The Plume of Feathers Inn, Princetown
A pub with a little too much attitude for our liking.
(Photos/words © urban75, May 2007)
The 30+ crew that made up our walking trip stayed in the Plume of Feathers, bedding down in the bunkhouse, the B&B or the camping area outside.
The pub is the heart of Princetown and dates back to 1785 when it was constructed to house workmen building Tor Royal, the estate of Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt.
The oldest building in Princetown, the pub was originally known as The Princes Arms, but its name changed to reflect the three ostrich feathers on the arms of the Prince of Wales.
The Good and Bad news
The good news is that the bar staff were friendly and courteous, the beer perfect and the food was excellent. No complaints there.
Our kitchen area in the bunkhouse was warm and accommodating - even if there was only one plug socket for the entire building - and the outside showers were clean and tidy.
The bad news is that we nearly had our stay ruined by the drunk and obnoxious landlady who spent most of Friday night loudly slagging off "our type."
Apparently she'd taken a look at this website and decided that we were all evil anarchists hell bent on corrupting the sheep of Dartmoor or something, and spent all ruddy night bellowing on about how 'subversive' and unpleasant we all supposedly were.
It was annoying, unprofessional and insulting.
Mind you, her outrage didn't extend to refusing the considerable sums of money we were spending in both accommodation costs and behind the bar.
If there was any outrage to be had, it was over the disgusting state of the accommodation.
Now we understand that the whole bunkhouse concept means that you can't expect luxury at the economy price, but it's reasonable to expect a basic but clean and safe place to bed down for the night.
The Plume of Feathers bunkhouse failed on both counts, offering bunk beds that looked dangerously close together, with ten beds rammed into the smallest of rooms.
With only one tiny window near the door and so little space to move, we can't imagine such a place passing basic health and safety regulations.
The front room was similarly packed, while we slept in a windowless room on the ground floor that came with its own patched up hole in the wall. There was also black mould on the wall next to my bed.
Looking closer, we found that most of the mattresses were in a disgusting state, some with black mould trapped inside their plastic covers, others with no cover at all and covered in filthy stains. Not nice to sleep on.
The flush handle on the single inside toilet for the 42-bed bunkhouse was broken and didn't look the most hygienic thing we'd ever seen, and there was a big hole in the wall covered over with brown packing tape.
The cubicle in the men's pub toilet downstairs was similarly unpleasant, with a broken toilet roll holder and brown smears along the wall and door.
Some of our party had decided to shell out £70 a night for the B&B rooms, but one couple weren't impressed with their room in the Railway Inn opposite (owned by the same people), describing their accommodation as "a dingy hovel" with a grubby carpet, bathrooms covered in mould and floorboards missing in places.
Another two from our party left after just one night upon discovering dog hair in their beds and being kept awake until 2 in the morning by loud music from the bar downstairs. See full review (TripAdvisor)
Curiously enough, when we left at the end of the weekend, the landlady told one of our party that it had been "wonderful to meet us all."
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