Earlier this month I gave my regular squeal of anguish from a pub that should have been opened but wasn’t.

Country gastropub ahoy !

Some people would have given the Stag in Mentmore up as a bad job, but us Guide tickers don’t have that luxury. And, following our intensive training at GBG Base Camp*, we’re all prepared for the worst that Buckinghamshire can throw at us.

I phoned up before making this trip.  They sounded very nice.

Mentmore does at least have the advantage of being a short hop on the train from Leighton Buzzard, and a longer walk from Cheddington.

New Model Farm Army

That’s the Leighton Buzzard with this sight, by the way. Five points for identifying the pub.

Not at 11am it wasn’t

Mentmore looked a little less misty, and hence even less interesting, than before.  Perhaps some of my readers may live in places without trees.


I was really hoping the Stag would either be unexpectedly great, or so bad I got a good blog post out of it.

Will you be dining with us, Sir ?”

Along with jam jars in front of hand pumps, Tap Takeovers and table reservations, nothing makes the heart sink more than these words.  I answered apologetically;

No, just a Bombardier and a packet of those wonderful Pipers crisps please“.

This was my window seat in the bar area. Two high posing tables and a large sofa.

Seats for Nannas

There was no-one else obviously about, but the car park was full.  So the extent of the banter was a never-ending series of phone calls looking for Sunday lunch reservations.


This is obviously a very successful restaurant, if not a great pub.  That fire in the top photo would have been pleasant in a cosy boozer, a soundtrack of Bill Withers was played at decent volume and the foamy head made a nice addition to my collection.

Nice foam, to be fair

But as Bill would say, “Ain’t No Sunshine in a drab NBSS 2.5 pint of Bombardier”.

Poor lacings


I hope you appreciate the anguish Duncan, Simon and I go to bring you reports from places like this. But I bet you don’t.


*2 days course at Maidenhead Conservative Club


20 thoughts on ““WILL YOU BE DINING WITH US, SIR ?”

  1. “Perhaps some of my readers may live in places without trees.”

    Not in my neck of the woods (I think the woods bit gives that away). 🙂

    Mind you, I have spent a total of 12 months so far north that the closest trees were a good 2,000km away.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lots… when went into exile in early Eighties ;-). Now only go back for football, more and more occasionally. Butchers Arms only one am aware of these days with Bass usually on, but that not from personal experience – haven’t been in in years.


  2. Jars in front of handpumps I can live with.Tap takeovers and table reservations are profoundly annoying. However, “will you be dining with us, Sir?” is from the seventh circle of Hell. There are no words.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “In Froggy’s Bar you can enjoy real ale and pub food in a relaxed atmosphere. The 1920’s art-deco cocktail lounge houses a baby grand piano which, on occasions, you can hear being expertly played to provide soothing background music”.

    So says WhatPub. After reading that, perhaps I can appreciate the anguish Duncan, Simon and you go to bring us reports from places like this.

    Pipers crisps does raise it up slightly in my estimation, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very off topic, but on your map – were you aware that the Great Train Robbery took place at Mentmore Bridge ? Bit of history there for you…


  5. I thought for sure you were going to say to them, “Yes, I will be dining here. I’ll dining upon a nice plump packet of your finest Pipers crisps.”

    I must say I’m conflicted with Bombardier. On the plus side they make the effort to get their stuff over here to the USA, which is much appreciated. Also the label design is delightful, which matters to me for some reason. But the beer itself is a touch too sweet it seems to me, the bottled version at any rate.

    When you’ve had it at its best, what’s your opinion on it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That first line elicited the sort of laugh normally reserved for BRAPA. I really should have said that !

      I agree on the Bombardier design. 20 years ago it was a favourite beer; the Wrestlers pub in Cambridge served many pints of it, as did quite a few boozers in Coventry, oddly. It wasn’t sweet back then.

      Sadly, I don’t think there are many pubs that serve enough pints of it these days, and Charles Wells pubs have added far too many beers to the bar (see my Potton post for example).


    1. It is just possible there was a room full of gentlefolk silently eating their prawn cocktails round the corner out of sight !

      The car park is just a few places on the area leading to the village green, but there were no obvious visitors to the village.


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