Glowing praise for local pubs in prestigious AA guide

PUBLISHED: 00:01 01 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 01 July 2019

Bridge Inn Topsham

Bridge Inn Topsham

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The Bridge Inn in Topsham, The Digger's Rest in Woodbury Salterton and The Puffing Billy in Exton are named among the best 550 in the UK in the AA Pub Guide 2020

The Digger's Rest, Wloodbury Salterton. Picture: AA PublishingThe Digger's Rest, Wloodbury Salterton. Picture: AA Publishing

Three local pubs have been named among the best in the UK, in the AA's Pub Guide 2020.

The Bridge Inn in Topsham, The Digger's Rest in Woodbury Salterton and The Puffing Billy in Exton are included in the list of 2,000 UK pubs, which, according to the AA's expert inspectors, offer "great beer and good food".

All three pubs are also included in the guide's top 550 'Pick of the Pubs' list, representing the best in each region according to the inspectors, the editorial team and reader recommendations. Devon has 32 pubs on that list, second only to Oxfordshire.

The inspectors sum up The Bridge Inn as "True brewing heritage with royal approval," referring to the Queen's visit in 1998, and describe it as "eccentrically and gloriously old fashioned." The pub serves a selection of real ales straight from their casks, no lagers, and only a few wines.

The Digger's Rest is described as a "picturesque thatched pub offering the best of seasonal produce". The inspectors refer to the 16th-century building as "a museum with beer" and praise the use of organic produce, the freshly-caught fish from Brixham and Looe, and the selection of real ales and ciders. It recommends a visit to the pub's ale and cider festival in May.

The Puffing Billy is, according to the inspectors, a "smart modern setting for seasonal British food". The listing says: "The traditional exterior disguises the crisp, clean lines and finish within, where reliable West Country beers such as Branscombe Vale Branoc, along with an appealing menu, combine to make The Puffing Billy a favourite destination dining bar."

Other East Devon pubs featured in the guide and the Pick of the Pubs list are The Holt in Honiton, The Jack in the Green in Rockbeare and The Golden Lion in Tipton St John.

The guide gives a detailed description of each pub, with directions and opening times, examples of the menu, information on its real ale, cider and wine offerings, and whether children and dogs are welcome. It also includes articles on the latest trends in the pub and bar scene.

It is available online and in bookstores, for £15.99, from Monday, July 1.

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