The quiet country town of North Molton enjoys a halycon position in swathes of countryside on the edge of Exmoor. At its heart sits The Poltimore Inn, a well loved local with its own smoker, hearty cooking and reasonably priced menus.
The pub, affectionately known as The Polty, had been closed for 18 months before Alan Boddington took it on, renovated it, created a new restaurant extension and last year opened three en suite bedrooms. He’s now on a long term mission to develop a destination dining pub with rooms, but one which still has the local community at its core.
VISIT FOR a spot of lazy indulgence after a hike, or cycle, around the moor. Park the bike and sit outside in the suntrap garden, or grab a window table in the restaurant and soak up the fabulous view across the surrounding fields. If you feel like settling in for the evening, the very comfy guest rooms upstairs are furnished with a mix of pre-loved antique finds and super comfy beds.
DON’T VISIT for trendy extras. Yes, there’s a smoker which brings a dose of street cred (more on that later), but The Polty is still very much a friendly, but unshouty and modest local – with good food, drink and hospitality running through it.
WE LIKED the varied menu options to suit different dining styles. From simple bar nibbles like calamari to sharing platters, burgers and sliders. Daily specials offer something different, such as beautifully cooked plaice served with a scattering of prawns, samphire and proper new potatoes, or chef Lynda Festa’s incredibly moreish wild mushroom arancini.
INSIDER’S TIP Alan and his team constructed their own smoker. It may look like George Stephenson’s Rocket, but it does produce very tasty smoked fish and meats – like pork shoulder and brisket of beef – which of course you’ll find on the menu.
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Hazelnut encrusted goat’s cheese, dressed leaves and Thatcher’s Cider apple chutney
Mains Home smoked brisket of beef in ciabatta roll, smoked beans, dressed slaw, duck fat chips, homemade barbecue sauce
Pud Chocolate tart
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