Skip to content Skip to navigation

Moor the Merrier - A warm welcome at The Drake Manor Inn

Blog Tags: 

A pub can be a magical place.

In his 1968 book, ‘Journey Through Britain,’ John Hillaby said, “Few things are more pleasant than a village graced with a good church, a good priest and a good pub” and I think he got it just about right.

Buckland Monachorum is a charming unspoilt village within the Dartmoor National Park surrounded by glorious countryside.

Towering over the village is the beautiful church of St.Andrews and nestling snugly up against it is The Drake Manor Inn. The local priest was not in evidence when we visited, but as luck would have it, I had one with me and John Hillaby’s three stars were thus aligned!

drake-manor-inn-1.JPG

Just a short distance from Yelverton and within easy access of Plymouth and Tavistock, the Inn nestling between the church and the stream is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the charm of this historic community.

The village is famous for its association with Sir Francis Drake, who lived at Buckland Abbey just outside the town. Indeed, Drake's pew is within the church, with a carving of his ship, the Golden Hind, incised in the side panel.

The Drake Manor Inn was originally built to house the skilled workers constructing St Andrews Church in the 12th century. The present church was built a little later in around 1490 on the site of the earlier one, and has always had close links with Buckland Abbey, a mile or so to the south.

The pub building was acquired by Drake in the 1600s and may have been the former church house.

drake-manor-2.JPG

It became part of the Buckland Abbey estate and was used as a maltings where grain was steeped and prepared for brewing.

It is said that some of the beams and timbers in the Inn could have come from some of Drake’s old sailing boats, but wherever they came from, they certainly create bags of atmosphere, charm and character.

The Drake Manor offers a big, warm welcome and a very good selection of locally sourced home cooked food along with local ales, ciders and wines from two delightful bars.

I noticed that the menu sourced home-reared pork, honey from their own bees and, tantalisingly, handmade pork pies served with Jail Ale chutney.

The friendly landlady, Mandy Robinson, has been licensee at the Drake Manor Inn since 1989 and has run this charming little pub with great care and thought. She and her smiling staff made us extremely welcome and she proudly showed us around.

drake-manor-3.JPG

The heavily beamed public bar had a warm and intimate feel to it and on our visit, the locals too were friendly and welcoming. There were long tables with cushioned wall seats and old photograph prints of the village from 1905. There was some horse tack, some ship’s crests and wood burning stoves in some very big stone fireplaces.

There is also a dart board sited in the only available place it could go. It is featured in some of the old photographs and obviously hasn’t moved for at least a hundred years.

This being so; if there is a game going on when you visit, and you choose to sit at the table in front of the wood burner, be prepared to duck. Otherwise your evening could well turn out to be a re-enactment of The Little Big Horn!

Adjacent to the dart board, a small arch from the bar leads on to a gorgeous low-beamed snug room hung with tiny cups and big brass keys.

The second bar fronts a small beamed dining room with settles and tables on flagstones. There is a further area next to the kitchen that at one time was the landlord’s front room.

There is a lovely cottage garden to the side of the pub, and it comes as no surprise to learn that Morris Men perform outside in the summer and there is occasional mellow acoustic music in the bar, probably very much like it was in Drake’s day.

drake-manor-5.JPG

Mandy told us that she prided herself on on running a ‘proper pub’, with a menu of locally-sourced delights. The full dining room was proof that the Inn serves good food at sensible prices and indeed in 2017 it was the ‘Best Value Pub of the Year’ in The CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

It was compared to fellow pubs across the country but judges decided that when based on the criteria of having ‘interesting main courses for under £11,’ then there was only one winner. The Drake Manor Inn.

drake-manor-6.JPG

I admit, my attention wavered from time to time as I couldn’t take my eyes off the pork pies displayed on the bar as Mandy told me, “Our menu feature traditional and speciality home cooked food which is locally sourced with the emphasis on freshness. It was wonderful to be rewarded for our efforts.

Self-contained bed and breakfast accommodation is  available upstairs in the pub and dogs are welcome in the main bar and garden.”

We were a little bit too late to sample the food menu, but the ‘Squealer Pork Pie and Jail Ale Chutney’ was making my mouth water.

Real ales are tried and tested gaining cask marque and CAMRA accreditation.

