I was going to call this “Faggots & Chips & Dross in the Cotswolds” but with Russ in your readership you have to be extra careful about your blog titles. My blog naming team had a real struggle with this one.
Perhaps mining the Monks classic for inspiration isn’t a wise move, either.
We couldn’t find anything to rhyme with Longborough.
What greater joy could there be in the winter than a trencherman’s lunch in a Cotswold country pub with a foaming tankard of ye olde ale beside the church ?
This is the first time I’ve blogged about Donnington Brewery, a mile up the road from here, as their small estate hasn’t provided a new GBG entry for many years.
On the face of it, this is a place for our intrepid US pub tourists to stop.
Flagstone floors, open fires, (unused) piano, dartboard, friendly but non-obsequious staff, a pervading sense of calm.
Why, even the obligatory chap in fluorescent jacket !
My sharp eyesight spotted one (Posh) Old Boy with a pint of the Donnington Best, so I went for that. It certainly looked like a classic BBB.
I took a seat in the small dining room so I could see both the bar and hear the charming octogenarian banter from the table behind.
“Jean didn’t seem too thrilled at her 90th birthday party”
“It’s a shock to get a surprise at that age”
“I feel thoroughly sticky-toffee-puddinged !!”
The banter from the Colonels in the bar was, shall I say, unreconstructed.
“If you’re caught stealing you get your hand cut off”
“Stone them ha ha ha”
I wasn’t sure if they were talking about Stow or Saudi.
As I finished my superlative faggots and chips (top), I was joined in my thoughts by the Cotswold staple, the indecisive diners spending longer deciding where to sit than I do eating my meal.
“No, you do the honours”
(Looking at Cotswold Gold with bewilderment) “I’ll, I’ll try a half”
“I’ll just have hot water please“.
They all pay the bills though, and I applaud them for visiting pubs in January, Very brave.
But anyway, the beer. Meh. It tastes of a watery nothingness. Or is it me ? Perhaps the SBA is nectar.
Now here’s the thing; the beer was well kept. Cool, well presented and decently conditioned, I just scored it NBSS 3 on WhatPub, possibly keeping it in the Beer Guide next year. And to be honest, if I was staying in Stow, I might well come here again for that lunch and some Old Rosie. It’s a lovely pub.
The saving grace of this trip was that Mrs RM was safely up in Edinburgh drinking proper beer in the Guildford Arms* . A pint of Donnington would have put her off real ale for life.
*Mrs RM agreed to blog about her “One woman Scottish pint drinking show” soon.