However much of England I see, there’s always much I haven’t. Aiming to travel on all the roads in the Philip Navigator may be a tad ambitious (Mrs RM will kill me if I take her on further exploration of Goole Fields), but following the GBG trail takes you into some paths less travelled.
Frampton-on-Severn doesn’t look that obscure. Five minutes off the gridlocked M5, five minutes from Slimbridge, ten minutes from the gritty reality of Gloucester.
Another claimant for England’s longest village green, apparently*, and presumably serial winner of “Berkeley in Bloom“. Even with an intrusive funfair, it was breathaking.
Apparently I’d been here before, to the Bell with it’s prosecco-swilling folk in the garden, which just shows you how the memory goes after the age of 21.
I’ll say this. You wouldn’t forget The Three Horseshoes.
Not so much because of the interior, your typical
rustic scruffy Gloucestershire free house.
Or because of the stellar beer range (no pun intended, though most sales were of Fosters ). The Uley was a decent beer in need of quicker throughput, not quite bad enough to take back.
But for sheer, weird, pubbiness, it was hard to beat.
We tipped up at 1.30, worried that last food orders might already have been called. For half an hour I wondered what I was doing in a near empty pub full of humorous clichés, scatter cushions and Pickle chasing balls round my feet. Low level music seemed to consist of Scandinavian cover versions of Cardigan tracks.
Then it came to life. A few folk came in who weren’t part of the OAP dining trade, and started strumming guitars. I could have been in a Mumford & Sons video (that’s not a good thing).
Old chaps with sticks came in for their cider, young blokes with singlets wandered in for no reason whatsoever. I guessed the 2pm closing time was a joke.
WhatPub said it was closing at 2pm, by which time I’d be waiting for my minted lamb pie for half an hour or more, but instead it filled up like a karaoke evening in Kingswood.
Then the landlord and chef came over and gave me a five minute tutorial on how to eat his “3-Shu pie“. He was rightly proud of his speciality, it was the best pie I’ve ever eaten, and had the advantage of lacking a warning about calorific content like you get in the new Spoons in Ramsgate.
Two ladies who really need a permanent role on BRAPA came in and asked for Doom Bar, England’s top beer.
“Halves ?” They looked like they’d been shot. Mrs RM could sympathise with them.
“No, pints !!!”
They enjoyed Pickle’s ball chasing more than I did.
“It’s all over balls”
“Isn’t it always ?”
“I can’t be doing with the diddly diddly” . I think that was a reference to the Mumford & Sons man.
A pub to remind you why pubs beat beer festivals every day of the week, and will survive CAMRA’s temporary petty cash difficulties.
But come here without eating and you’ll regret it for ever.
*Someone will, no doubt, correct me