Let’s move to Tavistock, Devon: Dartmoor photobombs every street
Its beautiful architecture is mostly down to a spot of relatively benign dictatorship
What’s going for it? What a joyful town Tavistock is. Is there something in the Tavy? Or maybe it’s the town’s geographical DNA. The up-down topography, perhaps; the rollercoaster hills, Dartmoor photobombing at the end of every street? Its position, on the “other” side of Devon, means it’s rarely rammed with tourists and too far from anywhere much to have succumbed to chainstores and Frankie & Benny’s. Instead its centre is plump with (seemingly) perky shops, pubs, cafes and all manner of enterprises, like Creber’s grocery and Warrens bakery. Every street and alley is a delight, its beautiful architecture mostly down to a spot of relatively benign dictatorship. The Dukes of Bedford dominated the town until the 20th century, and the Bedfords were very partial to a grand design; it was they who commissioned Covent Garden’s piazza in London in the 17th century, bringing classical architecture to barbarous England, and they liberally peppered Tavistock with equally exotic delights. PS: you’re too late to fatten your goose for Christmas; Tavistock’s famous Goose Fair has just finished. What about a turkey crown from Iceland?
The case against Relatively off the beaten track, which has its advantages and its disadvantages. No trains (see below).
Well connected? Trains: not in the town, but, tantalisingly, five miles away in Gunnislake, across the Tamar in Cornwall. Services every two hours to Plymouth (45 mins). Driving: 20 mins to the A30, 25 to Okehampton and Launceston, 30 mins (if you’re lucky) to Plymouth. Buses: several a day connect to Okehampton, Plymouth and Dartmoor.
Hang out at… The Cornish Arms serves some good upper-crust pub food; cosy, too.
Where to buy The historic centre has some lovely period homes, especially west, on, appropriately enough, West Street, and Plymouth Road up to Watts Road, including some very fine Regency houses; as well as up the hill around Bannawell Street for cottages. Search south of the river around Whitchurch Road, too. Large detacheds and townhouses, £450,000-£900,000. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £250,000-£450,000. Semis, £185,000-£400,000. Terraces and cottages, £150,000-£275,000. Flats, £125,000-£325,000. Rentals: a few; a one-bedroom flat, £500pcm; a three-bedroom house, £800pcm.
The Guardian Newspaper 2019
The Cornish Arms in Tavistock is celebrating yet another culinary accolade
Having once more made it into the top 20 in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs Awards list for 2020.
The Cornish comes in at number 16 in the list, up two places on last year and rubbing shoulders with famous pubs like The Hand and Flowers, owned by Two Michelin starred top chef Tom Kerridge. The Top 50 Gastropub Awards are voted for by top foodies and hospitality experts, ensuring that the list really is decided by the catering industry itself.
As Food and Drink editor Nick Robinson says: ‘Getting on this list is the jewel in the crown for foodie pubs across the UK. It’s the place to be seen.’
Run by John and Emma Hooker, The Cornish Arms also holds a coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand for its high quality food offered at an affordable price.
As the former Chef of the Year in the Trenchermans Awards, John and his talented kitchen team use the best of local, seasonal ingredients in their menu - the pub prides itself on offering great beer and wine alongside its delicious meals.
Artists from West Devon and across the South West created a variety of pieces depicting their take on the Tavistock mining heritage brief for the exhibition, organised to celebrate the start of the Guildhall Gateway Centre project.