You left our hero (that’s Mrs RM) in the last episode at the Plough, asking why she couldn’t have the 9.0% Bexar, which as Pub Curmudgeon has just pointed out gives excellent “bang-per-buck“.  And also an excellent hangover.

But we had work to do.


Not that there were any new GBG ticks, having fortuitously pre-emptively ticked the Manor House in  March, at what became known as the Wetherspoons Riots.

Smoothie fruit machine man still on the loose

I’d like to think my rave write-up got the pub in the Beer Guide, Royston’s first entry for a decade, but I don’t think entries are selected on the basis of on the quality of the arguments.

As you’ll see, the town was buzzing mid-afternoon.


Since Richard Coldwell has broken the bloggers code by posting pictures of me on BeerLeeds, I feel free to give you the archetypal Mrs RM shot.  Pint in one hand, phone in the other, sitting on high seats which didn’t allow her feet to touch her ground.


Being able to pick a seat is the mark of a great voyeur.  Sadly Mrs RM remains lacking in that department. Instead she chose to remark on the fire and the lighting, which make very dull Blog copy.



So no overheard banter from the Old Boys, no fruit machine bust-ups, just a few young lads Skyping their girlfriends in Tokyo over cheap pints of lager. It’s what Spoons is all about.


Pleasingly, some excellent beer from Saltaire and Woods (NBSS 3.5 each), making a rather more balanced line-up than in Spoons of late.  None of that elusive “Available Soon” either.


Beer and internet usage aside, the things that stood out here were;

  • A complete absence of diners at 3.30pm.  I presume the good folk of North Herts stick regimentally to their dining hours.  No families either.
  • The cheeriness of the staff.  They even said “Bye” when we left.
  • The classic flat cap man.


One of the best Spoons pubs in the country, though I hope it has the food trade that Mr Tim deems necessary to support these backwater ventures.

With twenty minutes to the train, we admired Royston’s ancient streets, and its free toilet facilities.


Our youngest son went to Royston on Saturday, declaring it “very dull” on his return. He’s a good judge of character.

Back at the campervan, we enjoyed a real old school sweary Greene King local.


A line of blokes at the bar, discussing the theme song from “Shallow Hal“, the joys of defrosting a car, and the merits of the Sam Smiths swearing ban (not really).

Decent Abbot, excellent Olde Trip (with apologies to our Notts readers) and proper calorific burger and curly fries.  Good cask turnover in a pub without a dozen pumps.

As we left someone said “van Gerwen really punished him last night”.  Hopefully a darts reference, but you never know.





  1. Delightful, and thanks for the link to Richard’s article as I’d foolishly not read it earlier– something written more or less expressly for me.

    Loved the line “discussing the theme song from “Shallow Hal“; you can’t make up the specificity of something like that, you can only overhear it in a pub : )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Smoothie fruit machine man still on the loose”

    And wearing a pirate toque for some reason. 😉

    “excellent Olde Trip (with apologies to our Notts readers) ”

    I’m guessing because one should not drink Olde Trip unless you’re at Ye Olde Trip?


    PS – “The classic flat cap man.”

    I have a cap just like that! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I doubt Mrs RM will thank you for that unflattering portrait in mid-swallow but as a fellow aficionado of catching the missus off-guard with the camera – Mrs PPT thinks I deliberately catch her in drunken mid-laugh to make her look like a deranged bag lady – I say top marks.
    That John Smith’s glass sent a shudder down my spine though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was so angry I had to get her a can of Punk IPA and let her drink it all herself. That’s angry. I would of course defend my wife about any “unflattering” comments, if I could be bothered.

      John Smiths Cask is the nectar of the Gods, mate. That’s why I keep out of that hilarious beery chatter about NEIPAs blah.


      1. I take it back.
        The only John Smith’s I encounter these days is Smooth – the Stella Artois of the whippet brigade.
        No offence intended about Mrs RM.Any lass who drinks a pint passes muster with the Prof.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “Pint in one hand, phone in the other, sitting on high seats which didn’t allow her feet to touch her ground.” Yes, that’s also me. I raise my fist, with a pint in it, to Mrs RM in solidarity.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. To be fair to them, you go in Marstons and those familiar brands (Hobgoblin, Ringwood, Brakspear) ARE still brewed in other breweries. I heard two old boys discussing Speckled Hen as if they’d been presented with a Cloudwater cask the other week; we can live in a beer bubble.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Too many people are being conned (as Wickingman points out), especially the older, less information savvy guys (as you say living in a bubble) GK & Marston’s are just taking the piss, peddling all their many brands as ‘still brewed in the original brewery’, or passing them off as independent brands. Do ‘we’ as intelligent and well informed ex-professionals really think they are sourcing malt and hops from the finest individual suppliers (as the individual traditional brewers would insist on)? Or are they utilising the economies of scale afforded them as mega brewers to buy in massive bulk at reduced terms and then just sending more or less the same basic ingredients out to all their many breweries and say, ‘you’ll have to do your best with this kid!’ ? If I were a brewers accountant I’d say,’ buy concentrated hop oils and we can reduce transport costs’. I reckon they are probably brewing by numbers behind a customer friendly facade

    Like I have said elsewhere and repeatedly, there really needs to be a campaigning organisation to stop these mega brewers taking over and reducing the diversity of the UK brewing scene! And yet I still hear CAMRA members waxing lyrical over mass produced homogenous rubbish. Thankfully I hear many voices to the contrary, but not from HQ.

    Rant ends.


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