AND NO MORE WILL I HANKER, FOR THE ANCHOR, ANCHOR

Visiting the Good Beer Guide is a total joy, of course, but some of the pubs have been more keenly anticipated than others. That anticipation is rarely about the number of handpumps or the historic interior; weirdness and inaccessibility score much higher.

The Sixpenny Brewery Tap was one such place last year (see opening hours), and Frasers Bar on the Isle of Cumbrae is nagging away since Simon Everitt visited it last month. I think I went there on our visit to Millport years ago but can’t be sure…

Yesterday I got to Anchor, nearly two years after its eponymous pub appeared in the Beer Guide for the first time. It’s very beautiful.

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Overcrowded Britain at its worst

 

If Clun is remote, I can’t do justice to Anchor.  There seemed to be just the pub, a bridge, and the campsite.  Wiki says “Two new houses were constructed in the early 2010s near the Anchor Inn, increasing the size of the settlement somewhat”.

I’ve been on the B4368 from Clun to Newtown, and the oddest thing is that the pub hasn’t featured in the Guide before.  Either the long-term owners have only just discovered how to serve a pint or Shrewsbury CAMRA just assumed it was closed (joking). It’s a lot closer to Montgomeryshire CAMRA’s stronghold in Newtown, whose members are more likely visitors.

I’d phone ahead to check they were actually opening at 7pm, cross-referencing that to the Guide and WhatPub.  Oddly, the Anchor survives without website, Facebook and Twitter “presence”. It does have a chalkboard at the entrance which details the marmalade.

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There’s a light, it’s open

 

The last time I’d been so nervous was on 13 May 2012.  I tried the door at 7pm, walked round the block, talked to some sheep, and then noticed movement inside.  Frankly, I was slightly terrified, and glad I was there in daylight.

It was wonderful, but I bet Mrs RM would have thought otherwise (she was safely at home eating pizza in our local Greene King pub). Rather skilfully I feel, WhatPub calls it “underinvested”.

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I’m choosing my words here; anyone who visited and loved the Hop Pole in Risbury ,or the Horse & Trumpet in Medbourne in the ’90s would feel their spirit in the Anchor. I found it very homely and lived in, but I’m a man. I enjoyed Snowshill Manor too.

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The only problem with homely pubs like this is that you’d feel daft sitting in the attractive bench seating when you’re the only person there, and with no casual food trade* you haven’t any real activity apart from chat.  Which is fine.

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This visit wasn’t really about the beer, but the Clun Pale looked and tasted immaculate (NBSS 3.5) despite questionable levels of turnover. The landlord was drinking that too and knew his beer. He was very good company, with an interesting life (in Sutton Coldfield !) before moving to the quietest place on earth.

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Note antique Heineken dispense system

 

I left after half an hour, passing a replacement customer outside the Gents, which are something to behold. And by that, I don’t mean they’re like the ones in the Philharmonic.

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Yep

 

Time to hit the road.

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*THE BIG QUESTION – “Meals may be prepared for groups of four”. Has anyone (ever) eaten here ?

13 thoughts on “AND NO MORE WILL I HANKER, FOR THE ANCHOR, ANCHOR

  1. I’m sure I read (maybe in comments on here or Simon’s blog) that the Anchor for logistical reasons was allocated to Montgomeryshire branch, not Shrewsbury.

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  2. Most excited I’ve been to read a blog ever, well done sir! Link from Twitter didn’t seem to work so had to go into your blog and then find the post. That is just so Anchor Anchor!

    I cannot wait to go, mid Aug with Mum and Dad. Only 3 of us so can’t quite get food.

    Looks amazing from the photos and I so get the bit about anticipation, weirdness and inaccessibility.

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      1. I wondered what was going on. I had to change the settings on my blog, to remove the thumbnails from the blog list. It wasn’t just your blog which was doing this Martin; The Half-Pint Gentleman’s site was also doing the same!

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    1. If you phone in advance you may get looked upon favourably and be able to come to an agreement. My other half and I have eaten ‘a deux’ at the Anchor before. The issue is one of economics – food is purchased and cooked to order. That means a drive into Newtown for supplies, which isn’t really economic for small numbers. Advance notice, three diners and a moderate tip may well swing it for you.

      Also worth noting that Alex’s marmalades and pickles are also well worth picking up – properly tasty.

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  3. Yes, I’ve eaten there (as have a fair number who live nearby) and we’ve all more than lived to tell the tale.
    In fact, Alex (as the Landlord’s wife is called) is a really good home cook – makes a great curry (in which you can find whole spices being used) as well as other tasty home-cooked meals, and produces food in generous quantity. Have no qualms about taking visitors to eat at The Anchor, but do have to prepare them to get past appearances – they can be deceptive.
    Book in advance, dress appropriately (it regularly feels several degrees colder inside than outside) and you will eat well and for very reasonable prices.

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