Lake Sourton, Devon, UK
Visited 27th December 2008
An integral part of being in England is going to the pub. In winter it's all about roaring fires, piles of abandoned coats and hearty real ales. We spent a week in Devon for Christmas and somehow everyday managed to drop into the Bearslake Inn for a sly pint or two. Located near the cottage we rented on the edge of Dartmoor the Bearslake Inn is classic old school English country pub; think wood panelled public bar, separate dining room and a classic thatched roof. For our final family meal the whole hoard of us gathered in the pub's formal dining room.
There is nothing modern or fancy about the menu at the Bearslake Inn; it's all very old school, though regional produce is key and seasonal dishes abound. The people around me ordered things like liver and bacon, honey glazed pork, plaice and sirloin steaks, while I went with a trio of local fish fillets. The tender pieces of monkfish, sea bass and sole came simply served with a wedge of lemon, lettuce and tartar sauce. We ordered sides of potatoes while the table was presented with shared vegies; the punters were all happy with the very English bowls of brussels sprouts, carrots and two kinds of cabbage. We finished off with a few shared serves of tasty sticky toffee pudding.
Big serves of honest food prepared with quality ingredients were the order of the day at the Bearslake Inn. Prices were probably fair for the UK; the mains ranged from £12 to £16, with a couple of quid for the side of spuds. The serves were decent and too be honest with today's exchange rates the wine was a lot better value than you get in Hong Kong; the Chianti we drunk at £16.50 a bottle was a tasty drop. The staff were efficient and courteous, though hyper formal and lacked all traces of personality (something that's rather common in the UK). The Bearslake Inn is not modern, stylish or excessively fancy but simply offers old style charm.
Visit restaurant website.