TAKING THE CROWN IN WINDSOR

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There are certain towns you can rely on to give you ONE new tick in the Guide every year; take Skipton, Newark or Windsor/Eton (which is a bit like Newcastle/Gateshead except Eton isn’t as smart as Gateshead).

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I turned up the week before the date and venue of that wedding was announced; otherwise our American readers can be assured I would have remained in situ until May 29th. I have yet to find an Englishman not obsessed with the Royal Wedding.

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Start queueing here

Given my vitriol for nearby Maidenhead on this blog, you may be surprised to hear I rate Windsor as one of our great towns. Honest.

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Of course, the main reason US tourists come here is to see where David Cameron boarded as a 13 year old.  They ought to come for suburban pubs like the Vansittart and the tourist pubs on the cobbled streets by the castle.  They looked gorgeous.

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Cobbled streets
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Christmas trees

And I admired for the first time the wonky shop (it may be my eyesight).

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Wonky as Lavenham

I can’t claim the Queen Charlotte is a #ProperPub; it’s clearly a pleasant small hotel with public bar in the best traditions of tourist towns.

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Queen Charlotte

So no chance of mobility scooters and 9am Smooth drinkers, just weekending couples escaping Maidenhead, and American tourists escaping Heathrow. The banter is all about dinner arrangements, and the chances of a ticket for the Royal Wedding*.

There’s small rooms and creaky stairs, but it’s not going to win any “Pub Curmudgeon” awards for proper seating.

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But the welcome is wonderful, chattier and cheerier than any micro, and I was given some sort of club discount on a half of Church End Goat’s Milk that was worth a rare NBSS 4.  That’s the first time, in at least 200 pub visits since August, that I’ve actually seen our Champion Beer of Britain.

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Rare sighting of our CBOB

It takes the Crown for beer in Windsor, though across the Thames into Eton you’ll find the Waterman as good as ever.

Fortified by overpriced deli items in Eton’s Budgens, I walked the couple of miles through the fields (NOT corn fields) to the rather less genteel Eton Wick.

There’s an alligator on the roof of the Greyhound.

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Greyhound/Alligator confusion

It’s clearly there for the BRAPA visit later this year.  Hopefully it will eat Simon and not Tom.

The Greyhound is the last pub in the village, and is fairly busy with what I’d call “Berkshire Tradesmen” at 4pm.   A pub that’s busy at 4pm is normally a winner, and this is a companion piece for the Queen Charlotte.

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Proper beer choice

The half a dozen blokes were all on Carling, another good sign in my book.  Carling would have invalidated my tick so I stuck to the Rebellion, a decent and well-priced  drop (NBSS 3)

It was the best £1.75 I spent all day (it wouldn’t have bought a packet of Pipers in Eton). Where else could you hear lines like this from people in woolly hats;

“That Dog…t’s a got a thick daughter a’nt he ?”

“That’s his f*****g wife !”

Thank goodness Sir Humphrey Smith wasn’t around.

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As I’ve said before, Berkshire gets these basic boozers in the Guide with regularity, even when they don’t pepper the bar with weird guest beers.  More power to their elbows.

 

*I’m joking.  You’re only eligible for a Royal Wedding ticket if you attended all the previous home fixtures.

16 thoughts on “TAKING THE CROWN IN WINDSOR

  1. Oh, I don’t know about that seating – looks a bit bench-like on the right, and at least the tables are parallel to the wall.

    “The half a dozen blokes were all on Carling, another good sign in my book. “

    As blokes tend to be. If you’re not careful, you’ll be drummed out of the beard club.

    About 35 years ago I recall a lunchtime visit to Windsor to do pubs on the Friary Meux “Horseshoe Trail”, many of which were surprisingly basic. Used to be a garrison town, of course. Probably mostly closed or gentrified now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t really thought of it as a garrison town, despite a lot of military allusions in the back street pubs. I doubt there’s much rough left, but the tourists do tend to stick to the centre.

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  2. “I would have remained in situ until May 29th.”

    The wedding takes place over 10 days? 😉

    “I have yet to find an Englishman not obsessed with the Royal Wedding.”

    I’m sure they’ll all come out of the woodwork now to post here proving just that. 🙂

    And regarding the map; I don’t think the good people of Clewer Village are very clever if they can’t spell clever correctly.

    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sod the Royal Wedding.I’m looking forward to the Royal Divorce.
    Harry is a decent cove who just wants regular jiggery-pokery and to get it he’s marrying a left-wing SJW dunderhead with a My Name Is Earl extended family.
    I have a garage full of popcorn in already.
    Let the show begin.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve got me curious about this idea of a tourist pub. Have you been in pubs that seem to have more tourists in them than locals? Are there pubs that feel a bit like they’re “trying too hard,” filling the place with English-themed memorabilia and so forth that is meant to appeal to tourists?

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    1. Oh yes. Come to Cambridge and visit the Eagle (DNA discovered there), or Windsor dining pubs or a lot of Greenwich. I quite like them, unless it’s ALL eating ! Stratford on Avon tries much too hard, and the pubs there rarely trouble the Beer Guide

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They own the George just over the bridge into Eton. It’s a pleasant pub, but beer wasn’t turning over quickly and was disappointing. You’re right though, good beer at its best (try the Wetherspoons at the M40 service station !).

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  5. The Crooked House was made out of unseasoned oak, which warped, causing it’s wonky shape. The stairs are interesting to climb! Great to see it’s stood the test of time.

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