Latest News

  • The Jack Russell in Swimbridge reopens Tuesday 11 September 2018

    Village pub hails community spirit as it battles back from flooding to reopen
    Full Story:


    Craft Brewery Siren takes home Supreme Champion accolade with its Broken Dream Breakfast Stout.

    Congratulations also goes to Devon brewery, Bays for grabbing the Silver medal in the Strong Ale category.

  • Rising Sun Umberleigh Saturday 14 July 2018

    The Rising Sun at Umberleigh has risen. It is being run by a young couple from Cornwall, Kate and Charlie O'Shea who have experience in restaurants and accommodation: he runs the bar and she the restaurant and the eight rooms. Good luck from all at CAMRA.

  • Exeter Inn Chitlehamholt Tuesday 10 July 2018

    It’s Hammer Time on the 27th. Ooo can’t stop this.

  • Horse and Groom Barnstaple Tuesday 3 July 2018

    You wouldn’t think it by look of the photo but the Olive Branch has now reopened as its former self.
    The Horse and Groom. Reports are they are selling a great Yorkshire beer at a very very reasonable price.

  • Royal George Appledore Monday 2 July 2018

    The Royal George in Appledore has been totally refurbished into another fine dining experience.

  • Boathouse Instow Saturday 16 June 2018

    The Boathouse at Instow reopened this week as a Seafood restaurant.
    There has been a report that someone had some Beerd Cubic, So without further ado, one of our intrepid reporters will be doing a full reconnaissance very soon to find out exactly what they have installed for us all.

  • White Hart Bratton Fleming Friday 15 June 2018

    The following was dated 27th May. Underneath is yesterday’s developments.

    The Planning Decision for the main refurbishment of the Pub/Hub has been postponed by planners till later in June awaiting one more consultee report. The necessary accompanying reports required covering acoustics and odours have been completed and posted on the Planning portal and the Environment Health Officer's comments to them. The surveyor's report noting the likely costs of refurbishment of the whole downstairs' bar area etc for reopening and proving the need for the windfall from the three new houses built on the hardly ever used garden is also in front of planners. The sum was sobering and would absorb all the value of the plots and more and whilst it recognised that voluntary or self-repair help could reduce that dramatically it shows what needs to be done before the place could be reopened. The surveyor was pleased at how structurally sound the property generally remained after six years of no use, Of course, we have maintained the fabric of the building including roofs and chimneys at quite some considerable cost to ensure it was protected from the elements. The appeal for the separate application to enlarge the Apartment and to provide the independent second access for the Flat is to be determined very shortly now too - both imperative needs for the possibility of the premises to function comfortably again. Community Group' to correspondence to them dated 7 April and 3 May. Their window to buy the property expires in early August.

    The Latest

    Appeal for separation of upper floor to s/c flat refused and now dismissed at appeal 14.6.18. Inspector recognised the Trojan Horse nature of the application. The loss of the upper floor could make the pub unviable. Appeal decision says community is trying to buy the pub.

  • Aggi Braunton Sunday 3 June 2018

    Good luck to the new manager Glen who will be opening the doors of the Aggi on the 6th June

  • Torridge Inn Black Torrington Sunday 3 June 2018

    Alex and Gill took got the Keys on Friday the 1st
    We have heard they are closing for a couple of weeks for a little refurb.
    We will keep you posted as to what plans they have.

  • Bideford Conservative Club Wednesday 16 May 2018

    Good club needs a steward.

  • Hunters Inn Heddon Valley Wednesday 9 May 2018

    The National Trust buys The Hunters Inn.

