The Five Bells Inn, Clyst Hydon
Surrounded by rolling green fields and with nearly an acre of beer garden, The Five Bells at Clyst Hydon is what many of us might well imagine a quintessential thatched country pub should look like. Indeed, Mum and Dad fondly remember it back when it was in its heyday. Reached by long winding lanes, it’s the type of calm, tucked away spot you dream of finding on a hot summer’s day.
For those that don’t know, five years ago The Five Bells was in danger of closure and being sold to a building developer. This prompted the local community to launch a tireless ‘Save the Bells’ campaign and online petition run across social media. A local businessman subsequently bought the freehold to the pub and today it is now just one of only two in Devon to hold a rare Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide.
With James and Charlie having taken over in December 2017, the 300-year-old building with its beautiful thatch has undoubtedly returned the heartbeat back to this tight-knit community perched midway between Exeter and Cullompton. Bringing a certain pedigree from his many years running pubs and bars across the country has no doubt equipped James with the necessary experience to make things work here. His plan for the business is simple – to go back to doing pub grub for the locals whilst maintaining its Devon-wide reputation of the fine dining side.
It’s great to see that the locals have responded to the call and for real ale drinkers it’s even better news – the pub has just scored 100% in its first Cask Marque inspection. From the Otter Amber on draught to the smaller craft breweries and Venton’s cider from the neighbouring village, almost everything on the bar is from Devon. The ultimate ambition is to get the pub into The Good Beer Guide.
Families are also welcomed with open arms, as are walkers and cyclists. In fact everywhere you look, from supporting the local cricket club or raising money for the Primary School, you can see that this is a pub that takes great pride in its place at the centre of the community.
Here’s to another long and successful chapter in the ongoing story of this much loved pub.
The Five Bells Inn, Clyst Hydon, Devon. EX15 2NT.
Tel: 01884 277288