For a quintessential country experience, North Devon is the place to visit. With markets, butchers and cheese shops still on the high streets and country pubs still serving a range of real ales and locally produced foods – you’re in for a treat! The country pubs mentioned below are guaranteed to serve a mouth-watering, traditional meal, as well as the more adventurous dishes if you feel like it! Visit with an empty stomach, as the portions are generous and the food is moreish.
The Fox and Goose, Parracombe
From the outside, the Victorian building may not appear to be the typical traditional pub, but when you step indoors, you are greeted by the warmth of an open fire and you are surrounded by historic, local artefacts; from demijohns from a neighbouring cider farm to taxidermy. The lengthy history of the place and the village is demonstrated through the interior of the Fox and Goose. The food is nothing short of outstanding. With each ingredient sourced locally where possible and an experienced and talented team in the kitchen, your meals will be a real treat and cooked to perfection! There is always more than one vegetarian option, along with vegan dishes and each one is worth trying – even the meat eaters would enjoy it!
The Jack Russell, Swimbridge
The Jack Russell is not only famous for the food and drink served, but also because of the pubs connection with the Reverend John Russell, who is believed to be the first breeder of the much-loved dog breed, you guessed it, the Jack Russell Terrier. The menu here regularly changes, reflecting the availability of the season and the stock that the local producers have. The meals served are more on the traditional side, with each one being cooked exceptionally well. There will be no disappointment, you’ll know what you’re getting, and it’ll be heavenly!
Muddiford Inn, Muddiford
The Muddiford Inn is a 16th-century coaching inn, and the charm of this period has been preserved and is complemented by the moderations that have been instated. The inn is surrounded by a deep and breath-taking valley. It has an outdoor seating area, large greenery and play area for children as well as great access to the nearby town of Barnstaple. The menu offers plenty of choices, but the quality and presentation remain the top priorities for the chefs.
The Black Venus, Challacombe
The Black Venus building dates to the 16th-century and it is full of Devonshire charm and allure. The walls are filled with pieces of work from local artists, all of which effortless fit in with the interior. It boasts a restaurant, bar and games room with one of the best pool tables in the area. The menu changes often and there is always plenty to choose from, all handmade from local and fresh ingredients. The inn is ideally situated for an exploration of Exmoor; there are plenty of paths and routes to choose from for a stretch of your legs and fresh country air after your meal.
The New Inn, Goodleigh
Justin and Julia, the owners of the traditional family-run free house have been serving lip-smackingly good meals for over 14 years. The memorable experience begins with Julia or Justin, bringing over the menu board to your table, and describing each dish with detail, how it’s cooked, the ingredients used and just how delicious each one is! If the explanation doesn’t get your mouth-watering, the food will! It is all cooked fresh, by the culinary genius chef Julia, who prides herself on show-stopping tastes and complimentary flavours.
Have you visited any of these pubs during a visit to North Devon? I would love to hear your experience of the place, let me know via my social media channels.