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Pumpkin Soup. Served on the lunch menu at the Royal Oak in Meavy, Devon

The Royal Oak, Meavy

Sue Stoneman finds a fantastic spot for lunch at this traditional Dartmoor village pub

The Royal Oak is tucked away in the small Dartmoor village of Meavy. It’s everything you look for in a village pub: flagstone floors, a fireplace, low oak beams, real ale taps on the bar and a friendly welcome. A former 15th-century church house inn, The Royal Oak takes its name from an 800-year-old oak tree on the village green, just opposite the pub.

Tom Elson Knight, a MasterChef UK 2019 finalist, has recently taken charge of the kitchen and is making his mark on the menu – which is going down well with customers. The Royal Oak was awarded runner-up in Country Pub of the Year 2020 by Plymouth CAMRA. The pub is doing great things and adapting well in these strange times.

We enjoyed a refreshing glass of local real ale while deciding what to have for lunch. All the dishes looked tempting. You may sometimes find Dartmoor pony meat on the menu. The Royal Oak works with the Wild Pony Meat company to help add value to the breed by introducing them into the food chain.

I chose the Dartmoor beef burger, which came topped with bacon, melted cheese and tangy red onion chutney. It was big and tasty! My husband tucked into his Cajun chicken burger in a toasted ciabatta roll. He enjoyed the creamy, spicy mayo slathered on it. Both dishes came with fries, a colourful dressed salad, smokey slaw and some of the best onion rings we have ever eaten!

I had already spied the sticky toffee pudding on the dessert menu, and my husband, not usually one for afters, chose the homemade chocolate pudding. We had them with ice cream and both were equally delicious. Now we have found, tried and tasted, we’ll certainly be back again.

At the time of going to press, The Royal Oak is serving food on the following days/times: Monday 12 noon–2.30pm, Tuesday–Saturday 12 noon–2.30pm and 6.30pm–8pm, Sunday 12 noon–6pm. Friday is fish and chips (eat in or take away) 5pm–8pm. A separate evening menu is also available.

Sample Menu


  • Beer-battered cod goujons
  • Liver and bacon


  • Eton mess
  • Chocolate brownie sundae


  • Mains from £11.99
  • Desserts from £6.99
Sue loves the traditional charm, tempting menu and Tom’s onion rings
The Royal Oak
Devon PL20 6PJ

01822 852944

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