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Bearslake Inn, Sourton

When it comes to kerb-appeal, this former longhouse will have you engaging the brakes for a hearty supper, discovers Rosanna Rothery

By night, the low-thatched roof and shimmering lights (not to mention the swing-sign creaking eerily in the wild Dartmoor gusts) lure in weary travellers in search of an atmospheric supper.

Owners Julian Tarrant-Boyce and Lisa Jenkins took over Bearslake Inn last March and have introduced a pub menu stuffed with the kind of classic fare that walkers crave after a heather-and-heath hike.

It’s not just ramblers who are tempted by the fairytale exterior though. Those on route between Okehampton and Tavistock are often compelled to engage the brakes at this road-side beauty.

VISIT for the rustic vibe. A working farm for most of its life, the large rambling inn has all the characterful details that a moorland adventurer could wish for: old beams, cosy fireplaces and thick granite and cob walls. It was once divided into three cottages (check out the old photos on the walls) so there are plenty of nooks and crannies to discover.

Reward an uphill trek over Sourton Tor or Corn Ridge with a local Dragon’s Breath ale or take advantage of the gathering of great gins on the shelves in The Snug Bar before refuelling in the restaurant.

Alternatively, do what we did and go super casual: dine by candlelight and the blaze of the fire in the 16th century Dartmoor Room.

DON’T VISIT for fancyschmancy dining. A traditional menu of unpompous faves like fish and chips, bangers ’n’ mash and spag bol is complemented by curries, pies and specials based around local seasonal ingredients.

WE LIKED the get-away-from-it-all ambience of The Hayloft – an apartmentsized room with fabulous views sweeping from the pub gardens to the undulating moors beyond.

Insider's tip

Don your roomiest waisted trousers if you're planning on accommodating the tasty steak and Jail Ale pie.

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