Open Mon–Sat 11am–11pm; Sun midday–10pm
The elegant interior mixes traditional with a contemporary edge – think Chesterfield sofas, a library, bare floor boards, damask-patterned touches and Conran-style lighting. There’s also a fantastic garden which is where I spent my lunchtime visit – swing chairs fringe one side of the lawn, marble tables another. There’s also a heated, covered terrace (we nicknamed it the ‘Queen’s balcony’ from where we watched the kids mock-sword fight); an outdoor bar and BBQ; plus old street lamps, mature trees, sculptures and well-kept borders.
The Eagle is known as one of the best pubs in the area and is much-loved by locals – ‘Please don’t give it a bad review,’ one regular (TV presenter Jeremy Milnes) asked me. I visited during the annual garden party with the young, stylish staff dressed as pirates and a fancy dress box and treasure hunt laid on for the kids. One staff member, Sophie Paterson, is an ex-Australian Idol artist, so she took to the mic. There’s a convivial atmosphere and a mix of interesting people including lots of creatives.
A BBQ offered burgers and hotdogs for a reasonable £5 – although no veggie options – during our weekend visit. My fussy nephew ordered the Angus beef burger with bacon, cheese, condiments (coleslaw and sweet pepper relish) and chips (£10.50) – perfectly cooked, chunky chips arrived in a flower pot and the burger came in a proper bun. My Exmoor blue and leek tart with sultana, apple salad and a cider balsamic glaze (£9.50) hit the spot. Vanilla ice-cream for the eight-year-old got a thumbs up; ‘You know why it’s so good – because it’s got black bits.’ My homemade apple and berry crumble (£5) was a little tart and I had to chase the ice-cream around the slate it arrived on.
The pub was promoting local gin, SipSmith, so staff visited each table with free shots of refreshing gin lemon and gin lime drops. There is a good choice for a pint, including Cornish Chalky’s Bite, Doombar, Sol, Aspall cider, Corona, Bitburger, Innis and Gunn, Peroni, Leffe and others. Like all Geronimo Inn pubs, the wine list is divided by style groupings for easy decision-making with prices starting at £14.50 for a bottle and £3.75 for a 175ml glass (Viognier 2009).