A mini break in Lympstone and dinner at The Puffing Billy
A few weekends ago my friend Wendy came to stay and we decided to take the opportunity to have some CHILD FREE time on a local mini-break just down the road in Lympstone with a meal out at The Puffing Billy in Exton.
I’d booked us a nights stay at The Old Dairy in Lympstone, a lovingly presented air B&B run by lovely Jules and Den – who made us feel very welcome (I would totally recommend a stay if you or friends are looking for a short break nearby).
After we’d settled in, we drove to Exmouth for a picnic on the beach and to languish in child-free splendour in the sun. It was lush to be able to relax, sunbathe, and catch up with Madonna in the latest Vogue magazine (all of this is usually unheard of!) From the beach we hit Queens Drive Space for some ice cream. I’m really glad that East Devon Council is making the most of it this year too. It is a lovely place to sit and chill in the evening with a G&T and some music from local musicians. The kids love it there too, read my Queen’s Drive blog from last year for more information.
In the evening we headed out to The Puffing Billy for some a locally sourced delicious dinner.
The Puffing Billy, is a lovely little country-style gastro-pub in Exton (the next village along from Lympstone on the Exe Estuary). It’s a gorgeous destination pub and a great stop off if you’re walking or cycling the Exe Estuary trail. It has a sweet sunny garden and there is a big play park opposite it makes for a good spot with kids too.
We got the bus there from Lympstone (we’re not lazy – my pal Wendy had a sore knee). There is also a train station if walking and biking isn’t your bag.
The menu is predominantly locally sourced, with fish galore (as you would expect for a pub on the estuary). The decor suits the relaxed country-pub atmosphere and the clientele is friendly.
Starters were straight from the specials menu with Seared scallops, blood orange and brown shrimp for me, it was a rather large plate but it was a taste sensation – the heady combo of balsamic glaze and orange wad balanced by the salty brown shrimp.
Wendy opted for the Chargrilled North Devon asparagus, poached duck egg, hollandaise sauce and crispy parma ham.
We shared our main courses of; whole roasted Lyme Bay plaice, capers, crayfish tail and samphire butter – a real taste of the sea’s salty, meaty, loveliness. The roasted sea bass fillet, chorizo, new potato & fine bean fricassee was equally delicious, the seabass soft and meaty, while the beans lifted the savoury flavours of the chorizo adding a new dimension to the dish. A glass of Vaufuget Vouvray wine (recommended by Adam) was the perfect accompaniment, sweet and dry on the palate with a burst of flavours; orange peel, honey and quince.
We were pretty stuffed after all of this but we opted to share a dessert of poppy seed pannacotta, citrus puree and amaretti biscuits. The citrus puree was a little tart for my taste, but the pannacotta was melt-in-the-mouth delicious.
Eating out at The Puffing Billy works out at around £28-35 per head for a three-course meal. They change the specials and the wine menu regularly and have a selection of pub friendly meals on the main menu.
Adam and his team made us feel very welcome and even gave us a lift back when we couldn’t get a taxi (between Craig David, rugby and footie all the cabs were taken!)
It was lovely to have some girlie time and really good to take a mini-break locally. It’s always good to be a tourist in your homeland.
Where do you like to go for some time out?
See more pictures and videos about the Old Dairy and The Puffing Billy on my Insta stories here:
*Disclaimer: We were gifted a meal in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are mine and honest!Tags: Eating out, Exeter, exton, food review, gastro pub, lympstone, The puffing billy