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 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.
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 ?
Micropubs are now as identifiable a brand as Spoons, aren’t they ?
A very “traditional” micro interior, but at least with proper seating.
And “traditional” micro shelves and “traditional” micro ales.
Always choose the beer with Burton in the name. I’m lying, I chose the one I could read.
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;
Yes, plane seats with seat belts. Whacky !
This seat gave me nowhere to rest my pint, but a great view of the 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.