Gastropubs have been around for decades but the term was actually only coined in the early nineties when David Eyre and Mike Belben took ownership of The Eagle pub in Clerkenwell, London.

Up to that point traditional pubs had been serving pints and not much else, but in the mere 30 years since, they’ve reinvented the British food scene and are now an indelible part of our culture. Go anywhere in the world and you’re bound to find one. However, we can’t guarantee it will match up to the homegrown triumphs we have right here on our doorstep.

Eagerly awaited by critics and lovers of good food alike, this year’s Estrella Damm” Top 50 Gastropub Awards has just been released. Voted for by top foodies and hospitality experts including food writers, executive chefs and industry buffs, the judging criteria ensures that the list is decided by those who are truly ‘in the know’.

And it’s why we couldn’t be more chuffed as no less than eight of the top fifty come from our home turf of Devon and Cornwall. If you’re local or if you spend your holidays in Cornwall and Devon, we’d highly recommend you book yourself a table at one of the following, if for no other reason than to see what all the hoop-lah is about.

The Mariners in Rock, Cornwall (9)

Yes Paul Ainsworth has done it again. Inside his stunning canary yellow cottage you’ll discover a vibrant menu of carefully sourced Cornish and British produce culminating in dishes like St Austell Bay mussels in coconut, lemon grass, tomato, basil and miso broth with mopping bread

The Cornish Arms, Tavistock, Devon (14)

Husband and wife duo John and Emma Hooker have created a pub atmosphere that is not unlike their menu. Authentic, rustic and unpretentious. Enjoy dishes like the Cornish homity pie with confit leek, autumn truffle, a soft poached egg and hollandaise sauce.

The Pyne Arms, Barnstaple, Devon (17)

Formerly a village post office the family-run Pyne Arms is a proper country pub that is very much about producing dishes from as locally sourced ingredients as possible. Treat yourself to a Sunday Roast like no other along with a pint of locally brewed real ale.

The Masons Arms, Knowstone, Devon (22)

The picturesque, thatched 13th century Inn on the edge of Exmoor boasts exceptional local cuisine using only the finest ingredients, all presented with taste and style by owners Mark (also head chef) and Sarah. Try the fillet of Exmoor beef with braised cheek, smoked mash and shallots in a red wine jus.

The Swan, Bampton, Devon (25)

Run by husband-and-wife team Paul and Donna Berry, this classic English country pub isn’t unaccustomed to winning awards with a few already in its back pocket. Start with whipped goat’s cheese curd, candied walnut, burnt satsuma and beetroot and finish with buttermilk panna cotta, raspberries and Breton shortbread.

The Five Bells Inn, Cullompton, Devon (35)

Co-owned by James and Charlie Garnham, the venue serves up pub classics with gastronomic finesse under the talented overseeing of head chef Charlotte Vincent. Try the roasted cauliflower and wild mushroom burger with crispy onions, smoked Devon red cheese, chili jam, apple slaw and triple cooked chips.

St Kew Inn, Bodmin, Cornwall (36)

This attractive historical stone countryside pub is situated close to the stunning north Cornwall coastline. It boasts beautiful, secluded gardens for outside dining and a hearty atmosphere with warming log fires on the inside. The menu includes a variety of mouth-watering options like ember baked day boat fish, foraged mushroom in a chicken and brown butter sauce.

The Cadeleigh Arms, Tiverton, Devon (48)

Crowned as one of the most dog-friendly pubs in Devon this lovely establishment sits tucked away into the hills surrounding the river Exe. Owned by Nicholas Hack and Tina King the menu is as charming as the pub itself and guests can expect to tuck into such delights as Newlyn hake fillet with langoustine butter and red veined sorrel, and black cherry pavlova.

ocean 1, newquay

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