On our visit I tasted Sharp’s Atlantic and Dartmoor Jail Ale.

drake-manor-7.JPG

Sharp’s Atlantic Bitter is a golden beer with a fruity nose and taste notes of barley sugar and grapefruit at a steady 4.5% ABV. Sharp's flagship bitter, Doom Bar was also on sale, but I have never tried Atlantic, so I thought I’d give it a go.  It presented as an amber golden ale with a thin white head. The aroma was clean and almost medicinal. The taste was more malty and biscuity with a kind of dry bitterness that grew more pleasing as the glass emptied. A refreshing ale that does not taste as strong as it claims to be.

I finished, rather predictably with a pint of Dartmoor Jail Ale. Sir Francis Drake himself could have said that ‘this beer is as smooth as a cashmere codpiece’ if he had been lucky enough to taste it.  Brewed by Dartmoor Brewery this is a full and reassuring deep and golden brown coloured bitter has a sweet burnt, malty and fruity quality with a distinctive hoppy aroma and a yeasty caramel taste.

It should be said that we felt totally relaxed and completely at home in the Drake Manor Inn.

Surrounded by its cosy, rich history, it felt like we had stepped in to a time warp that was at once evocative and reassuring.

There was an offer for a 'Take Me Home-2 Pints' advertised on the door so my driver, as I now refer to my wife, much to her chagrin, could take a treat home for me as well!

She elected not to.

However I had already decided that my going home treat was going to be a handmade pork pie with Jail Ale chutney. It was presented to me in a proper take away container as well.

drake-manor-8.JPG

The Drake Manor Inn - A welcome as warm as the wood burning stoves inside. A proper old fashioned pub with memories that will certainly linger longer than my pork pie – which was consumed later with a further flourish…. Jail Ale mustard!

About Rick

rick---blogger-web.jpgRick began life in the licensed trade as a manager and took his first tenancy at the Queens Hotel in Baildon, West Yorkshire in 1985. He fell in love with the Autovac  dispense system of Yorkshire beer serving a  tight creamy head and vowed to recreate it in Plymouth one day. He served as a staff trainer for Tetley Brewery in the days when they still had one!

After the birth of his daughter it became his mission to raise her in Plymouth and on a trip to watch his beloved Plymouth Argyle play in the FA Cup against Everton, he saw a pub that had been closed due to fire called The Grapes. By 1989 he had signed a 10 year tenancy deal and completely refurbished the pub creating a Yorkshire theme and changed its name to the Three Ferrets, which was the name of the pub in the John Smiths TV advertising campaign. John Smiths cask ale was imported from Tadcaster especially for him and trade boomed. The pub became a destination and was packed solid at weekends. Inspired by ‘The Good Old Days’ TV show, a Sunday Night Show called ‘The Old Fat Hippy’s Golden Oldies Funshow’ became notorious and earned the pub a mention on the national news due to a ‘Clocking On’ machine for regulars.

Julian Tarrant-Boyce was his most able and trusted bar manager and the two shared many trips to beer festivals and hostelries on their quest for the perfect pint. Rick still enjoys trips to breweries up and down the country and is dismayed by the difficulties now facing the licensed trade. Several awards later he became a representative for a wine company and a fan of single malt whisky.

There is nothing that Rick enjoys more than a trip to a well-run pub that serves good local ale. Because of his knowledge of the brewing process and vast range of beers, both local and national, it makes Rick a perfect beer blogger for our ale trail. And by the way, he still performs music and comedy in pubs throughout the South West

Comments

 Wow. The information about the drake manor,.  I have also read about that few time ago.. Seriously its been a nice share which I ever get. Thanks a ton !

Accounting Dissertation Ideas | custom dissertation services | dissertation methodology example

I’d love to be a part of group where I can get advice from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thank you.

http://healthandloveplanet.com

The knowledge you've got put up is incredibly valuable. Quite exciting to enjoy a book this information. I want for you to thanks a lot to the attempts you'd designed for producing this specific wonderful content. film production

I'm having a business trip with O'Fallon MO tree service in town next month and I am excited to see the high level of accommodation!

This is academic content material as well as created nicely for any alter. I'm amazed through the info you have about this weblog. Many thanks a great deal with regard to discussing this particular helpful info. 더나인카지노

Value, value, value, that's what I say every time I come here. Thanks for the great effort and I plan to get a Halifax tow truck today so I'll have more time to read.

