As mentioned already, GBG2019 sees Milton Keynes emerge as an unexpected winner.
As many re-entries as total newbies, all making Si wish he was doing Bucks all over again. Mind, FOUR of those symbols are microbreweries, not pubs.
If only MK CAMRA had given me a sneak preview of the GBG19 entries I’d have visited the newbies when I was sent there, TWICE, in early September.
Still, the next entry, the Talbot in Loughton is, pleasingly, open from 11.30am (10am at the weekend).
Loughton is the bit you get to if you do a chicken run across the road that separates the station and the Central MK hell from the villages.
Look ! Moats, Manors and medieval fish ponds.
I didn’t see any of those, just an Ember Inn. You have to walk past a Harvester to get there.
So. We have Milton Keynes. We have Ember Inns. We have too many beers. We have first pint of the day. And we have non-stop Aretha.
But we also have the happiest barman* in the Kingdom (of Britain, not Milton Keynes).
Genuinely, not per the Greene King happy bar staff manual.
I asked for a recommendation. I got one. I hoped “Bunny Hop” wasn’t a Spring beer they hadn’t finished selling yet.
“Cheap at half the price mate !” (it was £3.70 a pint, this ain’t Spoons).
The Talbot is a beautiful pub, gastro or not, almost Brunning & Price without the bile beans.
“Carling please mate”
It even livened up a bit as a Man U fan with ’70s replica shirt came in on the dot of noon. Half an hour drinking time lost mate !.
Obviously I sat outside in the sun where the Purity warmed up and at its peak rated NBSS 3.5. A vote for Purity and Ember in the same post ! #EndOfTimes
Pub life in Bucks rarely felt better. An old lady rambler on her way to Stony Stratford even smiled at me.
Is there something in the water in Milton Keynes ? I thought it was Birmingham that added fluoride.
*You may not believe it, but 83% of pubs give me a decent welcome these days. The odd one, like an empty village GBG pub near Bracknell yesterday, seems able to complete a transaction without a please, a thank you or a smile though.