Stick in there, some Draught Bass coming up soon.

But first, a rare trip to the hitherto near GBG-free zone of Ashby De La Zouch, a town named after Brian De La Zouch, one of several top footballers (see also : Petrescu, Bart-Williams, Clarkson) who’ve frequented the area in search of “fun”.

Talking of football, LAF himself visited the Tollgate Tap House a year ago (see here) and his report was so comprehensive that I nearly didn’t bother with my own diary extract. After all, I didn’t visit the castle (in the rain) or make fun of any locals in the Spoons or buy any oddly-shaped vegetables, the three Top Activities in Ashby.

But I know how much my South Korean fanbase (which rests on one post) love to see pictures of traditional English pubs.

North Leics Micropub of the Year

And chorizo quiche.


Now, I’m no fan of Tap Rooms, as I was telling the chap sitting at the bar, on holiday from Polesgate, after he berated me (with a wink) for not ordering the cheddar quiche.

“Great beer, but I can’t be doing with high tables”

“I LIKE high tables” he said, joining Pashmina Pauline in the virtual sin bin.

Only the dog’s feet reaching the floor = crime

It was his only crime, as he regaled me with tales of drinking “Trad Ales” in every town between Hinckley and Burton. Even he looked aghast when I told him of the wonders of Coalville.

A Stout man, he dismissed my own Pale as “Southern shandy” and scoffed at the Bass I told him of in revered tones.

He was off to the Bull’s Head across the road later, if he could get past the giant mustard cushions.

Made out of old BRAPAs

I did the tour, but frankly LAF’s post will serve you better.

Atmospheric shot (camera went wrong)

Anyway, Tollgate Brewery know their market. Cheap beer, craft gin = a mix of genteel couples, dog lovers and young folk staring at their phones.

Solid handpumps

Oh, but what beer !

Choice !

Fresh beers gives the best lacings” said our Polesworth pubman, and I guess he’s right.  The Tollgate Pale was the pint of the month so far, up there with the freshest beer in Mancland, and an easy 4.5. I guess I’ll be making a rare trip to Calke Abbey if their Tap is half as good.

Then I was off for a night out in Tamworth and some more “Southern shandy”.


  1. “the hitherto near GBG-free zone of Ashby De La Zouch” where “near” allows for the inclusion forty years ago of the Bowling Green, with Worthington Best Bitter, and the Plough, also with Mild.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I spent a week in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, but before the days of micro pubs. We struggled to find anything satisfying from a pub lovers’ POV, and settled on the White Hart as it was then.

      I think that we may have tried the Bulls Head, as it was in those days, but didn’t stick with it.

      A pattern is maybe emerging in Martin’s fine posts, that the micros are spurring their conventional competition to up their games?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A top post and a great little pub. I like Ashby and it is wild and wonderful of a weekend as too far for the locals to travel anywhere really and no train station. Nice to see you going global by cracking the notoriously tough Asian market and if punters from Polesworth are wary of Coalville I have finally cracked it!


  3. Here in America, I sense that high tables tend to occupy a certain space near the bar, a sort of “buffer zone” between drinking at the bar and sitting at a table. At the high tables people might order a bit of food but may well not, whereas the ordinary tables seem to carry the expectation of the customer ordering a meal.

    So I think you could make the argument that in a really traditional English pub, there is no place for high tables, since ALL tables should be mainly for drinking only. (But how many such pubs remain?)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “of Ashby De La Zouch,”

    I must confess I love that as a town name. 🙂


    That’s just fancy pizza with Branston pickle innit?

    “joining Pashmina Pauline in the virtual sin bin.”

    Quite right too. I’m leery of sitting at a table that’s high. It might decide to eat my food due to having the munchies!

    “and scoffed at the Bass I told him of in revered tones.”

    I take it he’s in the sin bin for quite some time then. 🙂

    “He was off to the Bull’s Head across the road later”

    Just a side remark; but it appears most pubs/micros/whatnot forgo apostrophes on signage. 😉

    “dog lovers”

    I hope that doesn’t mean what I think it might.

    “Choice !”

    And possibly choice as well.
    (the adjective, not the noun)

    “and some more “Southern shandy”.”

    It will never catch on as slang for you-know-what.



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