A fixture in lists of the best gastropubs in the UK, The Cornish Arms is set in the heart of Tavistock in the looming shadow of Dartmoor National Park. The postcard-perfect location isn't the only thing going for this cosy old inn - since opening in 2013, The Cornish Arms has also collected 3 AA Rosettes and a Michelin Bib Gourmand for the outstanding quality and price of it's food.
Chef John Hooker has a fantastic pedigree - he competed in the 2010 and 2011 series' of Great British Menu - but the focus of The Cornish Arms menu is on unpretentious food, fantastic beer and wine and great value for money. As a result, The Cornish Arms has managed to retain it's country pub atmosphere and ethos, despite the acclaim. The restaurant is smart but informal, without losing it's local boozer charm.
There's no tasting menu here, just an a la carte packed to the gunnels with comforting, elevated pub dishes that you just want to eat. Starters include pheasant scotch egg, blue cheese and beer pickled onions, duck liver pâté with shallot chutney and candied hazelnuts, and Heritage beetroot salad with blue cheese and candied walnut salad. The mains kick off with a homemade steak and ale suet pudding - a rarity on pub menus these days. West Country meat and fish feature heavily in comfort dishes like pork chop and café de Paris butter, lamb belly with whipped feta and gravy, and the desserts section is packed with great British puds like sticky toffee pudding, treacle tart and raspberry trifle.
The Cornish Arms offers vegan and Sunday lunch menus as well, and for those who don't fancy the journey home after three fine courses at the pub, there are welcoming seven rooms available for overnight stay.