No philosophising, just pub porn today.
As we approach the middle of August, GBG ticker’s thoughts turn to the imminent publication of a new Beer Guide, and the nagging thought that half the pubs we’ve visited in 2017 will be quietly slipping out of the 2018 edition, in favour of bottle shop-cum-brewtaps and Marston 2-for-1s.
As soon as it thuds on my doorstep, I’ll be making travel plans for the rest of the year, and realising I’ve failed to get to the Isle of Wight yet again.
Odds are there’ll be a trip back to Ludlow, the Southwold of the Marches. Ludlow is a bit light on GBG entries, just the Queens café bar and the Ludlow Brewery visitor centre., with the usual opening hours intended to annoy tourists (me).
Ludlow’s beauty is undiminished by foodie gentrification; the biggest queues were for the chippie, rather than the fried quinoa stand.
I’d have queued for that sweet shop. I’ve yet to actually try the beer in the Feathers.
The big omission in the Guide recently has been the Church Inn, a rather upmarket town pub hopefully recovering from a period of refurbishment.
Presumably it’ll be competing for a place with the new Joules place I also had to save for later. I love courtyard pubs.
But following the Guide means forsaking established and future pleasures for this year’s GBG tick, the Apple Tree in Onibury. three miles north and another place I’d never heard of.
First impressions are that this is a pub for Mrs RM, and not just because of the Pipers.
A good mix of locals, only let down by a very average Ludlow Gold (NBSS 2.5). The best brewery in the world can’t prosper unless the pub gets it right.
Some “local humour” saved the day, though.
Beer wise, it was left to Worcestershire to come up trumps on the Ludlow front.
The Tally Ho ! in Hanley Broadheath is a top roadside all-rounder, packed with diners but encouraging drinkers to drink. That Ludlow Gold was spectacular (NBSS 4), just as the fine folk at the brewery would want it to be appreciated.
Never mind the views from the garden, the children’s playground (top) is a classic.