“ Address: 27 Teignmouth Road, Holcombe, Devon, EX7 0LA „
During the summer, I took my daughters to visit their Nan who lives in Dawlish. One evening, we went out to have a meal at the Smugglers Inn in Holcombe, a hostelry that I have been visiting (infrequently) for many years. It is in a great position situated on the coast road between Teignmouth and Dawlish with wonderful panoramic views over Holcombe Bay and the Devon coast. Because of its great position and its good reputation, it does get very busy so there is probably a need to book in advance.
The Smugglers Inn has a separate bar and restaurant and also a specially designated family area with a pool table, dartboard and even sweets-dispensers! This area can also be hired out for private functions which we know about as we used it sadly after my dad's funeral earlier this year, for which the manager and all the staff were very helpful and provided a nice buffet and we were treated very kindly and sensitively, especially my mum.
Anyway, back to this summer and our meal out. We booked our table for a Tuesday evening at about 7 pm. Although the large restaurant was not full at that time, it was definitely full by the time we left. There are very large windows in the restaurant so even if you are not sitting directly by one, you still get a brilliant view. The restaurant can seat up to eighty but by no means do the tables feel squashed or packed in.
There is an extensive menu as well as the daily farmer's feast carvery. My mum has often had and enjoyed the carvery but on this occasion we ate off the a la carte menu. All of the meat is supplied from within a twenty mile radius of the Smugglers and there are a number of good old fashioned home made dishes on offer too using fresh local ingredients. There is also the 'catch of the day' featuring fresh locally caught fish. All of the food is very good which is why the Smugglers is so popular with both locals and tourists.
On the a la carte menu there is a wide range of breads, starters, grills, fish, vegetarian and pub classics. My mum and I both went for the pub classics and chose a savoury mince hotpot served with cheesy potatoes. I liked the fact that I could then take my plate up to the carvery and choose the vegetables that I wanted - including a Yorkshire pudding! It was all very tasty. The price of starters range from £3.95 - £6.95 and the main courses range from £7.25 to £14.95. I think that these prices are all pretty reasonable. The lunch or dinner carvery is £9.50 with a choice of two meats and five vegetables. The vegetarian carvery costs £7.25, also very good value!
There is a children's menu which has all of the children's meals that you would expect - fish fingers, chicken gougons, burgers, etc and these all cost about £4.50 and these are served with chips and either peas, baked beans or carvery vegetables. As my daughters had recently eaten so unhealthily in California I did insist that they eat the carvery vegetables. There was also the options of a child's portion at the carvery for £5.25. It was good to note that there are also some mini healthy options on the menu. There was also an incentive to sit very nicely and eat everything up because on the menu it said that if they had been well behaved, they could ask one of the staff to take them to the TREASURE CHEST! Well after reading that there was no question of my girls being anything less than perfect, and as a result a lovely young waitress took them off to this treasure chest and they came back loaded with two chocolate bars each. They were very happy and it also meant that there was no need to buy them dessert! All in all, the Smugglers gets top marks for their children's menu unlike our recent US experience.
Mum and I did have a dessert though but we shared because after our ample main courses there was not much room left. There was no problem with this, and the waitress was happy to bring us two spoons to share a delicious chocolate fudge brownie topped with chocolate sauce. Everything was very tasty and we were all considerably full by the time we finished our meal. Also, although the restaurant was busy, we did not feel rushed in any sense and could have stayed later for coffee if we had chosen to.
If you are staying in the Dawlish or Teignmouth areas I would definitely recommend a meal at the Smugglers Inn. It's in an ideal setting with great views, The food is lovely and very reasonably priced and is also very family friendly as it actually seems to encourage children. I highly recommend it.