Two down in Dumfries, four to go.  But first a little tourism.

Dumfries 1.PNG

With the Burns centre and the Bruce pub, it helps if you like Roberts.  Sadly no Cure museum, though the Coach & Horses had plenty of their stuff on the jukebox.

No pigeon

I thought Dumfries would be smarter; it looked unchanged since the ’70s and lacked an independent coffee scene, which along with micro pubs marks you out as a Proper Town. Some of the little roads led nowhere and were pleasingly scary.

Oooh, scary

Still, top civic architecture and lots of little closes to hid from Mrs RM down.


The walk along the riverside toward the town cinema is pleasant, but takes all of 15 minutes.  You can forget how small Scottish towns are.


We were mildly distraught to not the ONLY film on at the Odeon ALL WEEK was Oceans 8, and the only theatre was The Ladyboys of Bangkok.  That may be your idea of fun, but I sensed an evening of World Cup football and Draught Bass ahead.  What do Scots do at night that doesn’t involve haggis ?

By day, they explore shops called “Handbag Heaven“.


Mrs RM wasn’t tempted. She was tempted by Pub No.3, the Caven Arms. Perpetual Pub of the Year blah blah.  Brew Dog and a posh burger.


We walked in to be faced by the barrier in the top photo.

Please wait to be seated“.  Like me, Mrs RM waits for no-one.

Have your drink and let’s go” she said, as condiment carriers bustled around us.

At the bar at the back all the tables were reserved too, apart from one seat at the bar I graciously grabbed for Mrs RM.

Too many…

Loads of choice, of course.  I thought it was Greene King, with those Belhaven pumps and bargain Abbot, but apparently not.

The beer, Game Bird of course, was average, the experience slightly less so.

So on to a pub chain you can rely on…


32 thoughts on ““WAIT HERE TO BE SEATED”

  1. I see they have to discount the Abbot sh1t3 in order to sell any! It’s got to be a GK house – why else would you have GK beers on otherwise? Even the GK houses round here are only selling the bare minimum of GK beers they are forced to.


    1. Used to be Belhaven/GK, obvious tie. Bigger question in why those GK houses in Pontefract/Leeds/Sheff don’t put on their own beers (A: They’re not as good as Ikley/Saltaire etc in places like Woodies, but is GK a pubco or a brewery ?)


      1. PubCo that brews beer but seems to recognise their mass produced stuff is only average, so relies on volume sales to large scale purveyors of beer to the great unwashed. GK IPA is the only mandatory one to have OTB in a GK house, they try and enforce 1 in 4, but seem (thankfully) to be losing the battle around here. If you are a GK die-hard you need to stick to ‘spoons.


      1. Greene King is both a brewer and a pub company and successful at both given how they’ve grown over the years. A few days ago I was in the Warwick Castle in Maida Vale which had the appearance of a free house but is one of 71 Metropolitan Pub Company pubs owned by Greene King.
        Having several different formats, as Marstons and Mitchells & Butlers also do, surely makes more sense than Tim’s ‘one (barn) size fits all’ policy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. But does it ? (that’s an open question). I go in plenty of those GK houses and find them quiet when I’d find the Spoons nearby busy. There were 40 customers in the Thomas Sheraton in Stockton at 10am this morning, and they weren’t nursing halves !

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I was meaning that Marstons and Greene King both have proper wet led pubs, like the Red Lion in Rugeley and the Nutshell, and they both have new build family dining pubs and they have more sense than to try to make every one of their properties the same concept.
        Tim though tries to please everybody in all of his venues all of the time and most of what he does is adequate but I’m not sure if that’s good enough these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It is a good discussion point, Paul. I suppose another aspect of this is that Marstons and Greene King may have built or bought wet-led pubs in decades and centuries past, but they don’t build them now (do they ?).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “But first a little tourism.”

    You think they would have put the playing field closer to the school. And is it called Dumfries because while the potatoes have eyes, they don’t have mouths? 😉


    I was thinking just that, but why no water spraying out of whatever the wee urchins are holding?

    “What do Scots do at night that doesn’t involve haggis ?”

    Drink whisky? And walk with thigh length wellies on looking for sheep?

    “they explore shops called “Handbag Heaven“.”

    Judging from the photo most of their handbags HAVE gone to heaven. 🙂

    ” “Please wait to be seated“. ”

    I don’t see a please in the sign in the photo.

    “The beer, Game Bird of course,”

    Doesn’t that name fall into the sexist category? 😉


    PS – “and lots of little closes to hid from Mrs RM down.”

    I realise this is all in the past tense but I still think hid should be hide.

    “We were mildly distraught to not the ONLY film”

    I ‘note’ a slight error.


  3. I actually had my lunch here today, which was one of the better pub snacks I’ve had this year, washed down with a nice drop of Jarl. An odd way of arranging things, but it seems to work for them, and by 1 pm there were few seats left. Would a similar pub in the centre of an English town be so busy?

    Remember that the Scottish pub landscape is very different from that in England. In somewhere like Dumfries you seem to have a lot of basic little wet-only bars, including one in the alley at the back of the Caven.


    1. Undoubtedly quieter and more pleasant on a Wednesday lunchtime than a Saturday teatime, I’ll wager. The “wait here” sign is off-putting, the lack of anywhere to sit equally so but indicated a popular place. It was busier than the Spoons. And if I’d seen the Jarl through the bodies seated at the bar I’d have had it !


      1. Always difficult when a waiter asks you what you want to drink. Polish waitress too. The place effectively functions as a restaurant, not a pub.

        Liked by 1 person

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