LIFTON, PL16 0AA
A spit from Cornwall, this former coaching inn has a 250-year-old cock-fighting pit in the garden, and from the car park you can see the window bars of the cells of the neighbouring old police station. The Courthouse Bar dispenses the aptly named Dartmoor Jail Ale, and Ashridge cider; sensibly priced wines come from around the world. Holding two AA Rosettes for many years, Devon-born Master Chef of Great Britain Steve Pidgeon's restaurant makes good use of produce from local shoots and estates, the hotel's kitchen garden and villagers; he'll cook fish caught by guests, too. Menus feature pan-fried grey mullet; roast best-end of English lamb; fillet of Aylesbury duck; and vegetable croustade provenšale. There's also a five-course 'Taste of the West' menu. With Dartmoor close by, the big decisions are: lunch? dinner? breakfast? or all three? Professional advice is available for guests using the inn's fishing beats on the Tamar and six tributaries.