Amateur adventurer, food lover and freelance writer. Peace.
Published July 18th 2019
A charming harbour village, a cracking lunch
On the banks of the River Exe, in the charming waterfront village of Cockwood, we came across a characterful pub called The Anchor Inn. The pub couldn't have been in a better location for a tasty pit stop on a day of quiet ambling along the Devonian coast.
The Anchor Inn in Cockwood, Exeter
As soon as you walk inside the low-ceilinged building, with its exposed beams and quirky decor, you'll realise you're in a pub with years of history, around 450 years, in fact! The ambience was cosy and relaxed with low lighting, dark wooden furniture and fishing paraphernalia hanging on the walls. Clearly not much has changed here in 50 or so years and that's part of the charm.
The Anchor Inn specialises in fresh seafood, which makes perfect sense given their location. Mussels were the order of the day when we saw "The Famous Anchor Mussel Selection" on the menu. You can choose between a starter size (with bread) or a main size (with chips and bread - double carbs? Yes, please) and given a selection of no less than 16 styles with everything from Mussels Chinese to Mussels Orkney, there is a flavour to suit every taste.
The Mussels Normandy with smoked bacon in a creamy white wine sauce with spinach
My partner in dine chose the Mussels Thailand while I went for the Mussels Normandy (pictured above). But before the main event - and this was definitely the highlight for me - we shared a baked Camembert. What a delight this was! It's served with a generous helping of warm bread and a homemade, slightly spicy raspberry jam. If you love melted cheese as much as I do, and at only £9.95, don't miss this.
Unmissable baked Camembert
If seafood isn't your thing, The Anchor Inn do pub classics like steak and ale pie, sandwiches, fillet steak, and also have an impressive array of vegetarian dishes. There is a children's menu with a selection of five dishes and most are priced at £5.95, so no one is left out.
Now, you'll want to save room for dessert. After all, there's a lot of walking to do afterwards and who can resist a classic sticky toffee pudding or chef's homemade chocolate profiteroles served with Salcombe Dairy vanilla ice cream? A sucker for a classic, I went for the sticky toffee pudding (£5.95) with a side of vanilla ice cream and was very pleased with the rich, sticky, saucy scrumptiousness. My partner in dine chose the chocolate and salted caramel tart (£5.95) and loved it.
There are old pubs and then there are old pubs. The Anchor Inn is a special place where you are guaranteed great food in a gorgeous location with all the ambience you'd expect in a harbour village's historic pub. If you're in the Exeter area and fancy some pub eats and a watery view, head down and try it for yourself.
They're open 11am to 11:30pm every day. Food is served from 12pm to 9pm Sunday to Thursday and up to 9:30pm Friday and Saturday (except Christmas Day where times may vary - check their website). You can contact them on 01626 890 203 to make a reservation.