Restaurant Review: The Culm Valley Inn

This restaurant review is a funny one for me as over the years I have spent quite a bit of time in the Culm Valley (CV) as it was a place that:

a) I got my first ever job as a sous chef/waitress/underwater ceramic technician (pot washer for those of you who didn’t get the joke…!),

b) was a central meeting point for my friends at home, plus it had a limitless supply of alcohol (you know, being a pub and all)  so we have had many fun nights lounging around the fire there, and

c) Has recently changed ownership after my old boss moved pubs and the locals in Culmstock took it on as a community.


Some noticable changes since Richard has left is that dogs are no longer allowed into the restaurant (yep, that used to happen – sometimes you’d even get dogs ON the tables…), horses can no longer be found at the bar (yep, real live horses, just chilling inside the pub), and the owners don’t wear their dressing gown to serve at the bar. You get the idea, some loved it’s quirky nature and others found it hideous. I personally found the place very entertaining, there was always a hubbub of activity, with some hilariously drunk person playing raucous jazz on the piano to pay for his dinner. The food was either absolutely amazing, or completely crap, depending on how much Richard had had to drink and although I can’t say working there as a 14 year old was the best experience in my life (I left because they kept forgetting to pay me and I couldn’t hack the creepy old men grabbing my bum…but that’s beside the point), the CV has always been a very vibrant and focal point of the village.

Now that new owners have spruced it up a bit, there are things I like and dislike about it’s new look, but I can see how if you were to visit for the first time the new clean, bright and fresh CV would be far more appealing than the old one (the lack of dogs on tables probably helps!)


We visited on my beautiful mumma’s birthday as it was just Ned, Mum and I and it was a lovely sunny evening. We sat outside on the bank by the river and had some truly delicious food. I opted for the supreme of chicken in mushroom and white wine sauce with sauteed potatoes and steamed vegetables, Ned had the roasted pork belly with crispy crackling, garlic mash and cider apple gravy , and Mum had the West Country Seafood Stew with locally sourced fish and shellfish with white wine, saffron and herbs.

The portions were enormous, but so delicious – we could have easily shared two meals between the three of us! I would have preferred to do that, mainly because I enjoyed my main so much I was disappointed not to try a pudding! We polished all meals off with some lovely white wine and local ale, sitting in the sunshine feeling very satisfied. The staff were fantastic and attentive (although I’m slightly biased as I went to school with them!) but overall the meal way surpassed my expectations and worth the slightly higher price tag, with most mains around £15-20. I have also been really pleased to see that their trip advisor reviews are just as worthy as our lovely evening.


One of the best things about our evening was also the post-dinner walk along the river which runs through the garden of the pub. The sun was just setting, we had happy tummies and going for a stroll along the river followed by a meeting with some beautiful greys in the car park topped it off perfectly!

Top things about The Culm Valley Inn:

  • The huge portion sizes
  • The quality of the food
  • The gorgeous setting by the river
  • The friendly and helpful
  • The Totem Pole (where else can you go to a pub in Devon with a totem pole?!)


If you want to pay a visit to this fab country pub, have a look at their website here, book a table by ringing 01884 799823 and if you don’t believe me, see what other people have to say on Trip Advisor.