Mrs RM is choosing her trips out with me carefully at the moment; passing up the chance of a pub crawl round Leicester with old codgers (and Mudgie) but jumping at the chance of a day in Norwich. Fickle.
Two new Beer Guide entries, neither of them micropubs, or Brewery Taps, or Ember Inns. What is going on in Norwich ? (don’t answer that Dick or Dave).
I’m probably safe to say what I like tonight, with the Canaries nursing hangovers after stuffing the Tractor Boys today in a minor league game.
Norwich, as you’ll know, is the city that regularly reaches the final of the prestigious “More handpumps than customers competition“. The competition with Derby, Sheffield and (shamefully) central Manchester, is the equivalent of bald blokes arguing over who has the biggest comb.
That said, new GBG entries have been superb recently, with the Plasterers, Leopard and Rosebery standing out to the north of the ring road. Plenty of crafty keg as well as handpumps in those.
This year the newbies are pleasingly and/or disappointingly dull.
The Cellar House in the Old Folks Village of Eaton had the sort of midweek dining custom Cambridge pubs would kill for, a few Old Boys at the bar on the lager, and almost nothing else of note. The food looked large.
This (plus a hidden Landlord) is the sort of line-up I respect, but Mrs RM on tasting duties deemed it only OK, which seemed about right to me.
I would have like to have lingered over my scratchings to overhear conversations about grandchildren’s inheritances and John Lewis, but Mrs RM was more bored than I was, and keen to see the historic city centre.
The market square looked very lively, and I was almost tempted back in the Sir Garnet.
Approaching the Coach & Horses on the western edge of the medieval centre I was fairly sure I’d been here before, but that must have been another pub with that name.
I’d actually thought Greene King pubs weren’t allowed in the Guide here, but that must be Nottinghamshire.
Clearly Local Hero status has brought this to local CAMRA attention, but I can’t say my heart sang for joy when I saw the number of wickets.
But, not for the first time, I was wrong. A steady supply of custom for the beers, including a house beer that Mrs RM correctly voted “Mmm, that’s nice” (NBSS 3.5). More than that, the landlord gave me a clear answer when I asked which ones he’d pulled since opening.
That was in keeping with some very professional and pleasant service in a gorgeous but unpretentious little place. The paninis and chips from a simple lunchtime menu were top quality in a world of “Gourmet” and “Mega“.
OK, there was a bit of an early ’80s pop fixation in the soundtrack, but who can ever hear “Girls on Film” too many times. That’ll be me.
From nowhere, one of my favourite Norwich pubs, and worth seeking out to see if beer quality is even better on a Friday night when folk are piling out of the Theatre Royal.
For 5 points, name the pub;