Mrs RM is on a long-term project in Northampton. She feels your pain.
I joined her at the Campanile Hotel on the edge of nowhere. It has French pizza and (brewery unspecified) Boddingtons on keg, she tells me.
Next door was a Harvester with a lone Doom Bar pump, which sounds appealing on a Monday night, but Mrs RM agreed to brave the dark cold night and explore the Grange Inn on the eponymous estate, which seems to serve a giant Amazon warehouse.
After all, there’s something magical about a Marston’s family dining pub at night-time once all the diners have drifted back home to Wootton and Collingtree.
At 9pm on Monday it was the preserve of the local youths, strangely disinterested in the epic Guiseley v Fleetwood FA Cup tie being shown on 14 screens.
Mrs RM was in a decadent mood, and made a beeline for the “2 for a tenner” cocktail menu.
For the craft beer fan, a cutting-edge selection on the taps and the unconvincing white wall that is now de rigeur from Penzance to Portsoy.
I looked to the charity box dog for guidance.
Eventually we found a seat we liked, and waited for the cheery barman to read the manual on how to make cocktails.
CRAAAASH. Something went wrong. It was the espresso in the cocktail, apparently. I don’t know what Mrs RM expected. It’s Northampton, not Notting Hill.
But perseverance paid off. They were very photogenic.
We had a good time. Blokes were discussing their dodgy girlfriends (a theme in Northampton), the music was unrecognisable modern R’n’B, and my Pedigree was a cool, rich NBSS 3/3.5. Chances of getting in the Beer Guide ? 3-3/5%.
Better lacings on the Passion fruit Martini though.
If we ask Mrs RM nicely, she might review the Boddingtons at the Campanile.