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The Teign Estuary is a little bit like the Exe Estuary’s little brother. It’s a bit shorter, a tad narrower, but in it’s own way much more dramatic. The best way to enjoy the serenity of this gorgeous part of Devon is to head down to The Coombe Cellars, grab a pint and watch the calm waters.
Our visit was a little less scenic. It was so foggy you couldn’t really see anything; so it was at this time that I engaged my imagination and decided that we would need to come back to see this pub in it’s full glory.
The Coombe Cellars is a bit of a South Devon establishment, being noted in Victorian travel literature as far back as 1800 as a place to eat and stay, it was also a drop off point for smugglers, and it is even supposedly haunted (not been reported since 1972). It was bought by Mitchells and Butlers in 2016, and is now a Premier Country Pub. Posh or what?
Our visit at a recent press event, was my first time down to The Coombe Cellars. It won’t be my last either, as they are going for posh-nosh level service and quality. Which it certainly was.
The interior is modernist, but not losing the sense of ‘pub’ that gives The Coombe Cellars it’s personality. Highlights for us was the ‘snug’ with it’s cyclindrical chimney and comfy sofas; the conservatory; and the dog towels for wet doggos. The main dining area has a large vista across the estuary.
Drinks, cocktails, mocktails and beverages served at the lovely swish bar area. Just pop through for a sneaky cocktail or a cool beer on a summer night!
We were allowed to try anything we wanted.
From exciting seafood options, to the pub favourites, the menu is as accommodating as it can be without spreading itself too thin. For Vegans, there is a good menu with lots of variety and well-thought out options. From an ex-vegetarian’s point of view, accommodating those who choose to, or have to live solely on a plant-based diet is a big plus for me.
Our menu tonight was varied and a bit wild. We had canapes, starters, drinks, second starter, main and desserts.
I won’t go into every single dish we had, there were a few that stood out for us and that we would go for again.
The Wagyu Burger (with smoked Irish cheddar, crispy onions, burger sauce, sweet potato fries and aioli £15.95) itself was a good tasty ball of meat with sympathetic dressing, and added bacon. I am a burger fan so I like to eat my burgers how God intended (can’t find the scriptural reference but I’m sure it’s there somewhere). In my hands and not with a knife and fork.
The burger got a bit of ‘soggy bottom syndrome’, but this wasn’t until the last few bites – the meat was juicy and it compressed easily. It came with Sweet Potato Fries which were mindblowingly good.
Their Creme Brulee (served with home-baked sultana & oatmeal biscuits (v) £5.95) was had by my good friend Julien, who is a bona fide Creme Brulee expert being someone who has had many, and who also happens to be French. He had to comment that their Creme Brulee was one of the best he had ever had – a compliment not to be sniffed at. The crispy topping cracked through to reveal a silky underbelly of sweet vanilla cream.
The Rack of Lamb I couldn’t find on there current menu (I stand to be corrected if anyone can see it…) but this came with a steaming mini-saucepan of juice-filled home-style gravy that garnished the lamb with an emulsion of nostalgic ‘roast dinners you remember’ feeling.
Baked Camambert is a winner on any menu. The dough sticks were an interesting touch and didn’t detract from the glory of the cheese.
The Coombe Cellars transformation see the pub up it’s game. Still welcoming to tourists and walkers, you can visit to get a pint, a coffee or a cocktail. You can also visit to experience a menu that has transformed itself, taking it beyond just pub grub. But as with all change, time and Tripadvisor will tell whether it has been a roaring success.
As with all pubs, if you have a nice experience remember to leave a review. It’s often just the bad reviews that make it’s way online, so leave some love if you go and enjoy the experience.
The Coombe Cellars, Combeinteignhead,
Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 4RT