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  • Julian Tarrant-Boyce

Moor the Merrier - Beer at The Bedford Hotel

Lisa and I had the pleasure recently of enjoying an evening meal at The Bedford Hotel, in the heart of Tavistock which was absolutely lovely by the way, although Lisa has already told you all about that. I'm going to talk ale!

We arrived at the Bedford Hotel around 7:00pm for our evening meal which allowed plenty of time for a drink in the bar before going through to the restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the main bar lounge was quite busy and in actual fact the only table left was right in front of the bar which was ideal for us.

Looking around the room was an eclectic collection of people from individuals enjoying a quick drink whilst waiting for friends, business people having a final meeting of the day over a pint before heading off home, to couples like us having a pre-dinner drink before enjoying their evening meal. The whole room oozed atmosphere which was great.

Looking at the selection of real ales, and noting that the Bedford Hotel is in the same private ownership as Dartmoor Brewery I was pleased to see a good range of their ales. What I was also surprised at was that Dartmoor IPA was on offer, as most local establishments will carry ‘Jail Ale’ as the premium selling ale from Dartmoor Brewery although many do not stock the lesser known Dartmoor IPA which is a slightly lighter and weaker ale than the popular Jail Ale. You also couldn’t help but notice that the Bedford Hotel bar was ‘Cask Marque’ accredited which, for anybody who may not know denotes that the venue has passed some of the highest standards following independent inspection to ensure that the ale you receive is of the highest quality.

Our pre-dinner drinks choices were made, a Jail Ale for me and a Salcombe Gin and Fetimans tonic for Lisa (I am still trying to convert her to ale!)

The bar man, Doug, was not only a friendly and chatty individual but he expertly poured my pint serving it in a Jail Ale branded glass. He immediately made you feel welcome and that nothing was too much trouble, asking if there was anything else we needed, without being intrusive or overbearing.

Having got my drink and settled down, and sitting at a table right in front of the bar, my eye couldn’t help but wander along the bar to see what else was on offer and I couldn’t help but notice that along with a good selection of bar snacks that they also sold Dartmoor Ale gift packs.

What a great idea in a tourist area such as Tavistock and in a local hotel such as the Bedford steeped in local history, for visiting guests to be able to leave with a little reminder of Dartmoor to take back with them. A thoroughly good start to our evening …!

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