Early September traditionally sees a mad dash to clear Bedfordshire, often the first county to fall in the new GBG. A half of Doom Bar* to the first reader to guess what will be my first complete county this year.
The extract above might be a clue. And to think that Simon actually completed Beds, from his York HQ, last year.
My comment yesterday about the GBG being a Guide to the country holds true for a county that promotes itself as “the irritating bit between Cambridge and Oxford“.
There is no earthly reason you would visit Clifton.
My Navigator (antique edition) records that I had, probably in 1997 while walking from Arlesey station to the Shefford Tap. The Admiral is surrounded by some prominent pubs;
The Shefford Tap to the west, Broom’s barless Cock to the north, a micropub (whatever that is) to the south, and of course the famous Mikkeller/Cloudwater collaborative burger bar at Henlow Grange Health Farm. Oh, and the Engineer’s Arms.
But Clifton hasn’t graced the Guide in my ticking lifetime. ‘Till now.
Despite persistent drizzle I walked the bounds to collect the Clifton highlights for you.
A relatively affluent east Beds village, with duck pond, half-timbered houses, and floral pubs. Quintessential inessential England.
The Admiral ticks most boxes on the Bedfordshire village pub checklist;
- Odd opening hours
- Unpretentious but quality menu
- Pleasant, chatty staff and reguars
- Pleasing lack of post-1980 pub furniture
- Award winning floral displays
- Draught Bass
- Stockport pub picture
No, I didn’t see the last two coming either. Or the indie soundtrack. Anyway, here’s the obligatory “Bass being poured” shot.
“Why didn’t you have the Abbot ?” I hear you cry.
The Bass was very decent, a south Derby model I enjoyed watching the destruction of the Windies by our Jimmy. Cricket, along with the weather and Car Seat Headrest, are the only safe topics of pub conversation these days.
The cheery barman confirmed the Landlord previously ran the Blossoms in Stockport, which accounts for the quality of the beer, though he couldn’t account for why any sane person would leave England’s greatest town for a Bedfordshire village with a duck pond.
*In a Wythenshawe pub on New Years Eve, T & C apply