Plymouth, practically

Where I stayed

The Drake

When I was booking accommodation, my only requirements were parking and a fairly central location. The Drake provided both, as well as an interesting history and super friendly hosts. The parking is easy, with several spots up front and additional spaces in the back. Thanks to my super compact car, I managed to snag the last spot up front, which, charmingly, required driving over the sidewalk to wedge myself in between the building, a post box, and a light post. Too easy with an Aygo! Have I mentioned how much that car grew on me over the course of the week?

But I digress.

The Drake was built in the 1800s as the home of a naval officer who, judging by the interior, did very well for himself. The ceilings are high, the molding is ornate, and the staircase to the first floor is grand. I stayed up on the second floor, which according to one review I read, was the servants’ quarters. Certainly, the stairs to that level are far narrower and more tucked away, and the ceilings up there are lower, but the room had everything I could have wanted, included a tea/coffee tray that was also restocked with a small package of biscuits each day.

Nicki, who I believe is one of the owners, greeted me every time I came or went and had lots of advice about what to see and where to go while I was in the city. She also made sure to ask about my preferred breakfast time for each morning I was there to make sure I was never waiting to be fed. Breakfast was wonderful and while there were lighter continental options, I started each day full of hearty eggs or beans on toast, ready to take on the city. Because of an early checkout, I didn’t take advantage of breakfast my last morning, but Nicki kindly offered to put together a small takeaway box if I wanted, which I thought was beyond nice of her.

As for location, the Drake was perfectly situated a block from the Hoe (less than 10 minutes to Smeaton’s Tower), a 5-minute walk to the shops at Armada Way, and a 10-minute walk to the Barbican. Given my tendency to wander in circles this was perfect and meant I could get anywhere I needed to (and then back again when I decided to do another loop) in practically no time.

All in all, I loved the Drake and everything about my stay and I would absolutely stay there again.


What I ate

Since Nicki kept me so well fed, I didn’t actually need that much else (aside from snacks and coffees!)! Which was a shame, because I came away with a long list of places I just couldn’t fit in – guess I’ll have to go back! But as for this trip:


I shamelessly love Nando’s, which I’ve only ever had in the UK, and wish I lived closer to one. Peri-peri everything, please! Hot, to be specific. So it wasn’t a particularly original choice of food, but that first night when I got in, post Dartmoor drive and without having had lunch, I just needed something quick, easy, and delicious and so Nando’s it was. And it was perfection.

The Original Pasty House

I love pasties and made it a priority to get one on this trip. Unfortunately, most of the pasty shops seemed to be open primarily for lunch. The Original Pasty House had later hours and I happened to be passing by just as I was getting hungry, and also as the wind picked up on the greyest, coldest day of my trip. Definitely a good time for a pasty stop! I’ll be honest, it wasn’t my favorite pasty ever, but my pasty bar was also set ridiculously high when I was in Cornwall and had an amazingly hearty one after the most amazing swim around St. Michael’s Mount and then another after a morning of coasteering (aka wild swimming, climbing rocks, and jumping off of them), so my previous pasty experience was a bit next level. Still, the one from the Original Party House was a solid meal and a welcome break from the elements!

Quirky Teas

Being in Devon, and a lover of scones, I was not leaving without having a cream tea. I spent a lot of time reviewing options both online in preparation and as I walked around the city, but when I saw Quirky Teas I was instantly sold. It was full of natural light, brightly decorated, had teapots everywhere, and had a cake display case that made me want to move in and never leave. I wanted at least 6 of everything, but there was also no chance I was getting anything other than a scone with jam and clotted cream (and tea, as an afterthought). The scone was bigger than my fist, and the jam and clotted cream were perfection. Quirky Teas is the stuff of dreams and it will absolutely be my first stop next time I’m in Plymouth. Also, I think it would be perfectly acceptable to go back to Plymouth specifically because of Quirky Teas. Am I gushing? Not even remotely sorry.

The Harbour Seafood Restaurant and Takeaway

All I wanted for a final meal in Plymouth was fish and chips (and a cider). The fish and chips at Harbour was truly one of the best I’ve had. It was crispy in all the right places, I could fully taste both the fish and the batter, which was delicious, and the portion was generous. The chips were also delightful. Plus, it is located right on the water in the Barbican with a wall of windows overlooking the harbor. Even the inside views are delightful with decor that manages to be nautical, clean, and uncluttered, even with a large selection of signs covering the walls. Service was fast and friendly. If I can’t move into Quirky Teas, you’ll find me here. Maybe they’d be willing to split custody? A girl can dream! Anyway, perfect last meal in a city I very quickly grew to love.


Note: None of this is sponsored. I provided links because I enjoyed everywhere I stayed/ate THAT much, but they aren’t affiliate links and I was not compensated by any of the businesses mentioned in this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *