out & about

Tom Cobbly

Tom CobblyTom Cobbly @ Spreyton, Devon

A long way to go for a pint (or eight actually…) but well worth it! From Newton Abbot to Spreyton via Moretonhamstead in two minivans, the cream of the Union drinkers swapped bar stools for the day. The pub is in the middle of nowhere in a hamlet with a population of about 90, and yet its been regional and even national Pub of the Year. How does it do it? Well, most of the clientele looked like retired commodity brokers and even arranged themselves around tables as if they were at a Board meeting, with the Chairman clearly at the head of the table. There is great wealth in this little village and therefore probably not many Devonians.

The pub is reputed to be the place where Old Uncle Tom Cobbly and his merrie men set off for Widecombe – quite a distance but, as someone pointed out, not too bad if you go in a straight line over Dartmoor. If they had a few ciders before setting off I doubt the line was very straight. The pub is great because it has everything: it’s very old, it’s interior is unpretentious, it has some fifteen or so beers and ten different ciders, it has a real beer garden with Devon countryside as far as the eye can see, the food is (apparently) good and to top it all they have a teetotal landlord and the Basil Fawlty of barmen. Well worth a visit, even from as far afield as Newton Abbot.

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