The Thatched Inn Ilfracombe
The Thatched Inn in Ilfracombe is a pretty 17th century pub in the “cottage orné” style, meaning it looks like the archetypal “chocolate box” cottage. It serves up locally sourced, honestly cooked, hearty dishes – exactly as you’d want from a traditional pub. Nestled into Gypsy Lane on the fringes of Ilfracombe, it is full of character and offers Cask Marque-quality ales alongside a simple but tempting menu.
Ilfracombe is a famous seasonal seaside town, with most restaurants closing for the winter, yet the Thatched Inn stays open and serves food all year round. It oozes charm with its Tudor-style windows, thatched roof, oak beams and a multi-coloured blossoming flower beds. The dog-friendly beer garden and new BBQ terrace (for private hire) are perfect for enjoying sunset views across the Bristol Channel. Inside is warm and cosy, with fireplace, beams, dim lighting and oak panelling.
Trading as a pub since 1961, the Thatched Inn is Grade II listed and has been in the White family for three generations. Paul, owner and chef, says: “We tried fancy gastropub dishes here for a while, but realised that’s not what people wanted. So our menu offers pub favourites such as pie and mash, burgers, fish and chips, steaks and curries. The specials board offers seasonal dishes, changing throughout the year, and we serve a proper Sunday roast, too. Our ingredients come from local and West Country suppliers, which is why our food always tastes so good.”
It’s a recipe that’s working, with the Thatched Inn winning Best Destination Pub Devon 2017 at the Muddy Stiletto Awards, and also being nominated as a finalist in the North Devon Food & Drink Awards 2017.
A traditional pub loved by its locals is always worth visiting and after experiencing a lazy afternoon there we can see why people go back for more. The Thatched Inn Ilfracombe gets a Devonshire thumbs up from us.
By Fiona White, Devon correspondent