I don’t come across that many new unspoilt gems on my travels; if they’re that unchanged they’ve normally been stuck on an Historic Inventory or Grand CAMRA Tour before.
The Lion is in Upper Farmcote, which I suspect even Duncan was surprised to see appear in the Beer Guide last September. Very few Guide entries in the farmlands and bucolic villages east of Bridgnorth, right the way up to Albrighton and David Austin’s roses.
Very few people too; I could have stood in the middle of the road for 20 minutes without getting run over (not advised).
The OS extract makes a vain attempt to grab our attention with names like Burf Castle, Gags Rock, and the hilarious “Barnsley”, but mainly it’s Morfes and Farms.
Not as hilly as it looks, and hardly the sort of place to attract you out from Bridgnorth, which makes the fact it’s “bustling” (per What Pub) at 3pm in midweek worthy of note.
Comparable isolated pubs in farming areas that spring to mind are the Cross Keys in Selattyn, which some of you will know, and the Red Lion in Breachwood Green, which you won’t.
Unlike the Cross Keys, the Lion appears to be open all day, which these days takes you aback a little.
And no-one is here eating anything other than cheese and onion rolls.
A dozen folk, by no means all older than me, spread over two rooms and seemingly settled in for the duration. I picked the small table in the corner of the chatty room, and immediately knock over a footstool. Footstools make few appearances in my Ember Inn reports.
I’ll be blunt; the banter was a bit shocking by Cambridge standards. “Male privilege doesn’t exist. Prove me wrong” being one gem that would have stirred Mrs RM into action.
The beer range isn’t a shock though.
Reminding us how dangerously close we are to the Welsh border, they also have Worthington Whoosh.
What else ?
Top reading matter, a change from Shropshire Life anyway.
Crockery that Stoke would be proud of.
And outside toilets (sadly, there’s inside ones too). Enjoy this gem while you can.