The otherwise dull Lincolnshire has some towns that never disappoint, Louth being rather more reliable than Grimsby.
I know very few folk who’ve been to Louth. Part of the joy of ticking pubs, rather than scooping unusual beers sitting on your sofa in your underpants*, is that you’re forced to visit places like Skegness, Aldershot and Knutsford that you wouldn’t otherwise touch with a barge-pole.
Like most places in the county, Louth suffers in comparison with Stamford, just as everywhere in Cheshire suffers against the Stockport standard.
Mrs RM and I first stayed in town (in the Masons) 20 years ago, when Guide entries alternated between Bateman and Boddington and John Smiths. Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive etc.
Not much has changed.
The view from Upgate to St James is still gorgeous,
the narrow streets still lead to dead ends,
and the cobbled lanes still have weird little flags along them.
Clearly brioche wasn’t invented back in 1998,
but Charles was thrilled with his first guided tour round Louth (I only charged him half-price as a mate), though disappointed we didn’t seem to be heading for the best looking pubs,
but rather a modern housing estate out near the canal. The Woolpack, oddly new to the GBG, looked the part in the afternoon sun.
With little lighting evident inside, it also looked closed at just after 2pm, and I was relieved to find the door squeak open.
It wasn’t the basic boozer we were expecting, with some plush benches and sofas contrasting with a gorgeous old bar.
Half a dozen in, and a nice mid-afternoon buzz, but I still look on a crowded bar with suspicion. So the recently pulled XB for me.
Charles can never go for the simple solution.
“Where’s Grafton from, please ?” (He’s well brought-up)
“Ooh sorry, no idea”
“Make it up then”
At least he didn’t humiliate me by asking for a sample.
The XB had a scummy head, the Grafton was good too for a foreign beer, both NBSS 3.5. Another victory for BBB, and for Batemans.
I liked the Woolpack, particularly as I couldn’t stick it in a neat box. The soundtrack moved from Barry White to Ultravox in a vain attempt to convince me the pub was entering the 1980s.
I love this bar feature too. Not much good as a seat, though.
*Sitting in your underpants eating Chinese takeaways is, in contrast, a perfectly healthy hobby essential to the survival of the indigenous takeaway industry.