The Ship Inn, Teignmouth
It feels great to be back on pub trawl duty…. we’ve all missed our favourite watering holes during lockdown and, fingers crossed, brighter times are here to stay. For this triumphant return we’ve headed downstream to Devon’s sunshine coast and gladly immersed ourselves in the ‘new normal’ at a waterside pub with an incredible atmosphere.
Run for the last decade by local boy Michael Wade and his established front of house team comprising partner Ellie, Harry and Jason, The Ship Inn is a former sailors’ haunt at the start of the 18 mile Templer Way. It’s one of nearly twenty pubs in this lively old port town and being tucked away from the bustle of Teignmouth’s main beach has allowed it to remain something of a hidden gem. Well supported by the locals and steeped in history, today the pub enjoys a strong reputation as a real ale venue and offers a rustic and very welcoming atmosphere that is loved by many. It’s also extremely accommodating to our four legged friends – the team were crowned regional winners at last year’s Rover ‘Dog Friendly Pub’ awards.
Life here definitely revolves around the water. Teignmouth is still very much a working port handling cargo from the construction, agriculture and china clay markets. There is also a hardworking (and thirsty) resident fishing fleet complete with a strong Exeter Chiefs connection courtesy of brothers Rob and Dave Simmonds. Kayakers, paddleboarders, sailors, the local gig club and the Teign Dive Centre add to the eclectic mix of water lovers that use the pub either for a social debrief or cheeky sundowners on the terrace. At the end of every shift, staff do a meticulous litter pick – no one here takes this special location for granted.
Rockin’ Ale (…. our flagship beer in a cunning disguise) has long been a mainstay on the Cask Marque accredited bar with Tarka Four recently joining the party. This local alternative to the global lager brands has definitely struck the right chord with the younger drinking crowd here in search of a refreshing change. For its relatively modest footprint (the building is taller than it is wide) the pub has a huge following. Two bank holiday music festivals always pull in the crowds and there are also quiz nights, an annual sea shanty festival, beach BBQ’s, laid back Sunday night sessions, firework displays and Christmas carols. Hopefully normal service can resume again next year.
Pub classics and locally caught seafood are the kitchen’s speciality – go for the Brixham sea bass if it’s on or the superb roasted monkfish…. there’s also local mussels served in ten different tasty ways. Chances are you might even bump into the man who caught your dinner at the bar. The newly refurbished gallery restaurant is the perfect spot for a good feed – chef Lisa handles volume well and ensures diners leave happy, full and keen to return again. Lockdown provided a great opportunity to spruce everything up – the place is spotless and even the bar has been freshly varnished.
There’s so much to love here. With stunning views across the estuary to Shaldon, the Ship is a pub full of character and charm well versed in how to welcome new customers whilst keeping the old ones happy. It’s a formula that is clearly paying dividends – the team have created the perfect place to eat, drink and enjoy the view.
The Ship Inn, Queen Street, Teignmouth, TQ14 8BY
Tel: 01626 772674