I doubt anyone took notice when I rated Leighton Buzzard my pub town of 2015. Nothing in Bedfordshire can be that good ?

As BRAPA has discovered, the county has some gems, and any pub you fall asleep in is clearly worthy of merit. You’ll notice I visited a month after Simon but managed to hold my drink. Just saying.

Leighton Buzzard, stuck between the mediocrity of Milton Keynes (no central GBG entries) and improving Luton is a must visit. Go on Saturday when you can buy calorific pies in the market.

On that trip the very new micro-pub was closed, as they generally are, so I knew I’d be back at least once when it made its inevitable ascent into the Beer Guide.  As it turned out the LB experience was so good I’ve been trying to make a proper night out of it with Sis and Cousin since then, but the Wetherspoon hotel is beautiful but no bargain.


So a flying visit via Linslade‘s station (Linsladers are very militant about their being lumped in with Buzzard), and a classic micro in the Bald Buzzard.

Perhaps it’s the case you get out of a micro what you put into it. This is a small one-roomer, and you can hardly keep yourself to yourself.  So it was best to muck in, chatting to the affable licensees and making a disastrous attempt to help with the Xmas decorations.

I really appreciated the effort these folk have put in to make the seating pubby, down to custom built tables to fit the space.


By the time I left (12.20) that table was full. And most were drinking the gorgeous looking Chiltern Black, a full-bodied porter drinking well above its 3.9%.  NBSS 4-4.5, a beer of the year contender.

The Chiltern brewer was visiting later on, hence the “Tap Takeover”.  Some folk would grumble about that; I don’t care what’s served as long as it’s good.  I’ve had some dull Chiltern beer in dining pubs, but here and at their Aylesbury tap it’s been superb.

So, my quiz question is; How do you really spell toastie/toasty ?

I really wanted a Bass in the Black Lion, a 1960s experience in the Red Lion, and a daft Christmas beer in the Spoons, but I ration myself these days.

Instead I did the excitingly almost hilly walk up to the Three Locks pub, virtually a separate hamlet outside Stoke Hammond.


Everything about it says Greene King (not sure if it is though), but mainly a craft obsession to match Wetherspoon, and an excess of Hop House 13 material.


Lots of coffee drinkers here, which made the excellent condition of the White Park even more surprising (NBSS 3.5).

More great beer, so perhaps December drinking isn’t that bad after all.  Oh no, here come the jumper-wearers.


    1. I agree in part. Toasty is an informal term for one’s feeling of temperature. Toastie is a cheese sandwich that has been grilled, a rather superb concept. They are synonyms with different meanings.

      There has not been a cold day yet this year. Jumpers are not yet needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m a bit of a fan of Leighton Buzzard since my parents moved there. I went to the Black Lion on the High Street in the summer and had a wonderful proper pork pie. I’ve also visited the Swan Hotel which always seems to be busy. It’s a nice walk to Three Locks along the Grand Union Canal and the pub is very nice too. I had Tring Side Packet for a Toad. Nice food too.


    1. Good to hear I’m not alone Charlie. I always knew the villages round Leighton were good (my Mum is from Eaton Bray) but the town was a revelation on a busy market day. The Red Lion is a real throwback too. I can understand why the Swan might be off-putting when packed.


      1. Never my type of band,
        In 1976 i was 14 and my first albums bought was Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here and albums by Tangerine Dream and Hawkwind,it was down to my dad borrowing loads of LPs from a work mate and i found out what i really liked,so Black Sabbath was not on my list to buy along with 10 Years After.


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