I’ve always been a big fan of the traditional country inn and I’m a firm believer that when it comes to lunchtime it rarely gets better than hearty pub grub. So, when we were asked if we’d like to try lunch at The Old Inn in Kilmington, we were keen to discover what they had to offer.
The Old Inn in Kilmington is a local family run business on the Devon/Dorset border. It’s pretty much your archetypal country pub and from the outside you’re met with a charming 17th century building, complete with a thatched roof and a beer garden for the summer months. Step inside and you’re welcomed by dark wooden interiors, stone floors and a small friendly team of staff. It’s fair to say that there are no frills when it comes to the Old Inn’s decor, but during our visit we were pleased to find a warm fire on the go and a good number of punters to add to the welcoming atmosphere.
Lunch is Served
The Old Inn menu contains all the usual pub classics – such as fish & chips and burgers- as well as daily specials which are locally sourced and freshly prepared. We were impressed by the variety on the menu as well as the obvious value for money.
One of the specials for the day was Sea Bass & Mediterranean Vegetables with a Balsamic Glaze. This was too tempting to pass on and when it arrived at the table I was surprised to find how generous the portion size was. Head Chef Henry Waterworth has years of experience preparing fish and you can certainly tell. The sea bass was perfectly cooked – with a delightful almost buttery crisp skin – and the vegetables and crushed potatoes were very nicely done. The balsamic glaze and pesto really brought the dish together and at £12.95 I would definitely order this plate of food again.
Fellow Devon Foodie writer, Collette, opted for the Three Cheese & Spinach Lasagne. Again, her portion size was very generous and we felt that it wasn’t your typical dull veggie option. It’s difficult for a lasagne to be outstanding, but this plate of food was very tasty and the homemade garlic bread was delicious. Unlike a lot of pub dishes, the salad was fresh and the balsamic dressing was a nice addition also.
With such large portions on offer, we weren’t sure if we had room for dessert but I felt I ought to try (it’s a hard job). For me, this meant a very colourful American-style pancake with homemade banana ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and plenty of dolly mixtures. I realised as it arrived at the table that I probably went for a dish designed for children, but I didn’t let that put me off. The ice cream was very tasty indeed, with a strong banana flavour, while the pancake was also perfectly nice.
After lunch we had a quick chat with Chef Henry Waterworth and found out more about his foodie ethos. It’s clear that the kitchen team at the Old Inn in Kilmington are passionate about the quality and provenance of their food and even though it’s not fine dining, they certainly know how to make a great plate of food. Their fish arrives daily from nearby Brixham and they do their best to locally source as many of their ingredients as possible.
Our Overall Thoughts
If we’re judging the Old Inn on food alone then I doubt you’ll find many pubs in Devon that serve dishes that are as tasty as these. As I said before, it is a pub not a fine dining restaurant, so if you visit with these expectations you won’t be disappointed. The ambience is certainly friendly, and it’s worth noting that it is also a dog friendly destination (we even said hello to one of their adorable resident canines ‘Simon’). I really enjoyed my lunch and would gladly pop in for a bite to eat next time i’m in the area. I also can’t wait for summer when there will be the potential for alfresco lunches in their beer garden as well as crab & seafood nights.