Back from Scotland to a rare post about my home county (ish).
You’ll be thinking that’s a spelling mistake at the top, particularly if you’re Pub Curmudgeon and know to expect them.
I have a vague recollection of “What’s Brewing” visiting the Wadsworth estate 20 years ago, but since then their pubs have managed to stay further off the radar than the keg pubs of Dalkeith, and well clear of the Beer Guide.
They own two pubs, one of which I’ve passed most Thursdays without venturing in.
But eventually, the many charms of St.Neots have been exhausted, so I popped in to Graveley for a slice of the flat rural East Anglian beauty that folk rave about.
A circular walk between Graveley and Yelling isn’t going to compete with, say, Leigh to Tyldesley for interest, but does at least have well sign-posted footpaths, pheasants, and those wind turbines we all love.
An unexpectedly poignant war memorial, unmarked on the OS map, comes halfway through the hour’s walk.
Graveley is a real backwater, notable only for turbines, dairies and panel beaters on the way in. You might consider it bucolic if you’ve just come from the Bedfordshire side of the A1, though.
The village pub serves a population of 200, plus the residents of Papworth who need a traditional pub.
Astonishingly, the bar is open all day.
Entering at 5pm, I didn’t quite get the old boys pub I’d hoped for, and any architectural character had long been knocked out of it.
Instead, two locals in their 30s sat at the bar chatting to the pleasant barmaid. They shot me a suspicious look as I entered.
I’ve seen worse beer ranges; IPA and the very local tawny Papworth beer (£3.50). It was, as they say, well presented (see top) and well kept (NBSS 3), though I’ll bet the next six hours wouldn’t add greatly to turnover.
The pub hasn’t changed much since 1981, which coincidentally was the year the classics you could have heard in the Three Horseshoes were released.
“Native New Yorker“, “Muscles“, “New York eyes” – beats Ed Sheeran, but played at an irritatingly low volume.
Decent beer, and decent village banter about the local who fled the village owing Lenny £40. They made it sound like 1857 but I suspect it was last week.
The Yorkshire chap at the bar took us on a case-by-case character assassination of the drunken locals that would make Simon look like Mother Theresa.
“When he was sober he was nice as pie. But give him seven pints…”
I guessed they were on Stella, and I was right.