ON a particularly dark and stormy December night (torrential rain bouncing off the roads and the wind whipping up a gale-force frenzy), we sought refuge in our local hostelry, The Junction Inn at Halwill Junction.
There's plenty to recommend this pub, named after the bustling railway station that the village used to be home to, and essentially grew up around. The welcome is warm, the beer is chilled and the service is prompt and friendly.
Alongside such pub standards as ham, egg and chips and steak and ale pie, the menu offers tikka masala and butternut squash, spinach and leek cannelloni, the latter of which tickled my tastebuds enough for me to order it. My fellow foodie opted for steak and kidney pie and chips with a side of seasonal veg.
My cannelloni, served with garlic bread and salad, was attractively presented and a pleasant combination of flavours and textures. The sweetness of the squash blended seamlessly with the tangy leek and subtle spinach and pasta. Rounded off in a deliciously creamy white sauce, it was delightful.
My fellow diner's dish saw the tender meat wrapped in a rich, flavour-full sauce and topped with a puff pastry lid. The light and fluffy chunky chips were a satisfying accompaniment.
The dessert menu beckoned, and I indulged my love of cheesecake with a white chocolate and raspberry version, while my fellow foodie had chocolate ice cream decorated with wafers and a chocolate-coated tube-shaped biscuit.
The cheesecake was a taste sensation, accompanied by red currants – the perfect foil to the sweetness of the white chocolate. My fellow foodie felt the wafers were a nice touch as far as the ice cream was concerned, and practical as they could be used to scoop out those last bits of ice cream the spoon just couldn't reach.
With full tummies and happy hearts we braved the weather and headed home.
Cost: This meal for two with drinks cost £41.20.
Where: The Junction Inn, Halwill Junction, Beaworthy, EX21 5XR.
Bookings: 01409 221239.