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Blisland Inn, Blisland

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user reviews of the Blisland Inn, Blisland

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Lovely place in an idyllic village setting on the edge of Bodmin Moor. Dog heaven inside (well, if you like dogs, I suppose). Excellent range of interesting beers and the two I had were both very good. Limited range of food but what we had was very good. Oh,and the staff were very friendly and engaging. So, all in all ... wish we lived closer!
Psi - 19 May 2017 13:51
The reviews below are entirely accurate. Authentic if slightly shabby local. Welcoming, and serving inexpensive local brews. A genuine community asset, I imagine.
richythemole - 28 Mar 2016 06:39
A wonderfully friendly pub, with locals saying hello in welcome as you walk in the door and engaging you in conversation. Not something I normally like (the talking, not the welcome), but for some reason I thought it was very nice on this occasion. The 8 or so beers were all in very good condition and very nicely priced - £3-£3.30. I'll be back on our next trip to the area.
littledrummerboy - 24 Jul 2015 21:20
Proper pub... okay it looks a bit dated and a bit like an old pair of slippers that have a few worn patches, but that's what makes it special... really special! If you like your pubs neat and shiny, with umbrellas in glasses instead of over tables, if you want a few sticks of carrot on a plate with a brown stain going around the edge and a small perfect square of meat perched on some cabbage with a rose petal garnish, then this pub just ain't for you. However, if you want a proper Cornish pub with proper Cornish people and good value nosh, you'll fit in nicely.
Coronach - 23 Jul 2013 09:05
Great pub, really friendly locals and staff with a great range of beers, maybe a better food offer would be good but then it might change the nature of the pub and make it a gastro destination rather than a fantastic local, so sod it keep doing what your doing King Buddha, as they say if it aint broke dont fix it.
paddypint - 18 Oct 2012 18:58
Essentially shabby and dated but with a wide range of excellent beers and a friendly welcome. Today's offerings were Bass, Black Sheep, Cottage's Invincible, Sharp's King Buddha Blisland Ale and Blisland Bulldog, Greene King IPA, Harbour Brewing's Porter & Tintagel Castle Gold - all priced around the 3 mark with some not even that much. If you think you know your ales, see how many of the ceiling's beermats you remember!
paul_d102 - 14 Sep 2012 18:49
Excellent range of real ales from far and wide available, including beers brewed exclusivly for the pub. Freindly locals. Beautful setting in the village. Has to be on any visitors list of must do pubs in Cornwall
PoorBeerHater - 28 Aug 2012 12:51
Great pub, dedicated to good beer kept in excellent condition. Beautifully situated, friendly staff and locals.
MarkVP - 8 Sep 2011 13:30
heaven on earth
littlecon - 25 Aug 2011 10:14
Further to JohnBonser's lengthy post on this pub, I can add that it has in fact appeared in EVERY edition of the GBG - one of only a handful of pubs to achieve this distinction.
scoobybooze - 5 Apr 2011 14:58
great beer. great attitude. great vegetarian food. great location. Please, in the name of all that is good, do not change the Blisland Inn!
mupslup - 6 Feb 2011 22:01
Legendary pub, fortunately just a few miles away from where I live...The beer never disappoints...Simply a yardstick for all other pubs to aspire to...regular guest ales all perfectly kept and served with a smile...Long live the King Buddha.
Sparge_Master - 4 Dec 2010 16:07
Brilliant pub, very friendly staffespecially Roger the barman my family and I were made to feel very welcome indeed. Many real ales ranging in strength and taste, asked for the barmans recomondation and had a rundown of each. Food was excellent and good value for money, there is a seperate dining room as well as bar menu. This is a real pub as pubs should be, which are sadly disapearing esp in South Wales where I am from. Can't recommend this pub enough for anyone who likes eating, drinking and a real good old worldy PUB!
bud79 - 23 Nov 2010 08:32
First rate, excellent local ale - very well kept. Food looked so appetising that even I, who does not normally go in for food in pubs, was tempted - and very glad I was too. We called in on the way further into Cornwall for a short break, and were so impressed by everything and everyone at Blisland that we slightly delayed our planned journey back purely in order to have another lunchtime session here. Delightful.
dirigent - 11 Nov 2010 19:35
The Blisland Arms Inn is on the north west edge of Bodmin Moor, in a village that is only a short detour from the main A30 Okehampton - Bodmin stretch.

It's a fine traditional granite built, two bar village community pub on the edge of what, the CAMRA Good Beer Guide tells us, is the only village green in Cornwall.

