The Rams Head Inn Country Hotel

Contemporary country dining pub

Charming Devon village location? Check. An inspired local menu groaning with seasonal specials? Check. The option of bit of banter over the bar with the loveable landlords? Check.

Yep, Dolton’s newly renovated watering hole ticks all the right boxes when it comes to quality country pub dining.

Getting their hands on the keys in June 2015, new owners Simon Hunt and Darren Eastwood wasted no time revamping and revitalising the 18th century inn, restoring the crumbling building to its former glory while drawing on Simon’s interior design experience to transform it into a contemporary rural retreat.

An intriguing mix of delicate design, antique furniture and original features – think low-slung beams, stone fireplaces and wooden floors – creates a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, making this a venue that can just as easily host supper with friends as intimate drinks with someone special by the fire. Factor in the lovely landlords and lively Doltonians joking at the bar and you’ll wonder why every village doesn’t have a local like this.

Local loyalty extends to the edible offerings from executive chef Alex Pallatt, with almost everything landing in the kitchen sourced within a 25 mile radius. Elegant starters such as goat’s cheese brûlée and lobster ravioli are followed by equally impressive mains including roasted silver mullet with curried mussels and stuffed galantine partridge topping baby leeks and parsnips.

If you get carried away sampling the gin collection or the local ales in the quaint surrounds of the Ram’s new secret garden, there’s 12 beautifully refurbished bedrooms above the inn for an impromptu break in the country, plus there’s a cracking poached egg breakfast to rouse weary guests come morning. With Rosemoor Gardens and the north Devon coast just a short drive away, you’ll probably want to extend your break to a fully-fledged gourmet getaway.

Insider’s tips

Like what you’re eating? Don’t miss The Ram’s autumn cookery classes.

The Rams Head Inn Country Hotel, South Street, Dolton, Devon, EX19 8QS

01805 804255

Opening hours

Monday: 5pm-11pm
Tuesday – Saturday: 8am-11pm
Sunday: 9am-10pm

Chef: Alex Pallatt

Owner: Simon Hunt

Bedroom rate: £59

Bedrooms: 12

  • Kids welcome
  • Wifi
  • Parking available
  • Private dining available
  • Gluten free options
  • Beer garden
  • Wedding venue
  • Exclusive use
  • Online booking

Awards awarded 8.6 out of 10

Sample menu


Corned beef hash, £6.50


Home salted cod, £14.50


Elderflower poached gooseberries, chantilly cream, shortbread crumb and lemon curd, £6.95

Searchable map for places to eat, stay, shop and cook

Read the latest issue