Phew. I thought I’d lost my photos of the Dean Tavern in Newtongrange, yet another highlight of my Borders Bonanza (as history will record it).
Not that it would matter, as the Pubmeister did a sterling job of capturing its glories last month. Duncan’s piece tells you all you need to know about Gothenburgs, a community pub model seen in mining towns. And has better photos.
But I’ve just found my own cache, safely saved on OneDrive, including this one of my train speeding over the Firth of Forth.
I’d only found out the last off-peak train back toward Melrose went at 16:24 in Kirkcaldy, sending me into a panic. Plans to tick my last Edinburgh pub scuppered, I squeezed onto the two carriage train at Edinburgh with the entire OAP population of the Borders. All carrying Primark bags.
I spoke to a couple who’d made the trip from Workington. To Edindburgh Primark. They confirmed Workington doesn’t have a BrewDog Bar yet.
I jumped out at Newtongrange as much to breathe as to Do the Dean.
What a fascinating village, reminding me a bit of a simpler version of Port Sunlight.
The Dean is quite a contrast with the extreme gastro of the Sun at Lothianbridge. If only I’d known the Dean was going to be in the Guide I could have done it a year ago.
Rarely has an exterior so well hidden its interior beauty.
It feels a bit like a converted church, in the style of the Spoons in Brighouse, but a lot less cluttered. And with what seemed like the entire village popping in and out, it felt a bit smart social club, too.
Perhaps a recent convert (if that’s the word) to real ale, and (oh joy !), just the one from Born in the Borders. It’s £2.80 a pint too. If you can’t sell cask for £2.80 you’re stuffed.
Someone must have given up the Tennents to drink it; it’s cool and tasty enough to convince me.
I sit next to the pelican, as you do, and enjoy a 60s soundtrack including “Gloria”.
But never mind the beer, everyone’s here. It’s a real community pub that BRAPA will love.
And the lacings ? Best of the trip.