Those of you who are good at maths will have noticed that 3 pints were drunk in Spoons in Galashiels, which is both an endorsement of that fine establishment and an admission that careful planning can go awry.
Mrs RM was beyond delighted to find that the giant Galashiels Tesco was open all day on Sundays, allowing her to stock up on essential supplies (top). If that’s not a reason to vote SNP I don’t know what is.
Our hotel, the cheapest in the area by about £50 was also my only new GBG entry for miles. In fact the only real ale for miles once you leave Galashiels‘ cask glories.
You never know what you’re going to get at a Scottish village hotel. The Clovenfords looks the business, with a papier mache model of the Pubmeister out the front to commemorate his 5,000th pub tick here.
I know you’re sceptical, but the Landlord assured me it’s papier mache.
Meanwhile the Beer Guide assured me the Clovenford did real ale, but of course it didn’t, this being a month with a vowel in it. Actually, it was a temporary supply issue, so I may return later this year to test it for you.
As Pubmeister will know, real ale availability is variable in the Scottish winter (September to May), but I consider it ticked, sealed with a glass of Tennent’s. As Tandleman notes, Tennent’s is a decent fallback.
WiFi that works, fresh flowers on the table, very cheerful barmaid, and “Girl from Mars” by Ash. Not all was lost.
As you’ll see, it’s a recently refurbished bar in the Scottish style, but Mrs RM decided that bottle of Malbec and a bar of tablet were a better bet.
The hotel is a real gem, and the Scottish breakfast included all the stuff you’re not supposed to eat in January (including haggis). To cap it all, the Landlord was able to confirm the sad closure of the new Melrose GBG entry, which though sad meant I could colour that in pink as well.
Incidentally, I beat the snow on the way back. This is what Melrose looked like a day later. And note those funny lumpy things behind the buildings.