Baps. Or Cobs. Or rolls. Or whatever you call them. But never muffins.

One of the best indicators of Proper Pub, along with mobility scooters and stolen goods, is a supply of baps behind the counter, available throughout the day.

On that basis the Black Horse west of Durham City scores highly.


You even get geographical confusion. “Hamilton Row” says the Beer Guide, though you won’t find that on your £1.99 atlas. More like Waterhouses, or Esh Winning, if that helps (No).

It has that classic “unimproved” Durham mining village look.


Inside, I’m knocked off my feet by a toddler on a scooter, and immediately asked for a long range forecast at the bar.

I sort of love what’s essentially an extended family gathering in a pub, but I can see the American visitors that Boak and Bailey recently warned about basic pubs may be a bit scared.


Hot pork baps for £2 and a genuinely tremendous half of Bombardier (NBSS 3.5/4) in chaotic surroundings with Formula One screeching in the background. I popped into the yard to clear my head.


As I left and said “Thanks”, I genuinely couldn’t decipher whether they shouted “Thank’yer” or “banker” after me.

I hope it was a bit of both.

Into the forest.




36 thoughts on “BAPS & BOMBARDIER

      1. Isn’t it a barm cake up t’North ?
        And you’ve reminded me of the delicious hot pork bap (£2.50) I had in the Great Western with two pints of Holdens Mild (£2.65) during my 38 minutes between trains on Tuesday afternoon while returning from North Wales – and that reminds me of the superb Draught Bass always on in Bangor’s Tap and Spile.


      2. Yes, it’s what’s known as old age.
        But 2½ hours earlier I did manage a pint in about half that time in Lees’s Old Station Hotel at Llandudno Junction.


      3. Good man Russ.
        Get the old girl out working her fingers to the bone while you enjoy a life of leisure correcting spelling mistakes.
        I have a roughly similar lifestyle myself on account of marrying a much younger woman and becoming a house husband.
        I heartily recommend having a Sugar Mammy.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Irrespective of local or regional dialect and termination, this post evidences the effects of food on beer. Clearly the hot pork sandwich was laced with spices, onions or other overpowering taste that made the Bombardier seem, to Martin’s palate, tremendous!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No and we like our hot pork baps*, don’t we. I can still taste the one we had in the Great Whatever it is, in Wolverhampton.

        * insert preferred, and often localised, word for small round soft bread cake

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Richard,
        Yes, the Great Western.
        I had a hot pork bap, just the one with 38 minutes between trains, there last Tuesday and it was a good as ever, as was the Holdens Mild.
        I noticed the beer choice is increasing. Not just four Holdens beers and the Bathams but the guest beers included 1872 Porter and something from Thornbridge.


      3. Can do a blind testing without infestation of food then. Bombardier used to be very popular in Coventry pubs with high cask sales, edged out by Doom.


    1. Had a “breakfast stottie” in a pub in Berwick on Tweed last year. It was roughly the size of Belgium. Managed most of it though.


      1. “roughly the size of Belgium” – so that’s bigger than a Wetherspoons plate but smaller than Wales ?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Might I recommend your readers to the musical talents of the late and much-missed ( in our household ) Bap Kennedy.
    Originally part of London pub rockers Energy Orchard he later forged a career in Americana,recording with the likes of Van Morrison and Steve Earle as well as touring and recording with Mark Knopfler.
    As it’s a beer blog I recommend this short song – with a voice in there you might recognise.


  3. “It has that classic “unimproved” Durham mining village look.”

    Was the Newcastle Breweries sign outside a bit of a fake, like most of the Bass ones?

    “Hot pork baps for £2”

    I’d have gone for the ham and cheese if they had any.

    “I popped into the yard to clear my head.”

    Definitely unpretentious. 🙂

    “Into the forest.”

    Off to take grandma some of those wonderful baps? 😉


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very glad to hear Bombardier can be tremendous in the right conditions. I’ve had it a few times in the bottle and once on tap (keg) and it was never quite as good as I hoped it would be; bit too sweet.

    I’m beginning to think after armageddon, when all of humanity is nearly wiped out, there will still be a few English people arguing about whether they’re called “baps” or not. 😉


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