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Masons Arms
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All reviewsthe pubcottage roomst austell brewerybranscombe beachthe cottagesmusselsnarrow country laneslog firepretty villagepassing placesmain buildingbar menubeautiful villageeast devoncar parkshort walk to the beachbooked a table
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Reviewed August 29, 2012

This beautiful inn in the chocolate box village of Branscombe is really fantastic. We had a superior double ( cottage no.2 on the first floor ) which was really nice and spacious with amazing views of the surrounding countryside and the hills. Nice bathroom too with separate shower and a jacuzzi bath. However, what we really appreciated most was the excellent service right from checkin. Superb breakfast ( with a vegetarian option ). We had good vegetarian dinners on the two nights we were there and the chef went out of his way on the second night and prepared something not on the menu. Very nice ambience in the restaurant and the pub. Branscombe village itself is very picturesque and also quiet as not many tourists visit. The beach is just a 15 minute pleasant walk and the atmosphere there is also very nice- very quiet unlike places such as Lyme Regis. You can do some beautiful walks taking the coastal path, for instance, to Beer or even Seaton. All in all a very nice weekend and I thoroughly recommend this little piece of paradise. We will surely be back and thank you so much to all the wonderful staff who made our stay so comfortable. And thank you, Chef !

Room Tip: First floor superior cottage rooms for amazing views ! Cottage 2 is really nice.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lovetotravel6365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

This was our first visit to this country pub/ hotel with its own unique charm and beauty surrounded by such beautiful countryside and only a short walk to the branscombe beach . This an ideal retreat to get away from it all , in such a tranquil and peaceful setting .
On arrival and Thru out our stay the staff were friendly , helpful and very attentive . The room we had was very clean , nicely decorated and good size for such an old inn . The food was to a good standard , with excellent choices on the menu and the breakfasts were very good.
This is a hidden jewel in the east Devon countryside and I would highly recommend a visit to it , my wife and I will certainly be making a return visit in the not too distant future

Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

Unfortunately the owners of this beautiful pub have committed the cardinal sin of allowing it to trade on its 'chocolate box' looks alone without any consideration for the quality of its accommodation, food or internal fittings. A one night stay in a 'standard' room costing £95 was at best disappointing. Internal fittings are tired and slightly grubby, the carpets and wall lamps, cheap and nasty pine furniture and net curtains were all reminiscent of the 1970s. Too many rooms have been created of inadequate size to maximise the number of paying guests at the expense of providing a comfortable and memorable stay.
The dining experience in the restaurant was equally disappointing, a main course of hake (which given the beautiful location of Branscombe and availability of fresh fish) was grey in colour rather than sparkling white suggesting it was less than freshly caught. Put together with the arrival of the veg nearly 10 mins after the main course arrival, it was really unsatisfactory and inexcusable for a premises making claims to be a fine dining experience.
Sadly we wont be going back there despite the beautiful location - the village is delightful.
Someone needs to spend some serious money on upgrading the Masons Arms and bring the interior into the 21st century.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank FantasticFox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

We have been visiting the Mason's Arms for 18 years and have managed to get there for at least one visit every year. Different owners have come and gone, with the expected variations in quality, and we were worried that the new owners, St Austell brewery, might have re-fashioned the pub is some ghastly corporate style. Thankfully, that has not happened!

We booked a couple of weeks before our visit, not really expecting to get a room for just one night on an Augst weekend. However, times must be difficult, as we managed this easily. Driving to the pub is tricky, down some very narrow, high-sided lanes, so expect to pick up a scratch or two on your car's paintwork. Patron's can park in the large car-park to the rear, if they arrive early enough. Alternatively, you can park at Branscombe Mouth and walk the mile or so back to the village. We arrived for a brief stay on an August Saturday, but found the bar surprisingly quiet at 1.30. The beer choice is a bit more restricted (mainly St Austell) but a local pointed out a Devon beer on an unlabelled pump (Summa That) which was a bit different. A substantial ploughman's and the famous crab-sandwiches (at £9 quite pricey but with a large salad and crisps) were very good. Panninis at £8 did not seem good value until we saw them served with a large pile of chips and sald, making them more like full meals than the promised 'light snack'.

We then checked into our premium room (cottage 11), up a few steps behind the pub. This had lovely views of the sides of the valley and a very pretty garden with a table and chairs in front. The decor was excellent, with a large bath and shower, and a very comfortable four-poster. We did hear some noise from the room above (small children) but nothing obtrusive. The rooms in the pub itself used to be a little noisy on past visits, so you may wish to enquire about this. When we have stayed with young children in the past, we used to book one of the cottages opposite (Wimbledon, Terry Holt, Roslyn etc) as a cheaper alternative. As these are in baby monitor range, this can enable some very plesant evenings sitting outside the pub!

During check-in, we booked a restaurant table (as suggested by the very helpful receptionist), which was a good move as both bar and restaurant were full by 8pm. The food was very good indeed: cheeky breakfast salad (with crispy bacon, quail's egg and hog's pudding) and warm goat's cheese, followed by two pieces of very fresh fish. My John Dory served with a crab bisque was as good as any fish dish anywhere although my wife's brill was good but not outstanding. We could also have eaten food from the bar menu, which has been very nice in the past - fish and chips in particular. Two glasses of good house red and a bottle of white from the interesting restaurant list went down very nicely. We couldn't manage pudding but shared a very nice cheese selection. After a short stroll through the very peaceful village, we returned for a couple of beers to finish the evening off.

After short walk to the beach the next morning (cafe and shop open at 8.30), we had a very nice breakfast, with more of the good bacon and interesting hog's pudding, with a perfectly poached egg. Kippers and haddock looked and smelled very nice as well. Finally we checked out, both of us wishing we could have stayed another night...

Room Tip: The cottages to the rear, especially on the upper floors, are very quiet with excellent views.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Pete M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Coming from Greece, I can understand the British love of Hellenism & I can honestly say that this quintessential English experience is what we back home, would imagine & "expect". Lovely building in a lovely location which really makes you feel you have walked on to a 1950's movie set. Staff/food all outstanding as we had hoped & there was a smartly dressed man (the Manager?) who was sweeping around clearing tables, smiling, nodding & getting extra gravy for some ladies from Liverpool who were so very at home here. The fire was cracking away on this warm summers day & 'walking folk' with dogs were sprawled in front of it & we had to step over them to get to the bathroom. Simply wonderful, simply timeless. We shall plan a trip just to go back for a Sunday lunch as we too, want that extra gravy... served with a smile & warmth.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Xanthe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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