In & Around Crediton, we find ourselves in Tier 3 and so our Village pubs will be closed once again. Remember many of them will be offering shop or take-out options and they will certainly appreciate your support.
Pubs have had a really tough time this year, with lockdowns and constantly changing guidelines to cope with. But our amazing award winning village pubs have risen to the challenge, offering takeaway meals and drinks, deliveries and even opening shops on their premises. As they reopened after Lockdown2, still with Tier 2 restrictions, our editor Rosemary Stephenson did a tour of the villages to see how our pubs have been adapting and what they are offering over the festive season.
The Duck at Yeoford responded quickly to the first lockdown by opening their Pub-up-Shop offering a large selection of groceries and essentials. Orders are taken over the phone and customers given a timed pick up slot. They have also offered a delicious a takeaway menu with their legendary Friday night Fish & Chips with Minted Mushy Peas a firm favourite with locals. It is not surprising they were runners up this year in Alistair Sawday’s ‘Best for Families Award’.
The Duck will be closed on Christmas Day, but are offering a traditional Christmas lunch to takeaway, complete with Christmas pudding and clotted cream, for collection on Christmas Eve. They will also be selling Christmas Puddings and Mince Pies in the Pub-up-Shop and, to help feed your visitors over the festive season, they will be offering three types of takeaway buffets - Canapes, Smorgasbord and a selection of hot dishes. They will open on Boxing Day from 12noon to 6pm.
The Red Lion in Shobrooke has also kept their locals fed with takeaways and by opening an invaluable village shop. Open 6 days a week, it stocks a wide range of local products and household items, as well as taking orders for fresh meat (from Crediton butcher AJ Cox ) fish and bread for delivery.
Proud winners of the British Institute of Innkeeping’ ‘Heart of the Community Award’, the Red Lion’s efforts have been recognised well beyond their grateful community. As well as offering a delicious Christmas menu for family gatherings (of no more than 6), they are doing a special festive afternoon tea menu on Saturday afternoons in December.
At the Ring of Bells in Cheriton Fitzpaine landlady Binka Caven and her team have not only offered a takeaway service but a free delivery service to customers within 4 miles in her speedy Fiat 500, nicknamed the Binka Bus. Part of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August, the pub has continued to offer 50% off Wednesday lunches and will do so throughout December.
One of the few pubs to be open on Christmas Day, they are offering with a fabulous festive menu including Turkey and all the trimmings, Loin of Venison with Roasted Parsnip Celeriac Gratin and, for the veggies, Cauliflower Cheese Tart with Chicory and Fennel Salad. Or if you want a break from cooking on Boxing Day they are offering a tempting choice of lighter dishes such as Fowey Mussels or Venison Tagliata.
Known by locals as The Ringers, this 16th century thatched pub also serves great local beer earning its place in the 2021 CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
The Lamb Inn Sandford has kept its customers happy with a Lockdown Off Licence & Tap selling local ales, ciders and wine for collection or delivery from Thursday to Saturday. But its award winning kitchen is back in action, offering Christmas versions of their famous sharing platters. There is an array of tempting dishes for meat eaters, such as Lemon and Thyme Turkey Breast and Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Pickled Apples, and equally delicious options for vegetarians and vegans , such as Nut Roast with Candid Carrot with Sizzled Sprouts with Pistachio and Pomegranate. With its cosy atmosphere, it’s a great place for a family festive meal and if you have extra people to put up, the Lamb also offers luxury en-suite rooms.
The New Inn, a 13th century thatched freehouse and restaurant in the picturesque village of Coleford, also offers B&B accommodation and a talking parrot called ‘Captain’ to keep guests entertained. Throughout lockdown they ran a takeaway service 7 days a week, which will continue alongside their restaurant service.
If you fancy a trip to the pub, without the expense of a full meal, they are offering a ‘Substantial List’ of dishes for a fiver, at lunch and dinner, so you can treat yourselves without breaking the bank or Covid rules.
They are now taking bookings for their special Christmas menu, which alongside Turkey and Trimmings, includes Braised Feather Blade of Beef with Huntsman Sauce and Squash and Mushroom Wellington with Blue Cheese sauce.
Further afield nestled in the hills above the Exe Valley, just south of Tiverton, is The Cadeleigh Arms .With rustic interiors, stunning views and excellent food they were Gold Medal winners in the 2020 Food Drink Devon Awards and have run a popular takeaway service throughout lockdown. This will continue until 23 December, when they close for Christmas, reopening on 2 January.
Their special winter menu includes Spinach & Pine Nut Turkey Ballotine with all the Trimmings and Crispy Devon Pork Belly, roasted Leek & Mulled Cadeleigh Cider Sauce. Vegans are particularly well catered for with choices such Celeriac & Wild Mushroom Risotto, ‘Vegan Pecorino’ and Smokehouse Nuts or Vegan Mushroom & Leek Pie.
The friendliness of this pub extends to dogs too and you can even download a map of local dog walks on their website.
All of these pubs have introduced Covid secure measures, including social distancing and regular sanitising. To comply with Tier 2 guidelines, they can only serve alcohol to people who are dining. Tables must be pre booked with only one household allowed per table.