Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Lazy Toad at Brampford Speke nr Exeter: Best Paprika Pork Scratchings Ever!

It was my husband’s birthday so we headed out for lunch.  My dentist (thanks, Kieran!) recommended trying The Lazy Toad for its excellent food.  It’s located in an incredibly peaceful village, Brampford Speke just outside Exeter just a short way along the A377 Crediton road.  It looks like it would be a wonderful spot for a weekend summer lunch – plenty of brightly painted outdoor tables and no passing traffic.
Inside is all slate floors, oak beams, pine tables, a couple of giant lazy toads, a cheeky dog and a wood burner.

First of all we ordered a snack of homemade paprika pork scratchings to nibble with a pint of Lazy Toad  in front of the fire.  Bliss.  This was an incredibly generous portion of salty, lardy, unhealthy and incredibly tasty nibbles that we devoured.
I opted for no main course (er, but remember that half a kilo of pork scratchings...) and just had a starter of Potted Crab with Sourdough and a Crab Cappuccino (£7.95).  The cup of crab bisque was soothing and tasty.  The ramekin of crab was cleverly seasoned with a hint of tarragon, fresh and perfect for lunch.  
Neil went all out for the Calves Liver with Mash and Pancetta (£10.50).  His portion, sorry, the portion was enormous.  Just his idea of a perfect birthday treat.  He enjoyed every last morsel.
For pudding I chose Mulled Wine Poached Pears with Meringue and Creme Anglaise.  I was a bit perplexed to find it brought to the table with no meringue, and a chocolate brownie instead!  The kitchen swiftly apologised and explained that some, but not all, of the menus had a mis-print.  They quickly brought me out a meringue as well.  Result!  Pictured below is the rather good Cinnamon Spiced Pannacotta with Shortbread and Rum Soaked Figs.  The cinnamon worked brilliantly.

I really liked the atmosphere of this pub.  It’s a gastro-pub but without any kind of pretentious attitude or prices.  The food is great, the staff easy-going and friendly.  Apparently, and unsurprisingly, it gets very busy at weekends and you need to book, but for a mid-week lunchtime treat when you want a kind of archetypal Devon pub with gorgeous grub rather than frozen fodder, this is your place.  They even have a wonky fairground mirror outside the ladies loo, which gave us both a giggle.


Wally B said...

I'd die for some of those pork scratchings. The rest of the food looks amazing. Next time I'm back in the UK, I'll have to try this out. If you ever get up to Northumberland, the Rat Inn at Anick (near hexham)is to die for too

Grazing Kate said...

Really worth a visit, Wally, as are so many Devon hostelries! Hmm, Northumberland...never been there, I am such a south westerner but we are going to explore further north this year and finally take the kids further north than Oxford!

Tamsin said...

The Lazy Toad is a great little pub. My boss lives in Brampford Speke and our office is 10 minutes away so we often end up there for work lunches. The sticky toffee pudding is to die for!

There's a nice walk across the river to Stoke Canon if you need to work off the large portions.

Grazing Kate said...

Hi Tamsin. Lucky you working so close to such a great pub! I didn't try the sticky toffee pud - next time I will.

We went for a very small walk as it was one of those bitterly cold days. Apparently it's good fishing around there too.

Tamsin said...

Hi Kate

Thanks for visiting my blog! A food bloggers get together sounds like fun. I tried to email you but it bounced back. Do you have a date/place in mind?

Newton Abbot Advice said...

That looks truly lovely. Will definately have to give it a visit.

Grazing Kate said...

As you can tell, we did really enjoy our meal - I can't wait to go back there myself - I'm going to pick a nice sunny day next time, although the fire was lovely, I'm now craving al fresco lunches!

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