    One of the most famous pubs in the rural Westcountry has been bought by the National Trust. The remote Hunters Inn, located deep within the scenic Heddon Valley on the Exmoor coast, is often listed as one of the UK's top ten places for country walks. It's renowned for its snowdrops, bluebells and butterflies. Now every pint and meal bought at the pub will help preserve the magical wooded coastal valley immortalised by poets, and a favourite for walkers and nature lovers. It was once known as a smuggler's haunt and the Victorians knew it as 'little Switzerland'. Since the very first walking tourists, like the poets Coleridge and Wordsworth, visited the place 200 years ago, the gorge-like Heddon Valley has lured the kind of sightseers who love to be awed by a sense of wilderness. The deep, wood-lined valley, which runs from the high hills down to the sea, can only be reached by the South West Coast Path or by a couple of steep and tortuous lanes – which is perhaps one reason why the splendid old inn set in scenic gardens has never been a runaway commercial success. But the inn and the trust’s existing visitor facilities are a huge draw to visitors who park at the one central part of the valley, and then radiate out on foot into the woodlands, or down the classic two-mile walk to the sea at Heddon’s Mouth, and on to Woody Bay. Rob Joules, the trust’s general manager for North Devon said by buying Hunter’s Inn, we can do more to make people’s time here special, and do even more to support the wildlife and habitats that are seeing huge declines elsewhere. The inn will be managed for the trust by Bespoke Hotels, whose managing director Graham Marskell commented: “We are thrilled to be working alongside the National Trust as they invest in this important property. Hunter’s Inn boasts a truly spectacular location in the heart of Exmoor, as well as a fine culinary tradition.” The inn’s departing owner, David Orton, said: “I have really enjoyed owning Hunters Inn over the last 12 years and to have been part of its rich history. I’m delighted that the National Trust is taking over as guardians, I know they will look after the inn and it will continue to be the heart of the magical Heddon valley, somewhere I’ll always call home.” The trust has long looked after places across West Exmoor, with more than 20 acquisitions of land in the area since 1963. “Many of these were generously supported by bequests and public appeals, reflecting the love that so many people have for this landscape,” said a spokesman for the charity. “In 1965, land at Woody Bay was the first acquisition in the South West to use funds from the Trust’s Neptune campaign – a campaign that has done so much to protect the region’s coastline over the decades.”

  • Rams Head Dolton Thursday 3 May 2018

    Meet the New Owners of the Ram’s Head

    Dolton is fortunate still to have two distinctly different pubs serving the community, both well supported and an essential part of village life. As most people will know, the Ram’s Head has recently changed hands following a period of uncertainty; so we thought that it would be a good idea to interview the new owners, so we posed some questions to Nico and Vanessa:

    Q. Where have you come from?
    A. We’ve moved here from the Vendée region on the west coast of France, although Vanessa originates from Nottinghamshire.
    Q. What did you do for a living in France?
    A. Nico has been running his own very successful fine dining restaurants for about 16 years (it’s in his blood, as his family ran their own hotel and his sister also has a restaurant). He trained in several Michelin star restaurants and has held the “Bib Gourmand” Michelin accreditation for 20 years. Vanessa’s career background was in human resources, mostly in Surrey, before she moved to France and met Nico.
    Q. So why move, and particularly to Dolton?
    A. Nico wanted a new challenge and wanted to run a good English pub. Vanessa has always enjoyed visiting the West Country and introduced Nico and the girls to the area. They all loved it and began looking around in Cornwall. But a visit to Devon showed this was a better location for them, with a reputation for good food and local produce. (The girls’ Christmas wish was for no presents, just a move to Devon!) They spotted that the Ram’s Head was for sale and it was ‘love at first sight’, exactly the sort of place and beautiful location they’d been looking for. They didn’t raise their hopes too much at first as they still needed to sell the restaurant in France, but when their senior staff offered to buy it, everything fell into place.
    Q. Have you bought the freehold of the Ram’s Head? A. Yes, and hopefully the cottage in the future.
    Q. So where are you going to live?
    A. For now, we’re using two rooms in the pub, which is a little cosy for all of us and the dogs! But we’d like to find somewhere to rent, within the village if possible; if anyone knows of anywhere suitable, do please let us know.
    Q. What about the girls’ schooling?
    A. They both started at Dolton School at the beginning of this term. They are settling in well and the school staff have been really helpful. Their English is getting better each day, and who knows, maybe Dolton School’s French speakers will increase! In September Solène is hoping to go to Chulmleigh college.
    Q. Are you keeping the existing staff?
    A. Yes, very happily so, although we are looking for an additional chef. Nico is the proprietor/chef/manager and would ideally like to spend more time ‘front of house’ as executive chef with a team of chefs under his instruction. We’ve promoted Ashley to Assistant Manager, whilst Vanessa runs the admin and helps wherever needed.
    Q. It’s early days, but what are your broad aims for the Ram’s Head?
    A. To run a good quality pub/restaurant/b & b, which is somewhere people will want to travel to, whether it is to stay, eat or just for a drink. We want to serve the local community well, to be a valued part of the village and of course to use local produce as much as possible.
    Q. You’ll obviously be very busy running the pub, but what other interests do you have?
    A. Nico enjoys cycling, cars and of course he’s a foodie! Vanessa loves gardening and walking her dogs; Solène is very much into dance and design, whilst Charline loves animals, wants to join a pony club and to be a vet when she grows up.
    Q. Finally, what are your first impressions of Dolton?
    A. We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the friendliness of everyone and really grateful that so many people came in to welcome us on the 10th April. That evening was so busy we couldn’t possibly meet & greet everyone properly, so we are looking forward to doing so in the coming months. Thank you for your welcome and support!

