Review: The Three Crowns in Chagford

PUBLISHED: 11:07 31 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:07 31 March 2015

The Three Crowns is a five star thatched inn. Photo Simon Burt

The Three Crowns is a five star thatched inn. Photo Simon Burt

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CHARLOTTE SKIDMORE visits a gorgeous

part of Devon for a stay in a historic inn

The inn has a great outdoor eating area too. Photo Trevor BurrowsThe inn has a great outdoor eating area too. Photo Trevor Burrows


The Three Crowns in Chagford is situated in an absolutely stunning location near Newton Abbot in Devon.

The gorgeous five-star St Austell-run accommodation oozes historic charm whilst its recent refurbishment gives it a more modern edge.

The thatched inn offers standard, classic and superior rooms, as well as the luxury suite, which is where we stayed. It was a real treat with a large bedroom, including a huge 7ft Vi-Spring bed, contemporary en-suite and chaise longue.

The suite was a great combination of modern and cosy. Photo Simon BurtThe suite was a great combination of modern and cosy. Photo Simon Burt

Then up some stairs to a separate intimate sitting room, which is located over the main porch and overlooks the town and countryside beyond. A warm and cosy haven with its fire and wooden beams – a perfect place for a pre-dinner drink or a relaxing hour or two after exploring Dartmoor.


The Three Crowns, like every St Austell inn I have visited, prides itself on using locally-sourced food wherever possible. With the delights of Dartmoor on its doorstep, it is a logical move.

The Chateaubriand was worth the waitThe Chateaubriand was worth the wait

The stunning high tea displayed on three tiers was a delicious welcome on arrival and dinner matched up.

Enjoy traditional, simple food, with an elegant twist. Try the likes of goats cheese mousse with golden raisins, earl grey and granola, Scotch duck egg with white wine pear & blue cheese salad, home smoked salmon with soused vegetables and watercress or game terrine with quince jelly and rye bread to start.

This is followed by traditional favourites like market fish and chips, whole seasonal sole or feather blade of beef.

I enjoyed the flavoursome scallops with black pudding, pancetta and pickled quails egg (£8.95) and then my dining partner and I shared the wonderfully tasty, fabulously tender and well-presented speciality Chateaubriand for two (two sauces, fries and salad included, £59.50).

The chef kindly warned us that this dish, in order to cook it properly, may take a little longer to prepare but with a nice Sauvignon Blanc and some friendly staff chatter to fill the gap, it was well worth the wait.

Designed by local Walter Hicks Wine Merchants, the wine list combines the favourites from the old world to the fresh wines of the new world, and even some from local vineyards.

Final words

I’m a huge fan of St Austell inns. 
The ones I have stayed in offer a 
good mix of cosy, traditional and 
high standards and The Three 
Crowns certainly incorporates 
these qualities.

Why not try….

Whilst staying in Chagford we travelled a few miles up the road to try our hands at clay pigeon shooting.

A first for me and, despite the weather being very wet and unkind, it was great fun, something entirely different to anything I had tried before and has encouraged me to try again.

Dartmoor Shooting caters for couples, families, groups or parties of any size, beginners or experienced.

You will receive a lot of shooting with one to one tuition at all times and Chris provides a selection of guns to try, cartridges, ear defenders and transport into the middle of his farm.

The experience lasts a couple of hours with a coffee and a homemade cake and they can also provide a large home cooked lunch with wine, cheese and port.

The price is £70pp all inclusive for the clays with a discount for larger groups (£20pp for lunch).

Chris, with his local connections, can also organise a country sports weekend for you with clay pigeon shooting, deer stalking, a falconry experience and home cooked food.

After a hard day’s work why not head to Amore in Chagford? This beauty salon, just a few steps away from The Three Crowns, is a delightfully cosy and professional place to enjoy a massage, manicure or facial, either with a friend or partner or alone.

We enjoyed a lovely relaxing couple’s massage, with my husband enjoing a Swedish massage and myself a hot stones massage for an indulging hour.

But the salon also offers lava shell massage, Indian head massage and Thai compress massage.

The ladies that run the salon are very helpful and accomodating to whatever needs you may have.

Did you know?

The Godolphin Suite where we stayed is named after a 33-year-old Cornish gentleman called Sydney Godolphin, a young poet and politician and son of Sir William Godolphin, part of a long-established and respected family of its time.

In February 1643 during the Civil War a small band of Royalist soldiers, including Godolphin, attacked and dispersed some parliamentarian forces who were quartered at Chagford. In the skirmish that followed, the poet was lost to a single round of musket fire.

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