A year or so ago I’d never heard of Shaldon, now I’ve been to 2 of its pubs and the Conservative Club.
20 minutes over the Teign bridge from the promenade, 20 minutes that tempts you with the Blue Anchor,
and this mystery pub;
I’ll get the tick over the river and then head back to one of those, I thought.
On the first Sunday in September, with schools back, Teignmouth and Shaldon were surprisingly busy.
In fact, I was lucky to get an outside table at the London (Plague) Inn, among the boating and Beaujolais crowd.
With no-one about I popped my head in at the door to see if I might get a drink.
“Whoooooah ! No, wait outside” said mein host, and to be fair I WAS disobeying the rules on the blackboard outside. But I hadn’t even set foot inside.
The friendly greeter turned up, took my order, showed me to Table 8, brought me a pint of Otter, took my cash (Cash !), brought me change (should I tip for a pint ?, dunno). It was the only pint of cask I saw brought outside in 20 minutes.
What can I tell you about the London ? Well, the Otter glass is nice, isn’t it ?
If the beer was average, the walk up The Ness (not that one) redeemed Shaldon.
Sometimes (well, 365 days a year), I am the luckiest person in the world.
I got a bit distracted on the way down, compelled to scour What Pub for Bass or Otter.
But my attention wandered to a pub set well away from the main drag of Shaldon, in fact tucked down the bottom of a tiny alley on a quiet road. Reminiscent, in a way, of the Earl of Clarendon near Folkestone.
Not a pashmina or pullover in sight. The Shipwrights Arms couldn’t even blot its copybook by having four interesting beers on, too (joking, joking),
and a simple, lived-in feel had locals drinking tea (on a Sunday !) and discussing Miller & Carter pubs.
Not a classic, an Exeter Ferryman drifting between a 3 and a 2.5, but by now I was more interested in being inside a pub than the beer.
Right, far too much beer, so lets wobble back across the river.
Oooh, that’s pretty;
Ended up in Spoons drinker cider, didn’t I ?