The blog titles don’t get any better from now till Christmas, when I should receive some new ones from Santa.

On to the Crown & Cushion, a rare old-fashioned small hotel bar in the Guide, in the resolutely old-fashioned Chipping Norton, which I often write as Chipping Sodbury to annoy them both.

Chipping sodbury.PNG
Across the Chippings

An easy Chipping mistake to make; with Sodbury immortalised by John Cale and Norton’s new entry once run by Keith Moon, famed hotel wrecker.

I failed to spot any local celebrities in Chipping Norton’s High Street on a drizzly Saturday, but plenty of other “Cotswolds Bingo” opportunities on display with pashminas, Barbour and blokes “off to Twickers“.

Men all “off to Twickers”

Lunch from the venerable Nash’s Bakery; quiche and Banbury tart of course.

High Class Baker

Approaching the Crown & Cushion from the back gives an impression of a slightly careworn independent hotel surviving on repeat booking from Gentlefolk and Americans.


And the hotel bar sign reminds me a bit of This & That in the Manchester back streets.

Crown & Cushion

I expected a dining room full of elderly couples dithering over menus, but instead I got this;

Proper pub

Yes, they’re sitting at the bar, watching television on their mobile phones. Yes, that meant I couldn’t see the pumps. But fluorescent jackets are surely second only to a mobility scooter as a sign of a proper pub.

Bass pump hidden

I made space next to the gent above, and then I noticed them.  Bass glasses.

It’s luvverly the Bass“, said the chatty Bass drinker, pointing to the keg Bass font.

So I couldn’t have the Bass (rules, rules) and had to settle for the local ale.

The Hooky was served in one of those ancient Beer Festival style tankards too, but it must suit the beer, as this was a cool, smooth and creamy NBSS 4.

Almost as good as a Bass on this occasion

I took to the pub, with its sense of being a centre of small-town drinking, with cheap (by Oxon standards) food, and unashamed Keith Moon memorabilia.

The Keith Room

Another year, another new Guide entry for this Norton, but I’ll bet it’s a while before a micro (“Cameron’s CASK” ?) pops up here.



16 thoughts on “WHO ARE YOU, CHIPPING NORTON ?

  1. More Midsomer Madness! You’re frightening me with these scary rural pubs and that Wolverhampton & Dudley Keg Bass. Remember, someone far more erudite than I told you yesterday – Bass is not the same drink as it was! Okay, you had your fingers in your ears going, ‘Nah, nah, nah nah, nah, nah, not listening!’ But it’s still true. The Oracle has spoken!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “No. He just said, ‘At least me and you are Normal Rich!’”

        Look, if you’re going to be a ‘nornal’ beer drinker you’d be on the Carling Black Label (or the American Bud if you lived over here). 😋

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s still keg Bass as well as cask, is there?! Informative as well as entertaining, this blog of yours.

    It’s hard to beat a pint (or half) of Hooky in good condition when the Bass isn’t available in the manner God (as written in the gospel of CAMRA) intended.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Keg Bass is very popular in Northern Ireland – any sightings in GB are probably that brew rather than a keg variant of the Burton one.

        The town of Chipping Norton is a bit more down-to-earth than the reputation of the “Chipping Norton set” would suggest.

        There’s a “Coach & Cushion” in your post, btw.


      2. Thanks for that, Mudgie, Coach & Cushion sounds a bit “Panto season” and that will never do.

        You’re right, Chipping has a semblance of proper town, more Thame than Burford. The smarter Fuller pub is complemented by at least one other quite plain Hook Norton pub. Decent opening hours, too.


  3. I’ve never been to Chipping Sodbury, I don’t think I’ve been to Chipping Norton…but I have been to Chipping Campden! (I was upset to find that ‘Chipping’ has nothing to do with potatoes…it’s derived from an old English word for market…that’s Wikipedia for you!)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Good recall ! The Sun Inn was the last pub I recall drinking proper Boddies in (and the mild), would have been 20 years ago. Tillotsons in recently. Nearest Guide pubs to Dunsop Bridge in Bowland.,


  4. “So I couldn’t have the Bass (rules, rules) and had to settle for the local ale.”

    What are these rules, and why are they getting in between you and your Bass?! Please educate me, as I’d have thought your only rule was “When there’s good Bass available, elbow everyone aside and order it as quickly as possible.” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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