I was going to delight you with a report on one of the greatest pubs in the world, serving Bass from the jug to cheery folk on bench seats in front of a majestic fire*, but where’s the fun in that ?

I know you really want to read about horrendous experiences in the home counties, going by my gastro nightmare in Battle last year.

Step up, Winterton Arms in Chiddingfold.


It’s in a proper bit of bucolic beauty in the Weald between the Devil’s Punch Bowl and the Surrey Hills.


It gets no posher than this, as anyone who’s been to the Merry Harriers in Hambledon will know.


The Winterton has the sort of Olde Worde/Modernist combination that Mrs RM loves, and the Tuesday custom was groups of South African entrepreneurs “chilli’ out” over bottles of White.


There’s no-one behind the bar, but a voice from somewhere says “Hello“.  It takes me a while to realise a nice lady folding napkins somewhere is taking my order.

If I wasn’t here on GBG duties I’d have gone for one of the craft kegs on the inevitable white wall.


Instead, I’m forced to choose a “local beer”.

What Pub says “There is a strong focus on local breweries, with the likes of Crafty Brewing, Firebird, and Little Beer Company featuring“. As if that’s a Good Thing.

After the usual Just a half of Dunsfold Best please“,  “Was it just a half ?”, “Yes, just a half“, “Anything else ?”, “No, just a half please dance, this turned up.

Beer, 2018

I gave it a go, taking it to the high table underneath the Nana Mouskouri album cover.  You’re getting images of the Squirrel in Battle already, aren’t you ?


I took a few sips.  I looked at it. This is real ale, folks;

It’s supposed to look like that

Please don’t ask what the stuff on top is.

Now, a basic principle of blogging is that if you’re going to criticise a place, you do it to the pub at the time.  As you’ll know, taking your pint back is an art form.

(whispered)  “Er, excuse me, I’mreally sorry, but I fear it may be the last of the barrel.  What do you think ?

The very nice lady, who had been enthusing about their ales 5 minutes ago, suggested the other one. Ah, this looks OK.

Nice head
Beer, pot plant, candle, Dean Martin

But as the head cleared, I was quickly left with this;


And it tasted as bad as it looked.  Like a watery version of a badly kept pint of Websters Bitter in 1996. I thought of pouring the beer into the pot plant, but it would have overflowed and drowned my new mate.

At least I had company.  I shall call him Anthony the Ant.  I guess he escaped from the pot plant on the table.


And we wonder why Cask is dying.


*And it’s not in the Good Beer Guide this year.

**Don’t worry Dick and Dave, it isn’t.

36 thoughts on “WOES IN THE WEALD

  1. Looks like cleaning the lines isn’t high on their list of priorities hence the rapidly deteriorating head. I’m sure places like this only have cask on sufferance because they feel they have to have it to be a ‘proper’ pub. Would Adam not be a better name for the ant?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oooh! They look awful, like an actual pint of beer from down south, nay a London pint even. Oh, but you are down south. For an awful minute I thought it might have been another one of them pints of that Bass from the jug. It wouldn’t be the first picture of a gopping looking flat pint on a blog post in the last week or so.

    Your empty images say it all though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Possibly. I suspect that a group of CAMRA members on an organised coach trip round rural pubs on a busy Friday night may seem quicker selling and better beer than the average customer (if there are any) on a Tuesday lunchtime in March. Slow-selling beer is the curse of real ale.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Is this place just within the Surrey border ? I hope so because we are holidaying in Sussex this year and I would hate to have dropped in on this place. The pint in the top photo is a disgusting. What happened to pulling pints through before service and tasting them before being offered for sale ?? Disgraceful…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you will ask for local recommendations before you go. I’m told the Partridge at Partridge Green is very good, can’t think by who, though.


      1. There speaks a man who knows what he’s talking about. Watford branch didn’t take their full allocation a few years back, saying they couldn’t find c.30 pubs good and consistent enough. I applauded them. The pub in their branch that wouldn’t replace a pint dropped out the GBG after I wrote about, too.


  4. I sure hope that the ** was meant to be attached to, “And we wonder why Cask is dying(“).(“)

    (Pretend the second quotation mark is where it should be, depending on where you live.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “the Devil’s Punch Bowl ”

    Let me guess. It’s called that as it contains no alcohol which is hell in its own way. 🙂

    “Please don’t ask what the stuff on top is.”

    Considering I’m having lunch in 20 you can be sure I won’t!

    All I can add is those are two sorry looking pints. 😦


    Liked by 1 person

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