The Puffing Billy Inn

4.1
39 reviews
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£25 and under
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British
Top tags:
  • Local Ingredients
  • Lunch
  • Sunday Lunch
The Puffing Billy is located in the beautiful village of Exton on the east side of the Exe estuary.

We offer a dynamic, seasonal menu of locally sourced produce inside a cosy, recently revamped stylish interior. We change our menus regularly and have a daily changing specials board utilising local produce. On Sundays we offer a superb selection of roast dinners.
What 39 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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NF
Cornwall
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Really enjoyed our lunch, hadn't visited for a long time, favourably impress

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TA
Cornwall
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Sunday lunch at the Puffing Billy is one of the best locally. The roast beef is extremely tasty and the portion is generous, the vegetables are fresh and well cooked and the service is swift and friendly.

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ME
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

We had gone for a celebration lunch at the beginning of January 1.1.19 and quite honestly had an awful experience to which we informed the staff, we would not have returned to this pub/restaurant again except they gave us some vouchers and I must say I am glad we returned a couple of weeks later as we had a lovely Sunday lunch and the service was very good and I would recommend fir a nice lunch.
I think I would perhaps not go if it was a busy popular time unless you only cater for how many you can comfortably manage without putting yourselves and staff in the firing line for dissatisfied customers.

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LD
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We have dined here many times over the last ten years and the standard has varied considerably depending on the owners. On this occasion the restaurant was very busy but they were able to serve all food quickly. Food was good we had roast beef and all the trimmings. It would have been nice to be asked how rare we wanted the beef cooked as everyone has different tastes and asking might improve the overall satisfaction.

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TB
Cornwall
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely staff. Delicious food (roast) but not very hot. On mentioning this the cost of the drink was taken off of the bill. A nice gesture.

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A
Bristol
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My party of four all enjoyed our experience at the Inn. We were instantly welcomed at reception and guided to our table. Menu selection was unhurried and we didn't have to wait long for our meals and the staff were very attentive. The ambience and fellow guests were conducive the overall experience. We intend returning when we continue our walk further along the estuary.

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I
1 review
Dined on 11 January 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Great ambience and decor. Really nice and warm with lots of lovely fires for a chilly winter’s night. Excellent service with friendly staff. Really like the option of the choices for smaller appetites. Would be good if there were a few more dishes included in that section of the menu. The food itself was tasty, nicely cooked and well presented. It wasn’t that busy the night I met friends there so the noise level was pretty quiet. Not sure what it would be like if all the tables were full. Would definitely go back again especially as the train stops very close by.

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LG
1 review
Dined on 30 December 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

great staff, great atmosphere, good wine
always friendly. really lovely bar area and two log fires

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MC
Cornwall
1 review
Dined on 30 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I really enjoyed my birthday lunch at the Puffing Billy. The food was delicious and the staff were friendly and helpful.

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EL
Cornwall
1 review
Dined on 26 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very busy on Boxing Day but seamless service and no delay on food. Always a lovely spot with great seasonal options.

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DD
1 review
Dined on 24 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely visit as usual. Great food and lovely atmosphere

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MC
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on 24 December 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service and fantastic food served.
Meal on Christmas Eve and attentive staff with really tasty food offered.

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C
1 review
Dined on 24 December 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

Lovely atomosphere and really friendly staff. Sadly very disappointed in the food quality of the festive menu. In all honesty would have expected better from an establishment of this reputation. To charge an extra £5 for a scallop starter was excessive and roast turkey dinner was a let down. Stuffing really quite unpleasant and sadly turkey meat dry. Vegetable selection was over cooked and bland. We had considered booking for Christmas Day but in all honesty glad we didn’t as if food quality was the same as Christmas Eve we would have felt cheated.

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MH
1 review
Dined on 23 December 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great place for a family gathering or meal out.
Friendly, welcoming staff, good food and very fair prices - strongly recommended

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LM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 23 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely food and friendly staff, very attentive. Would recommend to anyone!

