I’ll confess to a sense of relief when I complete Norfolk’s new GBG entries these years, though perhaps not as much as the Pubmeister who starts about 6 hours further away from the flatlands than me.


If I could be bothered to compare beer scores across the counties, I’d be very boring.  I suspect Norfolk isn’t far from my overall average of 3.23 recurring.

But the pubs are soooo dull, even when they’re cosy and unpretentious like the Greyhound at Hickling.

There’s a Hickling pub at the door to the Broads., but the Greyhound isn’t it.


So on Saturday lunchtime it has no tourists from Islington or Saffron Walden, which I guess is a double-edged sword.


It looks gorgeous from outside, and cosy in that farmhouse style on the inside.  You can overdo Christmas a bit though.


My Christmas comes in the shape of a classic boring ale range;

What would YOU choose ?

Far too many beers of course, so I picked the first one.

Ghost Ship of the Broads

Once again, no weekend diners at all, just half a dozen professional drinkers, which I guess is half a dozen more than some Norfolk pubs recently. There won’t be many pub crawls from North Walsham out this way. Use it or lose it etc.

This one is very old school.


Bench seating, thick glasses (not the Adnams monstrosities), an instrumental version of “White Christmas“, snooker on the TV and a very decent Ghost Ship (NBSS 3.5).

And “Proper village banter“. Or Black Country accents, anyway,

Moind yer head Kev

Ya got thoise mince pois

Oill av Dooooom Bar please


They really do say Doom Bar like that here.  And they must like it, otherwise they’d have the Banks’s , wouldn’t they ?



  1. Do you just go to pubs that have no customers OR do you just go to pubs when there are no customers in? Either way, the timing of your visit, Saturday lunch time, is a salutary warning to those who say they value pubs, yet never go out for a pint.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Do you just go to pubs that have no customers OR do you just go to pubs when there are no customers in?”

      Martin and Si have an agreement; Martin goes to the ones with nought and Si goes to the ones with folks so he can write about them. 🙂


      Liked by 2 people

  2. Televised Premiership football has changed the pub landscape.
    Years ago Sunday lunchtime was a proper session and back home for the spuds at about 3pm a good snooze and then back out for Evensong and a few scoops on the way home.
    Now the pubs are deserted until the footy is on and people have their Sunday dinner at 7pm.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But less than 10% of the population have sky sports. So that doesn’t explain what happened to the other 90%.

      Bottom line is, all the old alcies have kicked the bucket, all the younger middle aged folks have to look after their kids – its no longer socially acceptable for the dad to just piss off to the pub for the afternoon and leave his missus to it – and the youngsters have all been put off pubs by too many unfriendly landlords operating over-zealous challenge 25 policies.


      1. But the 90% who don’t have Sky Sports at home (or a subset of them) then go to the pub at 4 pm on a Sunday to watch the match.


      2. So sky sports has helped pub attendance levels? Certainly a lot of pubs are ram packed on a Sunday with people watching the football. PS, football starts at noon/1pm on a sunday. They normally show 3 games in a row.

        The decline of lunch-time drinking has got nothing to do with football. Its just that the only people who would still consider it normal behaviour to be pissed at midday on Sunday are still in bed after a big Saturday night out.


      3. @py.
        There may well be three matches on TV on a Sunday but the big one is the late afternoon kick-off.It ain’t going to be West Brom V Swansea.
        Joe Six-Pack in his 80 quid Manyoo shirt is not going to come out at midday for bottom of the table dross and be fluted by the time his heroes are on late afternoon.
        There’s a certain routine and theatre to the day – he strolls in to the boozer at the time he knows his mates in their identical 80 quid nylon shirts are going to be strolling in.
        Footy isn’t a game any more.It’s a lifestyle.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. You’re quite right there, Syd. In fact I’m just working on a post about the changing social rhythm of pubs over the years. Sunday lunchtime was once, to my mind, the most convivial session of the week, especially when it was limited to two hours, but now it’s dead outside dining pubs.


      1. I used to love going to my local – The Olton Tavern – for a Sunday lunch session between 12-3. When they changed the licensing laws and said you could drink all day if you had food then a group of us used to book a table for around 6.30pm so we could drink from 12 under the pretence of food later on! However, I agree. now you can drink all day every day (or not, as the case may be) the magic has somehow gone…maybe less is more and restrict opening hours again, which will bring back some of the sparkle. The Royal Oak in Wirksworth benefits from limited opning hours…create the perfect storm.


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