“ Beesands, Kingsbridge, TQ7 2EN. Tel:01548 580215 „
We were really looking forward to eating at the Cricket Inn. I love fish and sea food and there are so few places that specialise in it and do it well. With the Cricket's proximity to local fish markets, and with sea food literally on its doorstep, we were sure that the food would live up to the good reputation. We were sorely disappointed however.
The food was very pretty but being a Jamie Oliver fan I prefer messy food with sauce in proper quantities not dribbles. The tomato soup was watered down and way too full of chilli and the Sundried Tomato and Feta cheese Risotto was too dry and salty. My scallops were good but there were very few of them and the accompanying new potatoes were not new, they were dry and powdery.
Overall the four meals were adequate - the two of us who had the steak said it was beautifully cooked but it was piled onto mashed potato that tasted as though it had been made with margarine not butter. We just felt that none of it was worth the price and the reputation. I left the restaurant feeling a bit cheated and very disappointed.
The Cricket Inn, built in 1867, is located in the lovely little village of Beesands in the South Hams district of Devon. The inn sits right on the seafront, overlooking Start Bay. Because of this, the 'beer garden' has one of the loveliest views imaginable!
Ample free parking is available all along the sea front at Beesands, so it's possible to park right outside the pub entrance.
Beesands is a popular tourist area, and the inn is possibly the best place to eat in the local area. The Cricket is justifiably famous for its freshly caught, beautifully prepared seafood. The village fishermen use 'day boats' and sell their catch to the inn, so the visitor can always expect the food to be as fresh as possible.
Although popular with tourists, the inn is also popular with the locals; the fishermen providing the sea food are often found 'propping up the bar' of an evening. Despite its popularity, the inn is rarely packed. There is seating for about 70 people inside and another 100 outside, so visitors should be able to find a table without difficulty.
The interior of the pub, as perhaps would be expected, has a nautical theme. Nets, paintings of seascapes and sea creatures, as well as items from ships together with the inn's location give a really authentic 'feel' of the sea. The pub is light and airy, the many windows giving beautiful (distracting even!) views for the visitor to enjoy.
The staff of the pub are extremely friendly and are happy to talk about the area, and to discuss the merits of the seafood dishes on offer (the range of seafood is much more varied than one would find in a supermarket, so some meals may be unfamiliar to some diners).
The seasonal nature of the local seafood means that the range of meals on offer can change on a daily basis. For me, this is an advantage, rather than a problem. During our last Devon holiday, we visited the Cricket Inn for meals several times; each time there was a new, mouth watering selection of seafood dishes to tempt us.
My girlfriend and I, both seafood lovers, concentrated on the fish dishes for our meals. Pan fried, diver caught scallops were delicious. The sea bass was heavenly and cooked to perfection. The plaice too was tender, tasty, and succulent. We even tried the traditional cod and chips. The batter on the cod was crisp, and tastier than anything we'd ever had in a chip shop. As lovers of seafood, we were in heaven with the Cricket's menu!
The meals were, of course, served with vegetables; the owners try to source locally grown ingredients and these were again cooked perfectly.
Although we focussed on the seafood, the inn does serve plenty of meat dishes (again locally sourced), as well as home made pies and soups. Sandwiches and salads are also on offer.
The meals were not cheap (sea bass was around £16), but given the freshness and quality of the ingredients, together with the expert way the meals were cooked, this was reasonable value for money.
The service was excellent. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the food was delivered quickly to our table. My girlfriend's (quite usual) requests for extra sauces were satisfied without complaint.
To drink, the inn offers a good selection of wines, together with some lovely local ales so you're sure to find something to everyone's liking.
This is then, a superb place to eat and drink. The time we spent in the Cricket Inn, soaking up the atmosphere, enjoying a drink and sampling the fantastic seafood was one of the highlights of our Devon holiday. On a lovely summer evening, I can imagine few more lovely places to sit outside with a nice drink, watching the sun set, admiring the view over the calm blue ocean (I want to go back soon!).
I can heartily recommend the Cricket Inn to anyone staying in the area, especially if they're a fan of seafood. Places like this are gems to be treasured and enjoyed again and again.
The Cricket Inn first opened its doors in 1867 and is located within the small fishing village of Beesands nestled within the idyllic South Hams countryside overlooking the sloping shingle beach of Start Bay on one of the most southerly points in the UK. The Cricket is a welcome gathering place for both tourist and locals alike all year round, the local fisherman working and retired come to the Inn for a relaxing pint and entertain visitors with stories of fishing, storms and how it used to be in the 'Good Old Days' you may need a translator to help you understand the South Devon accent but its good fun anyway.