Top 50 Gastropubs

22

The Masons Arms

Headed by chef-owner Mark and partner Sarah Dodson, the venue re-entered the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list in 2021 at number 44 and his since launched up well above the halfway mark.

Their picturesque, thatched 13th century Inn and award-winning restaurant on the edge of Exmoor boasts exceptional local cuisine using only the finest ingredients, all presented with taste and style.

Michelin starred for the 16th consecutive year, the inn features seasonal, and ever-changing, lunch and Sunday lunch menus alongside an à la carte offer typically including fresh fish and locally sourced meat.

Indeed, the latest Michelin Guide recommends roast quail with salted caramel shallot tarte Tatin and hazelnuts; fillet of halibut with potato crust, bouillabaisse style sauce and anchovy aioli and its trio of raspberry desserts as specialties, praising the pub for exuding “rural charm” and classing it among their “most delightful places”.

You’ll also find a range of quaint local accommodation close to the pub should you wish to stay following your drinking and dining experience at this outstanding venue.

And you won’t be disappointed with the food on offer either, far from it in fact. The menu changes frequently to ensure diners come back for more and recent dishes have included roasted tomato and garlic soup; breast of wood pigeon with chestnut and sausage stuffing; and seared peppered tuna with Thai style salad to start.

Mains have included potato rosti with roasted vegetables, poached egg, herb oil and balsamic reduction; fillet of seabass with carrot, ginger, tempura prawns and aioli; and roasted partridge with parmentier potatoes, pancetta and parsnips for the main event.

High standards continue into the third courses, with desserts including mixed berry crème brulee; pear with raspberry and sweet wine vanilla trifle; and chocolate cheesecake with caramelised banana and peanuts.

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