The main bar on the left of the entrance has a splendid collection of pump clips on the ceiling and coffee mugs suspended from the beams. In one corner of this bar are a collection of CAMRA certificates, mainly from the Kernow ( Cornwall ) Branch, but also the one recognising the pub as CAMRA National Pub of the Year 2000. There's also a number of old photos of the pub, including one showing a Watney's sign on the wall, and a number of items of brewery memorabilia. On my recent Saturday lunchtime visit, this bar was very busy with a good mixture of village locals ( accompanied by their dogs unfortunately in a good number of cases ) and people like myself who were just passing through. This bar leads through to a small family room - children are not allowed in either the bar or the lounge - and beyond that, a pool room.

The lounge bar was much quieter, but is equally traditional and inviting, with a number of photos of past kings and queens, together with some photos of the local fox hunt meeting up outside The Royal Oak ( as the pub was evidently then called ). There's a number of seats outside overlooking the green across the road. There's no TV or electronic distractions in the pub.

A good range of pub style food is available at normal meal times. My meal of cold meats, egg and chips, arrived promptly, was generously proportioned, very tasty and reasonably good value.

On the beer front, there's 9 pumps which, on my recent visit were serving mainly local Cornwall beers, but also, most notably, Sarah Hughes Ruby Mild ( 6%), at what I would consider to be a very reasonable 2.95p. A local cider (7%) was selling at 3 per pint. I went for the King Buddha Blisland Special ( 3.8% ) at 2.50p, which is brewed exclusively for the pub by Sharps. "King Buddha" is the larger than life, likeable landlord, Gary Marshall, and a Buddha effigy appears on the pumpclip. There's also a mini Buddha statue on the window sill.

Reflecting the role of this pub in the village community, King Buddha's shop ( behind the bar ) sells useful odds and ends such as shoelaces, elastoplast etc.

The pub advertisement in the latest local CAMRA branch magazine tells us that the pub has sold as many as 2713 different beers in the last 15 years. It's been a CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular in recent times.

Definitely well worth the short detour ( 2 miles or so each way ) from the busy A30 to visit.
JohnBonser - 23 Sep 2010 13:18
I finally got round to visiting this pub at the weekend after wanting to for ages. I had heard and read such good things about it that I was hoping it would live up to the hype.I am pleased to report that it did. It is what I would describe as a proper drinking pub which these days seem to be few and far between. There were 8 real ales available on handpump as well as a Cornish Pear Cider and a good range of lager,soft drinks etc.. I opted for a pint of Blisland Gold which was very well kept. The guy behind the bar(not the landlord but had been working there for 11 years)explained that one of the ales is always available for 1.80 a pint and changes regularly. Food is available at lunchtimes and evenings and although I didn't eat on this occasion,the selection looked enticing and very reasonably priced. Unfortunately on this occasion I was just passing through(and driving!)so didn't have more time to sample the wares but can't wait to return. The pub is in a beautiful village location and the inside is adorned with a huge collection of mugs and beer regalia and the atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly. Fully deserves its entry in all the well known pub guides. Highly Recommended
thegaffer - 9 Aug 2010 17:46
One of my favourite pubs. It's very welcoming and the beer is always good, it's dog friendly as well.
boyjanner - 26 Jan 2010 14:35
I like this pub & have been coming here for years but it does need a lick of paint. I've never had the food & to be honest on my last visit the beer wasn't up to much, lots of choice but probably not selling through fast enough to be kept in tip top condition,could do better & has done in the past.
barrellbelly - 15 Dec 2009 18:38
A perfect pub in a perfect location, overlooking the village green. The landlord was friendly (you don't often get a "sir" in this day and age), the guest ales were interesting and the cider & perry - locally produced - were well worth it, especially as the place was so reasonably priced. Will have to go back and try out the food sometime. It's a locals' pub in in the best sense, non-exclusive but not selling out to the mass market either. Definitely the best pub in East Cornwall.
kid_b - 21 Aug 2009 19:02
Beer is fairly decent , the service is rather not bothered. Any reasonable enquiry is seen as an imposition.It is one of those pubs where the guvnor thinks that he is more important than the pub itself.I am really not keen to look at a fat bast*rd who thinks he is god's gift to the pub trade.
slerpy - 12 Jul 2009 17:14
Lovely friendly pub serving a good choice of well kept ales. Food menu looked good, but hadn't time to stop. One to visit again though.
gillhalfpint - 9 Jul 2009 18:07
Visited here a few weeks ago. When the locals recognised our accents they were friendly. It pays to have a fairly local accent. The beer? Fantastic. Eight ales were on and two are exclusively brewed for the pub. They were good too. A lovely looking pub. The only downside was a puncture on the way home. Perhaps the locals worked out that we were from Plymouth!!!
ladygooner - 20 Jun 2009 13:59

