Back from the in-laws in R.T. Wells by tea-time, without so much as a sniff of a pub.  A day of small talk, vegetables and washing-up.  Next year I’m staying in Skegness Butlins for Christmas.

Still, time for the second half of your free Festive DIY Calendar, all taken randomly from the last post of each month.

JULY – Gourmet Jam Jars in the Morecambe Hotel


In surveys, 0.2% (weighted) of my readers think Jam Jars are a good idea.  This one is for them; may they rot in Ember Inns in Maidenhead.

AUGUST – All the choice you need.  The Three Horseshoes, Coalville


A real highlight, this one.  And not just because I got to meet the legendary Beer Mat.

Alan Winfield would have loved the 3 Horseshoes, though even he may have balked at the golliwog (if not the vest or the Wolves).

SEPTEMBER – A pink spectacular.  My Guide map before the GBG 19 came out (late)


The associated post was just a whinge about daft opening times.  You loved that post, oddly, and this page also serves as a useful map for American visitors.

OCTOBER – Brewery Tat in Nether Heyford

img_20181019_143903-580966040.jpgSome of you believe that Bass mirrors are now being knocked out in a factory in Taiwan, so ubiquitous are they.  From Northants, something a bit different.

NOVEMBER – Shameful beer names at Crouch Vale


In 2018 we saw pubs start to tackle the appalling images and beer names that have prevented beer appreciation gaining a more diverse audience since 3,500 BC. Some of the worst examples still hang on, literally, in Brewery Taps in south Essex.

DECEMBER – A bustling Christmas scene from Stanford Club

If, like me, you’ve been compelled to visit pubs like the one above in Oxon, struggling to get through the crowds to the bar, consider this; only 6 days to go.  Mark them off on your calendar.

Back to normality, or Oxford at least, tomorrow.


      1. Forgot that reading your blog involves time travel !

        if you don’t come up with a Butcher’s Arms shark title, there is always the Sir Roger Bannister OU running track opposite the Fir Tree.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, the shark is the easy bit, had forgot about Roger. But I have someone even more famous in mind.

        NB In general I’m between a week and a fortnight with posts as I try to cover every pub visited. But I’m catching up !!!


      3. Yes, I have heard that Margaret Roberts (later Thatcher) was a regular in the Fir Tree whilst studying at St Hilda’s College.


      4. Margaret Roberts (later Thatcher) was a regular in the Fir Tree whilst studying at St Hilda’s College – but was she on her future husband’s cider ?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. That “All the choice you need” photo is a classic!

    Thanks so much for the time and care you devote not only to this blog, but to the travel that makes it possible. You have certainly added greatly to my enjoyment of the year 2018, from start to finish.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “A real highlight, this one.”

    Reminds me of the Simpson’s episode where all of the Duff beers came from the same tap.

    “I got to meet the legendary Beer Mat.”

    A red letter day. 🙂

    “though even he may have balked at the golliwog”

    I don’t think Alan would have balked going in to any pub; though he may not have stayed long, depending. 🙂

    “Shameful beer names at Crouch Vale”

    Ahhh, good old Willie Warmer. Little known fact; another name for Willie Warmer is the latin word for ‘sheath’. 🙂

    “A bustling Christmas scene from Stanford Club”

    And the photo below that is one of those 3D effects. Seen from one angle he’s a tired old man, but seen from another he’s Santa Claus!



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