Coming towards the end of Berkshire now, always a cheery county, with the one obvious exception you’ll know by now.
Off to Winkfield’s Squirrels, which looks awfully like Cranbourne to me on the map.
Situated between Windsor and Ascot and open all day, I was expecting something a bit twee and gastro.
Far from it. The Squirrels is a bit of the East End,without the pretentiously priced Scotch eggs.
At 4pm half a dozen retired gentlefolk sitting at the bar interrupt their banter to say hello and tell me Debbie is in the cellar. I do like not being ignored in pubs.
There’s the sort of extensive beer choice I like to see too.
It’s a long bar area with plenty of seating choice, so I plonk myself down next to the laptop directing the Christmas music. Probably “Stop the Cavalry” or the theme from “Die Hard“, who knows ?
The Smuggler was cool, rich and tasty, a good NBSS 3+, but it was the pubby atmosphere that made this yet another Berkshire winner.
There’s some excellent debate about pubbiness and micro pubs in the comments on Richard Coldwell’s latest post (here), and the Squirrels is the sort of place folk still go to chat rubbish over a beer, without worrying about its provenance and hopping rates.
“You watch that League of Gentlemen last night ?” “I still don’t get it”
“Not a patch on Mrs Brown’s Boys, that’s class that is”
Followed by a forensic analysis of the merits of Fawlty Towers, ‘Allo ‘Allo et al.
“It’s all in the best.. possible taste !” “Who was that then ?”
“Who was the rabbit man ?”
You get the idea. A bunch of mates yapping endlessly about nothing. Brilliant.
NB What’s the protocol here ? As a stranger, are you allowed to shout out “Rod Hull” as you leave the pub. I didn’t.