It's been nearly a decade since I last visited the Masons Arms in Devon and I was incredibly excited to see the results of its recent multi-million-pound refurbishment. Well, it did not disappoint.

After a swift and efficient check-in we were led to a stunning family room above the pub. The Masons Arms offers rooms of all shapes and sizes from grand suites to self-catering cottages and everything in between.

The decor is the first thing that hit me as I walked through the door; very chic and uber cool with a splash of quirky thrown in. The pub's refit has been a total overhaul, but there are still traces of the old-fashioned inn sympathetically included. The odd piece of furniture for example and the keyrings for the rooms are even made from the old horse brasses.Great British Life: The mezzanine floor aboveThe mezzanine floor above (Image: Masons Arms)

Then my eye was drawn to a set of stairs that ascended to a mezzanine floor; a separate bedroom for our daughter. I think I could have kissed the woman checking us in as, as many parents and grandparents will know, separate areas for sleeping in are a godsend when it comes to kids. It even came with its own flat-screen television, a new children's book, and a small pouch of children's shampoo and wash and body lotion.Great British Life: The gorgeous room for our child, with a new book waitingThe gorgeous room for our child, with a new book waiting (Image: Masons Arms)

Downstairs the adults were thrilled with their king-size bed too, alongside a massive bathroom with fluffy towels and not to mention the well-stocked fridge and the ginormous flat-screen television.

The food

One of the things I remembered best about the Masons Arms was its superb food and it didn't let us down this time either.Great British Life: The restaurant has also had an impressive and stylish refitThe restaurant has also had an impressive and stylish refit (Image: Masons Arms)

The first night the highlights for me were the tiger prawn platter from the specials menu (I even pulled up my big girl pants and peeled them for myself - a role previously reserved for my late father) and the West Country sirloin steak, which was beautifully tender. Other highlights from the menu included chicken, apricot and tarragon terrine and the twice-baked cheese souffle with white wine sauce (jealousy kicked in when my husband had this one placed in front of him).Great British Life: The steak was lovely and tenderThe steak was lovely and tender (Image: C Skidmore)

On the second night I enjoyed all fish; delicious salt and pepper squid and then the local mussels in a cider, leek and cream sauce, served with a baguette and fries. For me, the sauce was lacking a punch but was still tasty. Great British Life: The mussels came with bread and friesThe mussels came with bread and fries (Image: C Skidmore)Great British Life: The squid was tasty and lightThe squid was tasty and light (Image: C Skidmore)Meanwhile, my husband enjoyed fish and cooked in St Austell brewery ale batter, which looked more like Moby Dick from the size of it. It smelt so good too!

Service was mainly extremely good and the staff were lovely on both nights. Especially with our little person, who had her own menu to choose from. She also loved filling out her postcard to grandma (on check-in guests receive a stamped postcard to send home - what a wonderful touch!)

Breakfast was pretty standard on the continental side, with pastries, fruit, yogurt, and a small cheese and meat selection. Great British Life: There is a continental offering at breakfastThere is a continental offering at breakfast (Image: C Skidmore)But there was also a decent cooked offering, with a few different options to the norm. The first morning I enjoyed a delicious smoked salmon and poached eggs and my little person devoured some overnight oats with fruit.

On the second day I had smashed avocado and tomato on toast, which left me a little underwhelmed to be honest. It was just a bit bland and needed a kick of something - chili, seasoning, lime, or maybe a combination of all three.

Out and about

The rain continued all night and day, so after a quick walk out and about on the Saturday, we retreated back into the warmth of the Masons Arms to enjoy Jenga by the roaring fire. There are plenty of games on offer in the bar and you can also order some main course food or snacks - we opted for bread and olives.

With better weather or better footwear, there are some delightful walks out and about in the local area and plenty of places to take your four-legged friend, who is welcome in some of the rooms. Great British Life: Some of the bedrooms are suitable for your four-legged friends, as are some of the areas in the restaurantSome of the bedrooms are suitable for your four-legged friends, as are some of the areas in the restaurant (Image: Masons Arms)There is the walk from Branscombe to Beer for those feeling a little more energetic or just the walk to the local beach, tearoom or the historic forge is delightful too.

READ MORE: East Devon walk: Branscombe and the Jurassic Coast

The fantastic thing about the Masons Arms is that you don't have to go out, you can retreat back into the warmth of the pub and enjoy games and snacks around the fire, or chill out in your cosy room in front of a film. It's that kind of place. Ideal for cosy relaxation. And now with a stylish new refit, it's even more of an excuse to spend more time inside.

It was just what we needed for a new year pick-me-up but the pub is incredibly popular at other times of the year as well, with its outside covered seating area. The refit has been outstanding for this St Austell Brewery pub, it's like a new place to stay, but with a few signs of the old, well-loved inn thrown in.

We stayed with our four-year-old and though it was noisy over the pub until around 11pm, the nights were lovely and peaceful after that.

We loved it nearly a decade ago, and it remains one of our go-to places now. Give it a try.

READ MORE: Preserving the history of brilliant Branscombe