Twenty years ago during the French World Cup, pre-children, Mrs RM and I did a Grand Tour of Scotland that went a bit like this;
Don’t ask why it started in Macclesfield, or memories of a Virgin train from Euston will come flooding back, and we don’t want that, do we ?
Quite a few ticks that week, on a journey that really kicked off the Beer Guide bug (and helped completed the CAMRA Silver Selection).
I’ve only dipped into Scotland a bit since then, though Mrs RM’s six month stint in the Borders this year helped clear a swathe of the lowlands.
Monday morning saw us taking the Beer Guide entry free High Road to Ayr.
It was good to make some progress in Dumfries and Ayrshire from our tranquil base at Ayr Caravan Club site. For those of you unaware, joining the Caravan Club guarantees you won’t have to share a site with anyone younger than you.
From our pitch, tucked between the University and the Racecourse, it’s ten minutes till your first seagull.
Ayr is scarily quiet on a baking hot Sunday lunchtime. I assume everyone is heading for the nearest bar to cheer on Harry and the boys.
Our first new pub is the mysteriously unsigned Smoking Goat, named after Eric the smoking goat. Or perhaps not.
Mrs RM seems unsure of the descent into darkness, which I assure her is character building.
We’re the only customers in what is clearly a late night venue. Still, there’s about six TVs showing England v Panama to no-one. Just as well the cask selection is modest but well-judged. Unlike the milk urns for bar stools.
No banter (except “Hey, you stole my crisps“), but I get to see two England goals in ten minutes, which is nice.
It’s a well-executed little venture.
I’ve no idea why I took a photo of the kitchen, except that it seemed to be full of blow-up animals. Haute cuisine, perhaps.
Oh look, a second cellar bar in twenty minutes. What can it mean ?
This one was fair packed with cheapskate diners (Pie & chips for £4.50). A good mix of cheapskates too, not just students.
More lovely beer from Broughton (NBSS 3.5), a great view of three more England goals in ten minutes, and some wonderful mansplaining from a bloke from Preston who educated his wife on association football, to her complete disinterest.
Then this happened.
“English or French mustard ?”
“English of course !!!” Did they think I was Pub Curmudgeon ?
“I’m sorry, we only have French”
Er, if it’s yellow it’s definitely English.
And because you love cheeky toilet signs, here’s a classic explaining what a urinal is.
Urinals thoroughly tested, it was off to Troon.