No new Beer Guide pubs in Burton this year, which means no trips to the spiritual home of Bass, run brilliantly by Joules. I’ll find an excuse.
Some rare new ticks in the east though, and some good walking on the edge of the National Forest.
The Forest is coming along nicely two decades in, though the closure of Snibston Discovery Museum is almost as sad as that of the Earth Centre. Perhaps.
Mrs RM probably wishes Conkers had never opened after her (hilarious) trauma on the assault course a few years back. Good job she doesn’t read this blog.
A first GBG entry for little Repton, a village dominated by its famed independent school to the same extent as Uppingham or Oundle. If the main danger to life in Cambridge is from cyclists using footpaths, here it’s from a surge of 13-18 year olds crossing the road looking at their I-Phones. Something I’d never do, of course.
That odd mix of youthful vigour and ancient history is always compelling, as well as making the survival of four decent looking pubs quite a surprise. A shame that one of them isn’t a Joules house.
There was enough to detain us for, ooh, ten minutes, even with a few decent art displays. Pleasingly, the Boot opened at 11am, clearly as much to cater for a few local drinkers as to meet my own demanding schedule. I know I went in here a few years ago when it served Marston’s, but I didn’t recognise it since a transformation into a boutique hotel.
Boutique and home-brew aren’t my favourite words of course, and the beer choice was a bit wide for my brain at 11am, but I eventually got the answer to my usual question (“What have you just pulled“). It was Carling, of course.
The Boot Bitter was nicely presented, floral and cool. If NBSS did quarter marks it would be a 3.25. Classy loo, which I’ll show you in my upcoming classy loos post.
Wetherspoons have classy loos too. But I’d struggle to use the word boutique in connection with Swadlincote. It’s vastly more interesting though, with an impressive pottery museum the highlight of its industrial history.
Rather like Nailsworth, this is one of those towns known as much for its intriguingly named suburbs as the pedestrianised centre. Whatever happened to Gresley Rovers ?
As ever, you need to look up when you’re walking round town to see the history, as eye-level isn’t a happy sight. Because I need to have a point of comparison, I’m calling this Ripley-on-the-cheap.
The shops were busy though, and the sweet shop lady called me “babes“. Anyone who has met me will know I’m as far from “babes” as you’ll find, but thanks anyway love.
I’ll be keen to know whether our intrepid pub explorer Alan Winfield has visited all of the pubs round here. The Spoons was my first tick in Swadlincote proper, and presented one of those key life choices – Pedigree or Plum Porter ? It would have been a choice, but I hadn’t had the Titanic in Stoke, and the Porter was a great choice (NBSS 4).
I hope it lasts in the GBG. Simon will love this place with its classic Spoons conversation. Model answers;
“Benidorm in March. Same place”
“Two euros a pint”
“It’s always Happy Hour”
One of the happiest Spoons I’ve been in ever.
My previous boss lived on the edge of Swadlincote, which always attracted some surprise though of course Cambridge folk think Derbyshire is just the Peak District. He’s a clever bloke. Apart from proper pubs he had this art deco classic to enjoy every morning;