I’ve been driving Mrs RM round a few new pubs in the Northants/Bucks borders, so not much beer scoring, but some unexpectedly basic pubs around Brackley and Buckingham.

I can’t say Twyford is the most exciting village I’ve ever been to, but then it is in a Milton Keynes postcode.  Just looking at my Navigator now, I realise it’s not a million miles from my mum’s birthplace (Eaton Bray), but at least that’s on the foothills of the Chilterns.

There’s a National Trust place (Claydon House) down the road, and a large prison at Grendon, which presumably accounts for a fair amount of post-war housing in the area.  One older house stood out though:-


The Plough is determinedly basic though, or “without frills” if you prefer.  It was also open all day Friday, always a good sign.

Note classic Whitbread Best font

How can you not love a pub with regulars called Kev, Gary and Tracy, rather than Alexandria and Simon. Unless the meat raffle board was an ironic feature. Given that the other two customers mid-afternoon were 20 years older than me, that’s unlikely. They weren’t drinking wine either.

I liked this a lot, and not just because the lone Otter was spot on (NBSS 3.5). The locals get through the single beer quickly, going by the number of different pumpclips on the wall.

I don’t know if Luppit’s finest brewery are giving their beer away at the moment, but it seems hard to avoid the stuff recently.  That unmistakeable green pump clip popped up again a mere seven crow miles away. It’s the closest to a Beer Guide entry for Brackley, a town with a lot of attractive pubs but apparently no good beer.

A crow would have had better luck finding the Stratton Arms, which is mapped incorrectly on the Beer Guide, WhatPub and other Apps.  Fortunately Mrs RM was only attacked by two dogs while we walked the tiny village looking for it.

It’s a minor classic in many regards.  Attractive exterior, old-school landlord, South Leicestershire standard seating, outside toilets, and the whole village seemingly coming and going while we were there (The chocolate cabinet may have been a factor in that).

Proper pub seating, Stratton Arms, Turweston

A more extensive beer range of the old favourites, with the Otter not quite Plough-standard (NBSS 3) but clearly popular. One day I’ll get bored of this Boring Brown Bitter too.

There was some great pub banter, only interrupted by the rugby, and I vainly tried to get the Landlord to sell Mrs RM the Hacker-Pschorr, brough back by locals from Octoberfest. So Prosecco it was for Eurovision.

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