    Many thanks to the Dolton & Dowland Diary for providing the information.
    Good Luck from everyone at North Devon CAMRA

  • Cyder Presse Weare Giffard Wednesday 2 May 2018

    Gary Parsons the name and running a pub is now his game.
    When the owner of the Cyder Presse “Nigel” goes on holiday it’s Gary who runs the place.
    For months now Nigel has asked him to lease it off him, and now he has finally agreed.
    Great new for Weare Giffard, great news for everyone who drinks and eat at this one of North Devon’s finest.

  • Royal George Appledore Wednesday 2 May 2018

    Work is well underway. If the plans are anything to go by this place is going to be fabulous.

  • The Exeter Inn at Chittlehamholt Wednesday 2 May 2018

    Has closed its doors, more to follow I’m sure

  • The Rising Sun at Umberleigh Wednesday 2 May 2018

    Closed last week and we understand that Julian, who had been running the pub on his own for the past month or so, has now left the premises.

  • Beach Bar & Diner Westwood Ho! Sunday 15 April 2018

    The Beach Bar & Diner in Westward Ho! reopened on 24th March following a six month closure. A new conservatory has been added to the front, where the previously open area was quite exposed to the elements before. Unfortunately, there did not seem to be a great deal of interest in real ale, but at  least they did offer one, in the form of Wadworth's IPA.

  • Hart Inn Hartland Sunday 15 April 2018

    The Hart Inn at Hartland, sold recently at auction, no longer has a pub sign and could not be recognised as a pub if one did not know otherwise. Futher news to follow as soon as we know.

  • Jack Russell Sunday 15 April 2018

    The Jack Russell at Swimbridge still has a bar in the skittle ally but they are not doing food.

  • Lamb Inn Ilfracombe Sunday 15 April 2018

    The Lamb at Ilfracombe has now been re-opened as the ‘Thomas Carr Seafood & Grill Bar’ offering two real ales with more to come we are told, together with a pub on the ground floor with posh pub grub, & a fine dining experience in a beautifully restored old Victorian dining room upstairs.

  • Mill Inn Sunday 15 April 2018

    The Mill Inn at Bish Mill has a coach going to Tuckers at Newton Abbot,  as they have done for many years apparently contact them directly if your interested in going.

  • Old Smithy Sunday 15 April 2018

    The Old Smithy at welcome has new owners.  Murrough and Graine McHugh, from Co Tipperary, took over at the beginning of March. The pub is holding a beer festival again this year, on 14th - 15th July.

  • Pier Tap and Grill Sunday 15 April 2018

    The ‘Pier Tap & Grill’ pub now has two ‘Wizard’ beers on offer, ‘ Lundy Gold’ & ‘Druid’s Fluid’.

  • Plume of Feathers Sunday 15 April 2018

    In Okehampton the Plume of Feathers is now reopened Steve the new landlord is regularly stocking 4 well kept local ales straight from the cask he is also selling 2 craft beers on tap.
    Photo shows the shutters being taken off. If it stops raining in Okehampton one day we will refresh the picture. “Sorry Steve”

  • Plymouth Inn Sunday 15 April 2018

    The Plymouth Inn in Okehampton now has a sold sign outside.

  • The Appledore Inn Sunday 15 April 2018

    The kitchen has now been refurbished and is open as usual for Thai cuisine.

  • The Grove Sunday 15 April 2018

    The Grove in Kings Nympton is to hold there annual beer festival on the 21st-22nd July.

  • Village Inn Westwood Ho! Sunday 15 April 2018

    The Village Inn, also in Westward Ho!, are just about to offer food again following a complete re-vamp of the kitchen there.

  • Westleigh inn Sunday 15 April 2018

    A lot of work is being done outside. The child's play area has been flattened and is just bare earth at the moment . They've built a large covered smoking area overlooking the river towards Appledore, also the car park has been leveled & gravelled. They're also block paving a patio area.