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Devon gastropub owners buy Britain's most decorated pub

11 January 2008 by

The inn is believed to be the most decorated in Britain with no fewer than 35 awards to its name, most recently as regional winner for the Telegraph/Greene King 2005 Perfect Pub Award.

New owners Andy and Rowena Whiteman have also collected a clutch of awards since opening their Harris Arms gastropub in Portgate four years ago, including three from the Publican - Wine Offering of the Year 2004, Newcomer of the Year 2005 and Freehouse of the Year 2007.

The stone-and-cob Nobody Inn is sited in the rural village of Doddiscombsleigh between the Haldon Hills and the Teign Valley.

It dates back to 1591, became an inn during 1838 and gained its current name in 1952 after a deceased landlord whose body was left in the mortuary while his funeral took place around an empty coffin.

The inn has spent 38 years with same family since it was bought by Jennie and Philip Bolton in 1970 and continued under their son Nick Borst-Smith and his wife Lesley. It is renowned for its creative cooking, fine wines, whiskies and cheeses.

It retains a number of period features such as low ceilings, blackened beams, an inglenook fireplace, and dark wood antique furniture.

Along with four letting bedrooms, it provides seating for up to 60 customers in the bar, 40 in the formal dining area, and another 40 on the outside patio.

The Exeter office of Christie + Co sold the freehold off a guide price of £1.6m to a group of investors led by the Whitemans, who trained as wine makers in New Zealand.

The Borst-Smiths will continue to run their 13th-century B&B, the Town Barton manor house that is just a short walk from the inn, along with their mail order wine company.

By Angela Frewin

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