At first glance, The Lamb Inn near Crediton looks like little more than a traditional village pub, with its dark wooden tables, locals sitting at the bar and menu chalked up on the blackboard. But you won’t find wilted lettuce or a dull ploughmans here, for a closer look reveals a thriving gastropub, which attracts both locals and those in search of superb dining.
As befits the setting, much of the menu is a new take on traditional pub fare, such as the meltingly soft roast lamb with fondant new potatoes and sweet shallot puree. Juicy venison is combined with a crispy tarte fine with rich, fruity figs, and a creamy celeriac puree. The apple crumble pannacotta is a fresh twist on a pub classic, pairing the cool vanilla cream with hot apple and a nutty crumble topping. Don’t miss the syrupy rich chocolate fondant, packed with cocoa, which is an indulgent treat.
With food this accomplished, it’s perhaps not surprising to discover that head chef Toby Lin (pictured above, right) previously worked at ABode restaurants in Canterbury and Exeter, and was at The Square in Mayfair before that. ‘I spent two and a half years at The Square and it was where I really learnt to cook,’ he says, and his interest in French and Chinese food peppers the modern British menu. As you might expect of this Taste of the West award winner, use of local produce is key, with Toby saying, ‘We source everything locally where possible, with our meat coming from A J Cox and bread from Stevie B’s Bakery on Crediton high street.’
The pub keeps itself at the heart of the local community with a large room upstairs doubling as a cinema and home of the weekly zumba class. The pub also provides the hog roast for the annual “Bands in The Square” festival. Although it lies a little off the beaten track, The Lamb Inn manages to combine a great foodie experience with all the best features of a local pub. Make the trip – it’s worth it. SO