South Derbyshire isn’t much fun in the rain, unless you’re watching thousands of old blokes with Sabbath T-Shirts drowning in the mud.

Download Festival 2016

The countryside around the mudbath, airport and racetrack is unexpectedly hilly and attractive, though obviously with special appeal for fans of power stations.

Admire that pink pen

Last year’s rare visit to Castle Donington found the micropub edged out of the Guide by a gastropub with the motto;


That, I suspect, is not the motto for Melbourne‘s new Guide entry, the Chip & Pin.

It’s a traditional micro that follows the Herne formula to perfection, though the glass full of reading glasses and extensive clothing range aren’t features I remembered from the Butcher’s. With seating spread out around a single room, you could at least see and hear all your fellow drinkers, quite an advantage for some well-known pub bloggers.

I find it hard to criticise friendly micro pubs like this that serve decent beer for £3 or so to middle-aged folk in a polite, civilised atmosphere. But personally I prefer a multi-room place with folk of all ages, views and alcoholic choices.


Are any of those “Coming Soon” ready yet, Kev ?” was the pick of the bants, and I resisted the urge to gatecrash a chat about the old pubs of Whitwick.  Never mind the pubs, the highlights of Whitwick are the street names. Must go back to City of Dan.

If you can tell a beer by your eyes,  this one from Wincle should have been a bit disappointing, but haze apart it was good – cool and tasty (NBSS 3).


I missed the step on the way out, nearly crashing into an expensively coutured lady who clearly wasn’t on her way in for a black pudding pie and pint of Concrete Cow. “I’m not drunk” I shouted after her, perhaps a little too loudly.

The village was deathly quiet, but in many respects an exact mirror image of it’s neighbour to the east, though with less curry houses,and perhaps more ladies fashion shops. Win some, lose some.

Donington has a similar Marstons collection too, though the pub I just about remembered was Shardlow Brewery’s Blue Bell, perhaps because of the specialist mobility scooter collection.


A low-score draw between the two, though I marginally preferred Donington’s edge of town Co-op to Melbourne’s edge of town Sainsbury’s Local.  It’s a class thing.

5 thoughts on “MELBOURNE 1 v DONINGTON 1

  1. That micro isn’t advertising one of my pet peeves is it? The name would indicate it might be a cashless bar.
    BTW, are those scooters being tested prior to the next race to take place at Donington?


    1. The micro was previously a bank. I do like this place. I shuddered when Iread the name Whitwick. I used to live there as small child and have never returned to drink in the pubs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi retiredmartin,
    I googled your handle after I read your comment about the Whitbread Wallop at the Dog and Parrot in Newcastle. I have been trying to find information about the Wallop as my experience was a bit different to yours drinking the Wallop.
    Having been raised in Adelaide South Australia where we have a beer called Green Death by the locals…drinking a pint of Wallop ale at 4.5% with light bitterness and a great malty toasty flavour and English hops it was a life changing experience for me.
    I am now brewing again and was hoping to get someone to give me their educated opinion of the colour so I can get that part right.
    Hope you can help me out with that small bit of information please.
    Thanks in anticipation.
    Susi Messenger
    The Mad Ale-Wife
    South Australia


    1. Hi Sue

      Don’t think I’ve ever been to the Dog & Parrot, perhaps the only pub near Newcastle I haven’t been in !

      Don’t know Wallop either, except that I think a wine bar chain called Davy’s sold a beer called Wallop (Courage) once.

      At a loss, but intrigued. On the other hand, I lived in Adelaide (well, Glenelg) for 5 months 30 years ago so can confirmyou live in a lovely part of the world.

      One of my readers may have more insight !


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