Enough of East Angular for a while.   I might report on Littleport if I can bear it.

I had a couple of days recovery while Mrs RM drank her Southwold present.


By Saturday we were going mad so I suggested a day trip to the Dales.


If nothing else it’s a chance to stop at Ikea, I said helpfully.  “Grrr” said Mrs RM.

I’ll drive“. “OK” said Mrs RM.

So the last two Derbyshire GBG ticks for 2017 are primarily down to her.


I still get to pink the Guide in, though.

Matlock has never held the same appeal for me as Belper or the villages around Clay Cross.  Perhaps it’s the tourists, perhaps the congested streets, perhaps the lack of a great Bass outlet.

More likely I just resent paying £3 for 2 hours parking alongside the Derwent.

Matlock 2.PNG

I took to it in the sunshine though. Lots of impressive stone buildings housing “vintage” shops and places called Herd. Never found out what that was.


Or what this juxtaposition was all about.


But I know a good looking pint in TwentyTen when I see one. Shame this Brew Master Pale was being drunk by Mrs RM (“Mmmm“”).


Much in the style of fellow GBG place MoCa, this is a Derbyshire take on the café bar that caters to a wide range of punters and seems to care about the cask (“It’s all going fast“) said the landlady in answer to my search for the fastest selling beer.


Mrs RM liked it, despite the raised levels which are a bit of an assault course when you’re 5ft 0″ and carrying 2 bags of crisps. I  always imagine Matlock as stuck in 1983, so it was no surprise to hear the hits of Mrs RM’s youth playing.

You can’t hurry love” and “Gold”  suited a large party which may well have been celebrating a 50th birthday party (Ollldddd), as did the weird Swizzels memorabilia.  What’s wrong with a Bass mirror ?


I was happy enough watching blokes standing at posing tables eating Pieminster pies, so I let Mrs RM have one of their homemade vodkas.  And a pie (I had a scotch egg).


We then had a big dramatic argument as I ordered a ginger beer with Mrs RM’s vodka. Keen readers may remember a similar tiff over drinks orders in Carmarthen last year; Mrs RM never forgets.  If Simon had been there he’d have enjoyed our territorial dispute.

The food was great, the beer was very good, the service top notch.


I thought the steep walk up Bank Road to Stanley’s Ale House, passing places called Herd, Tipsy Toad, the Remarkable Hare and “Police Station”,  was invigorating.   Mrs RM less so.


This is visually the most micro of all micro pubs I’ve been in this year. Local Ashover Font and the inevitable Plum Porter are the most predictable of beers, and £3 a pint a predictable, if welcome, return to micro prices of old.


A sip of that Ashover told me quality was high here, though on Saturday afternoon there was just the one professional drinker and, bizarrely, two girls from the next door beauty salon drinking champagne.  Have they no shame ?

Musically, we moved on from 1983 to 1989, enjoying mid-period Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac, much to the joy of our Beautique workers, possibly the youngest people ever seen in a micro pub.

We admired the Council buildings,


and I would have taken Mrs RM to the delights of the Thorn Tree, but it was too steep.

And that was that, bar an excellent coffee and cake at PeliDeli and an exploration of the cutting-edge public transport options.


Derbyshire complete.  Four pubs in Matlock, all scoring NBSS 3.5 or better, but the town still feels a bit under-pubbed and over-cafed.  Perhaps someone will open a pub just selling Draught Bass.  Perhaps not.

17 thoughts on “MODERN MATLOCK

  1. I met the Ashover brewer once. Nice person. I really enjoyed some of their beers. Some would call Poet’s Tipple a boring beer, but I loved the malty flavor. Derbyshire has the friendliest people I have ever met.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice comments about (what is now) my home town. There is a definite ‘circuit’ emerging in Matlock now and the town has a much improved vibe about it. The Railway opposite the Crown will soon be reopening. The new owners also own the Fishpond at Matlock Bath and made a fantastic job of rejuvenating that, so we are looking forward to seeing what happens there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. On a Derbyshire point of info. The Duke at Elton no longer serves real ale but is on the CAMRA national inventory. I trust that Peter will inform as to whether this unique.


  4. Regarding the last picture,that will be Scums brand new metro train in about 20 years time.

    On professional drinkers yet again,i was in the Angel Vaults Wetherspoons in Hitchin on Saturday and was very surprised when they refused to serve me at 9.50am,i like my drinking to start a lot earlier than that if on a days pub crawl,so i sat at a table and waited for 5 minutes and thought i would go to the bar for the 10am opening,there were already people leaving the bar with drinks which really *issed me off,there was a very small old looking bloke who beat me to the bar,so must be a professional drinker and he ordered a pint of Magners and a pint of Abbot,very professional for 9.55am i was next to him and it was my turn next,then things started to go wrong,he said where is the magners glass,we have none,so the barmaid took the empty glass which was next to the Magners bottle away,he then moaned he wanted a glass,so a Guinness glass was returned,he then wanted his Abbot in a handled jug and not in the Abbot glass that it had been poured into,she in the end told him to go and drink it and get and handled glass next time.

    Liked by 1 person

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