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Picture of The Pack O Cards Inn
Image posted by Jonathan Wilde
Submitted on Tuesday, 10th April 2012
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The Pack O Cards Inn, Ilfracombe

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
High Street
Combe Martin
Postal town: Ilfracombe
EX34 0ET
Phone: 01271882300
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of The Pack O Cards Inn (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john gray left this review about The Pack O Cards Inn

Large impressive building.Small bar but large dining area and large garden with seating.Busy.Low ceiling bar but a bit scuffy.4 handpumps with Tribute ,Bombardier and Pack 0 Cards ale brewed by St Austell

On 14th September 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 965 recommendations about 951 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Pack O Cards Inn

A few miles of Ilfracombe in the coastal town of Combe Martin is The Pack O’ Cards, a pub that will probably be of interest to enthusiasts of unique and bizarre pub histories. The Pack O’ Cards can rightly be described as one of Britain’s most unusual pub follies.

It’s a Grade 2 listed building dating back to 1690 built in celebration of a substantial win at cards by the winner and paid for out of the proceeds.

It’s an odd looking whitewashed building with 4 chimneys at the top ( said to represent the four kings in a pack of cards ) and 4 more chimneys at a lower level ( representing the four queens ). There’s sloping roofs and windows everywhere in a curious idiosyncratic style. It’s a 4 storey building with, apparently, 13 doors on every floor and 13 fireplaces and 52 stairs. As if that wasn’t enough, it, so we aere told, built on a plot of land measuring 52 feet square.

The pub part of the current premises is on the ground floor so, unless one is staying in the hotel accommodation as a resident, with access to the other floors, you have to take some of the facts as gospel.

The main bar is cosy, carpeted and wood panelled and evidently popular with locals. There’s the inevitable framed packs of cards on the walls, but the theme is certainly not overplayed and, to a large extent, the feel and look is of a typical pub / hotel bar. Perhaps inevitably though, the pub’s toilets are denoted as “kings” and “queens”.

There’s a warren of other rooms leading off from this room, including a rather plain and functional restaurant area and a slightly tired looking conservatory which leads to the large garden at the back. Reflecting the pub’s evident desire to be a family pub, there’s the normal childrens play equipment along with a mini assault course at the bottom of the garden.

Accessed through one end of the conservatory is a separate snooker room which, in turns, leads through to a larger room used for regular acoustic sessions. In a corridor, by the hotel check in desk, is a cabinet with souvenirs for sale – postcards, mugs, thimbles and a small book detailing the pub’s history if you want to know more. The building was derelict for a period between 1985 and 1991, but was then extensively restored.

Beers on were St Austell Trelawny, Tribute and Courage Directors, the former at a stonking £ 3.35p, which tempted me to ask if that included a deposit on the branded Trelawny pint glass. This glass tells us incidentally that Trelawny is brewed from a “unique recipe with Galaxy hops”.

When I’ve been to other pubs which you might describe as “unique” such as The Crooked House and The Yew Tree, there’s been a bit of a wow factor principally because the experience comes mainly from the interior.

The story behind The Pack O’ Cards may be interesting and, if you’re in the area, you might want to make a short detour to drive past and admire the building, but there’s not really any compelling reason to make a stop and call in

On 12th October 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Old Peculiar left this review about The Pack O Cards Inn

Real ales and good food plus large beer garden. Worth a visit.

On 29th June 2009 - rating: 8
[User has posted 96 recommendations about 91 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Alan Hurdle
Barnstaple, 10.61 miles, 3 hr 24 min walk (show)
Chapelton (Devon), 15.39 miles, 4 hr 57 min walk (show)
Umberleigh, 17.81 miles, 5 hr 43 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Pack O Cards Inn, Combe Martin
14th Sep 2014, 12:24
Review submitted by john gray
10th Apr 2012, 23:38
Picture submitted by Jonathan Wilde approved

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : Yes last updated 06 May 2014 by Alan Hurdle
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 06 May 2014 by Alan Hurdle
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 06 May 2014 by Alan Hurdle
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 06 May 2014 by Alan Hurdle
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 06 May 2014 by Alan Hurdle
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Live Music : Yes last updated 06 May 2014 by Alan Hurdle
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 June 2009 by Alan Hurdle
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes last updated 06 May 2014 by Alan Hurdle
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