Less than 1/4 mile from the Bell sits the Black Horse but it is a world away. It has all the hall marks of a great seafood restaurant starting with the most important to me, the Scent. The Black Horse smells for all the world like a seafood restaurant on the coast with that distinctive savory oceanic quality that comes from prepping thousands of baskets of crustaceans and fish every month for years–not fishy but with an aire of fish that usually doesn’t appear this far inland (even on this small island). I wanted to eat but knew if I started I would need a taxi–or an ambulance–to cart me home by the time I stopped.
I settled instead on a Chuffin’ from Box Steam Brewery, one of my favourite producers lately. The barman, who reminded me a bit of the skinny bespectacled guy in the Trainspotting movie, offered me a taste (more drug references?) before pulling a pint, but it was chocolatey and viscous and perfect. “Not my style,” he admitted, “so I thought I should make sure.”
Another couple leaving asked if they could get some lobsters the next delivery to take home and cook, but the barman seemed pretty doubtful about that. He did say that the orders are placed one day, caught the next in Devon, then on the plate the day after that so if you wanted anything special just call ahead and they would do their best to make sure you were set up. Wonderful.