On our second evening in Torquay, we dined here, after eating on our first night , next door at the "Hole in the Wall". There is an ongoing dispute between these pubs, as to which is the older, but this place has more than an interesting history of its own, to stand muster against all comers. On entering the Devon Arms, you are in a very busy room, and as we wanted to eat, we chose what we thought was a quiet corner, later to find we were sitting in Henry's place, the resident ghost. After ordering what turned out to be some very good and inexpensive pub grub, we were approached by Eddie, the landlord, who wanted to illuminate the somewhat dark corner we had chosen to sit in. He also wanted to frighten the life out of my sisters who were with me, both of whom happily signed up to Eddie's stories of the occult, his historical searches, as well as the story about Henry. The girls sensed a certain" presence" and there was much shuffling of bums around until I was sitting in Henry's seat.Notwithstanding, Eddie piled on the grief by indicating that there was a chamber, which ran the whole length of the bar,and walled up directly behind it, adjacent to the ladies lavatory (powder-room). Of course, my youngest sister had to go and explore, and on her return stated unquivocally that there was a coldness in there! Thankfully our meals arrived, and there was a merciful quiet whilst we tucked in to the very good pub grub. On enquiring if we were enjoying our food, Eddie then confirmed that amongst the military memorabilia he had displayed on the walls, there were a number of choice items, including two WW1 Lee Enfield rifles, including one used by a sniper. He also said that amongst the many famous visitors to the pub were several hundreds of American soldiers who were later to disembark on Utah Beach during the Normandy landings of June 1944. This welcoming pub, full of good cheer, great ales including the Prince of Ales, "Jail Ale", and tasty, good value food, is a must-do when you are next in Torquay, and as for the oldest...you must decide for yourself...and as for Henry,punching me on my bottom as I left!
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