Michelin Star Dining at Gastro-pub Prices
Finding The Masons Arms in Knowstone was the dining equivalent of finding gold while panning the local river.
One of the main things that drew us to settle in Somerset, is the wealth of superb local produce to be found in the region, which is reflected in the high standard of local eateries, from village pubs to restaurants. So when we discovered we had Michelin star dining just a 40min drive away, we were delighted. Our excitement went up another notch on discovering The Masons Arms offer a three-course lunch menu for £32.50 – not cheap, but an absolute steal in terms of Michelin star dining.
The icing on this culinary discovery, was the place itself. A thatched 13th-century Inn set on the edge of Exmoor, in the picturesque village of Knowstone in Devon, The Masons Arms is pretty enough to grace even the most discerning of chocolate boxes. What’s even better is the fact it’s a real village pub with proper ale, cosy nooks, and wooden beams low enough to crack skulls if you don’t remember to duck. Move from the public bar into the lounge to enjoy an aperitif, and then into the elegant dining room with its ceiling mural to enjoy a superb lunch or dinner.
Along with a welcome as warm as its roaring log fires, The Masons Arms delivers top notch dining at affordable prices and has become our preferred special occasion venue.
Food at The Masons Arms
At lunch times (noon to 2pm, Tues to Sat), you can choose from either the set three-course menu or à la carte. Evenings (7pm to 9pm, Tues to Sat) are à la carte only.
From the set menu, treat your tastebuds to the likes of duck liver parfait, rhubarb chutney, tomato and olive bread before progressing to gems like fillet of sea bream with crushed potatoes, leeks and cucumber in a tarragon butter sauce, and finishing with a blackberry crème brûlée with honeycombe ice cream.
Go for the à la carte and you can choose from such delightful starters as breast of wood pigeon with sausage and black pudding stuffing, pickled mushrooms and a juniper jus before heading to loin of venison, blue cheese gratin, salsify, curly kale, and green peppercorn sauce. To round off, plump for a pistachio soufflé with chocolate and amaretto sauce or a raspberry parfait with clotted cream ice cream.
As you would expect from a Michelin-starred establishment, everything is beautifully presented and flavour is the most dominant factor. Fresh, local produce prepared with skill and artistry.
At lunch times, don’t be afraid to mix and match courses between set and à la carte menus. You’ll simply pay an additional supplement for the à la carte items.