Another short post about Ayr, disappointingly free of alliteration but with comforting words about cask in Spoons.

Mainly, this is for members of the Royal Society for the Protection of Mrs Retired Martin, who you’ll remember I’d left to waddle glide back into town while I looked at pub mirrors in the Abbotsford.

Ayr Kirk.PNG

On the way back I did get to appreciate once more the classic frontage of the Tam O’Shanter, one of only four (of ten) cask outlets in Ayr that isn’t in the Guide. That’s 60% of real ale pubs in the Guide, pretty much the same as in Dumfries. By contrast, Derby has c.3,702 cask pubs (SOURCE: Life After Football) but only 16 of them make the cut.

Nice face, shame about the legs Tets

If you look closely you’ll see the faces of two visiting pub critics (let’s call them Dick and Dave) who tried to return a pint in 1794 and were booted into the wall for posterity.

Pub Curmudgeon (here) had a less than great experience with Tetley here a while back, something which will no doubt astonish that Coldwell fellow.

Still, bound to get in the Guide one day.  Possibly the Wee Windaes won’t; it doesn’t even make What Pub, despite the classic “Fresh Beer and Tasty Sandwiches” sign.


I think the West Kirk has been in the Guide, in fact I recall dragging two toddlers in here for chocolate fudge cake a decade or more ago (don’t call Social Services).

It will look familiar to anyone who’s been in a certain Spoons in Exeter.


Quite what it’s done to lose its GBG place I can only guess (no CAMRA discount on Prosecco ?).

Anyway, Mrs RM was enjoying her G&T (despite what CAMRA members may tell you, this is still legal), but I had one voucher left, so it had to be the one that wasn’t “Available Soon” or “Pump Clip fallen off“.

£1.79 to you, Mr CAMRA man

No, never heard of it either.  Must be made in an aircraft hanger at Prestwick*.

But it was tremendous; cool, thick, rich, cheap (NBSS 4+).  The way the best Plum Porter can be. Perhaps I was lucky.  The local stuff in the GBG Spoons in Prestwick was undrinkable.

The Cask Ale Lottery.  No wonder the Scots don’t play it.

Stout with a G&T chaser

I believe Mrs RM was the only lady in the Kirk, at 9.30pm on a Sunday.  She was no doubt glad I rescued her.  It was almost dark when we got back to the campervan at 11.





  1. It was the local authority in Ayr, not a national policy. A 6.5% guest ale with a normal price of £2.29 would fall foul of minimum pricing.


      1. “(slow hand clap)”

        (doffs hat)

        Posting will be light for the next few days. Not only does my wife get home tomorrow (Saturday) but in less than an hour I have a friend showing up in his RV to stay for a few days before heading on to Alaska. 🙂


        Liked by 1 person

  2. “who tried to return a pint in 1794 and were booted into the wall for posterity.”

    Which one’s wearing the flat cap?

    “despite the classic “Fresh Beer and Tasty Sandwiches” sign.”

    Judging by the worn look of that sign I didn’t think the place was open.

    “It will look familiar to anyone who’s been in a certain Spoons in Exeter.”

    I didn’t realise it was formerly a church.

    “The Cask Ale Lottery. No wonder the Scots don’t play it.”

    It’s a thankless job at times. 😉



    1. Still here.
      Awash in Tempranillo and margaritas looking out across rolling Spanish hills.
      Back home on Saturday so you could could say I’m Ayr today and gone tomorrow.
      BOOOOM !

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “60% of real ale pubs in the Guide” in that town.
    I was reliably informed recently that it varies across Britain from one in four, 25%, to one in twenty, 5%, getting into the GBG.


  4. “It will look familiar to anyone who’s been in a certain Spoons in Exeter”.
    The Imperial is the only one I remember but having a barrel-vaulted orangery and extensive grounds does make it stand out from the typical high street barn.


      1. No, I don’t know that one.
        But I do know that Tim lives in Exeter and HIS local is not the Imperial but one of the other three.


      2. Yes, indeed, he that is three days younger, nine inches taller and £448,000,000 richer than me.


  5. That’s just climbed to 3,703 as a new brewery has opened a tap house in a disused phone box with opening hours of 10.50-11pm every other Thursday…it’s already nudged The Brunswick and Ye Olde Dolphin Out of next year’s GBG though.

    Liked by 1 person

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