Whizzing thru’ these posts now so I can give you that report on IndyMan you’re desperate for.
Today, my Dad is the cover star. He’s not quite ready for “BRAPA Dad” level adoration, I suspect.
He still drives, mostly to the nearest golf course and garden centre, but I like to get him out of the flatlands and into a neighbouring county from time to time.
Without a Beer Guide to tick, his more modest bucket list included the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley.
This is the place you whizz past on the A3 en-route to the honeypots of the Devil’s Punchbowl and, er, Portsmouth. Google says 2hrs 20, but leaving at 9am we were parked up at 11. Which shows some of our motorways are improving.
We would have been parked up at 11, anyway, but the search for the last space took a good 20 minutes, and I was glad that;
a) I drive a small Aygo
b) I don’t mind getting it scratched parking tight to trees. Unlike this owner;
We had literally got the last semi-legal space in the overflow to the overflow.
“Why’s it so busy” said Dad.
“I expect there’s a Royal visitor.” I surmised, sensibly.
At the entrance, after a walk of several miles, Dad got his wallet out to pay the £16.95 fee, having just let his RHS sub lapse.
It was free today, much to the chagrin of members. Us Brits love a bargain.
Despite have been drafted in to work evenings and weekends on my Dad’s market garden business as a teenager, I have no knowledge of plants. Whatsoever.
But Wisley is in a pleasingly hilly bit of Surrey, as I’ve mentioned before about places just off the M25. And alongside the plant trials, orchards and topiary there were some great views back to London. And weird statues from the film A.I.
I was most impressed by the bonsai trees.
If I had my way, our garden would be completely paved over, with a shed made out of old brewery sections ripped out of Beer Guides.
Dad lasted 3 hours on his feet, boosted by some reasonably priced sausage sandwiches and coffee, and remembered to buy Mum a weird plant at the exit.
He suspected I’d need a stop on the way back, and he was right. Slim picking around the M25 on the way back, just the one newbie in tiny Sarratt, in what we tickers call “posh Watford“.
This was the point where my phone battery went from 24% to 0% in 60 seconds, just like in that Nicholas Cage film.
Anyway, you’ll just have to guess what the Cricketers was.
If I tells you the house beer was brewed in Greater Manchester, there were old adverts for bile beans in the loos, and the staff called me “Sir”, you’ll be there.
Really enjoyed the food though, and the Chiltern beer (recommended by the barmaid !) was a 3.5, so there is hope for B&P.
Next week I’ll take Dad to North Norfolk. I need protection.