The week of July saw my raid on the South-West reach Devon.
When GBG22 landed (ugh) on 12 November 2021 (my copy was late) I needed 48 Devonian ticks, having rather neglected the county over 28 years on account of the hedges and my aversion to scones.
A summer of Devon heaven starts in Salcombe, possibly the busiest place on earth on a morning when little boats were apparently bumping into each other like Helly Hansen v Pashmina bumper cars.
The population of 3,353 had trebled with smartly dressed tourists staring in amazement at the bedraggled pub ticker from The North before nipping in the nearest overpriced pasty shop.
Quite a sight, as was the view down the alley to the ferry to Kingsbridge and Ferry Inn, a pub with the courtesy to open at 11am on a Monday.
Of course, it wasn’t open at just gone 11, despite hordes of potential custom pulling at the door or attempting to take a seat in the pub garden with prime views of the boaty drama.
The pub’s Facebook and website didn’t mention opening times, the phone went unanswered, I cursed (“tasters”) and headed for a second tick, taking care not to clean my fish here;
The door of the Fortescue Inn WAS open.
Great pub sign.
What Pub promised a 10am opening here, so imagine my confidence in striding up to the bar at 11:20 expecting a half of
Doom Bar homebrew.
You’ve been reading this rubbish long enough, you know what’s coming.
“Can I help you ?” asked the cheery barperson.
“Just a half of Gold, please ?”
“Oh. I’ll just check if we’re open” NEVER assume an open door indicates an open pub.
While she’s gone, for what seems hours, I take the photos.
It’s a lovely pub, simple seating and almost fooling you into thinking that it’s not entirely focused on selling fish and chips.
Condiments on every table rather than placemats, and a pictorial menu attached to the wall.
I’ll have crab salad.
And that Good Beer Guide sign in the window, as my prize for finishing the GBG.
I digress. The effervescent barperson comes back.
“We ARE open !” she says, beginning to pull the Salcombe pump.
“It’s just gone” says someone off-stage, so a change of barrel is now required.
“I’m happy with Doo….” but no, I must now wait, though my wait is worthwhile as the Gold is splendidly cool and rich (NBSS 3+).
And our barperson is cheery and chatty, telling me about the joys of her university course at Keele and the pubs of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Young people are great.
As I leave I ask “So, just for interest, what time DO you open ?”
Sadly, that was a question too far.
Never noticed till now; the sign is different on the other side. How rare is that ?