My last Surrey GBG pub was the Blue Anchor in Reigate.
Every year I make the train journey to the town expecting something new and exciting, and leave bewildered. Last year, the Bell promised craft but gave us a Greene King identikit dining pub, and a classic Bieber v Coldplay argument.
This year the Bell makes way for the Blue Anchor as the sole GBG pub, and you get a choice of Sharps Atlantic or Long Man. The pumps were impressively hidden behind an arrangement of straws, and the craft choice is Freedom. No-one else is drinking cask or craft so it’s all a bit irrelevant. There’s more exciting beer ranges in Maidenhead.
A large family group have taken over the old part of the pub to have their annual arguments in public. I settle in for the inevitable fight between leopard skin lady and flat top man. Leopard skin lady was drinking the Long Man, oddly enough.
The barking dog rather overshadowed any familial disputes.
I can tell you this is a family that named their son Richard “Ricardo“, which is all you need to know. The black sheep of the family was emigrating, probably to Shoreditch; the elder members were debating the finer details of their holiday in a Gite in Brittany.
Appropriate musical accompaniment in the form of “Jammin” and “Money” couldn’t quite drag the pub into the 1980s, let alone 2017.
I do approve of folk having their family get together in a basic pub, rather than a French restaurant or Pizza Hut, and the Long Man Blonde was pleasantly dry (NBSS 3.5),but I couldn’t work out who this was appealing to, apart from folk who don’t like Doom Bar and London Pride.
Outside in the Bank Holiday sun, a cricket match composed entirely of boys called Harry was taking place. Or perhaps it wasn’t.
It was all a bit slow, so I revisited the castle ruins,which are very lovely.
Little in the way of independent business, with chain pizzerias dominating. An extraordinary residents meeting had been called to discuss the word that divides Reigate.
The word is craft, and it will never be allowed to enter Roe-deer gate.