I’m travelling down to visit my sister in Falmouth, where I hope (as a by-product) to make more progress in completing Cornwall’s Beer Guide contingent.
My half way stop is Honiton, another Devon town I don’t know well. The approach through the Blackdown Hills is beautiful, though the town itself doesn’t give any great vantage points to appreciate the landscape.
The town itself slightly flatters to deceive. The walk in from the north alternates from large nursing homes to an uninterrupted row of antiques shops, and a decent church, that suggest this is the Long Melford of the west.
But then the long High Street goes a bit downhill, giving way to closed pubs and unexceptional coffee houses, and becomes a larger Cullompton.
Unlike Cullompton, Honiton has no great free house, but a good Wetherspoons doing its usual job of mopping up the family dining trade.
The Star is surprisingly located well off the Main Street, but I presume the draw of the largest pub in Honiton was too much for Spoons to resist. Shame there’s no accommodation.
For the second time in a week I enjoyed a good pint of Doom Bar (NBSS 3) from a range stronger on local ciders than ales.
There’s not a lot left to suggest the age of the Star, but it’s nicely decorated and with the usual pleasant staff.
I didn’t see much else pub-wise in Honiton, particularly on the main street. The Volunteer is striking, but I resisted its Courage/Bombardier charms.
I’d been looking for a drop of Otter in its homeland, so popped into the Brewers Arms, a local Pub of the Year in nearby South Petherton, just of the A303.
It’s a pretty village and a lovely stone building, but aimed firmly as the village all-rounder, with La Liga on Satellite TV and Sunday meals offered later than most pubs nowadays. It was really cosy, though the Otter wasn’t quite on a par with my Dorset pints (NBSS 3).
The Blackdown Hills look worth a longer trip, though sadly the famous Luppitt, home of Otter, seems to have even more irregular hours now.
Well worth the overnight stop, and I couldn’t believe how many stars you could see in the sky from South Petherton. I’m going to be whizzing down this way quite a bit in futures with so much of Devon left to explore.