The journey to the Millbrook Inn in South Pool is a scenic trek down narrow country lanes just ten minutes from Kingsbridge or a short boat trip from Salcombe.
We arrived to find an unassuming building from the outside. But it’s when you get inside that you see why this village pub is well loved by locals and visitors alike. A wood-smoker (smoking meat) filled the air with a delicious aroma. The low ceilings and dark wooden bar, backed by bare stone walls, give the restaurant a traditional charm.
We sat in a cosy corner by the fireplace and received a warm welcome from the owner, Charlie Baker. Memories of happy childhood holidays in Devon led him to move here from London four years ago and his decision is working out well. With a string of awards, including Best Dining Pub in Devon in The Good Pub Guide, it’s a certified success.
The menu ticks the locally sourced and sustainable boxes, with meat coming from the village butcher and seasonal produce from the Inn’s surrounding fields, gardens and orchards.
Andrew chose the Scotch broth with wood-smoked lamb belly to start, which was well-seasoned with tender cuts of velvety meat. I had the mussels in a Thai curry sauce: the subtle warmth of Asian spice complemented the shellfish so well.
For the main course, the line-caught sea trout was my choice. This generous-sized fillet with crispy skin was served with cassoulet, kale and a watercress sauce. Not only did it look good on the plate with pretty colour combinations, but it also tasted great too – balanced and flavoursome.
Andrew’s fillet steak was cooked rare as requested and served with a sumptuous smoked bone marrow jus. This complemented the wood-smoked starter perfectly.
Our dessert was a sage-infused crème brûlée with a delightfully hard surface to crack into. The herb added another flavour dimension and cut through the unctuous cream. It rounded off a fabulous meal.