Patrons have gathered at The Ship Inn for centuries. Sitting beside Dawlish Warren, and surrounded by cycle trails and estuary walks, locals and tourists pour through the doors thanks to the pub’s consistent food, warm hospitality and wide drink selection. In summer, the patio and thriving beer garden, which boasts views across the Exe Estuary, is the place to be, whether you’re simply sipping a pint of Cask Marque-accredited ale or tucking into a hearty lunch.
We pulled up a pew on the patio, which was filled with regulars and ramblers soaking up the sun. Here, the team is devoted to serving home-cooked food, and traditional fare makes up most of the menu. Specials change weekly and always boast locally caught day-boat fish, as was demonstrated in my partner’s delicious main course of River Exe mussels cooked with cider, bacon and cream.
My oozing double cheese soufflé was a wonderful vegetarian starter, as was my partner’s tempura king prawns with chilli dip. Our hearty mains came with a portion of fluffy hand-cut chips, which we overheard diners say were the best they’d had. We finished with a meringue piled high with whipped cream, homemade chocolate and honeycomb, served with a scoop of locally made ice cream. The Ship Inn’s dog-friendly policy, car park and laid-back atmosphere make visiting a must.