The Drake Manor Inn is a delightful 16th century pub situated in the middle of the small village of Buckland Monachorum, which used to be part of the huge estate owned by Francis Drake.
You reach Buckland Monochorum by driving down narrow country lanes, making it feel a bit in the middle of nowhere, but it is only a few miles from Yelverton and not far at all from Buckland Abbey.
You can make a great day out by visiting Buckland Abbey and then driving the short distance to the welcome that the Drake Manor Inn offers with its cosy ambience and excellent food.
Warm and welcoming atmosphere
I like the atmosphere and ambience of this pub. It’s a friendly place, in a nice village. There is the main bar, in which dogs are welcome, a snug and a smallish dining room.
Old beams abound, and it is said that these orginate from ships of Francis Drake’s era. They look as if they are that old and add to the pleasant ambience. The woodburners are welcome although the one in the snug wasn’t lit when we visited for lunch on a weekday recently.
Even though it was a Thurday lunchtime on a rainy day towards the end of March, there were enouh customers to create a pleasant atmosphere. I would guess that most of them were locals and if so, they are fortunate to have a pub like this on their doorstep.
Really good food and fantastic presentation
The Drake Manor Inn takes pride in their food and it shows. As these photos illustrate, the food looked fantastic when it arrived. The good news is that it tasted as good as it looked!
As their sample menu shows, they offer a range of reasonably priced dishes and all those we saw ordered by other customers looked just as good as ours.
I chose the Drake Burger accompanied by a pint of Jail Ale. I’m always pleased to see pubs selling brews from the Dartmoor Brewery in Princetown as it is one of my favourite local beers.
The burger looked delicious when it was served and tasted very good. I’m generally wary about ordering burgers as they often seem to consist of cheap wholesale burgers slapped into an unappealing bread bun – fast food comes too readily to mind!
Not so this one from the Drake Inn. It had been made with care from good ingredients, was well seasoned and would definitely be a dish that I would order again from this pub.
Diane opted for the pork pie based ploughmans and was really wowed by how fabulous it looked on the plate. The pork pie was encased in lovely pastry filled with tasty pork filling. I don’t know if it had been handmade by the chef, but it looked like it.
The pie was accompanied by excellent, unusual bread rolls and well prepared salad. There was too much for Diane to polish off, but she really enjoyed her meal.
This is a pub that offers good value. The prices are reasonable for such high quality food. This is what our lunch cost:
- Drake burger with chips : £10.50
- Squealer pork pie ploughmans : £9.50
- Drinks : one pint of Jail Ale and a bottle of coke : £5.85
Total bill : £25.85
I think it is fair to mention that the drinks did seem a bit expensive compared to other pubs in the area, but overall this is still a good value meal that will keep you full for the rest of the day.
Tables too close together in the snug
Now to some criticism. We sat at a table for two in the snug and it was immediately apparent that the tables in that area were too close together. You may know that feeling when your conversation has to be muted and you can hear everything that the other customers say.
It was a bit uncomfortable and we wouldn’t sit in that part of the pub again, which is a shame.
The aim of writing these reviews is to discover and publicise places to eat out like the Drake Manor Inn. We are fortunate that there are a number of pubs that really care about the quality of food and creating a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, in this part of Devon. This pub is defintely one of them.
It is a hidden gem a bit off the beaten path, but it is well worth the short drive through the lanes to find it. Definitely recommended.
We have no commercial relationship with the Drake Manor Inn. They did not know that I was writing this review and we paid for our meal in full.