A night out with Mrs RM in the Amber Valley can’t really compete with a night out in Skegness with an Internal Auditor, but I did get more GBG ticks out of it.

Starting with a quick trip to Ashbourne, where I’d promised Mrs RM gin. Note below the wilderness between Derby, the A50 and Ashbourne.  Surely something for BeerMat to explore next.


Ashbourne is an oddity, living off its “Gateway to the Peak/Dales/Draught Bass” titles but not offering very much of note. Apart from aggressive parking wardens.

A dozen pubs for 7,000 locals and as many day-trippers, though the most iconic of them is somehow closed.

Underneath the gallows

I’ve marked the only pub you need below;


Pedigree sold here

This is the Derbyshire of boutiques rather than baps, of shops called “Picnic Basket” rather than “Plodgers”, so be grateful I found you one authentic shop.


New GBG entry Artisan is no Smith’s Tavern. It had already got me in a huff by being closed when its social media and window sign said it would be open last month, but do I hold grudges ?


It’s a bottle shop/café/craft beer place for the pashmina wearing middle-classes. A  Craft infiltration is steaming ahead;

Rare sighting of Tribute
Yer actual craft

One photo tells you all you need to know. Screeching Prosecco drinkers on high stools, discussing freezing of eggs (don’t ask) and their latest purchases. BRAPA will love it.

Boutique life

Mrs RM, being a real #PubWoman (with short legs), chose the only table where her feet could touch the floor.

“Where’s my beer”

I saw the ghosts of Cheshire’s Chime, particularly when the food arrived (top), and the group opposite actually clinked beer glasses and said “Cheers“.  Perhaps that’s the sort of thing they do in polite society, which as you know I live to avoid.

And it was £9.35 for a half of Tiny Rebel, a coffee and a scotch egg. You do get a shower in the upstairs loo though.

BUT.  The beer was excellent ((NBSS 4), and the beer list is better than you’d expect. I’d still stick with Pedi in the Smith’s though.








  1. “I’d still stick with Pedi in the Smith’s though.”

    After reading that I’d have to say that I agree. 🙂



  2. Before I read your conclusion I was just thinking the same thing.

    There used to be a strong Bass representation in Ashbourne, but not sure how many pubs still have it. The town has seen quite a few pub closures in recent years – the mock-Tudor building on the left in your street scene is the former Wellington which belonged to Ind Coope.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Tiny Rebel and their BBB Cwtch is superb too, far superior to anything now brewed by Marston’s that may have been prevalent in Ashbourne a long time ago before I was old enough to legally drink.


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