I’m no pub historian. I do know that this place used to be called The New Inn, but neither RealAleRocks nor I never went in there, so this is our first visit. Before starting out on this venture, while assembling the list of pubs and working out what our criteria would be, this place came up, and warranted some discussion. As with all the places that we’d never been to, we were making assumptions, that is to say guessing, about what we thought this place might be, in order to decide whether or not to include it on the list. “The Tavistock: Pub & Carvery”, says the sign on the outside (which we checked using Google Streetview, from the comfort of our own home). Well, it said “pub”, so … well I guess we just took them at their word.
It’s early evening on a weekday as we arrive. Inside, it definitely looks more like a restaurant than a pub. Sure, there’s a bar on the right, but restaurants tend to have bars. On the bar we have a selection of drinks that I won’t waste my time reciting, and you don’t have to waste your time reading. I’m amused by the fact that this place has just two handles: CW Eagle IPA (with the two-tone blue badge); or CW Eagle IPA (with the older red-and-green badge). Nice to have a choice, eh?
RealAleRocks selects the Eagle IPA (!), and I have a pint of Stowford Press. When we ask for the beer to be topped up (as it badly needs it), the
staff’s attitude becomes noticeably less friendly, but it’s topped up anyway. We’re charged £6.80 for our troubles, and we choose a table and sit.
The place is laid out as a square. It’s just a single, large, square space, with a bar on one side, the food along another, and tables everywhere else. A TV is on, quietly, above the bar. There’s wooden flooring, filament bulbs, and a perfectly unremarkable green-and-cream colour scheme. In the far corner are a couple of chocolate-coloured leather sofas. In contrast to the rest of the
pub restaurant, it’s very gloomy over there – we’re not really sure what that corner is for.
There are families here, couples, a few men on their own – but everyone except us is eating; the staff seem to be tolerating us “just drinking”, but it’s hard to escape the impression that this doesn’t happen often. RealAleRocks and I watch the goings-on, including watching the staff struggle to pull another pair of pints. One comes out very low, again; the other pint ends up with a high, odd-shaped head. We speculate that pouring pints isn’t their strong suit.
My cider isn’t going down well either; I abandon it half way through. I’ve broken one of the fundamental rules of this series – stay and have a pint – but that’s OK, because this isn’t actually a pub.
Images by GirlMeetsPint, CC BY 4.0