Taste Buds magazine logo

The Bear & Blacksmith, Chillington

Sue Stoneman heads to the South Hams to revisit the award-winning Bear & Blacksmith, renowned for its ultra-local sourcing of special ingredients

This venue has permanently closed

Two years since my last visit to this gem of a pub in the South Hams, and just after the rules were relaxed with regard to hospitality, and the same warm, friendly welcome awaits. There are fewer tables inside but with plenty of outdoor seating available, some under cover, you’ll be in for a treat whether you decide to go for the light bites or main menu.

Still championing fresh and local produce, what doesn’t come from the vegetable plot at the rear of the pub, is sourced from farms nearby. The meat is from head chef Malcolm Church’s own farm and butchery, and freshly caught fish is delivered daily.

We were given the heads up that the fish delivery had just landed and recommended to try the plaice. I had already been eyeing up the fish on the menu so I chose to go for that. This was probably the best and biggest plaice I have ever eaten. It was served on a bed of pea purée with king prawns, buttery new potatoes and a home-made tartare sauce. The roasted fish was super fresh, succulent and perfectly cooked.

My husband had the home-made burger – a chunky beef patty topped with all the trimmings: bacon, cheese, salad, pickles, relish and a mustard mayo in a soft bun. Home-made chips and onion rings came on the side too. He said it was one of the best burgers he had ever eaten.

There’s a great selection of local ales and spirits too. Check out the board for wine recommendations to accompany your meal.

For dessert, I had the chocolate and coffee mousse which melted in my mouth. My husband had the summery, fresh strawberries and cream.

This award-winning village pub serves top-quality local produce, and I can’t recommend a visit highly enough!

Sample Menu


  • Pan-fried local scallops
  • Wild garlic, spring onion & ginger chicken wings


  • Rex Down day boat fish & chips
  • Vegetable lasagne


  • Cherry Bakewell with clotted cream
  • Lemon posset with a sweet biscuit


  • Starters from £6.50
  • Mains from £12.50
  • Desserts from £5.00
Sue loves: the home-made sauces, fresh fish and locally sourced produce
The Bear & Blacksmith
South Devon TQ7 2LD

01548 581171

Prefer Print?

Six times a year, delivered to your door

Annual subscription: £15
Single Issue: £3

July August 2024 issue out now

Try before you buy. View digital edition

Go to Shop
Taste Buds JulAug24 front cover