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The Blue Ball Inn, Exeter

Clyst St. Mary
Postal town: Exeter
Phone: 01392873401

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Blue Ball Inn

This is a fairly large dining pub in a small village close to the M5 and Exeter Rugby stadium, making it an obvious destination for fans wanting a pre-match pint and meal. The remote location is perhaps best accessed by car, although I was able to walk here in about 20 minutes from Newcourt station. The pub has a spacious, modern, but rather corporate feeling interior with an L-shaped layout and a long servery following the same shape. Plenty of tables and chairs fill the space through both arms of the room, mostly laid in readiness for diners when I turned up shortly after opening. The room is bare boarded with a bland gastro colour scheme and minimal decor, mainly of the corporate kind. Bar has a decent modern counter and simple bar back, with the corner of the bar positioned opposite the entrance. Despite arriving so early in the day, I was advised that I couldn’t sit inside as all the tables were booked, so I had to take my pint out to the very windy beer garden, where plenty of picnic tables have been set out across a part grass, part gravel space to the side of the pub. The gravel section is beneath a huge awning and fronts an outdoor bar, whilst a couple of tables can be found in little huts to the rear. Colourful planters and a couple of old beer barrels help give the garden a nice feel, but I was freezing sitting out here on a bright afternoon due to the biting wind. A gazebo out in the back garden was packed with what seemed to be a private function and quiet background music plinked away in the background inside the pub.
This is a St Austell pub, so no major surprises on the bar, where the cask pumps offered St Austell Proper Job (£4.85 a pint) and Tribute plus Dartmoor Jail Ale and a real cider. The staff were pretty brusque, making it very clear that as a drinker, I wasn’t really welcome. The Proper Job was at least in good condition, but I was cursing the fact that I had to while away the best part of an hour before setting off for my train, as I was chilled to the bone sitting in the garden.
This seemed like a decent enough pub to come for a meal or a pre-match pint, but on a busy Saturday lunchtime, it was a bit of a nightmare, with gruff staff, a simple beer selection and no indoor seating combining to make this memorable for mostly the wrong reasons. It serves its purpose well, but I wouldn’t make the effort to trek out here again.

On 17th April 2022 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2813 recommendations about 2813 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about The Blue Ball Inn

Large thatched pub with a strong emphasis on food but a good and welcoming bar area also. Beers seemed to be mainly from St Austell and in fine condition. Only stopped off briefly but worth investigating properly; very handy for M5 junction.

On 18th July 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2660 recommendations about 2603 pubs]