I’m afraid there’s quite a few posts to come in a hurry as I aim to get up to date, so probably just as well Mrs RM has me chained to the kitchen this weekend.
Another journey into lesser-known Shropshire, though my parents seem more familiar than me with the area due to visits to places called Mrs Cratchett’s Pegonias and Clives Clematis. Yes, it’s Retired Gentlefolk Garden Land.
Having been thoroughly bypassed over the years, Hodnet is also the “Land that Time Forgot”. This is the High Street at 3pm on Friday;
It makes Clun look like Clapham Common.
And that’s charming, as folk like me can stroll about taking photos, oblivious to modern intrusions like traffic.
Anybody who does drive here finds their car ending up like the one below, parked in the only obvious centre of commercial activity, next to the Rocking Horse shop and Bone China centre. There’s a joke there somewhere.
In fact the only life I saw were the classic cat outside the Bear, and the fairies at the window on Church Street. They granted my wish that the village pub actually be open this time.
It’s a tiny village, dominated by a wonderful church at the entrance to Hodnet Hall and it’s famous gardens.
Clearly, those were shut for a private function of the mysterious “Moorcroft”, so that’s one place my parents have been that I haven’t.
It’s possible they beat me to the Bear, but their spreadsheets aren’t quite as detailed as mine on these matters. They’d probably remember the bear, though.
As with much of the nearby Welsh border towns, it’s a slightly upmarket old coaching inn I will call “Faded Posh“. Which I like more than “Middle Class Pretentious”.
It wasn’t packed mid-afternoon, but there was enough life to justify rare all-day opening, though perhaps not the ambitious beer range on cask and keg. The hipster one on the right, no doubt specially brewed for the Wem OAP market, is Black Sheep.
Out of curiosity, and with no-one else on the cask (of course), I had an average half of Woods (NBSS 2.5). If the GBG ticking rule allowed, I’d have had the Waddlegoose Lane (whatever that is). Shamefully, they had a Wrexham Lager bar towel, but not Wrexham Lager.
Not a lot of banter, with one couple sitting silently, trying to work out just which Ed Sheeran track was playing. When Ed Sheeran reaches Salop, we are doomed (he’ll be in the States next, just you watch).
I think I worked out the corduroy wearing owner of the car below though…