West London between Brentford and Windsor is a bit of a struggle for me to rave about. The odd Spoons shop conversion apart, only a few very dull Fullers pubs have made the Beer Guide over the year.
Even Brentford doesn’t seem quite the beery paradise it did five or so years ago, when the Express Tavern’s Bass was legendary, though I notice the Express is now under the Sussex Arm’s wing.
I always thought there were a few good ex-Courage boozers in Runnymede territory though, and yesterday I found a minor gem. The Perseverance in Wraysbury is 2 minutes left off the M25, and in the unpretentious bit of Berkshire near some big lakes and the eponymous reservoir.
I enjoyed a “bracing” walk around the lake with it’s views of the undercarriages of planes leaving Heathrow. Wraysbury isn’t a particularly posh-looking village (more North than South Manchester), but it is well equipped. The bowling green leads to a superb wooden windmill straight out of 1960s films.
There’s a more obvious foody pub (the George) across the green, but the Perseverance is the drinker’s pub, with a decent steak menu thrown in.
At risk of sounding like a pub seating obsessive, the seating here will suit lone readers as much as groups of diners. If anything it was the relentless ’80s pop that led me to a quick exit, but it’s hard to linger over a half. I’ve heard more Eurythmics over the last 2 days than is reasonable, frankly.
That half was, though, the best Otter I’ve had in a long time, served cool and doing a good impersonation of gravity dispense. 3 beers is a sensible number, with an interesting coffee stout and the local Punter giving a good drinker’s choice.
I had some disappointing, warm Otter in the Sussex Downs this year, which just emphasises it’s the pub, not the beer, that dictates quality
3 thoughts on “AN OTTER FAR FROM HOME”
“A pub seating obsessive” – now who could you be thinking of?
I would say a diet of 80s pop is infinitely preferable to post-2000 dance music, and probably far more in tune with the tastes of the average lunchtime pub customer.
Otter certainly gets around, and is often seen in a number of pubs in this neck of the woods. Normally it’s the 3.6% Otter Bitter (the one with the green pump clip), which is available, but I’ve occasionally seen the stronger 4.5% Ale (red pump clip). Providing the pub looks after them properly, I’ve always enjoyed Otter beers.
I hadn’t realised the company had been going so long (founded 1988), so they must be doing something right!
Otter seem to be expanding into the free trade in the South, particularly in some of the smarter pubs. I’ve seen an Amber in Susses recently as well as the Ale and the Bitter.