72 pubs ticked in Devon over the years, 40 of which had dropped out of the Guide, leaving the County as my biggest challenge.

Hoorah for the (University) Holidays, which leave student residences in central Exeter and Plymouth for the exclusive use of GBG tickers in July and August.

You can guess which of those cost double the price of the other.

Posh Exeter digs


Great staff at check-in, lovely rooms, decent WiFi, overpriced by about £20.

It’s a lengthy round trip from Pennsylvania Court in the north to Exwick (where ?) in the West to Heavitree in the East and back.

Two observations;

  • Goodness, Exeter University is a sprawl of a place, isn’t it ?
  • Is there a railway station for every resident ?

As I approached the Thatched House (wonder where the name came from ?) I had a sinking feeling.

I guess “Open for Business” should have been a clue

No lights, no life. Closed for refurb. Darn.

Ah, secret entrance.

Nice to see a fire extinguisher in a pub

Thriller” was playing, it always is somewhere in Exeter, and I realised the Thatched House could be summed up in one photo.


The pub will look nice when it’s finished, but still had a decent village pub feel and that reassuring array of eight pumps that tell you it’s a 2019 Greene King house.

Choice, eh ?

Quite why I went for the local one I can’t explain. Even worse, it comes in the most horrendously shaped glass in the UK (except Adnams).


A spell in the sun improved a fruity homebrew to a passable 2.5, and I quite enjoyed the atmosphere you get when the weather brings the smokers out to join you under the scaffolding to talk about the best bars in Mykonos and reminisce about underage drinking.

On the way back into town I had a bit of a scare,


but quickly realise he’s living in That Derbyshire at the moment.

The riverside park is pleasant enough, wild and untamed.

Pig fixation in Exeter very evident
Bridge over the Exe

As I’ve said before here, Exeter took a hammering from local planners after the war, but some things have survived.

Probably No.11 on the list of UK Cathedrals

You need a good phone, like a Huawei, to capture the detail on world famous frescoe “Simon and the affronted barmaid”.

BRAPA contemplates murk for his sixth pint

Pub 2 was the actual hotel I stayed in on that late 2015 visit.

Unlikely GBG entry

If only they’d told me the White Hart would be in the Guide three years later I’d have had a pint back then. Perhaps I did.

Oooh look, a courtyard. Just like the New Inn up in Gloucester, and full of clutter too.

I only bumped into four boards

Beams with writing on them; not a good look.

More hazards for the short-sighted

But there’s good news. A really mixed Spoons-like crowd, and a gentleman kindly sitting in front of the Marston’s pumps so I didn’t have too much choice.

Bar Blockers are great, aren’t they ?

“What should I have ?”

“The Wallop”

“The Wallop then”

It was either Old Thumper or Olde Empire, and was better than 3.

The palm trees make all the difference.


Right, where next ?


  1. You’re in our planned retirement zone at the moment.
    See if you can find a cracking pub within staggering distance of decent transport links and a nice house for under half a million and I’ll let you stay for free any time you’re visiting.
    Must have good cider.
    But not Dartmouth.
    Or anywhere that’s REALLY full of geriatrics even though I will soon be one.
    Cheers young Martin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruddles Best outwith one of Tim’s venues a rare sight.

    Did you get to know the young lass sat behind the four boards ?


      1. Yes that’s standard company policy, and I’ve had very dull (if rarely poor) beer in B & P.

        Local CAMRA branches should promote places with consistently good beer but of course that would upset those with lesser quality.

        Good luck with that. Ember Inn more sensible beer wise.


    1. Is there a version of Branston pickle that’s a mix with Marmite, like that Marmite/peanut butter mix?

      Yes, I think I got very lucky at the White Hart, picking the strong house beer a few residents went for probably key in the cask lottery. A GBG entry indicative of Exeter’s lack of depth (there’s a craft place bear the Cathedral that’s still not been in).

      Liked by 1 person

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