The Nobody Inn, Doddiscombsleigh, near Exeter, Devon
In a maze of single track Devon roads is the oddly named Nobody Inn, on the edge of the equally unusually named village of Doddiscomsleigh. A few miles south west of Exeter, this 16th century whitewashed pub is not particularly pretty from the outside, although itís pleasant enough.
Ducking through the low doorway this pubís appeal becomes apparent. The dark interior has all the low beams, pretty brick inglenook fireplaces and leaded light windows you could wish for. Itís deceptively large inside with three seated areas and a restaurant. Itís traditionally furnished with an eclectic mix of high settles, wheel back chairs and sturdy tables, arranged to create cosy nooks.
The central bar has a bewildering choice of one hundred and something wines, several local real ales, an assortment of lagers and ciders and two hundred and odd whiskies, which range from under £3 to nearly £100 a shot.
While many come just for the atmosphere and the beer, most come for the food. Dishes are a good mix of plain and simple, such as fish and chips or the fish pie, to the more exotic Moroccan lamb and couscous or even a spicy curry. All ingredients are freshly cooked and sourced locally; most of the fish comes daily from Brixham.
The prices are very reasonable with starters at around £6, mains from £10 and irresistible puddings at under £6. A speciality West Country Cheeseboard comes as a single or sharing platter from £7.50.
The Nobody Inn has five rooms which are traditionally furnished and have all been recently upgraded to a high standard. As with any old building some compromises have to be accepted when fitting Ďmod consí so some facilities may be squeezed in; creaky floors are inevitable too, but the pay off is a comfortable, quirky character.
If you have the flexibility to stay off-peak, there are some tremendous deals to be had with two nightís dinner, bed and breakfast for two at around £160. Itís worth mentioning too that the breakfasts are excellent and non-residents come here for a hearty Ďfull English.í
Although out-in-the-sticks the inn is surprisingly handy not only for Exeter with its beautiful cathedral and good shopping, but historic Dartmouth with its long naval connections and famous naval college and beautiful Dartmoor National Park, one of the wildest places in England.
Originally licensed in 1838 as the New Inn, the pubís name was changed in 1952 when the landlord passed away. His funeral was apparently conducted without him; his body was accidentally left in the mortuary. The coffin had No Body In.
Paul Keating Feb 2011
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