Apart from the fourteen days spent waiting for Mrs RM to give birth to our son James in 1999 (NHS waiting lists), I reckon the last two weeks waiting for the new Beer Guide has been the worst fortnight of my life*.

I’m reduced to scrabbling around for certain pre-emptives, like the Frothblowers in North Peterborough.


No doubt you read young BRAPA word-for-word (I just look at the photos and calculate his reduced survival chances), and you’ll recognise several of the places on that map from his recent post.

The 50 minute walk up Lincoln Road past dead pubs, picturesque streams and discarded rubbish takes on an artform of sorts.

The Venice of the Fens

The approach to the Frothblowers can’t compete with the “Most Majestic Approaches To A Pub” Top 100, if it exists, and I’m overtaken by a runner in lycra.  For the second time.

Can you see it yet ?

On the other hand, it is tucked between Indian and Chinese takeaways, always an encouraging sign.  Is this the first time a micro has been open when the adjacent shops aren’t ?

Chow Chu Chin looks great – any reviews

Micropubs are now as identifiable a brand as Spoons, aren’t they ?

Note that “Nott”

A very “traditional” micro interior, but at least with proper seating.


And “traditional” micro shelves and “traditional” micro ales.

Note my last fiver

Always choose the beer with Burton in the name.  I’m lying, I chose the one I could read.

Ah, the ubiquitous Richter Scale

Efficient if perfunctory service, no “hellos” or “Welcome to our little pub” or the things that Micro Corp claim as features to distinguish them from Spoons. I presumed they were traumatised by Simon’s visit the week before.

There’s half a dozen tables, but the only spare one had shopping bags and coats on it, and no-one said “Ooh, please join us“.  They never do.

So I sat on one of these;

Strap in

Yes, plane seats with seat belts.  Whacky !

This seat gave me nowhere to rest my pint, but a great view of the action.

Pub “action”

You can see how grumpy I was. Rubbish seat, a lack of good cheer, and Peterborough folk staring into space.

And then it started.

The pub came to life.  It turned out the youngsters were drinking Nottingham dry, so we were left with the Frothblowing ladies and septuagenarian gents to hold the fort (and a couple of toddlers with headphones on playing Fortnite).

Twenty minutes of banter about Grantham FC, neighbours who spend half the year in Spain rather than Dogthorpe, the healing qualities of black pudding, and pubs that “only have JHB on” convinced me this was a cracker.

That Richter Scale was scarily bitter, served in an oversized glass, and an easy NBSS 3.5, but the people made the pub.

As they always do.


*We’ll see who takes me too seriously now.


21 thoughts on “FROTHBLOWERS

  1. I’m mainly attracted to old pubs. Pubs that have aged well, and that combine history and tradition with an ability to renew and offer something that us punters want and need. Some pubs have been around for many decades, others for hundreds of years. I hope that at least some of the gems up and down the country will be about when I get old (-er). The Frothblower, on the other hand, will be lucky to last this decade.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed. Their critique (and they were much older than me) of local pubs with only 3 beers on (Doom Bar, Adnams and JHB) said quite a lot about where we are in 2018. In Peterborough, loads of pubs with two many constantly changing beers, NONE just selling John Smiths Cask and a guest,


      1. If the JHB is on form, I’d take that over pretty much anything. I’d have a chore if it were that or Burning Sky Plateau.

        My favourite pint in London is JHB at the North Star, Leytonstone. Not sure I’d get on with the Frothers…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. They hid the black pudding from me and it was cheesy octagonal crackers only, and I wasn’t given a bowl due to my identical airline seat position. (I wasn’t on your knee was I?) I enjoyed my seat though. A lovely place but with a weird attitude I thought, but v recognisable from my own experience!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Did you find out what you could get for £30.80 by ‘phoning 01733 571800 ?
    Anyway, it probably wouldn’t have been as good value as in the Stile.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My local micropub is like a clubhouse for the local Camra. The owner is a branch stalwart and all his mates come in and help behind the bar, collecting glasses etc. They’ve voted it Pub of the Year and got it into the GBG and they’re all having a great time playing at pubs; it’s good of them to let a few members of the public in, I suppose.

    Maybe every branch should have one – take over an empty shop, run it by volunteers: a Camra presence on the High St.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yup, nailed it there. Too many hobby projects run by middle-aged blokes for their mates and like-minded folk, hence the stupid opening hours and general holier than thou attitude. Most of these places are not in it for the long term; run it for a few years, pick up a couple of local CAMRA gongs, get in the GBG and then jack it in seems to be the business plan.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “(NHS waiting lists)”

    Shouldn’t that by ‘lisys’? 😉

    “and discarded rubbish”

    Isn’t ‘discarded’ implied in the work rubbish?

    “The Venice of the Fens”

    And that little yellow food container is drifting slowly along to tie up at the stairs just up ahead. 🙂


    Over here you could return that lot for almost 2 quid.

    “and I’m overtaken by a runner in lycra. For the second time.”

    That explains why, in the photo, he’s merely walking.

    “Note that “Nott””

    I did, but I’m ‘nott’ sure I know what it means.

    “Ah, the ubiquitous Richter Scale”

    The fellow pulling the pint looks a bit like me!

    “I presumed they were traumatised by Simon’s visit the week before.”

    Is there anyone who isn’t? 🙂

    “This seat gave me nowhere to rest my pint”

    They should come with the fold out trays for goodness sake.

    “As they always do.”


    Oh and you might want to consider hiding liz’s gmail that’s in the photo right below.*


    * – Do you have a thing over there about showing license plates and whatnot in posted photos?
    (I think we do over here but not sure)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is testimony to your openmindedness that you were able to find positive things to say about this pub while sitting in an airplane chair– I think I’d have been blinded by my rage!

    But it just goes to show, people do make the pub, even more than the seating. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s