BANBURY, CROSS (THAT I MISSED LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL)

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My last Oxfordshire GBG tick

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Practically Perfect Pinking ctd…

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.Banbury

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Mind the GAP
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Not bad for a shopping centre
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Very Oxon

As I must have said before, St Mary’s is a splendid church, with exciting modern music, just like Oxford.

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I was devastated to have just missed the Chipping Norton Choral Society before they started their tour with Fish.

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Donna spelt wrong, Russ

More disappointingly, I also missed Life After Football, (BeerMat), who was in the Bell while I was in the Bailiff’s.

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Note beer board

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.

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Your typical micro scene

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.

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Photo :BeerMat/LAF etc

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.

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Better than some micros, to be fair

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.

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Doom Bar only No. 7 ?

I described it as “lively” last year, as Si will no doubt find out in 2029.

 

26 thoughts on “BANBURY, CROSS (THAT I MISSED LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL)

  1. Get to Banbury micropubs when you can.
    The Old Town Ale & Cider House there opened with a “vision of low rent, low or no business rates, VAT free and less than 500 sq ft.” – or ‘on the cheap’ in common parlance – and didn’t last long.
    Stopping off in Banbury on my way home from Oxford last February I didn’t get round many pubs as I couldn’t tear myself out of t’Old Reinedeer so good was it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Three posts on Boxing Day – very impressive.

    If your catching-up exercise carries on at this rate, we should be on live blogging by February. that will help those of us who keep forgetting the current time-travel feature of this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I seem to spend so much time reading beer blogs that actually going to the pub is becoming more and more unusual.

        Anyway, belated happy birthday !

        Liked by 1 person

  3. > My last Oxfordshire GBG tick

    Until next Autumn, unless you know something that we do not.

    > …and all the new pubs will be micros or Brewery Taps and/or dreadful.

    Or worse – cold, draughty market stalls with two seats and ale at £5.25 per pint.

    > …these are the beers in the Exchange, a Spoons apparently revitalised and back in the Guide.

    Revitalised since ‘Spoons got rid of their other Banbury branch, the Fleur de Lys.

    > I described it as “lively” last year, as Si will no doubt find out in 2029.

    Is that when the 2020 Guide is expected to be in the tickers’ hands ?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed “Stonegate aren’t a Budget Gastropub” but they’re more like fine dining than Wetherspoons.
        Six days from now I should be having one of their breakfasts in the Lost Dene.

        Like

  4. Yes, St Mary’s Church is rather special – so much so that I nominated as my new (to me) tourist attraction of 2017. Did you go in to see the “Arctic windows”?

    Like

  5. I hadn’t really considered how the changing trends in GBG inclusion have resulted in you having to go to a lot of micros/brewery taps consecutively. You’ve gone to so many of the old pubs that are in the guide, and very few proper pubs are coming into the guide for the first time. So you’re left with only new entrants, and these days that tends to mean a micro or a brewery tap.

    But will it be even worse for Simon when he reaches the same stage?!

    Like

    1. A perfect explanation, Mark. Simon expressed some sympathy for Duncan and I in a recent post; he’s already experiencing this as he continues his North-West pubbing.

      Mind you, the 2 Oxford entries were Proper Pubs in every sense, and I quite like some of the quirkier places like Vinyl Tap in Preston.

      Newer places not much fun to write/read about.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Maybe the bizarre theory that beer quality is proportionate to the number of beers on has given way to a new theory that beer quality is inversely proportionate to opening hours.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. ” But not the hangovers.”

    (chuckle)

    “Mind the GAP”

    (slow golf clap)

    “Not bad for a shopping centre”

    Dates back to 1977 I see.

    “Donna spelt wrong, Russ”

    I’ll ‘grant’ you that. 😉

    “I also missed Life After Football, (BeerMat), who was in the Bell while I was in the Bailiff’s.”

    Don’t you lot have a proximity app on your phones to let you know when another blogger is nearby? 😋

    “I got a two roomer with less comfortable seating”

    That sofa looks pretty comfy.

    “these are the beers in the Exchange,”

    And not a one above 5%. 😎

    Cheers

    Like

    1. Yes, if in Banbury again I probably wouldn’t bother with any pubs other than the Reindeer.
      As for the Good Beer Guide the 2019 edition is the first one ever I’ve not got.

      Liked by 1 person

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