IMG_20171102_120215.jpgAfter a recent audit, I find my most popular posts are (in no particular order)

  1. Those featuring pubs from places cruelly ignored by the rest of the blogging world (come in, Trafford)
  2. Posts featuring Pub Cats
  3. Descriptions of extreme hardship or disappointment encountered by myself.

Here’s another from the third category, though Mentmore is also ignored (cruelly or otherwise) and I’m sure there were pub cats about.Mentmore.PNGIt should come as no surprise that Mentmore is in Bucks, a short hoof from Aylesbury.  OK, it’s closer to Leighton Buzzard but you don’t knock the Buzzard.

It’s a misty Mentmore too, not much bigger than a hamlet, but with a sizeable Hall that looked suitably eerie.IMG_20171102_114022.jpg



And church apart, not much else.

WhatPub and their website says the Stag is open from 12, their Facebook page says they’re re-opening on 2 November (today !) and invites us to peruse their menus.  On the door, not a sign of opening times.  But the lights are on, so I have hope.

At 12.05. I stand outside, I knock, I get stared at from the upstairs window.  My call is answered by a chap who tells me they’re open tonight, would I like to book ?

And then it clicks.  If you want to go to a country pub these days, you need to make a reservation*. No bookings, no lunchtime opening.

Yes, I’ll be back next Thursday when you start Christmas lunches.  For a half of Eagle. I can’t wait.

As I always say, open when you like. Just tell me when that will be.


*In case it’s not obvious, I’m not saying you need a reservation to get in the Stag. But booking for lunch seems to be the only way to guarantee you’ll get in a lot of pubs outside urban centres these days.  Just turning up is a lottery, and few country pubs cater for the drinker alone.


  1. Why is dross like this in the GBG? There are so many great pubs out there serving excellent beer, its a shame the GBG routinely ignores them. Its clearly not fit for purpose.


      1. Not much point getting involved in a selection process that is fundamentally flawed because it measures the wrong thing. Ability of a pub to condition and serve the beer correctly is only one small aspect of overall beer quality. The entire system needs scrapping and starting again.


  2. Their website says that they’re closed for a refurb until November 2nd but either way, everything on it points to reservations being pretty much compulsory making this a restaurant that has no place in the GBG.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the sign announcing the refurbishment was on the floor, so I’d anticipated it being open. If the website or Facebook had said opening in the evening (and opening hours include lunchtime), I wouldn’t have tipped up.

      By the way, I wasn’t implying you needed a reservation to drink at the Stag, just highlighting that you only guarantee a pub will be open if you’ve booked for lunch. Have added a note to the post to clarify.


  3. “and few country pubs ope for the drinker alone.”

    Not sure if the word after ‘pubs’ should be opt or hope 😉, but it’s a sad commentary either way. 🤔



      1. Well done sir! 🙂

        Oh and just so there’s no confusion, the “sad commentary” remark was aimed at them not wanting drinkers, not at how you phrased it (so poorly). LOL



  4. I gave up doing midweek pub crawls many years ago,the only places i would ever consider doing a midweek pub crawl would be in a large city,where i know there will be a decent amount of pubs open.
    I would not dare to try a country pub on a midweek day at dinner time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. While we’re on about Eagle, it’s only loosely ‘real’ ale. The brewing technique involves filtration and reseeding with bottom fermenting yeast in the cask.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel your pain Martin, what a disgrace! One of my few remaining Bucks pubs so can’t ignore it myself, have to hope Saturday has more generous opening times. If so, I’ll dedicate my pint of Eagle to you!

    From dodgy font on pub sign in the mist , I thought pub was called ‘The Slag’ for a second.


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