It’s perhaps not fully appreciated the part Brixham has played in our country’s history. Back in 1688, King James II legged it in response to opposition to his Catholicism. The powers that be decided that an immigrant should be king, so imported Prince William of Orange. The benefits of free movement of labour for this Dutchman, eh? Anyway, rather than arrive in a particularly kingly fashion, he and his invading army landed in the quiet backwater of Brixham. A statue to him was erected on the harbour two hundred years later to commemorate him. And there’s the pub, of course.
Unsurprisingly, the menu majors on seafood and, like the new King, much of it landed at Brixham. In fact, much of it is landed by the trawler, Adela, which moors literally opposite the pub. You do not get shorter “food miles” than that. This is “food inches”. There were monkfish goujons to start. Three big chunks in a batter that was as light as you like and served with a slick of homemade tartare sauce and a few sprigs of watercress. That was followed by pork fillet, perhaps a tad overdone, but only a tad. It came with very nice non-sloppy mash, charred Little Gem, baby apples (the size of crab apples but with none of the sourness) and a good red wine sauce.
On the other side of the table, it was local scallops, served on the shell, with a simple dressing of butter, capers and a few shreds of bacon. Just lovely. The menu has a “catch of the day”, generally coming off that trawler. Today it was plaice. A whole fish, served with a warm salad of green beans, samphire, pea shoots, sun dried tomatoes and new potatoes. It was bang-on “summer at the seaside”.
There’s only a small handful of desserts on the menu and we didn’t fancy any of them, so just got the bill. Thoroughly recommended.