The Lazy Toad Inn, in Brampford Speke, a village some 15 minutes drive from Exeter city centre, serves excellent food and drink at reasonable prices. Much of the food is locally sourced, including some produce raised in the Inn's own garden.
The Toad also offers accommodation, with the usual facilities, including Wifi access, flatscreen tv, radio alarm, and iPod dock.
It has an attractive interior, with a decorative emphasis upon the eponymous Toad, plenty of space between tables, and a small garden close by with tables for eating and drinking outside in good weather.
The chef/proprietors, Mo and Clive Walker, offer a warm welcome, and the staff generally are knowledgeable and cheerful. The atmosphere combines informality with elegance. It is no surprise that a number of worthwhile awards for quality food have been garnered in recent years. They are highly deserved.
There are very few places to stay near Castle Drogo, the Lutyens castle at Drewsteignton, and the Old Inn is perfect for the locality. The village itself is like a picture postcard, one shop, one church, one pub (the famous Drewe Arms) and the recently totally refurbished Old Inn.
The house is now very comfortable, beautifully redecorated, and the breakfast is great. The new owners are going to start cooking in the evenings; at the moment they will cook for people who are staying if they want to eat in.
There is fantastic country all around. The house is on The Two Moors Way, and so wonderful for walkers. Castle Drogo a very interesting place to visit. Exeter, Taunton, Totnes are all within easy reach.
Before the new owners took over at the beginning of this year, the Old Inn was in a very bad state. It was totally mismanaged, dirty, dark, depressing, and could possibly suffer initially from a bad reputation. I hope not because they deserve to succeed.
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