Back to mid-July in Devon, and the centrepiece of my 3 days in Plymouth.
Yes, I caught the train back up the line to Teignmouth via Newton Abbot.
20 new GBG pubs within easy reach by train from Plymouth, which is as good a reason as any to live there, I guess.
And you won’t find rooms for £20 a night in Newton, one of the cluster of South Devon towns of which I’m shamefully ignorant.
It’s a typically confused racecourse town (see also : Wincanton, Uttoxeter). I had two attempts to get to the heart of a town of 25,000 whose biggest selling point is that it isn’t the dreadful Totnes.
In parts regal,
and in others lovably scruffy.
I misread that sign on the Cider Bar as “Grumpy”.
Two ticks, the Teign Cellars an 11am opener still celebrating 2017 with “cricket ball size scotch eggs“.
I get a friendly welcome from a landlady still setting up and a bit surprised by 11.120 custom for Moor’s Nor’hop (NBSS 3). But at least she’s open, micropubs.
It reminds me a bit of Chester’s Cellars, even though it’s not a cellar.
I can’t quite warm to the high tables, of course.
Our publican heroine puts all the lights on, puts “My Love” by McCartney Wings on the HiFi, and generally seems like a good (scotch) egg, despite me warning her I’ll be gone in ten as I’ve a train to Teignmouth to catch.
There’ll be people in there with greyhounds eating off skillets when BRAPA gets there in 2023, of course.
Four hours later I was back at Newton, again asking station staff if it was OK to break my journey. I know you can but I’m always scared the barrier will eat my ticket and I’ll be forced to live there forever.
This time I walked the town for you, concluded it’s about as interesting as Newmarket (another racecourse town) but a tiny bit smarter.
The centrepiece of the town is of course the Spoons, which looked lively.
The Taphouse at Tuckers Maltings was my 4pm opener. Sadly nothing to do with Grange Hill.
I’m no fan of brewing ‘istree, but there was a fantastic malty smell that the nice man explained as malt.
I took the art shop while he opened up.
Richard would have loved this place.
I’d been hoping for something crafty like Teignworthy, but had to make do with a trad Manchester beer from this lot.
I thought you had to be approved to sell Cloudwater, and this was certainly a quality bar serving a cool half (NBSS 3.5).
Once again, a gem of a chatty young barman who presumably was just pleased I didn’t ask difficult questions about grist and wort.
It was filling up by 4.15, at which point I realised I’d have to run to catch the train to Totnes. Follow that man.