I pray I have no readers in Totnes, which may just have edged out Maidenhead as my least favourite place on earth. I’d say it’s my Bete Noir but I can’t find the button to put the little hat on the first “e“, and I know how you fuss over such things.

Three weeks ago I was ready to tear into Totnes. But those three weeks (count ’em) between my visit and this post have allowed me to develop an inner calm. And to learn the lessons of Frank Turner, who was at that precise moment entertaining Matt in a field near Cheltenham with his “lame rock/pop“.

Just think Matt, you could have been in a Sam Smiths pub 20 minutes walk away.

Regular readers will know my discomfort with polite society, and I’ve never felt as uncomfortable in a place as I stepped into Totnes station.


Last time here, 24 years ago, it was a bit arty, and the sole Guide entry was a wine bar called Rumours. Now it’s a cross between Lewes and Shoreditch, a heady mix I think you’ll agree.

And it has FOUR Guide entries, which is pretty much the same as the whole of North West London past Hampstead.

It’s a good job folk here are so unfit or they’d have made it up the castle walls and converted that into a micro.

Future micro

Let’s be fair, Totnes itself has charm. And pastel colours. And rolling hills.

Escape via the hills
Good Portmeirion impression
Clock actually correct

How has Totnes reached the dizzying height of four GBG entries ? Trust fund hipsters and homebrew, I’d say.

The homebrew place isn’t exceptionally different from any Tap you’d find in St Andrews (another good comparison with Totnes) or Knutsford.

Nothing scary yet

But it was the people, all flowery pashminas and trim beards and self confidence. I can get that cheaper in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, thank you.

Perhaps now you understand

Oh no it’s Chris Martin !
Keep breathing, retiredmartin. It’s just an impersonator.

At the bar, someone (not Chris) slammed their hand on the bar for effect.

EVERYONE IS SO LOUD. And confident. And so big at the bar.

Can you move so hardworking folk can get to the beers !” says the dominant lady to the beardies. I am very hardworking, as you all know.


I’m the only person here not aged 21-35, and I know it. Loads of noise in the garden, so I sit at the little table with crumpled beer mats and sip the Woodman session pale.

Job lot
Is that BRAPA at the bar ?

It’s thin and tasteless, which does at least make one thing easier later. Not quite sure how to score it if I’m honest.

At the bar, the conversation veers away from the shortage of mango and hops restricting their craft beer range, on to Friday night deepthroating. Which I imagine is a band.

Agadoo. How did THAT get to Number One!”

It didn’t get to Number One, I scream under my breath. What do they teach at school ?


15 thoughts on “BE MORE KIND (TO TOTNES)

  1. Just above that Rosie’s Pig Raspberry abomination sign is one for Devon Mist.
    I know because I’ve just checked my photos from a few weeks back where I have one in the same position as yours but with me holding up a bag of Black Country pork scratchings.
    Or Porky Rinders as eldest and I christened them.
    The Devon Mist was wonderful.
    And got us suitably pissed after a long day in the field chasing a cricket ball.
    I know what you mean about Totnes – that trustafarian ageing hippie vibe grated after a while.


      1. The then Bendigo, Sneinton, Nottingham, circa 1976 takes that trophy for me.

        Absolutely unforgettable, and not in a good way.

        It’s not often, that you’re surrounded by nightclub bouncers in drag, is it?


      2. That was at eight or nine in the evening. At a pub, Paul. They might not have been bouncers either. Could have been scaffolders, or whatever MMA fighters did in 1976..

        Yes, I’ve always detested clubs. So has Mrs. E, happily.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Martin,
        The nearest Borth had to a nightclub was at the back of the Railway pub about fifty years ago but that was M&B beers.

        At my age one detests all clubs, especially the “Curry Club” on Thursdays and ‘Fishy Friday Club’ the next day.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Somewhat bizarrely Rumours is entangled in my now current position of local GBG coordinator/deputy CAMRA chair in Trafford & Hulme – I bought a GBG after a gap of nearly 18 years at the nearby W H Smiths (I was desperate to find some good pubs whilst on holiday near Newton Abbott) as you said Rumours was basically it in Totnes. Good to see it’s still going.


    1. I was on the look out for Rumours on the walk down the High Street but must be well hidden.

      Two more pubs in Totnes to bring you later, one a good pub, one with unexpected good beer. Not a complete write-off 😉


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