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