Slightly out of sequence due to temporary hysteria, but here you go, Dereham. In a campervan.

Miles from “London-on-Sea”, a safe distance from the self-pronounced “City of Beer“, and without so much as an overhyped town trail to promote it, Dereham competes vigorously with Swaffham to be Norfolk’s dullest town.

Or so I thought. Not only is this the birthplace of Beth Orton and the location of Stephen Fry’s wedding, but my regular beer and curry buddy Charles lives here. Mrs RM was desperate to meet the man who asked for TWO samples in Worcester.

We’d hoped to park our campervan in Charles’s drive but sadly I’d got my metres and feet mixed up.  Tesco car park looked a bit scary;

QUIZ – Name TWO of Denise’s Delights

So we asked the friendly landlord of our new GBG target if he’d mind us pitching in the car park, in return for Mrs RM downing a dozen pints of his finest Plum Porter.  She came close.

Proper Pub

Before settling down in the Royal Standard we did a bit of “Slow Tourism“, seeing the delights of Dereham that weren’t Denise’s. Tesco, Morrisons, Lidl, Aldi, Roy’s of Wroxham; it’s got the lot. The sky was nice, anyway.

Sadly, we were in time for Halloween, but a little early for the improbable entertainment offer of Kiki Dee and Ne-Yo due in November.  Astonishingly, Mrs RM can name more of the former’s hits than the latter’s.

The newish Spoons is a composite of every other Spoons, with only a nod to Mr Fry’s patronage and some of that Halloween clutter I love so much of note. Perhaps a bit more real ale being sold here than I’ve seen of late in this recent GBG entry.

We collected Charles and said goodbye to his cat, who I will still incorporate into this blog because she doesn’t ask for samples.

Guess the cat’s name

The Royal Standard, despite a pebble-dashed exterior and a few beams, is firmly in the “basic local” camp.  Our town Guide Charles was slightly astonished to hear it had replaced the ancient George and the Spoons in the Guide, but a first sample (i.e. pint) of the Titanic explained why.

The Landlord apologised for only having two beers on (something I applaud), but his enthusiasm for the stronger dark beers from the Bateman list was commendable. NBSS 3.5 for the Porter, 3 for a Camerons seasonal that was always going to pale after Titanic.

It might have been the company again, but I thought the Standard was a corker, reminiscent of the Furnace but with more young folk in the games area creating a broad church of boozers. A working men’s boozer, the GBG for 1974 would have called it.

Partly because the other pubs aren’t great, but mainly because the Standard was, we decided to stay there.  Then straight to Spice Fusion, where the spicy squid and dhansak proved Norfolk is occasionally capable of decent curries. In the absence of mango lassi (again) we went for the bottled craft.



  1. Denise’s delights are clearly her baps.

    The excellent noodle place at Kings Cross was actually closed down by the health inspector, which presumably counts as a score of 0. I still returned when it reopened, though intend to try a couple of Indian places near Euston.

    I hope Roy’s of Wroxham is a bakery, I found bugger all apart from railway station cake when I visited.

    I’m going for Jess the Cat.


    1. Baps ! I’m shocked and horrified Tom. The word is barm.

      Roy’s of Wroxham is, I’m afraid a modest store in the style of Peacocks.

      I presume the noodle place is Chop Chop favourite, still cheap even after prices went up by a third a few years ago. Woburn Tandoori is favourite near Euston.


      1. The phrase we are looking for is actually bread cakes but the joke only works with baps.

        I will make a note of Woburn Tandoori, the ones recommended to me were Guptas and Rusa Express. The latter sounds particularly intriguing.

        Chop Chop is indeed the noodle place.


      2. I’ll have no hilarity on this site Mr Irvin; there’s visitors from the Americas present (possibly not for much longer mind).

        Rusa does sound intriguing. To be fair I last visited the Woburn 21 years ago and it sill looks the same. A lovey street.


      3. I admit my mind went right to Baps without even know what baps are. When I realized what they were I felt barmy. Then I looked up barm. Wow. Lots of words for Denise’s Delights.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I know Dereham quite well, as it the nearest town to Swanton Morley, where my parents lived, until recently, following their retirement.. The younger of my two sisters still lives in the town, but despite this I don’t know the Royal Standard at all.

    The Romany Rye is a pretty decent Wetherspoon’s; although I have probably had more breakfasts there than pints drunk. The George used to be OK as well, as was the King’s Head. The Cherry Tree, right next to the entrance to the FREE municipal car park, has a listing on CAMRA’s National Inventory, because of its original bar-fittings and the fact it retains its public bar.

    Again, I haven’t stepped over the threshold, but it sounds worthy of a visit.


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