If I’ve learned one thing about blogging, it’s that folk prefer misery to happiness. No-one wants to read about a nice pint in Pontypool; they want woe in Watford and micro madness in Margate.
So here’s rage from Radnage. Or woe in Wycombe if you like to dump places in their nearest big town like some CAMRA branches that rhyme with “weeds“.
Now, BRAPA will confirm that Buckinghamshire is the toughest county to do.
Inaccessible villages you arrived at caked in mud, identikit dining pubs, pashminas and Prosecco, beer struggling to average at best.
Some nice looking Olde Worlde English pubs though.
Flowers on the bar. Nice touch. And, oh look, local beers. One per ale drinker.
Service was good. The IPA was thoroughly pulled through, both reassuring and a worrying sign of lack of turnover. Mind, when you’re charging £4.20 a pint you can afford to pull it through.
It was the most Buckinghamshire beer ever, cool but thin and a bit sharp. NBSS 2.5 at a push. Which is adequate, remember.
The Crown was ticking over on a Monday lunchtime. Unfortunately that meant the only table not set for diners was already taken (below).
So, dear readers, I had to sit at the bar. Yes, I was the bar fly in Bucks.
I left the table between me and the dog spare. Dogs shouldn’t be allowed at the bar (rage away, canine cuddlers).
Of course, two minutes later a small child clambered onto the seat I’d left free.
“What you scoring that IPA then ?”
“Made it Mummy !”
Now I like to see children in pubs, I really do. It’s just that this one was the most accident-prone toddler in High Wycombe, falling off twice and dropping various toys at the foot of my chair. Mum seemed unconcerned and Dad was nowhere to be seen.
Fearing I’d be implicated if Johnny clambered onto the bar and drunk the IPA I was reserving for the plant pots, I made a dash for the Gents.
Oh no. Not luxury handwash. I don’t want luxury.
When I got home and added the Crown to my spreadsheet I was astonished to find I’d already been to Radnage, and it had left no impression bar a big X for beer quality. Good to know some things never change.