15th/16th January 2020
Day 1 of the Cornish Road Trip, and an overnight stop minutes off the M5 in Tiverton.
You could do Cambridge to Falmouth in a day, but then I’d not get to visit any Devon pubs, and mine and Simon’s attempt to get Devon taken out of the GBG is off to a patchy start.
A £27 room at Tiverton’s Bridge Guest House B&B also helped keep the average cost/night below £30. AND that included scrambled eggs and salmon for breakfast. Calm down, calm down.
This was the view from my bedroom.
Yes ! I’d got a B&B on the river, stumbling distance from the Spoons. #LifeWin
Free parking till 11am round the corner by the church, too.
19,544 souls, none of them obvious as we hit the town, bar an old gent who shuffled to the other side of the street to avoid my parking.
Nice hilly bit from the river to the Town Hall.
But a sense of decay in the town itself.
We loved it.
I didn’t love the 3 mile trip through tiny lanes in pitch darkness for a half of Cotleigh Tawny at the Butterleigh Inn, a long-time Devonian target due to historic interiors and outside loo. I couldn’t do it justice.
Back in Tiverton at 6.50pm, my parking space reserved by Sis’s pashmina, we set about doing Tiverton.
Excitingly, ZERO Beer Guide entries.
I’m sure Courtenay’s has been in before Oh yes, there’s stickers.
An unpretentious micro, no less. Sis compared the feel to Cambridge’s St Radegund, and she’s right. It’ll be back in the GBG under the new owners if the Bays and Exmoor is this good.
Friendly advice on beers at the bar, where I was admonished for asking Sis if she wanted to try a half #EverydaySexism.
A shame there’s no Otter to go in the Otter glass.
“The locals have that “we know what we’re doing” look” said Sis, perceptively.
The debate about where to have tea took 0.37 seconds.
I’d been in the White Ball nearly 20 years ago during its spell in the GBG sun.
This post is being written from memory by looking at week old photos. The 5.8% Otter Head that came with the steak was a bad idea, a very good idea.
Time for tea and telly.
But no. Sis bullied me into an exploration of “proper” Tiverton, and we found ourselves in a tight terrace staring at the Racehorse with its promise of Otter Bitter and nowt else.
We weren’t prepared for the tsunami of noise as we set foot in a packed pub with darts (top), cards and daftness. It reminded of a Bolton pub before the smoking ban. Without the smoke.
“You’d never find a pub like this in Cambridge“. Not since 2007, anyway.
A decent half of Otter to end the night on a high, and prove that Dryanuary has been vanquished in this part of Devon.
All human life was here. Except the CAMRA tickers, of course.