EXFORD, TA24 7PP
A family-run, 17th-century coaching inn in the heart of Exmoor National Park, the Crown is a comfortable mix of elegance and tradition. With three acres of its own grounds and a tributary of the infant River Exe flowing through the woodland, it's popular with visiting outdoor pursuit enthusiasts. But the cosy bar is also very much the social hub of the village, where many of the patrons enjoy the range of Exmoor Ales from Wiveliscombe just down the road. The AA-Rosette cuisine promises much, especially with Exmoor's profuse organic produce on the doorstep and the kitchen's close attention to sustainable sources. A typical selection from the bar menu could include ham hock and leek terrine with cider chutney and toasted brioche; pan-fried sea bass, spaghetti in tomato fondue with sauce vièrge; and creamy rice pudding with salted caramel with roasted pecan nuts.