Michael Deacon reviews The Five Bells, Clyst Hydon: 'The freshness is startling. It feels like breathing cream'

The Five Bells, Clyst Hydon
Will the food match the appeal of the location at this idyllic pub restaurant?  Credit: Robert Darch

We’d only been in Devon for two days, and already my wife wanted to live there. 'You could commute to London,’ she said dreamily, as we stood on the platform at Dawlish station, gazing out at the sun-dazzled sea. 'Just think. This would be your view, every single morning.’

'But I wouldn’t be able to see it,’  I said. 'I’d be having to catch the train at about 3am.’

It was lovely, though. Not just the view of the sea, but everything. The air, for one. If you live in north Kent, like we do, or pretty much anywhere else in the south-east, you forget about air. Your nostrils are so routinely assaulted by pollutants that you become numb to them. You grow used to waking up with a blocked nose. It’s so normal, it doesn’t occur to you that there’s anything wrong. Which means that, when you visit a place like Devon, the freshness is startling. It feels like breathing cream.

Then there’s the countryside....

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