Fresh setting for rural pub dining
The concept of candlelit dinners feels a bit old‑school – conjouring images of formal dining a deux – so be prepared to have your preconceptions snuffed out at Candlelight Inn.
Owners Mike and Simon Rose‑Macleod have given the charming 17th‑century pub a tasteful and contemporary makeover via country‑living styling and smart food, and the result is fabulous.
You have to put in the effort to get there – it’s uber rural, in the heart of the Blackdown Hills – but every country mile is worth it for chef Aaron Ashworth’s cooking and the friendly service from Mike and team.
Go casual and order from the pub menu in the very attractive bar. Or book a table in the beams‑and‑fireplace dining area where a more upscale menu is complemented by hedgerow flowers on the table and, of course, flickering candles.
Beautifully prepared multidimensional dishes showcase local produce (including ingredients from the garden) and in appropriate portion sizes, so you can still do pudding with aplomb.
Trencherman’s tip: swing by early so there’s time for an aperitif G&T made with the pub’s own artisan gin, Beau (named after Mike and Simon’s irish setter).