My wife and I stayed in the area for a few days and popped in here for a quiz night. Then realised that it was a GBG entry and it's no surprise after visiting.
The pub is in quaint surroundings overlooking the village green. There were seven ales and a cider on offer and all well kept. The staff were friendly and welcoming as were the locals. Had a very pleasant evening. Entering through the front door, there is a restaurant area to the right (didn't sample the food), then a bar to the right. Through the bar leads to another drinking area and then through to a pool room and then the toilets.
Well worth seeking out (the pub that is not the toilets).
Rod_Hariga - 21 Apr 2009 23:13
In addition to my previous post, The Blisland also had St Austell St Piran's Ale and Dreckly Ring 'o' Bells plus one other 'Blisland Special'. They had quite a selection!
blue_scrumpy - 10 Mar 2009 20:54
I think this had to be the best of 20 pubs we tried in Devon and Cornwall last weekend. A traditional village pub located on Cornwall's only village green with a good mixture of locals and visitors. Ales included Skinners Splendid Tackle, Sharps Blisland Bulldog, Draught Bass and another one called Over The Bar. There is also a guest cider, which was Broadoak Moonshine on our visit. There are plenty of pump clips to admire on the ceiling.
blue_scrumpy - 10 Mar 2009 20:53
Got this through The Good Beer Guide. Wonderful beer, food, and setting.
davidashbee - 9 Jul 2008 20:55
I have never had a problem with this pub. I have been going there for many years(8-10) and always found Gary the "Landlord" friendly and welcome.I admit it could do with a lick of paint but, I only visit this pub for the beer,and if your not sure what you want,Gary will happy to help you make your choice.
oldh - 26 Apr 2008 01:32
Sunday roast is best value in the south, what with that and an awsome selection of ace ales, drinking heaven, can I have a lift home?
barryq - 11 Dec 2007 14:59
Splendid old country pub in a lovely village. Excellent choice and quality of real ales, which, if you order a four pint jug you get a discount. Great idea.

It's just such a shame the landlord's attitude towards non-locals is so unfriendly. We spent a week in Blisland in April and, reading in the CAMRA guide that our local was a previous Regional Pub of the Year, we looked forward to making this our nightly haunt. However, the atmosphere was so hostile we only managed a couple of evenings.

Unless I hear there has been a change of attitude or management, I won't be making any plans to go back there.
nwingfield - 2 Oct 2007 16:40
excellent pub. plenty of real ales and always a proper cider on. open all day every day - a rarity in these parts. pretty basic inside but comfortable - if you are after sofas and fancy coffees then perhaps this isn't the place for you - can get very crowded on bank holidays etc.

scrumpydrinker - 8 Jun 2007 10:09
The Blisland Inn is near Bodmin, just a short distance off the A30, on the edge of the only village green in Cornwall. It reminds me of how pubs used to be - a nice selection of beer (and cider) in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. One of the beers (or cider) is usually at a special price - I understand that this can vary throughout the day, so watch the prices prominently displayed on the pumps.

