I can’t match BRAPA for disappointment, though if he will do all those dreadful Cheshire GBG pubs what can you expect.

But I’m definitely getting lots of opportunities to be grumpy, whether it’s due to opening hours, the failure of the Government to force people to drink cask, or uncontrolled dogs.

Plenty of the latter two in the Cotswolds last Tuesday.

Yes, I remember Adlestrop

A fairly grey lunchtime in Moreton-in-Marsh, but then this is England in April.

Less than golden

As the Baedecker Guide to Britain of 1997 Ch5 v2 so beautifully puts it;

And ye, Moreton-in-Marsh, though small and traffic clogged, are not least amongst the towns of Ye Olde Cotswolds. For unto ye shalt come a mammoth street market full of beige clothes and blue rinsed pensioners in coaches“.

I’ve seen enough OAP clothes to last me a lifetime

I can only assume that the Cotswolds lacks a decent Marks & Spencers, so great were the number of stalls selling blouses and undergarments.  It’s not posh.

The golden stone did its best to shine through the gloom.

Golden stone
Roast pork, but not quite Dudley, is it ?

The streets were lined with gentlefolk eating chip butties from the Mermaid Fish Bar, which makes a change from the usual Cotswolds dining experience.

For years the Guide entry here has been a homely Marston’s pub, but it’s all change this year.

But the new entry is not the Donnington house,

Oh no Donnington

or the micro bar that hasn’t yet got onto WhatPub.

Cotswolds goes craft. Sort of.

No, the Bell is an authentic smart Cotswold all-rounder, suitable for canines of all ages and breeds. Perhaps less suitable for humans that don’t like dog saliva*.

Not a bell push Mark

In contrast to my last market town local in Witney recently, the Bell was a haven for gourmets (Smoked Bibury Trout Pate, Crème Fraiche, Chive Dressing, Salad Leaves & Sundried Tomato Bread) and “Ladies who Latte“, and my beer was always going to be the first one pulled.

Branded glass, nice turned round pump clips

And also the first to be spilled, as I tripped spectacularly over a couple of hounds fighting at the bar. At £4.40 a pint, it’s not a beer you want to be spilling.

The owners looked at each other despairingly, as if to say “What can I do ?”

I took the seat furthest away from the entertainment.

Safe here

It looks like the best drop of Landlord you’ve ever had. It wasn’t that good, but cool and creamy enough for an NBSS 3+.  Beer first, always.


But all I could think about was dogs squabbling at the entrance.  This one below at by the door, blocking the entry of customers.

He won’t move !”  squealed the lady owner who should have known better.


The most inconsiderate adult behaviour I’ve seen in a pub since the bloke in front of me in Spoons drank the last pint of Bass.


*Before any of you ask, I’ve never been licked by a cat. Or a child.


    1. I haven’t had Donnington beer for over 20 years but I seem to remember it being half decent. Better than Arkells anyway. Something must have changed or have they just got lazy?


  1. At least that micro is accurately stating opening times with their “Open All Hour” poster. Surprised you didn’t hit it as an obvious preemptive.

    “I’ve never been licked by a cat. Or a child.”

    Are these on your pub bucket list? Have we found what you are really in search of?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I get to Moreton in Marsh about once a year but usually with time for just one pub, so that one pub has to be the one with not only well behaved dogs but also Donnington beers. All the other original Donnington pubs are in villages and are multi-roomed but the Black Bear has a massive public bar that’s not characterless but almost barn like and is probably what an inter-war Wetherspoons would be like had Tim Martin been born fifty years earlier.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I read this with interest as we are going to Moreton in the Marsh next week (after visiting Bristol & Shrewsbury ) I hope the awful market isn’t there,we will probably visit the micro pub,we won’t exclaim “‘Ow much ” at over £4 for a pint of Landlord & we will look out for marauding canines.Thanks for the heads up !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always thought that the Wellington Inn, on London Road (A44), to be Moreton’s best pub. A Hook Norton house, it was situated on the right hand side as you left the town, a little before the football ground.
    Sadly, it closed down about five years ago and is now a house.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I used the Kingsbridge Inn 8½ miles away at Bourton on the Water a few times and that’s a Marstons pub but badged as Wychwood.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I went in the Wellington Inn in 1989 had a decent drink of Hook Norton bitter, i took a good photo of it at a later date.
      I thought i had done all pubs in Moreton six but i have not done a Marstons tied house there, what is the pubs name Martin.


  5. My only ever visit to Moreton-in-Marsh was at least 25 years ago, which makes me realise how quickly the years have passsed. I was lucky enough to miss market day and remember it being quite quaint.

    I have to say that I have been licked by cats (rough tongues) and the odd child who wasn’t related to me – (In fact he was very odd indeed. I suppose I have only myself to blame, having freely chosen to become a primary school teacher.) – but never in a pub.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Not a bell push Mark” –I think maybe this was meant for me, and if so, thank you! It’s a shame the practice of bell pushes ceased before pubs up and down the land could begin installing special ones for you, designed to alert the bar staff that you need another pint of Bass.

    Liked by 1 person

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