My last Oxfordshire GBG tick
took me to Banbury, as good a place as any to finish a chapter, given there’s no exciting parlour pubs selling Hooky from the jug still to be discovered.
And that’s the downside of having completed 80-90% of the Guide; you’ll never HAVE to do the Peyton Arms or the Leathern Bottle again and all the new pubs will be micros or Brewery Taps and/or dreadful. I envy BRAPA sometimes, But not the hangovers.
A nice simple walk into town past the shoppers (what on earth do people buy ?) takes in the canal, Castle Shopping Centre and the town’s most (only ?) famous pub.
As I must have said before, St Mary’s is a splendid church, with exciting modern music, just like Oxford.
I was devastated to have just missed the Chipping Norton Choral Society before they started their tour with Fish.
More disappointingly, I also missed Life After Football, (BeerMat), who was in the Bell while I was in the Bailiff’s.
BeerMat found Sharp’s and a septuagenarian Landlord in the Bell who liked “Bitter”. He’d have loved the “Bitter, Pale, Stout, IPA” blackboard at the Bailiff’s.
But whoa ! That stout is 8.5%, a bit strong even for Mrs RM.
So I went for Nobby’s, as local as it gets. And it was good (NBSS 3/3.5), even in the weird glass. The cooling jackets had done their job this summer, I was told. Great stuff.
Down the road, BeerMat had a comfortable two-roomer with Hi-Vis and dominoes.
I got a two roomer with less comfortable seating and two cheery blokes discussing what they were going to put on Untappd, the evil that beer men do.
The sign said “No WiFi, we talk to each other here“. I tried that for a bit, before the attention drifted back to Untappd uploads. Friendly but distracted, and the silence was awkward.
Still, good beer, and that’s what counts, isn’t it ?
Finally, just to make Dave and Dick and Russ and Mark and Prof jealous,these are the beers in the Exchange, a Spoons apparently revitalised and back in the Guide.
I described it as “lively” last year, as Si will no doubt find out in 2029.