The last photos before my phone battery died were from Ledbury. I reckoned the street above would be easily recognised, but Mrs RM’s rapid identification of the pub did surprised me.
I then recalled an infamous afternoon in April 2013 when I was driven round rural Herefordshire to tick 16 pubs in an afternoon, including the whole of Ledbury’s magnificent High Street. I was asleep by 6, and the afternoon’s entertainment at the Memorial Ground the next day was rather spoilt, even with Rovers’s legendary pasties.
That sort of ticking isn’t recommended, though Ledbury is. Mrs RM still holds that trips against me, having never been drunk herself.
I was actually in Ledbury to finish the Herefordshire section of The Guide a mile north of the station, within sight of the Malverns.
The Farmers Arms in Wellington Heath seemed to be doing a tremendous dining trade for a Thursday night, but the ale range looked a bit ambitious for the Peroni and Proseco crowd.
The ubiquitous Otter, which sounds like a Glasgow pub, was good enough though (NBSS 3), but I never quite got comfortable. At least it was open; I’d paid one earier visit to find the hours in the Beer Guide wrong, which I’m guessing will be a recurrent theme for 2016.
I had 30 minutes before the train, which was long enough to confirm that the Prince of Wales is still as good as it looks. You might expect a picture postcard place like this to have gone gastro, and in Stratford-on-Avon or Ludlow it might well have done, but it felt more pubby than the new GBG entries in the county.
The menu is particularly traditional, but then I’m always impressed by faggots on a menu. It was all drinkers on my visit, and a very mixed crowd spread out in the four drinking areas (the smoking hutch the busiest).
Internally the pub is cosy rather than spectacular, but that suits the regular drinker. I had a good Ledbury Dark (NBSS 3.5) from a beer range that was getting decent custom on a weeknight, though the craft keg looked a bit ambitious. Any pub with Malinsons on knows what it’s doing though.
I still miss the Bank’s Bitter though.