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What the dining pub landlord wishes you knew

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Paul Parnell, longtime landlord of one of the South West’s best dining pubs, the Jack in the Green near Exeter, lifts the bar …

Loin of Exmoor venison at Jack in the Green,, Exeter

Let us know when you book if it’s a special occasion

If we know in advance it gives us a chance to think of ways to enhance your experience. It’s lovely to see a customer’s face when we present them with a plate of chocolates spelling ‘happy birthday’.

Asking for a doggy bag is okay

We’re always happy to box up your leftovers – so don’t feel embarrassed to ask. If there are a few of you, you’ll usually find it better value to opt for a bottle of wine than to pay by the glass, and we have no problem with customers taking home the half full bottles.

Leave the table clearing to us

It’s one of our goals to clear your table quickly and efficiently so there should never be a need to stack the plates for us. Just sit back and let us do all the hard work. We have a system!

Dining pub landlords are sensitive creatures

Our aim is to serve fantastic food. We all make the occasional mistake and we would much rather be told on the day so we can correct it rather than read a bad review.

Please let us know if you can’t make your booking

Not showing up for your table wastes the opportunity for someone else to have a lovely experience. And it’s very costly to the business, too.

Expect to be treated the same as everybody else

Roger Moore, Harry Redknapp and a host of rugby stars have dined at the pub and, while we will provide a discreet table if desired, we want to show everybody a good time, regardless of celebrity status. Everyone is treated the same.

We’re not food snobs

We always strive to serve first class food at the pub and go all out to exceed expectations, but sometimes friends will say, ‘I can’t invite you over and cook for you because you’re a professional’. The truth is I am the easiest person in the world to please. What’s important to me when I socialise is to have a good time with friends.

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The Jack in the Green, Rockbeare, Exeter, Devon

Food editor Jo Rees discovered why The Jack in the Green near Exeter has attracted legions of fans over 20 years

Patrick Fogarty

Ever wondered what the bartender is really thinking as you blag your way through the cocktail list? We asked Patrick Fogarty of Dr Ink’s Curiosities, Exeter