Unless you’re BRAPA, not ALL pubs are worth reporting.

I declined to tell you about one visit last week, despite bucolic setting, enthusiastic welcome, decent beer, and its status as local Pub of the Year.  No doubt scholars will be debating which pub this was in 50 years time.

Famous beer writer and all round good chap to the east

I debated long and hard with the RetiredMartin editorial committee and we decided to go with the Hungerford post.  Mainly to maintain delicate relations between West Berks and Reading CAMRA branches.  Though this post may not help.

Blame the drizzle for the dull photos.

1862 is the year the train left Paddington
Rare “civic clock correct” scenario

In better weather I’d have walked the common and popped in the Downgate to tell you how disgraceful it was that a great Arkell’s pub wasn’t in the Guide.  But it would have been closed anyway.

The Kennet and Avon still looked glorious.

Happy ducks

So, how is the Hungerford Arms in the Guide ?  (that’s a rhetorical question).

Clearly not for the sign.

Unusual pub exterior paint choices No.37

Or the Locale beer range of Greene King, Greene King and Taylors, though that’s a proper beer range, mark my words.

Hooks on bar for hanging criminals in 17th century

So it’s obviously the craft keg range that gets it in the Guide.

2018 folks

Pleasant service, high tables and a repeat of the American football in one of the most joyously plain pubs I’ve entered this year.

Two customers approached the bar while I was there.  One was selling, not buying.  The other enquired about the Bells, which had gone.  Pub life, eh ?


The Hen was a bit tired, oddly veering between decent and syrupy.  Despite the presence of a plant pot on the table, I did at least finish it.

Chilli ?

In fact, I considered adding a touch of chilli to my beer, in the interests of research. But given I can’t even distinguish between daffodils and gladioli, I sensed discretion was the better part of valour.

Anyhow, Bath next up. What could go wrong ?

24 thoughts on “HUNGERFORD IN A HURRY

  1. I think you can get chilli beer. I kiev I noticed that it is common in supermarkets to mis-spell Chile as Chilli. That combined with a reluctance to use adjectives in English language transaltions means that in the wine shelves’ labelling you get, Ukraine wines, Moldovan wines … Chilli wines.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catching up with your usual prolific output. Loves the Favershsm post. Not been to Hungerford yet but you haven’t filled me with feverish anticipation. Have you done the one at Reading University yet?


      1. You beat me to Leighton Buzzard !

        You’re in for a treat at Reading Uni. Very def. not a joke entry. Make time to admire the room set aside to honour Robin Friday’s contribution to British culture. Possibly.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Are you sure that’s Speckled Hen? Looks suspiciously like a Timothy Taylors glass to me…just checking…

    Still – stuffing a chilli in it would definitely have got it clucking, but I think you were right to be cautious, just in case it’s a carrot someone planted upside down…

    Lovely to see that reliable range of GK ales again. I’d guess that guy at the bar is on the phone to his mates excitedly telling them there’s a guest ale on.

    Those pub chain interior (and exterior) designers really earn their money don’t they…?

    Great post – my only criticism is (and it may be nit-picking) that I think you made the pub sound a bit more exciting than it was…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hen in a Landlord glass. I always go for the “house” beer, which I guessed was Hen.

      Good spot “You’ll never guess what the guest beer is today”

      Like you, I’m pro-pub and there’s no way I’m telling you the bottled beer I got for Mrs RM from the Co-Op over the road was better :-0

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We travelled the Kennet & Avon Canal in 2013, visiting Hungerford twice, and having surveyed my pictures of at least 8 pubs, I was mystified as to why I couldn’t find the Hungerford Arms. Then I looked more closely at the map and realised that, back in 2013, it was called the Plume of Feathers Inn! So, a great candidate for Pubs: Then and Now…next time we’re on the Kennet & Avon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Unless you’re BRAPA, not ALL pubs are worth reporting.

    “I declined to tell you about one visit last week, despite bucolic setting, enthusiastic welcome, decent beer, and its status as local Pub of the Year”.

    That’s bad news. Surely every pub is worth reporting ? And if you go out for seven or eight pints (in halves), then we would be guaranteed a bumper couple of days or reading.

    Go on RM – report every house visited. You know that you want to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The truth is I got pounced on by the owner (lovely chap) who tried to ply me with tasters of his other beers so I couldn’t take photos, though it was mainly restaurant. I can’t think of ANYTHING to say about it. If I’d had Simon there, he’d have made me wait the full 27.5 minutes and we’d have seen a fight about condiments.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok, point taken. But if you are to continue your prolific output that entertains and fascinates your loyal readership, reporting on all visits will be essential.
    [I’m waiting for you to announce that you have gone professional and that all but the first three lines will be behind a paywall in the future. But I understand that you need twenty regular readers to make that viable, so at least we have some breathing space as you’ll need to double the readership first].

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quadruple, Fred. I might introduce a paywall that you can through with magic words
      “Only beer made by Megacorp breweries is worth drinking”
      just to separate the sheep from the goats/.


  7. I think the exterior color scheme was the result of someone saying, “Just think: Our pub will look exactly the same in color photos as it does in black and white ones!”

    Honestly if I saw that exact cask range in a pub over here in the States, I would think I’d died and gone to heaven.

    “Despite the presence of a plant pot on the table, I did at least finish it.” –Ha! In its own way, a form of praise, though I’m not sure Greene King would fully appreciate that fact. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well that’s a point I and Mudgie and Simon and Stafford Paul make with regularity; the big brewery beers can be very good when a Landlord cleans the lines and there’s enough drinkers. Sadly, some folk even consider Landlord “old-fashioned” these days. And if I’m not mistaken I had a lovely pint of Speckled Hen in a plain pub in Andover. Just shows…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “Famous beer writer and all round good chap to the east”

    How far east?
    (and I can’t read bugger all on that OS map)

    “Mainly to maintain delicate relations between West Berks and Reading CAMRA branches.”

    That’s not the Cockney Berks is it? 😉


    I’m assuming a Colonel lives there and has a library?

    “Happy ducks”

    Isn’t that Welsh for hello?

    “Hooks on bar for hanging criminals in 17th century”

    Makes sense; that was about the average height back then.

    “and a repeat of the American football”

    Is that becoming a thing over there?

    “Despite the presence of a plant pot on the table,”

    And here’s me thinking that was a Halloween costume of that band… the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

    “Anyhow, Bath next up. What could go wrong ?”

    If it was Si…. 😉



  9. This post reminds me of the tale of the bloke they hanged for choosing a pint of GK when they had Timmy Taylor’s on. Hold on a minute … thinking about it he was burned at the stake. Yes, burned at the stake. Sorry, I was mistaken for a minute there. Yes, he was burned at the stake, that’s what they do with heretics, isn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

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