We visited Middlewich‘s premier canal side pub a couple of weeks ago, enough time for the BRAPA-meister to visit AND report on it himself (here). Introducing characters such as Lord Lucan, Giles from Knutford and “Old bugger who was probably a Mason”, this is one of Simon’s classic posts, but that won’t stop me nicking bits from it. Particularly as I seem to have lots my own notes from the day.
So it was that a few days later I was firmly instructing Mrs RM to direct me along the A54 to the Big Lock, on the way to (nearly) completing Cheshire’s GBG entries. Pleasingly, the traffic chaos gives you ample opportunity to admire the new Travelodge, Starbucks and a rather wonderful looking Robinson’s pub (the Boar’s Head).
Obviously, as we pulled in I realised we were at the wrong lock. Mrs RM laughed, hysterically, but it was clearly the negative energy emanating from the Ember Inn down the road in Holmes Chapel that was to blame.
Of course (see Map 2), it was only 2 minutes from Lock pub 1 to Lock pub 2, but I got 30 minutes of abuse in that time, so starving were the rest of the RM family.
Thank goodness, then, for huge packets of crisps and beer, which is what Mrs RM had within 2 minutes of entering the quite gorgeous King’s Lock (I think).
The Big Lock I remember (clearly unreliably) was a fairly standard dining pub I scored average on an earlier visit. To be honest I’ve come to expect middling quality in Middlewich (possible future post title), but the King’s Lock may just redeem it.
Mainly, that’s because the “cheery cute barmaid” (BRAPA,2017) was everything you want in a slightly foody pub. Relaxed, efficient, enthusiastic enough about the beers without having ten of them on, and running a pub packed with charm.
Spotless, simply furnished and with fresh flowers. And a short menu listing dishes in £ sterling ! (as opposed to “Soup du jour 5.2”)
Yes, those test tubes in front of the beers are off-putting. And yes, I’m a little confused by this picture I took of the beer,
but I think that’s what you get when you pour a half of craft keg into a pint glass. Anyway, Mrs RM was drinking the beer, rather quickly if I recall, always a good sign of quality.
Lack of beer mats apart, I could imagine myself drinking the excellent Weetwood beers in the bench seating below.
We ate very well, proper burgers and a salad that Mrs RM convinced herself counteracted the calories in the crisps and beer. Our boys declared the chips the best since BrewDog.
I’d love to tell you about cutlery dramas and bill-splitting drama, but to be honest the other diners were pleasant and well-behaved. Even in BRAPA land, that does happen occasionally.
A tiny gem.