“Greater love hath no man than this; that he would give up his own ticking time to drive his friends around the pubs of the western Home Counties”
At least “psychological support“* was provided as the trips came dangerously close to both Aylesbury and Maidenhead.
Another tremendous day for being retired. This was the view from Waterbeach at 7.30am as I walked to Milton Tesco to await the RAC man (long story).
And this was the approximate route on Day 1. Note how the shape closely resembles the wings of the famed “Pubmeister” moth;
You’re not getting much insight into the pubs on this trip, which mainly consisted of me aiming to minimise parking charges in Buckinghamshire towns while Duncan popped in for a half, an anecdote, and a comfort break.
But, having paid 50p for half an hour in High Wycombe (frankly a life sentence) I took this shot from the top floor of the Mad Squirrel, where Duncan seemed determined to taste the weirdest sour on the beer board.
I’d been tempted to call this post “Pubmeister Bucks Up” as a tribute to both Duncan completing that vicious county and a his erroneous re-visit to Askett.
But Duncan’s crack lawyers in Grimsby have issued me a “Cease and desist” notice and I’m very much aware of the need to avoid bankruptcy.
Anyway, I DID detour via Askett, and it turned out to be a highlight of our eternal autumn as the Chilterns revealed their golden glories.
Now the Three Crowns has been in the Guide before, but they’ve added a lone handpump in the old stables, which somehow counts as a micropub in Bucks terms.
Not your usual micro pub;
Four gentlefolk drinking (excellent) coffee, and I joined them as Duncan enjoyed the lone Chiltern Ale.
Oddly, it was wonderful. The recently widowed lady behind the bar was running the little bar because she enjoyed it, and regaled us with tales of proper pubs. She even took Duncan through to the main bar for a half of the beer reserved for diners (sadly, zero of them).
We pressed on to Stone, where I left the Pubmeister to his homebrew and Carribbean vibes as I enjoyed the bucolic views over to mid-Bucks.
Not much pub banter in evidence, except in my Aygo on the way into Oxfordshire and tiny Beckley, which I’d never heard of and will never hear of again.
The Abingdon Arms was bought by the locals in 2016 to preserve the pub for a local community of pashmina-wearers keen on having a “self-proclaimed gastropub”. I had a sip of Duncan’s West Berks beer (decent) and those funny little beans that aren’t as good as scratchings.
Pleasingly, it had an outside loo,
and more lovely views.
Last stop, Bicester, and another Mann’s sign, I think.
Every Bicester pub must get in the Guide at some time, and this year it’s the turn of the Angel. The homebrew may or may not be a factor.
A typically decent stone-built Oxon pub with unpretentious furnishings and average beer.
Nothing average about our last stop.
The formerly confident shop assistant in Nash’s Bakery suddenly realised she couldn’t actually add up three items in her head, and the lack of till receipt paper caused a meltdown of epic proportions.
It was prime BRAPA, as the kidz say. Whether it will feature in Pubmeister’s own blog is harder to say.
*A cheering tale about incontinence pads.