I’m just back from Glastonbury, a town I eventually warmed to as the winding path up Bove Town and Wick Hollow toward the Tor wove some magic on a windswept morning. Apart from that, its a nondescript place, in common with pretty much all the Somerset towns apart from Frome (a classic) and Wells.
Minehead and Clevedon have grown on me recently, mainly due to their coastlines. I thought Glastonbury would be more like Hay or Totnes, but it felt very unchanged by the last 20 years. More shabby than shabby-chic, and more crystal shops than coffee shops. Burns the Bread is a bakery to treasure though (*).
Glastonbury has never had many pubs in the Beer Guide, which surprised me given its profile. It’s no bigger a town than, say, Lymm in Cheshire, so a dozen pubs is probably plenty. They must be well hidden though. The prominent George & Pilgrims Hotel is the Beer Guide entry, a multi-roomed ancient building with a similar feel to Oundle’s Ship, and with similarly average beer (NBSS 2.5).
The real local gem is a couple or so miles outside town alongside the River Sheppey. The eponymous Inn looks at home in the isolated levels, at least from the outside. You could be in Romney Marsh, until you look north to Cheddar and east to the Tor.
Yesterday was my second visit in a month. Mrs RM acted as beer taster and my teenage son as food critic, I took loads of photos again. This is not a pub for the purist, but it is unmissable.
It is a pub, there’s plenty of drinking space despite the area set for food. Beers and ciders were localish (Plain, Moor, wild Beer etc).There’s a really great area for live music. The staff are friendly and know their beer. But it’s the art/clutter that is the “Wow” factor. Clutter has never stopped our admiration of the Yew Tree though.
Mrs RM said her keg IPA was better than Hardcore IPA, I rated the Plain at 3. The burger, on a plate, was truly wonderful.
Early evening it was full of (well behaved) children. Beer and food was on the Shoreditch side of pricey. And many will think plastic robots and traditional pubs don’t mix. They’re wrong.
(*) Yes I realise Glastonbury has other attractions but you know about those.