I don’t know about you but at this time of year I hanker for a cosy pub lunch situation with friends. The season is changing from summer to autumn and I want little pub nooks, log fires and hearty food.
My mission to find the perfect moor side pub lead me to The Dartmoor Inn at Lydford. Dating back over 300 years it is the perfect destination nestled right on the edge of Brat Tor. Have lunch next to one of the inns roaring fires then walk it off on the moor afterwards. Now that’s what I call “ticking both boxes”.
This charming inn is family owned with Andrew and Jo Chisholm heading up the family line with their daughter Tess and her chef husband Jay Barker – Jones running the day to day. Tess worked at the inn as a teenager so when the opportunity arose to buy her childhood local, herself and her family couldn’t help but jump on the chance.
Jay’s cheffing credentials span a career of 25 years many of which have been in fine dining and boutique hotels. His first notable role was as sous chef at Talland Bay Hotel working under Shay Cooper. He then moved to a senior sous chef role at St Martins on the Isles of Scilly. On leaving St Martins he joined the Tanner brothers as head chef. During his time at Tanners they won AA restaurant of the year at the AA awards and also placed in the top 100 hotels in the UK.
Jay’s menu simply uses the very best of seasonal and local produce. He’s big on flavour and texture.
They source their vegetables from Hallword Farm in Petrockstowe, meat from Phillip Warren in Launceston and their venison is from the surrounding villages. Fish is from the day boats at Brixham and Newlyn and couldn’t be more fresh.
I visited on a perfect autumn Saturday and ate new season squash risotto with Devon blue, salsa verde and toasted pumpkin seeds and my friend Amber ate venison cooked two ways with celeriac, kale and red wine. We shared a fantastic sticky toffee pudding with candied walnuts for dessert. All delicious and exactly what I want and need from a country pub visit.
Feeling replete the decision was made to walk off lunch on the moors. It couldn’t have been a more perfect end to a great experience. The sun was shining and the views out across the moor were incredible. If you go to The Dartmoor Inn I would suggest you do the same. It really does add that extra something to your dining experience.
If you happen to visit in the run up to Christmas there is an option to dine from
their Christmas menu for groups of 6 or more. Failing that join them on Thursday 22nd December from 5pm – 6.30pm for carol singing, mulled wine and mince pies. There is no charge for this and everyone is welcome to soak up the festive atmosphere. Dinner is available afterwards from 6.30pm if anyone wants to stay. Why wouldn’t you? It’s all going to be delicious.
Disclaimer; I was not paid to write this post or given my meal for free. All views as always are my own. I only write about places and companies I truly want to promote.