The last post from Scotland for, ooh, two weeks, when I’m back up to Glasgow, finally doing that elusive Coatbridge Spoons.

I’ve left the best from this trip ’till last though, as well as a few reasons apart from great pubs to visit Musselburgh.

Here’s some highlights, reflecting the sunset, architecture, street art, S.Luca’s ice cream parlour, Ghurka curry, and the famed “Honest Miss Musselburgh 2017” contest.



Turner Prize winner 2006
Ghurka Restaurant – top onion bhaji
Miss Honest Musselburgh Lass 2017

So, a big thumbs-up for the Scottish Herne Bay then.

Ultimately, though, that other pubby highlight is a basic gem, named after the suburb a mile east of town.


With Simon’s permission, I’m thinking of starting a new category of “BRAPA pubs”, proper friendly locals with more happening than you can cope with.  The Levenhall Arms would be a “BRAPA pub” *

A little bit of Freemantle in Scotland, but even better, and with high quality Ossian (£3.20 a pint) and Borders beer on air pressure.  Excitingly, it was served in a Tennents glass on a Sam Smiths beer mat.


The Sam Smiths connection ran deep,


but there was clearly just enough real stuff passing through the tap to make it viable.

My notes are a week old now, but include the following observations;

  • The barmaid was (seemingly)  reading a gent’s fortune.
  • The gent then began arguing with the one-armed bandit (see also:Royston).
  • A small girl knocked over a table of dominoes.
  • Everyone chatting to everyone else, often at the same time, and largely about changing tyres (possibly a Scottish euphemism).
  • When we left the barmaid said “Bubbye lads” and the bandit arguer said “Cheerio Son“, though to Charles rather than me.
  • Will Young’s “Leave Right Now” brought a tear to my eye.

We should have left after a pint, but it was utterly compulsive stuff, and we stayed for more beer and crisps that was entirely sensible.

A pub that gives you hope for the future of the corner boozer.

NB The programme from Scotland’s consolation victory in the Euro 1968 Qualifying was the highlight of a great collection.  I never actually saw the Belhaven commemorative beer in Scotland (they don’t like to talk about that game up there), so here’s a picture from Wootton in the New Forest. Complete with sample bottle.


* I appreciate there’s dozens of pubs like this in Eccles, but they’re not in the GBG.

19 thoughts on “1967 AND ALL THAT

  1. Hows that work then? Never seen Sam’s products next to other beers/products, is it a free house? Only place I know that is a free house which serves Sam’s (OBB) is Junction in Cas’. Far as I know, from that map you pointed me to, there’s only two Sam’s houses up there, just the top side of Edin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OBB has been a guest at the Station Inn, Habrough before.

      Gurkha curry houses are rarely anything other than superb. Whilst I have no reason to doubt the quality, I would say that the presentation of the onion bhajis is over the top. Put on plate, pot of rhaita on the side is possible, salad if you really must.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting re the OBB. Spot on re Ghurka restaurants. There is a very excellent one on a ‘faux’ boat in the marina at Weymouth. Buffet style, just go for the Nepalese dishes, all the regimental photos of the staff down the corridor – impressive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Weymouth – Short perambulation along the promenade, a couple in The Globe and then Ghurka buffet restaurant for a late lunch; honestly, it doesn’t get better than that.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. A number of free house pubs in W Yorks with Sam Smiths on keg, certainly has appeared in a few pubs where it wasn’t before over the last couple of years. Not your upmarket pubs either.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m obviously not getting out and about enough mate! Thanks for info. Its got to be a good thing though. I quite like the Taddy Lager and the Stout, they might be keg, but they’re both a decent drink IMHO. I like the pure brew even more, but i’m to allowed to drink it!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The ‘spoons in Cumbernauld is well worth a visit. At least part of it is. It is effectively two pubs and whilst the downstairs is functional, the upstairs is … well you should go and see. The beer is generally pretty decent and it’s a real suntrap outside on a fine afternoon, with an unparalleled view across the rooftop car park.

    You can even catch a train direct from Coatbridge Central to Cumbernauld (not so central).

    Liked by 1 person

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