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Mason's Arms

Set back about 10 minutes' walk from Branscombe's beautiful beach, this bustling village revolves around one crucial building: the Mason's Arms, which has been serving beers to thirsty punters since 1350 (when it opened its doors as a cider house), quenching the thirst of the men who cut the stone used in Exeter's cathedral – hence the pub's name.

These days it serves up exquisite meals cooked by head chef Lee Villiers and his kitchen crew, which can be enjoyed in a traditional pub setting or out in the lovely garden. Dogs are welcome inside and out, and can usually be found making themselves very at home in front of the big roaring fire opposite the main bar, which serves a range of local and international beers as well as wines from a comprehensive list. The food is great, everything from ploughmans and ciabatta sandwiches to steaks and sausage and mash, though their speciality is locally sourced seafood, including mussels from the river Exe and really decent fish and chips.