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The Masons Arms’ owners retire after 18 years of Michelin-starred achievement in Devon

Mark and Sarah Dodson of The Masons Arms

The Masons Arms in Knowstone is for sale as owners Mark and Sarah Dodson announce retirement

For 18 years The Masons Arms – located in the tiny village of Knowstone in north Devon – has attracted discerning diners from across the country who visit to experience its keenly priced award-winning cooking. However, after a 17-year-long Michelin-star streak and stalwart membership of the Trencherman’s Guide, owners Mark and Sarah Dodson are turning off the hob and polishing the glassware a final time.

‘We’ve loved owning and running The Masons Arms, and while we have a Michelin star, we hope The Masons has continued to feel like the village local and played a role in the community here,’ said the restaurateurs.

‘The 18 years we have spent in Knowstone have been remarkable. We have achieved everything we set out to do by creating a first-class dining experience in relaxed and informal surroundings. We hope we have done our bit to spread the word about this wonderful part of north Devon, but we feel it is now time to hand over the reins to a new owner.

The Masons Arms
The Masons Arms

The dining pub was renowned for Mark’s produce-led cooking, which is elegant, beautifully executed and, at the pub, authentic to its countryside setting. The couple also supported regional farmers and growers, and were instrumental in developing the skills of many college students looking to enter the hospitality industry.

Trencherman’s Guide editor Abi Manning said: ‘Mark and Sarah’s version of The Mason’s Arms will be missed. The couple have been stalwarts of the South West food scene for many years, and longtime members of the guide. Since moving to Devon after Mark left his previous roles as head chef of the acclaimed The Waterside Inn at Bray, the couple’s contribution to the region’s hospitality sector has been exceptional: nurturing young chefs, retaining a Michelin star for 17 years (first achieved just six months after opening), and supporting local producers and farmers. We were delighted that Mark won the Award for Special Contribution at the Trencherman’s Awards 2022 – a fitting tribute. The Trencherman’s Guide team wish them a happy and fulfilling retirement.

Get your copy of the latest Trencherman’s Guide at and discover the very best fine dining restaurants in the South West.

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