I most enjoy tacking a 20 minute pub stop onto the end of a 2 hour walk round a new town. Not many new UK towns left to explore, of course, but you always find something unexpected if you give a place a bit of time.
So with Abingdon, probably not top of Dave’s list on his next UK visit but worth a look. Some splendid civic buildings, ancient almshouses, the Thames, and load of Greene King pubs. Three out of four…
It’s also a cheaper and shabbier bit of Oxfordshire than the Cotswolds bits, which means there’s decent charity shops and a bakery on Stert Street whose mince pies have passed into folklore in our household.
Sadly, no 9am drinkers in the Spoons, just families distraught at the lack of dedicated espresso cups. And you thought you had problems. Great toilets (top), nice staff.
Broad Face, the GBG newbie, was due to open at 11am according to everyone except the Broad Face itself, so I had time for extended exploration.
In total, I must have walked past my target 4 times before it opened.
But the 20 minutes in the town museum was well-spent, particularly if you like your Morlands/Old Speckled Hen history. A neglected beer brand.
And then, at 11.30, it opened.
The Broad Face had a cheery welcome, a sign with Galatians 5:22 on it, white tiling pretending to sell craft, Maria Carey and Wham singing their Christmas hearts out (accompanied by our barmaid heroine), and 3 pumps turned round. Like the whingers keep asking Spoons to do.
The West Berks Old Boy, served in open plan gastropub thin glass, was as solid an NBSS 2 as you’ll find anywhere, just OK enough to prevent the plants getting a watering.
There, sold it to you Dave.
NB Always good signage, if not great beer, in Oxon.