In “Notes From A Small Island” Bill Bryson (an American without Dick and Dave’s taste in pubs) stops in Retford, noting its success in losing out to Worksop as HQ for Bassetlaw Council.

Four years later, the TASTE* team went on a pub crawl of Winfieldesque proportions, painting Retford as Gomorrah to Doncaster’s Sodom. Or was it the other way round ?

Looks quite peaceful on the map.


And the stroll into town from the south on a late Sunday afternoon makes it look bucolic.

Name the water
Posh North Notts

A few years back Retford’s GBG quota was a trio of very basic (and therefore great) pubs like Brick & Tile.  In 2018 we have three crafty/micro/beer bars, including a BeerHeadz which will be launching Cloudwater cask this week.  Take that Worksop.

And this newbie;


Yes, the usual beer shop style we know and love, familiar to folk from Stockport to Hinckley to Falmouth.


With a tool theme.


There seems to be a house brewery too, which is what everyone wants these days.


Oddly, everyone was drinking that house beer rather than the beer on “special offer”. Ask Dick and Dave about the merits of beer on special offer.


The Harrison’s was very good, anyway, and only a few pence dearer than the Herts intruder.


Amongst the pints, one chap in a wooly hat (not that one) was drinking a pint of clear cider.  That’s what he told me, anyway.


Great atmosphere, only let down by it being so cramped I couldn’t really enjoy it.


Ah, here’s news.


Yes, the micro pub going macro.  I guess Duncan will have to go twice.

*TASTE – short-lived late 90s monthly featuring pub crawls from unlikely locations.



      1. I thought the Beerheadz in Nottingham was brilliant – Excellent pubs in Nottingham but the beer style tended towards traditional. The beers in Beerheadz were a breath of fresh air. Put the two together and you have something like Whitelock’s, Cardigan Arms or Bridge Inn, Kirkstall.


  1. Bought the Bryson book just to understand the comment.

    Warning: Stay away from the cask special. You get for what you pay.


  2. “went on a pub crawl of Winfieldesque proportions,”

    Perfect imagery that. (thumbs up)

    “Looks quite peaceful on the map.”

    Either my eyesight’s getting bad or the OS lettering is getting smaller. 😉

    “Name the water”

    I don’t see a bridge so it can’t be the troubled waters. 😉

    “including a BeerHeadz”

    With apologies to my southern neighbours but, are you lot going the way of the U.S. with regards to spelling?
    (i.e. E-Z Loan Company etc.) 😉

    “With a tool theme.”

    Hmmm. Over here, calling someone a ‘tool’ can be seen as derogatory. 🙂

    “which is what everyone wants these days.”

    I’d be quite happy if my beer fridge resembled theirs. 🙂

    “one chap in a wooly hat (not that one)”

    Judging by the way folks are dressed in the photo just above I’d guess the temperature is anywhere from 0C to 25C? (sheesh)

    “I guess Duncan will have to go twice.”

    I’m assuming you don’t mean once in the male toilets and again in the female? (LOL)



  3. The water is almost certainly the Cheaterfiddle Canal. I once went on a boat down it to a dining place disguised as a public house in Clarborough.The boats are highly recommended, they may even let you have a go at driving. Note that the canal does ultimately lead to the land of dodgy legs, ill gotten trophies and Jacobs cream cracker tins full of money. Do I get a bonus point for the extra detail in the answer? I’ve not had a point in ages.

    I quite like Retford. Decent honest town with no pretentions.

    Liked by 1 person

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