Pyne Arms

East Down, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4LX
Pyne Arms, North Devon head chef

Delicious Exmoor experience at Pyne Arms

Delightfully rustic surroundings (proper pub decor, dark beams, wood burner, ancient wooden settles and locals propping up the bar) belie the contemporary culinary cleverness going down at the Pyne Arms.

Forget self-conscious styling; authenticity rules at this rural Exmoor gem. Hearty dishes such as unctuous slow-braised ox cheek with herby mash, and rib-sticking suet pudding feature alongside fresh local fish and crowd-pleasing burgers. Whatever you plump for, you can be sure of being well fed (and warmly welcomed) by owners Amie and Ellis Pannell.

The pair have hauled this hidden-away village pub into the 21st century through a menu of great cooking, excellent local gin list, well-kept ales on tap – including the chocolatey Mena Dhu stout from Cornwall’s St Austell Brewery – and friendly service. Their efforts saw the pub voted Trencherman’s Best Dining Pub in 2019.

Pyne Arms also has two contemporary guest bedrooms on site, so it’s possible to turn supper into a mini-break on the edge of Exmoor. The opportunity to wake up in the verdant wilds and spend the day stomping over the moor or exploring nearby National Trust property Arlington Court before returning for a hearty supper and a pint at the bar is more than a little appealing.

Sample menu

Starter: Wood mushroom arancini, garlic aioli

Main: Ox cheek, celeriac remoulade, mash, beef sauce

Dessert: Classic crème brûlée

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Chef(s): Ellis Pannell
course lunch from: £17.50
3 course dinner from: £28
Seats: 60
Bedrooms:  2
Room rate from: £75
Indy Coffee Guide