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O
1 review
Dined on 22 December 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

Had the set Christmas menu which was really worth having the 3 courses for. Good selection. Starters didn’t know which one to choose very nice blade of beef excellent putting my business hat on ( so looking at it from the other side) be careful on your veg portions the customer always wants enough but be careful not to overload perhaps the staff could say if you want more just ask or do this when they check food is meeting expectations
Dessert panna cotta was too firm. Excellent Christmas treat for just husband and wife.

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JS
1 review
Dined on 18 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We took a friend here for lunch and had a very good meal. The restaurant was very busy earlier with some big groups so they very helpfully suggested, if we would prefer, we could book a table slightly later when it would be quieter. We did and had good service, food and ambience. Enjoyed and will return.

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SY
1 review
Dined on 16 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sunday lunch here for 3 was impeccable. Service was second to none with very friendly attentive staff and manager looking after us. The food was delicious and we will definitely be returning.

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BR
1 review
Dined on 15 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Had a lovely family pre-Christmas lunch. Wide and varied menu which was fairly priced. Very enjoyable and would definitely go again

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F
Surrey
1 review
Dined on 14 December 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Obviously it’s the Christmas season so they were catering for a few Xmas parties but unfortunately we had to ask the waitress several times if we could order drinks and food. I hate it when you have to do that.
Food was average, which was surprising as I had heard good things about this place. Burger was dry and presented on an extremely full plate.
The pie was good.
Overall a little slow on service.

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C
London
2 reviews
Dined on 14 December 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

A birthday evening dinner spoilt by poor food. Had "while you wait" bread and oil but the starter arrived 2 mins after after bread. Staff offered to take the starters back but then they would have got cold. The smoked salmon was in a ramekin which had just been taken out of the fridge so was very very cold, the fishcakes on the other hand were a bit gloppy but not bad at all. Mains were meant to be chicken supreme and cod with crust. The supreme was a dried up small fillet and a small leg but no cream sauce, not a chicken supreme by any stretch of the imagination and about 30 gnocchi balls which were so chewy they stuck to your teeth. The cod was a scrag end tail folded over with slimy skin still attached. They had both been microwaved so the edges of the fish were dried up and the chicken was overdone and dry. The staff offered to bring some butter sauce for the chicken which can only be described as dishwater with a few spinach leaves and a knob of butter thrown in then microwaved. The staff on the other hand were very pleasant and polite. The only good thing was that they did not charge for the mains.

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m
London
3 reviews
Dined on 13 December 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

All ok just very very average unfortunately. Fine for a sunday lunch but not really for dining experience in the evening.

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GH
1 review
Dined on 12 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

The overall food was good, nothing amazing though for the prices which is disappointing. The rabbit was bland unfortunately and portion sizes a little small for some meals. Waitress was patronisingly nice but met all of our needs. Average experience when we were expecting exceptional. Would definitely go again but maybe for a fancy lunch rather than dinner.

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TW
1 review
Dined on 9 December 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent roast lunch at this quaint country pub in Exton. Lovely drinks selection, waitress was very understanding when we asked for everything on the Turkey roast but for the meat to be beef instead! Service was lovely and the whole feel of the restaurant was wonderful!

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OT
1 review
Dined on 8 December 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Really liked this place and will go back again. They were very welcoming to us and to my dog which was great.

They could have been a little more attentive on the service side. Another couple sitting at the table next to us, arrived after us, but their order was taken and their food arrived even before anyone took our order and we had to get someone’s attention to come over to us to place our order.

That said, the food was amazing, they had a great festive menu and a good choice on the regular menu too.

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SB
1 review
Dined on 7 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went to the Puffing Billy with my husband and was extremely impressed with the service and choices available. I was only disappointed by the fact that the turkey and ham pie had sold out but that just means I'll have to return another day to try it.

