Every town has a pub that nobody seems to visit. Nobody is ever seen entering or leaving. Nobody knows anyone who's ever been in. The Lamb is Bideford's example. For the twenty-odd years I've been visiting Devon, I've wanted to visit this pub. It's in the middle of a row of Victorian terraces above the Pannier Market, an example of the fast-vanishing simple backstreet boozer. When we were down over Easter, I got my chance. On my way up Honestone Street I noticed that the faded Whitbread sign has aquired a new neighbour since I last walked past - Beck's Vier, so at least it was still trading. Bideford's pubs are in the main disappointing, as I have lamented here before. Maybe The Lamb was an undiscovered gem? The beery equivalent of finding a Shakespeare Folio on an Oxfam shelf stuffed with Jeffrey Archer?
Gingerly pushing open the door I was met with a tired 80s refit and keg beers - was one of them really Trophy Bitter? The locals round the bar were a friendly bunch, discussing darts and horse racing rather than the dead-eyed hermits I half expected. I glumly perched on a buffet and supped my freezing cold Becks before heading back to The Kings. Oh well. Nice window, though.