Saturday, 15 May 2010

If you could eat a horse, try The Dog and Donkey

The Dog and Donkey pub in Knowle, just outside Budleigh Salterton. It's also known as The Britannia Inn

Head Chef and owner of Knowle's Dog and Donkey Richard Steer is an ex-Marine with a background in catering for hundreds of hungry military types.

So forget the dieting and tuck in at my local where the £5 lunchtime carvery offers amazing value. Considering that 'The Dog' is sort of just round the corner from me I really should have blogged it before now, especially as we first discovered it about ten years ago when we were staying on holiday at Pooh Cottage Holiday Park just up the road at the end of Bear Lane.

A friendly welcome awaits you from Richard and Bea Steer at The Dog and Donkey

Richard and his wife Bea took over the pub four years ago following their move from Surrey and have established it as a reliable eating-place offering, as they say "fresh and top quality unpretentious food, beautifully cooked with great attention to detail" using local ingredients wherever possible. Of course there is also a wide range of beers and wines to go with your meal including the fragrant Otter ale which has become my favourite local drink since moving to East Devon.

Queuing up at the carvery

Roast dishes seemed to be the ideal thing to cheer up what was a rather miserably drizzly Bank Holiday Saturday lunchtime. You buy your £5 carvery tickets from Michael at the bar before making your way to the hot counter in the dining room.

My man-sized slices of roast pork - make sure you have room for dessert

I was impressed by the generous portions of my choice of tender slices of pork; you could even have a mixed selection of pork and roast beef along with steak and onion pie. And then on to the vegetables. True, I could see dreaded swede in the back row - that's just my pet hate - but there was plenty of choice apart from that: boiled or roast potatoes, peas, carrots, cabbage, gallons of gravy and a special dish of pork crackling.

Classic English: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding

I suppose I could have helped myself to Yorkshire pudding as well, but the plate was beginning to weigh me down at that point. There was just enough room for big dollops of what looked like freshly-made apple sauce and mustard. The roast beef and the scampi and chips were equally popular with the rest of the family.

The Dog and Donkey is a family-friendly pub with a spacious dining-room, but it's a good idea to book in advance, especially in the holiday season

We could have topped all that with puddings, but the grandchildren were beginning to get a bit grizzly and would be needing their afternoon nap, I was told. So it was a brief visit to the lovely little playground next to Knowle village hall, and then back home. Where, I have to confess, I followed my grandchildren's example. Well, it was not exactly gardening weather, and Otter ale (4.5% alcohol by volume) from the quaintly named village of Luppitt is a restful sort of brew.

Carvery dishes are priced £5 per person Tuesday-Saturday and £8.95 on Sundays.

The Specials Board at The Dog and Donkey offers a wide range of tempting dishes. Examples are deep fried battered fillets of red mullet on crisp green salad with sweet chilli sauce at £9.50; belly pork noisettes with bacon, black pudding, beer gravy and jacket potato wedges at £10.95; 10 oz lamb steak with fries, tomatoes, onion rings and salad garni at £11.50.

The pub also has 'Specials' nights offering good value at £7 for steaks (Tuesdays), fish and chips (Wednesdays), and curry (Thursday), as well as a Sunday lunchtime carvery.

The Dog and Donkey
24 Knowle Village
Budleigh Salterton Devon
Tel/Fax: 01395 442021

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