I’m debating whether to tell you about the Ember Inn in Camberley. It’s as bad as it sounds, but not in a good way. Think the 3rd Millennium novel, or Tin Machine II. No doubt there’ll be a locust infestation when Simon gets there in 2032. If you ask for it, you get it.
But while the sun is shining, I can tell you about a wonderful pub at it’s very best on Sunday. The Wharf Inn, a Pedigree shrine.
Welford is best as known as “the last petrol stop before the M1” or “that place with the wind turbines” or “where Leicester Tigers play”. Being (just) in Northants can’t help, and I’ve never seen a report on it. I’m fairly convinced that it appeared in the Leicestershire section of the GBG one year.
It’s the only Northants pub that’s going to appear in my Top 100, at least until Shipmans reopens in the county town.
Mrs RM loves it too, and often makes me stop here for a comfort break while she refuels with Oakham and Dry Roasted, from a classic crisp and nut selection.
Yes, I can even forgive it a diluted beer range (Pedigree would have been enough), the black Pedi pump clip, and the jam jars. For this is a classic canal-side drinkers pub.
As noted before, pubs by canals can be more basic than their riverside colleagues, and the Wharf is as unpretentious as they come (Mrs RM said scruffy once).
The clientele is a real mix. Professional drinkers at the bar, bikers, hobby car enthusiasts, the local squire. All human life was here. And Fosters drinkers (joking).
A true professional like Simon would have sat in the cosy bar, but if you weren’t in the garden today you’d never be. I still heard some terrific intoxicated conversation;
“To 50p or not 50p, that is the question”
“I am a little treasure. Lean on me”
No, it makes no sense to me either. But it was all said extremely loudly.
Yes, a pub is about social interaction, bench seating and the risk that intoxicated folk will fall in the canal in their best suit. But it’s also about beer, and the Pedigree here is the best I’ve had outside of the Dead Poets in Holbrook.
Cool, chewy, tight head, a taste in the mouth ten minutes after it was finished (NBSS 4.5)
We’ve eaten here a couple of times; it was home-made trencherman fayre, a throwback to the mid-80s.
But today, the Welsh Cheese Boat was in town (so to speak). If you see his boat in the centre of Stockport or Nuneaton, buy his cheese. Then help him get his boat back to the canal.