People do odd things in summer. Families of Guardian readers leave their Sussex homes and camp in the Somerset levels, singing jolly songs as they cycle past pumping stations, endless bungalow and drains. Sounds very much like March.
I lasted an hour; an hour punctuated by having to say “Good morning !” at least 17 times, grumble grumble, before admitting to myself it had an austere beauty.
The highlight is the Burrow Mump, built in the 19th century to provide pre-pint exercise for visitors to the King Alfred pub.
From the top you can see the remains of an abandoned micro pub (above) and the riches of the Somerset levels, including Street retail outlet and Bridgwater Morrisons, allegedly visited by a famous tourist in the 1st century AD.
I made sure my feet were first in the King Alfred, standing outside at 11.53am. Of course, the door was open, the Old Boy already sinking his Butcombe (not a euphemism, Russ), but I’d at least beat the inevitable hordes of tourist diners.
I was served by perhaps the cheeriest barperson so far this year.
“How ya diddlin‘ ?” up there with “OK, chief” and “Cheers, Bud“.
The soundtrack was like the best bits from Glasto; Pulp’s “Do You Remember The First Time ?” and the Wombat’s “Let’s Dance To Joy Division“. For most regulars, I sense the answer to both is “NO”.
Unfussy, quirky, and high quality, just like my cool Otter (NBSS 3.5). I feel compelled to order Otter at every opportunity these days, it’s a bellweather pint.
The menu is short, interesting and cheap, so I had an almost healthy vegetable pie and chips. A pub lunch that was almost perfect and will no doubt inflame Russ and the Prof with envy.
A group of chaps came in loaded with gear and began chatting to our star barmaid about her career.
“Were you here when the floods decimated the area and caused untold distress”
“Oh, that’s a pity”
“We’re doing a documentary about it“.