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JH
London
2 reviews
Dined on 2 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent Sunday roast. Massive portions. I will definitely visit The Puffing Billy again

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JP
1 review
Dined on 2 December 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I have a severe allergy to a certain food and my needs were listened to and my menu choice adapted to allow me to enjoy my meal. Great service for an individual.

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RE
1 review
Dined on 1 December 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Group Christmas party got in the way of having a family meal. I suppose the venue would be more enjoyable in other times.

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AS
London
5 reviews
Dined on 1 December 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A lovely location and short train journey from Topsham. They have a great Christmas tree too. Ate from the festive menu and use portions were very large. Desserts were delicious and service was attentive.

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j
Cornwall
1 review
Dined on 28 November 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Good menu choice - fish cooked perfectly - well balanced plate

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D
1 review
Dined on 26 November 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

We arrived and before we sat down we were asked what we wanted to drink so said that we needed 5 minutes to sort ourselves out. We were with 2 x 80 year olds who needed time to take their coats off etc.
We then ordered drinks and after quite a long time asked what we wanted to eat.
We choose couple of sharing dishes plus our main courses. After what seemed like an age our sharing dishes arrives shortly followed by our main courses even though we hadn't finished our starters so there was a kerfuffle with the exchange of plates.
The steak that had been ordered medium rare came medium and the sausage dish was a very small portion and the burger came with chips that appeared to have been thrown on the plate from a distance. The burger was very very dry.
The pear crumble for pudding was cold and by that time we had had enough so that got sent back and refunded off the bill.
All in all very disappointing especially as we had come having read the glowing reviews

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LM
1 review
Dined on 25 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My 60th birthday. After a problem with the table set for too few we had a great meal. Getting extra drinks during the meal was confusing the staff.

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m
London
3 reviews
Dined on 25 November 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

overall very good - food was served not warm enough but that was promptly rectified - would go back for sunday roast lunch. good sized portions as well.

staff were excellent...attentive, friendly and prompt

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CW
1 review
Dined on 24 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Puffing Billy was recommended by our guesthouse owner in Exton. Booking is essential for this popular pub. The food was beautifully presented and tasted as good as it looked. On 23/11/18 we enjoyed a great meal from the menu and on Sunday 24/11/18 we chose a two course Chrismas menu and a pudding to share. Both evenings were good value.

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AB
1 review
Dined on 17 November 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great night here on Saturday, the service and the food were amazing as usual! This place remains one of our favourite eating and drinking places, can’t wait to come back

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SM
Cornwall
3 reviews
Dined on 17 November 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Great food; fresh ingredients and locally sourced. Produce clearly in season and good to know where it originated from.

Service wasn’t great though which spoiled the evening. While it was good not to be rushed, 3 hours for 2 courses was excessive. We had to ask each time we wanted service and it was quicker to go to the bar than wait! It actually took then 40 minutes to bring a dessert!! Perhaps don’t accept so many bookings for the same time slot??

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DH
Norfolk
1 review
Dined on 17 November 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Returned to this lovely pub/diner after several years of absence, with high expectations. Myself, wife and daughter selected items from the seasonal game week menu. Bread ordered with oil & balsamic was ok but not great - a little dry and tasteless. Starters were ok, but not great. My pigeon breast came with a satay sauce which was a mismatch in my opinion. My daughter’s pheasant croquettes were pleasant but overly large. My wife’s rabbit rillette was quite tasty.
For mains, I had game stew, which was bland in taste. My wife had Barnsley Chop which she described as “boring” and my daughter had medallians of venison, which came as a big tough lump of meat. Sweets were pleasant enough, but nothing special.
Overall portion sizes were far too large for us. We prefer smaller portions of very tasty food, which was more like our previous experience of this place.

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AE
1 review
Dined on 11 November 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Booked table for 1.30 sat down at 1.40 waited 10 mins then ordered Sunday roast, waited over half an hour as really busy, would of waited 5 moremins and gone. However the food when it came was excellent. Didn’t have sweet as didn’t want to wait another half an hour for it.

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