Soak up the sunshine by dining alfresco at foodie pubs with a garden, terrace or courtyard
Lord Poulett Arms, Somerset (pictured above)
For gastronomic thrills in a charming setting, consider a trip to the Lord Poulett Arms’ beautiful courtyard this spring. To shield diners against the temperamental British weather, the Somerset find has erected marquees in its rustic-chic courtyard, so the pared-back dining experience can be enjoyed even if it rains.
Head chef Philip Verden keeps the cooking au courant, enlivening the outdoor menu of gastropub classics with en vogue ingredients and up-to-date techniques. Handsomely presented dishes such as roast squab pigeon with hoisin glaze and sweet potato croquette, and pan-fried cauliflower steak with south Indian sambar dhal fuse international flavours with local produce.
Visit the Lord Poulett Arms’ social media channels for more information regarding dates and times.
The NoBody Inn, near Exeter
This charming 17th century inn in the rural Devon village of Doddiscombsleigh enjoys a solid reputation for excellent wining and dining. Its ample lawn has also made it the place for locals to head to make the most of the sunshine and catch up with friends over quality food and drinks.
Off the beaten track in countryside not far from Exeter it’s so tucked away you’d never just stumble across it, but those in the know make a bee-line to the inn for the lovely cooking and the incredible drinks collection: 250 wines and 240 whiskies at the last count.
If wine and whisky aren’t your bag, you’ll certainly find a spirit to surprise and delight – the orange notes of the house gin is a good place to start – as well as a sterling collection of well-kept ales and beers. However, the pleasures extend way beyond those of the liquid variety and Michael Pooley’s crowd-pleasing menus (crafted using a wealth of locally produced ingredients) deftly walks the line between smart and hearty. Ingredients such as local venison and fish landed off the Devon coast are treated with cheerful reverence. When the weather is particularly good, the inn occasionally offers gourmet wood-fired pizzas and barbecued delights.
Visit The Nobody Inn’s social media channels for up-to-date information regarding opening dates and times.
The Crown Inn, Hampshire
You simply can’t beat a long, sociable supper in beautiful weather at a lovely country dining pub and The Crown Inn at Upton is a stellar example.
While The Crown can’t currently allow patrons inside its attractive pub for lunch and supper, the team have constructed beautiful pods in the pub’s garden so visitors can enjoy the contemporary French dishes outside, whatever the weather. There are also tables and chairs for alfresco feasting if the weather’s playing ball. Bookings are available from April 23.
Guests can expect a menu showcasing fresh seasonal dishes artfully cooked by head chef Dave Watts. Dave, who trained under Raymond Blanc, specialises in contemporary French dishes which focus on provenance, so many ingredients on menu are sourced from small-scale, artisan (and often local) producers.
Read on for more foodie pubs with a garden, courtyard or terrace.
The Royal George, north Devon
The Royal George, perched by a slipway in the gorgeous north Devon fishing village of Appledore, offers contemporary casual dining with a side of invigorating estuary views and salty sea breezes.
The restaurant has temporarily reworked its offering so visitors can enjoy a slice of the indoor experience outside. From Wednesday to Friday it’ll be open for casual food and drinks in front of the waterside restaurant, think dishes such as marinated slow-cooked jackfruit, and garlic lobster with fries and salad.
All the produce used comes from surrounding growers, farmers and fishermen; meat is reared on Exmoor while fish is landed locally and cooked the same day it hits the dock.
The Rising Sun, Truro
Sidestep the bustle of downtown Truro by taking the five-minute stroll from the city centre for indulgent food, great beers and wines (and barrels of bonhomie) in The Rising Sun’s little garden restaurant.
From April 17 chef patron Tom will be cooking dishes from his creative menu for guests to enjoy in the intimate, candlelit garden restaurant. Tom’s ever-evolving menus are crowd-pleasing affairs featuring the likes of Cornish scallops, local pheasant breast and just-landed fish.
The wine list is as thoughtfully curated as the menu and there’s always something interesting to try (plus good recommendations on what will pair best with each dish). The gin list and beers and ales are also noteworthy, so there’s every reason to extend your pairing beyond the grape.
The outdoor dining area is open Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays. The space will be covered to protect against the elements and diners kept warm via outdoor wood burners. A £20 deposit is required upon booking.