I was delighted to read recently that the good landlords of Melsonby and Aigburth had randomly changed their opening hours to deny fellow GBG-completists Simon and Duncan the chance to finish North Yorkshire and Merseyside recently.

They can see what a finished county looks like above; Lincolnshire looks splendid in pink.


The Hare & Hounds at Fulbeck was an attractive way to finish Lincs this lunchtime (virtually real-time blogging, folks), particularly if you haven’t seen Wherry, Landlord, 6X or Doom Bar in years.

The Doom Bar has clearly recently replaced Broadside, presumably in response to a growing suspicion that Cornwall’s finest has had a makeover.

Well I can tell you that the Doom here was as watery as normal, which given the equal low quality of the 6X suggests to me it’s all about the keeper, not the beer.

Our beers were the first pulled of the lunch session, and we didn’t see any more cask pulled while we were there.  The young professional group behind us ordered two lime and sodas and an orange juice, the ladies who lunch had the Malbec by the glass.

Nothing wrong with that, of course; most folk had driven for lunch from Sleaford to escape the Wetherspoons crowd.  By 1pm the place was packed.

Below you’ll see the only two tables not set for dining.


Even those tables seemed more to be a waiting room for the restaurant than a place to linger. So we didn’t.

Mrs RM has been an invaluable companion on recent GBG excursions; picking up morsels of banter, assessing the clientele in her inimicable way, and summing up pubs in a couple of words that I may not be allowed to use on here.

Beige  !!”

Woman’s touch

Girly pub

Posh wine list

Wot no Punk IPA

etc. etc.

It’s a lovely looking restaurant with a real attention to detail.  If we bring our campervan here again we might very well pop in for Steak Frites and Malbec.

But is it a pub ?



17 thoughts on “BUT IS IT A PUB ?

  1. I wouldn’t touch Doom Bar with a barge poll as I’m not a lover of sweet,cloying malty beers but recently I’ve had a couple and they have been ok. Good to see others if not you Martin supporting the notion of a recent change I hadn’t picked up on that. Well done with the almost live blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many pubs like that where all the character has been refurbished out of them, and they are just bland and pastel-shaded 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seem to be a fair few entering the Beer Guide alongside the Micros recently. Can’t quite see the appeal for a busload from Lincoln CAMRA myself if that’s the quality, but it’s a beer desert out that way.


  3. If it lets you drink without eating it probably passes muster as a pub ( or bar, depending on decor, location etc.)
    In my Brunning & Price local I would say 90 % of customers eat, yet for me it is still very much a proper pub.
    One big test is whether they ask you more than once whether you’re eating, Multiple requests move it into restaurant territory.


    1. The key test is not so much the proportion of customers dining, but whether you feel totally out of place if you’re not.


  4. Fair point. Some of these pubs will be owned by the big Pubcos, whose rental model almost forces the business down a food oriented route; the Pubcos sets a rent based on their view of available turnover, which the prospective licensee buys into. Plus the wholesale pricing structure for beer in particular means that the margin opportunity is on food ( and the accompanying wine or soft drinks ) rather than the more traditional beer-led model.
    For other village pubs, which may be genuine free houses, in the South East particularly there are JJ beer drinkers around on weekday daytimes, which dictates a shift towards ladies(and retired couples) who lunch.
    In the village where I live, as well as B&P there is another food oriented free house and a much more traditional wet only pub, also free. The latter opens at 4 PM during the week.
    Difficult to see this trend changing IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Firstly, I would have to say Locale! Doom Bar was a quite pleasing drink once upon a time, in the days when my kids were small and we used to holiday in Rock. These days, on seeing ‘it’ and the usual suspects a top the bar my request would be, ‘a pint of Guiness please.’ Generally, more than palatable, unless the place is going down the pan and they’ve had it in for weeks.

    Secondly, what is a pub these days? Is it a pub as ‘we’ know it? Or is it many different things, to many different people? My views keep changing on this. Currently, I would sit a while in a ‘proper pub’, with a pint of one of the ‘usual suspects’, so long as it was in decent condition. In the pub you depict, I would be trying a half first. Only then would Mr Strummer strike up in my subconscious. Various rhythms would play out; interesting/boring, trad/modern, local/noted brewer (NB noted, not necessarily ‘just well known’), but the main chords would have to chime quality. Only then would I know; should I stay, or should I go!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sincere apologies to all concerned. I did not realise that “retiredmartin” used extras, and in particular, I hope that both the extra and Mrs RM are not too upset by the case of mistaken identity.
    Did Mrs RM return to finish her pint and packet of Pipers, or did an extra polish them off ? Given the price of pints and Pipers, I would assume the former. Maybe a future blog could offer clarification ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good question. You are right to surmise that Mrs RM would not leave beer, let alone Pipers, unfinished. She was merely out of shot (stage right) in that photo, admiring the beige.


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