Situated on the edge of Exmoor, The Poltimore Inn has risen from the ashes after a year-long refurbishment. This cracking independent pub is a definite desitination if you’re visiting Exmoor.
1. How would you describe The Poltimore Inn? What makes it special?
The Poltimore Inn is everything a good village pub should be, with a varied menu of delicious home-cooked food and a wide selection of local beers. It is located in a picturesque village on the edge of Exmoor. You can be sure of a warm welcome here. You can enjoy a bar meal or dine in the lovely spacious restaurant which overlooks a beautiful pub garden and the Exmoor hills beyond.
2. A smoker in your beer garden? What was the inspiration behind this?
Ah, the smoker. This was built by landlord Alan Boddington with help from a local engineer Jack Reed. It is a wonderful contraption, weighing around three quarters of a ton. It is a sort of cross between Stevenson’s Rocket and something from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Alan was keen to offer customers something different, and the smoker is used regularly to smoke our own meat and fish which is then served in the pub and restaurant.
3. It looks like a spectacular beast, is this a custom build?
Yes, a complete one off! Alan and Jack made it from all sort of bits and pieces, some of them from scrapyards. There’s even parts from a submarine compressed air system and a car axle from an Austin A2. It is quite an impressive machine, and a great talking point among the locals. What’s more, the smoker works really well, and there is loads of space to smoke a wide variety of food.
4. Your pub has been on quite a journey. What have been some of the challenges?
The pub was closed for a year before Alan took it on, in August 2013. He completely refurbished the building and added a large new restaurant, and created several guest rooms. It involved a lot of hard work, but Alan and his team have done a fabulous job. Alan is a great foodie, and wanted the pub to be known for its good food. He and his staff have worked tirelessly to build up the pub’s reputation for delicious home-cooked meals, and were rewarded in 2015 with a Gold Taste of the West Award in 2015.
5. Pubs are often the heart of the community, have you found that the pub is once again becoming the heart of the community?
This has been Alan’s mission – to put The Poltimore Inn at the heart of village life. The pub is situated in the centre of the village, by the main square, and is involved in all sorts of community events. For example the pub runs an annual competition, Boots in Bloom, to encourage local residents to plant flowers in boots. So in the summer time the whole village is full of flowers which is a lovely sight. There is a very active skittles team at the pub, and also magic evenings and regular folk and jazz evenings. The Poltimore also gets involved in a lot of charity fund raising events.
6. I love real ales, what sort of offerings have you got for the real ale drinkers?
A wide selection of great real ales from the South West, including Otter Ale, Exmoor Ale and St Austell Tribute.
7. What is your food philosophy at The Poltimore Inn?
We aim to offer our visitors the very best home-cooked food, which includes tasty traditional pub meals and some more adventurous dishes, and smoked foods, meat, fish and cheese. One of our specialities is the popular ‘Poltimore Inn Platters’ or PIPs, sumptuous selections of smoked fish, sausage, salami and vegetarian treats. Our menus change seasonally and there are daily specials, with vegetarian and gluten-free options. The pub uses locally sourced foods whenever possible.
8. I heard on the grapevine that you like to offer some international foods too?
We do enjoy providing something a little different for our guests. So we often have weekends with themed food from a particular country. For example this year we have had a Spanish tapas weekend, with some authentic dishes such as nachos con carnie, chorizo and tomato and potato bravas. Our highly experienced chef, Lynda Festa, was lucky enough to spend some time working alongside a well-known Spanish chef, Pedro Gomez, and she likes to recreate some of the meals she learnt from him. Another weekend this year, to coincide with American Independence Day in July, the pub hosted an American weekend. The menu included seafood chowder, buffalo chicken wings and sweetcorn fritters. Lynda and the catering team, Stephen Newall, Louise Wilson and Shelly Thorne, are always full of ideas for interesting and unusual recipes.
9. …and Gin tasting evenings?
Oh yes, we like our gin too, so we host gin tasting evenings which are always great fun. One of ourfavourite gins is locally produced on Exmoor, called Wicked Wolf.
10. Finally, what sort of attractions are nearby? Yo’re in such a lovely part of the world!
The Poltimore Inn is on the edge of Exmoor, which is wonderful for walking and riding. North Molton is an excellent spot to start your walk from, and then you can treat yourself to a meal at the pub when you return. We are only 45 minutes from some of the best surfing beaches in the South West, including Croyde, Saunton and Woolacombe. North Molton is a good stopping off point for ameal on your journey to the North Devon coast or further on to North Cornwall. North Molton is easily accessible, (less than 3 miles), from the A361 North Devon Link Road, the main road linking
North Devon with the M5 motorway Junction 27. There are signs to the pub from the Link Road. We look forward to welcoming you to The Poltimore Inn!
For more information contact The Poltimore Inn on 01598 740338 or visit