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.
The countryside around the mudbath, airport and racetrack is unexpectedly hilly and attractive, though obviously with special appeal for fans of power stations.
Last year’s rare visit to Castle Donington found the micropub edged out of the Guide by a gastropub with the motto;
“THIS HOUSE IS BUILT ON LOVE, LAUGHTER AND PROSECCO”
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’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.