which keeps pigs and chickens, alongside dishes such as Tribute-battered cod, steak and Doombar pie, moules and crab as well as vegetarian options including risottos and sharing platters.
The Rock, Rock Hill,
Georgeham, North Devon
Hope and Anchor, Hope Cove
What better way to thaw out after a bracing walk on the South West coastal path, than to head for this pub in the heart of old fishing village Hope Cove where you can bag a spot in front of the cosy fire?
With a menu that majors on locally-caught seafood, as well as a big choice of burgers, specials include seared tuna steak, moules and Tribute ale-battered fish and chips. Beers include Tribute and locally-brewed Quercus ale, Shingle Bay with guest ales changed twice weekly.
This child- and dog-friendly pub also has 11 letting rooms with sea views and runs special winter offers.
Hope and Anchor,
Hope Cove, Near Kingsbridge
The Dolphin Hotel, Plymouth
This old-fashioned drinkers’ pub on the Barbican in Plymouth is steeped in tradition and is renowned for its local characters, many of whom have featured in artist Beryl Cook’s pictures.
With eight ales served straight from the barrel, including Bass and Tribute, there are two fires to enjoy, an open hearth at the front of the pub and a rip roaring wood burner at the back.
The pub, which is open all day, allows customers to bring in their own food, so grab some fish and chips from the Barbican and take in the proper atmosphere of real Plymouth.
The Dolphin Hotel, 14 the Barbican, Plymouth PL1 2LS