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Church Road, SLAPTON, Kingsbridge, TQ7 2PN
Tucked up a narrow driveway behind cottages and the church in this unspoilt Devon village, the ancient ivy-clad tower (which gives this charming 14th-century inn its name) looms hauntingly above the pub. It is all that remains of the old College of Chantry Priests - the pub was built to accommodate the artisans who constructed the monastic college. Six hundred years on and this truly atmospheric village pub continues to welcome guests and the appeal, other than its peaceful location, is the excellent range of real ales on tap and the eclectic choice of modern pub grub prepared from locally sourced ingredients, which include smoked fish from Dartmouth, quality Devon-reared beef, and fresh fish and crab landed at Brixham. Expect hearty lunchtime sandwiches alongside the ploughman's platter laden with pork pie, cheddar cheese, home-made relish and crusty bread; and Thai fishcakes. A typical evening meal may take in carpaccio of Exmoor venison with rocket, olive tapenade and parmesan; followed by pork belly with curly kale and sage jus; or pan-fried wild sea bass with braised fennel, crab dumplings and a crab bisque. Round off with apple and blueberry crumble with vanilla ice cream and wash down with a pint of Otter or St Austell Proper Job. Stone walls, open fires, low beams, scrubbed oak tables and flagstone floors characterise the welcoming interior, the atmosphere enhanced at night with candlelit tables. There's a splendid landscaped rear garden, perfect for summer alfresco meals. Visitors exploring Slapton Ley Nature Reserve and Slapton Sands should venture inland to seek out this ancient inn.
Butcombe Bitter, Otter Bitter, St Austell Proper Job, Sharp's Doom Bar
12-2.30 (12-3 summer) 6-11
1st 2wks Jan, Sun eve in winter
Coach parties catered.