I’ve been pretty complimentary about Greene King lately, and there is a faint possibility that my choice for best pub will be one of theirs, though the Dove oddly doesn’t serve any of their beers.

So it’s time to redress the balance a bit and be Mr Grumpy. The Horse & Groom in Clapham (not that one) is really not to my taste.  Not at all.

To be honest it’s difficult to get excited about a horribly modernised dinery (?) in a dull village on the outskirts of Bedford. It’s a welcoming place.

I spent an hour walking the bounds, and this is as good as it gets;

Name those crisps

Yes, retire here and you can sit on a wonky bench with your mates facing a hedge.

Or you can while away the hours counting the horrors of the Horse & Groom.

Exhibit 1


Exhibit 2


At 12.15 I was the only customer in an expensively refurbished pub which hadn’t been able to clear the detritus from the outside tables before opening.  I thought about lingering over a poor half of IPA (NBSS 2), but then they started playing Paolo Nutini’s “Candy”.

Over the road, the Star looked much more inviting, and sold logs. The Good Beer Guide can be cruel sometimes.


Tomorrow everything will be wonderful again. Probably.

12 thoughts on “HO HO HO

    1. Dave, I am pretty sure it did not drop far. Swizzels Matlow Squashies. I hope someone decided against eating them and the bag was still full. They may have been very depressed sitting there facing a hedge.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have to say, I think Greene King are ruining so many pubs; I’m not keen at all on their beer, and they seem to want to make every pub they touch into an identikit green-painted eatery and rip out any soul or character the place has. As for the cushions in exhibit 2, just why?


  2. Whilst the Newtonmas table booking is clearly deplorable in itself, I must question the statement on the sign “Up to 100+ people”. That is meaningless. 55019 fits 100+, can I book a table for that number?

    I’d have said the Swizzel’s Drumsticks were more a chewy sweet lollipop type thing than a crisp, and almost as deplorable as Newtonmas menus in pubs. Crisps on the other hand are superb.

    I will not start on the pub interior as if I do I might just break the internet.


  3. Clapham is indeed a dull village. I wonder how the local CAMRA branch has come up with this nominee?
    BTW Martin, the exterior of the Star is deceiving; it’s much more attractive from outside than in.


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