Thank you for being such a reliable source of info when other sites are already filtering their contents (what to go live and not). Im disappointed with them. But you're blog is still here so, yay!  kitchen remodeling

Totally love the Jail Beer, would love to try it!

Mark

https://www.leaddriveseo.com.au

The outfits are a total hoot. Looks like so much fun.

Sam

http://rnrrefinish.com.au/rvrepairs/services/caravan-repairs-brisbane/

I am so looking forward to heading to England one day to sample many of their quaint little pubs. They have so much character and am sure to get lost for at least a few weeks.

Mark

http://www.aboutfacebrisbane.com.au

Document look at any content. It is relatively educational and additionally beneficial in my position. Document are jealous of all the important details you will feature into your content. Regards just for writing the software. luggage stand

sedation dentist I am clearly operating on improving your produced papers. This object ricks up with knowledge and authority. I have bookmarked it and I am reading first to studying new articles. Keep up the good work.

h blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

http://lolfunplanet.com/
http://feministpublicworks.org/
http://nightclubbingbook.com/
http://slimfastshakes.org/
http://dlwallhd.com/

 

Hi there I am so thrilled I found your website, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a tremendous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

http://www.franksfieldofdreams.com/
http://www.computerdisplays.co.uk/
http://www.walldoze.org/
http://www.freeppbucks.com/

 

This story is definitely one of the singularly most noticeable in the image of something. I am an antique ’Article’ gatherer and I seldom read enthralling new things if I find them fascinating. And I got this one moderately fascinating and it should go into my collection. Very good work! Wheel Alignment

The Drake Manor Inn is highly recommended for a reason, and I had the pleasure of providing window cleaning services there once in my youth! 

This kind of message continuously motivating and I like to peruse quality person, so glad to discover great spot to numerous here in the post, the composing is simply ridiculous, a debt of gratitude is in order for the post. Anti Blue Rays Glasses

Really good website - many thanks for sharing your content

Jack,
SEO Experts Durham |  Man and van Manchester | Waste management Manchester

 

Thank you for posting such a numerous article! I ascertained your website perfect for my needs. I truly like what you have acquired here, really like what you’re speaking and the way in which you say it. Thank you for sharing this article. Atlanta Commercial Roof Repair

Such a very valuable article. Very interesting to read this article. I really treasure your kindness and very educational content and written well for a change. chester wealth management

Hi! I like this website because i have a lot of options to choose and good info.thanks god bless..my site

The Drake Manor Inn is one of the pubs that is an old fashioned pub that memories that will certainly linger longer. And our company also offer tree service and tree maintenance.

I think this is an cultural post and it is very beneficial and knowledgeable. I am very Furlong HVAC Services  fortunate to read this substance. I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and educated. Thank you for your discuss.

Best Assignment Writers is honestly one of the few services that actually deliver on all of the promises they make on their website! I was astounded at the efficiency of their professional assignment writers! They made my life so much simpler than it had been the past couple of months when I was swamped with assignments! Thank you so much for your fantastic services!

I really loved expressing your blog.  I found your website certain for my needs. I truly like what Locksmith near me you have acquired here, really like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. Thanks for your efforts and I hope for more in future.

Awesome post, thank you so much!

Realtors Vallejo CA

d&d podcast

Thanks for the informative and helpful post, obviously in your blog everything is good. You may comment on the request arrangement of the blog. Thank you for posting that. How do I buy a fixer upper

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. It is very informative and helpful for me. I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I want to say thanks to the writer for sharing us. 1HD.one - Porn Video

This is such a good trail - thank you for sharing

 

https://www.hydrosure.co.uk

I definitely loved every little bit of it. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I'd really like to help appreciate it with the efforts you get with writing this post. 예스카지노

Such a cool magical pub lawn service and lawn service

No happier thing than a cold ale lawn service lawn service

You have done a great job on this article. Your work is very good and I appreciate this issue. Its a great pleasure reading your post. I'd really like to help appreciate it with the efforts you get with writing this post. You have some real writing talent. Thank you. https://gamepangpang.com/

Pages

Fill in your email address here to download our map in PDF format

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.