Well worth a visit.
Trequites - 10 Jan 2007 15:01
I took our family in last week for lunch whilst on holiday in North Cornwall. We had a warmer experience than Badgerhead. The staff were reasonably friendly. The landlord gave me a full rundown on the beers (and draught scrumpy) on offer. Particularly interesting was the Blisland Bulldog ale. We sat in the "family room" which to be honest could do with some decorating. The food was generally good although my wife made the wrong choice going for the lamb & mint burger, expecting a home made dish. Instead, she got something that resembled thick cardboard in a bun. Nevertheless, my home made beef madras was delicious, and of course the beer was impeccable. It's an ex-CAMRA National pub of the year and I'd say if it's a sesh you're after, you'd struggle to beat this place, in this neck of the woods. But if you're with your family and you're after a meal / beer / welcoming atmosphere experience, there are better places. Afterwards, we took up the pub's suggestion of visiting the nearby parish church - one of John Betjeman's favourites. Now that really is a gem.
Terry_W - 30 Oct 2006 23:59
If you happen to be in bisland then you may as well pop in here. Food served most of the day until 9pm most days. Try a pint of local Bisland ale if you like
aleman - 10 Sep 2006 18:24
Went to this pub with my wife & family whilst on holiday on recommendation of couple who live in Camelford. I have 2 children aged 10 & 13. Probably the most unfriendly pub I have ever been in. No welcome and very unhelpful service when we asked if they were still doing food. Made to feel like they were really doing us a great favour by serving us.
The kitchen and the bar did not communicate and we had to suffer terrible service because of it. Would of told the waitress where to put the food if not with 2 hungry children. Beer was fine but could not enjoy it in that atmosphere.
Badgerhead - 8 Aug 2006 13:28
Interesting pub which thinks its really good. Beer quality excellent. Food OK.
hrse12 - 31 Jul 2006 23:55
Sorry but it is not quite up to the mark, it is not trying as much as the days when it was the star of Camra.
I even witnessed unfriendly help when a small group came in on a cold day and one woman asked for a cup of tea and was put in her place, it was not called for, even I felt a little uncomfortable as I sat there enjoying my good well kept pint wondering why not try a beer.
churchfarm - 9 Mar 2006 12:27
t doesn't get better than this. The Blisland Inn is the perfect Pub. At least 8 Real Ales including 2 brewed especially for the pub by Sharps of Rock. There's a decent cider on at all times too. May sees a cornucopia of Mild Ales passing through the pumps. Last May (2005) Gary managed to serve 70 different Milds during the month.

What really makes this pub is the people who drink there and work there. I've been for two weeks twice a year for the last 4 years and it's justified the 230 mile trip every time. If you visit it's hard not to end up talking to one of the regulars and it's hard not to come back the next evening to do the same all over again.
glug - 9 Jan 2006 22:15
I love this pub. Everything about it is right, which is why I gave it 10/10. it's in a beautiful location, right on the village green (the only one in Cornwall apparently), they have lots of quality beers including at least one brewed specially for them, the atmosphere, especially in the bar on the left as you go in, is spot on (friendly, relaxed) and the food is good (though not "gastro") and plentiful. Plus they are dog-friendly ... in fact positively dog-welcoming: when we were there with our dog the barman came out from behind the bar with a treat for the dog.

Blisland is a 10 min drive, down windy country roads, from the A30 near Bodmin. Well worth the detour if you're passing through.
Tweak_Head - 11 Nov 2005 19:21
Excellent pub, there are 8-10 ales on + 1 local cider, the food is great, they do 4 pint take outs and on a thursday there is a beer on at 1.20 a pint!
no wonder this is a CAMRA pub of the year
russellmc - 7 Aug 2005 23:22
What every 'Ale' drinker dreams of. A pub full of character. You could spend all your time looking at the vast collection of 'tea' mugs that hang from the rafters and the numerous pump clips and table mats that are stuck to the ceiling. A good selection of Basket meals as well as an 'A La Carte' menu with daily specials and also a childrens menu . This pub is well worth a visit if you are in North Cornwall.
oldh - 4 May 2005 22:11
This pub is absolutely immense: I'm a student in Leeds, 'club capital of the North (cringe)' and this is about as far away from that as you can get without going to church. This is not to sayit is bad, just that it is quiet, a fantastic selection of ales (8-10, local, guest, obscure) and of course, a good pint of Stella. The food is good, the people are friendly, and it is all quite gorgeous. except for the back-room where the pool table is, which was decorated ina decidedly half-arsed manner in 1972, and no-one has bothered since. That's the only reason it gets 9/10 (because I can't give 9.5/10, it won't let me). Go there. Talk to the large barman with the ginger facial hair. But don't be afraid. he's quite friendly.
Do: Try all the ales.
Don't: ask for a slippery nipple. They don't take kindly to that sort of talk.
Winifreth - 6 Dec 2003 14:00
This pub won CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2001, and it is easy to see why: there are never less than eight real ales on the go, but they always serve a nice pint of Stella if needs be. I certainly do, I'm a student a the University of Leeds, and even here in deepest, darkest Cornwall, I'm always welcome. The food is good, cheap: the staff are good and large (well, the barmen are- they have their own ale in honour of the landlord simply called 'Buddha'), and you can cut the atmosphere in the 17th century bulding with a knife. Quite wonderful.
Alexander Boniface - - 6 Dec 2003 13:37
This pub has in recent years won the CAMRA pub of the year twice over. It has always got a fine selection of real ales available. This is usually at least seven. These ales range from local breweries to small independent breweries up and down the country. The landlord Gary and his wife Margaret ensure that everyone has a warm welcome, dogs and all. And the food is excellent to boot.
alan bishop - 27 Sep 2003 01:02

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