BLOGGERS TIP: Never pass up the opportunity for alliteration, even when you’ve no actual pub to write about.

Having failed to decide on lunch in Monkland (the Cheesesplaining incident), we stopped off at Leominster (NOTE : NOT pronounced Leo’s minster). past the point of caring about food provenance at 3pm.


Leominster suffers a bit against the county town, never mind Ludlow ten miles up the A49, but looked a bit more stately than I remember.  Perhaps the free parking coloured my judgement.

Georgian gorgeousness

No visit here is complete without a trip to the “Master of Butchery“, which sounds like a homebrewer attempting to create a drinkable session beer, or a Megadeth album from 1997.

Go for the pork pies

Loads of antique shops for the Bargain Hunt fans, and this quirky little place in Corn Street to meet your Boosey & Hawkes needs.  You can never have enough second-hand Donovan LPs either.

Stock up for WOMAD here

Spoons or the grotty looking ’70s café” I said, having failed to track down an outpost of The Ivy.  Mrs RM chose the Flying Dutchman, next to the millennium clock.


The view from the Dutchman’s top floor, the coffee and Bakewell tart rather sensational. You could have been in an ironically decorated Utrecht refectory.  It was that good.

People buying mops and Brillo, a Leominster institution.

As soon as we’d left , Mrs RM decided she needed a comfort break, which is why Spoons exist.

In the Duke’s Head, two handpumps bravely pushed the local homebrew from nearby Swan.  To be fair, the Ruffled Feathers was better here than in the GBG pub down the road, even if it had that distinctive “long-pull” flavour.

LocAles – priced to sell
Empty Spoons

Not many customers at 3.30 on a Friday, though the suntrap courtyard may explain that. Lack of ale turnover may explain why the Spoons isn’t in the Guide.

In fact, there’s nothing in the Guide for Leominster, which feels a bit sad, however accurately that reflects beer quality.

In 2007 I had excellent beer in the Bell, the Black Horse and the Grape Vaults.  What on earth could have happened in 2007 to decimate boozers ?




  1. The Grape Vaults and Bell are still open, according to WhatPub, although the Black Horse is a goner. The Grape Vaults is/was one of those classic market town boozers with a wide range of different types of customer.


  2. Whatever Mudgie’s axe is? You can’t get away from the fact that not a lot of people live in Herefordshire, and many that do are a certain type of person. The type who prefer a calm and serene life, and for whom a visit to the pub will undoubtedly include a meal and a single drink. Most of them will have removed to the country, post retirement. Many of the pub going regulars, especially in the villages, are employed in agriculture and ancillary trades and for them, the pub is a couple of pints after 10pm during the week and a night out on Friday & Saturday. I refer to my comments on previous post – I was underwhelmed with the pubbiness of Hereford.


      1. I think he knows that 😉

        Btw, Mudgie’s axe is not the same thing as my grandfather’s axe, which is not entirely dissimilar to Trigger’s broom. (This reference may be lost on our American readers)

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I don’t think the smoking ban has had much to do with quiet boozers in Herefordshire. Maybe pub rents have. Maybe the economy has too, it seemed very polar to me in Herefordshire. The majority of the indigenous folk (barring landowners) not having large disposable incomes.


      3. I suspect it’s had more impact on town boozers in Leominster and Hereford than on the picture postcard village pubs, some of which seem to have come back from the dead.


  3. Sorry to hear about your lunch predicament.
    I arrived in a small town near Malaga airport on Saturday intent on a quick lunch,a nice walk and settling down to watch the footy final at 5pm local time before hammering off to the airport to catch a flight home.
    Located a rather nice wine bar at one-ish and emerged from the debris of empty wine bottles and an enormous and very enjoyable long lunch just as the final whistle was blown before 7pm.
    By jove,it was just like old times but without the expense account.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Laughed out loud at your examples of what “Master of Butchery” sound like!

    I was curious about this: “even if it had that distinctive “long-pull” flavour.” — What sort of taste is that? Haven’t heard a reference to this until now.


    1. Pub Curmudgeon would describe it best, but actually that “distinctive flavour” is the homogenisation of flavours, making beers less crisp and distinct (perhaps a little creamflow). One of those things where I know what I mean but… !

      Liked by 1 person

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