Now in its 23rd year, The Jack in the Green is rated as one of the Top 50 gastropubs in the UK the pub is something of a local landmark on the local food scene, offering pub grub classics as well as something a little gourmet for those who want it.

From the moment you arrive at the pub you are greeted warmly by the friendly staff – not to mention the log burner which keeps the comfortably furnished bar area toasty on the cold Winter’s days. Even on a busy Saturday lunchtime the pub doesn’t feel rushed and guests are given the time to sit in comfort on the sofa’s whilst the they look at the menu’s, have a pre-dinner drink, or post dinner coffee and petit fours, taking time to savour the experience. And what an experience it is. Simply put, from the moment you enter, to when you can finally bring yourself to leave, The Jack in the Green is that rare combination of comfort and style, attention to detail and an unrushed atmosphere with quite frankly divine food. It is one of the few restaurants I have been to in a long time to serve iced water and homemade bread as standard for diners.

The menu is one of those where each dish sounds more amazing than the last and where you feel that whatever you choose you will love, but that a small part of you will regret not ordering everything else just so you can taste it all. What to choose was therefore a fairly difficult decision for both my wife and I. We finally settled on Brixham Scallops with a Thai Broth (£9.50) and the Posh Prawn Cocktail (£8.25) for our starters. Both were superb. Cooked to perfection the scallops melted in the mouth and the prawns had that pleasing succulent crunch and sweet flavour that comes from super freshness and perfect cooking. The Thai Broth with the scallops was epic in the depth of its savoury flavour and made them the best we’d ever had.

Moving onto the main course we chose the Roast Partridge (£17.50) and the Whole Grilled Lemon Sole (£18.50). Once again we were treated to food cooked to perfection with a superb balance of flavours. Of particular note was savoury bread and butter pudding which came with the partridge. Light and fluffy it was unlike anything I’ve had before and I could have eaten it by the plateful.

By the time we came to dessert were both stuffed, but due to the fact that we need to try as much from the menu as we can – and the fact that we both love food – we somehow found some room for it, both ordering the Sticky Toffee Pudding (£6.50), which is the biggest seller at The Jack in the Green. It’s easy to see why as it is a decadent delight, light, fluffy, rich and naughty it is everything a dessert should be.

We made it to the sofa for our coffee and petit fours both feeling well fed and watered – the wine list is comprehensive and delicious – and very happy with the whole experience. The Jack in the Green is one of the places which doesn’t just live up to expectations, it surpasses them and enters a whole new league.

Steve Fothergill

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