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