I always enjoy my trips back to the 1950s. Just the one new GBG entry for me to visit in Herefordshire this year, but it’s a corker.
Almeley feels a long way from the big city (Leominster), but close to the honeypots of Hergest Ridge and Offas Dyke.
Around here, all roads lead to Eardisley. Very slow roads, with hedgerows, tractors and American tourists on their way to a posh country house wedding reception. I passed a man with a beard and flowers in his hair; what’s the country coming to ?
Let’s face it, this is what you expect in the border lands; tractors blocking the road and red phone boxes.
The Bells follows a number of really isolated county pubs withinto the Guide, like those in Lingen and Norton Cannon (RIP).
But while those two “enjoyed” the frustrating limited opening hours pub tickers love, the Bells taunts its “9am to Midnight” offer all over WhatPub. Those aren’t quite licensed hours, but you’ll still get that civilising mid-morning pint here.
The pub survives in part from the village stores to the left, with its Folington’s lemonade and Welsh cakes (i.e. the essentials). The busy lady was simultaneously dealing with the complexities of local cheese and a sudden influx of blokes wanting beer.
To the left is a bar in that “living room” style beloved of the Marches, if not quite in the league of the Sun and the Olde Tavern down the road. You will have your own views on slate beermats.
An Old Boy brought his pork pie and Sun (“That’s one of yer English punds“) into the bar. I let him order first, to see which of the two ales he’d go for. Always order the beer that’s just been pulled folks.
He had a pint of keg Ansells Mild. Good for him, keeping keg Mild alive in 2017.
I guessed the Goffs was probably the slightly more popular beer,and it was fine, although the Ansells looked rather cooler.
We chatted about the weather in the way the English do; I dread to think what he’ll make of BRAPA when he gets there in 2025.
I walked the bounds of the village, the 3rd quietest place under the sun, probably.
The parish church and views to Wales are stunning.
Just a couple of American tourist in the churchyard, looking for signs of witchcraft. Few English visitors make it this far, of course.