Well, I never give up.
My immediate thought – “Have I entered the ultimate care home ?”. Room after room off a passageway to the bar, each with be-cardiganed gentlefolk sipping tea amongst the chintz.
But then other rooms hinted at parlour pub.
Hard to find a comparison, and obviously a labour of love, a bit like an upmarket Yew Tree in Cauldon crossed with the Royal Standard of England.
Perhaps a few too many scatter cushions for the purist, mind.
It took a while to find the bar area (the Landlord was indisposed). Warning: It’s a bit busy.
At least the beers (perhaps too many) are ones you’ll have heard of. The house beer is Wadworths, too, not some twiggy murk from a shed in Frome.
The old school Landlord, replete in woollen waistcoat and tie, returned from taking a booking and serving coffee to ancient ramblers. I sensed asking for the most popular beer was pushing my luck.
So I went for the one with the Styrian hops (joking, joking).
And it was very good, too, cool and chewy (NBSS 3.5). You can trust Wadworths.
I sat there, waiting for customers to entertain me. None came, perhaps shown straight to their table.
Instead, I was treated to an OAP soundtrack of “C’est La Vie” by B*Witched, and a dozen grandfather clocks striking the hour (they were all wrong).
Utterly weird, slightly disturbing, completely unmissable, whether you go for a quick beer or to explore its treasure trove of antiques.
If you find yourself in Chippenham you’ve gone too far. Or not far enough.