A scientific analysis of this blog reveals the most popular posts to be;

a) The one where I travel three hours to find the pub unexpectedly closed.

b) The one where I (or Dick) tries to take a duff pint back.

c) The one set in the heart of Woollyback country (west of Salford).

d) The one with hearty locals blocking the way to the bar

e) The one with a toy monkey holding a poppy.

Of course

Two out of five for the Monkey in Terling near Chelmsford (you knew that, surely). I’ve marked the Monkey on the map in relation to the other must-see sights round here.

Shopping, jam, bar flies

Note that the full name is “The Monkey @ the Rayleigh Arms“, which is always a warning sign.  Why would you change a perfectly good pub name ?  Whinge, whine.

Terling isn’t Finchingfield and Thatxed, but it is a typically pretty Essex village where you can irritate locals by guessing how much their house costs.


There’s a plain village hall in the woods where something clearly must have happened once.

Interesting afterthought

Anyhow, the Monkey is one big dining room, with overexcited children playing on the floor, which I guess is why the village Sunday afternoon drinkers are all sitting at the bar.

I manoeuvre around to try to identify the beers from the side, before realising that (of course) it’ll be Mosaic and A.N.Other.

Even the flowers block my way

Finally a gap emerged as a bloke we shall call Derek went to the loo, leaving glasses and Guinness for me to knock off.

Think I’d knocked the glasses off by now

Of course, after this build-up I have to tell you the Adnams was Good, NBSS 3+.  And that’s all the Beer Guide should care about.

The most consistent beer in the country can be found in Essex. The most expert bar blocking can be found south of Braintree.


The village sign said “Essex Village of the Year 2014“; I presume a winner in the self-entitlement awards.

Si will love it.




10 thoughts on “BAR FLIES & MONKEYS

  1. Mrs. E once knocked a Porsche-driving barfly’s car keys onto the floor, after he had ignored her polite attempts to get to the bar. His face when he missed them was something to be cherished.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If there’s a huddle of lager drinkers, then they’ll usually be in front of the hand pumps, groan.

        I remember when quite a few Proper Pubs had little more than serving hatches, rather than longer bars, stools and the lot. There was usually also a polite notice reminding customers to move away once served.

        The Plough and Harrow at Monknash, for instance, happily remains in the first category to this day though.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. “Where you can irritate locals by guessing how much their house costs” is evidently the up market part of Essex where DANCING and WRESTLING aren’t one and the same thing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Obviously only just became upmarket when they decided they needed to differentiate between the two. Perhaps an Essex indication of snobbery, a bit like buying underwear even when you have no idea what it is for.


  3. “a) The one where I travel three hours to find the pub unexpectedly closed.”

    My guess is you mentioned the trip on Twitter so they purposely closed before you got there. 🙂

    “Shopping, jam, bar flies”

    Or the ultimate; shopping around for a pub jammed with bar flies. 😉

    “Interesting afterthought”

    I’m guessing either some of the dancing got a bit too amorous or more than one bloke wanted to dance with the same girl.

    “Think I’d knocked the glasses off by now”

    Was he having his Guinness with a shot of cognac as some sort of boilermaker?

    “Si will love it.”

    Ok, why isn’t this monkey holding a poppy?


    Liked by 1 person

  4. A waste of good beer, and you also run the risk of provoking physical violence, but it would serve these selfish individuals right if you ended up spilling some beer down their backs, whilst retrieving that freshly pulled pint from the bar.

    Definitely bad manners and not very welcoming either.

    ps. The Tiptree Jam Museum & Tea Room gets my vote!

    pps. Yes, why would you change a perfectly good pub name to incorporate what looks like a hologram?

    Liked by 1 person

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