WOOL, BUT NO SHEEP

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A surprising number of Guide pubs in East Dorset are easily accessible by train, or at very least an hour long walk through mud and angry bulls from a station.

Wool’s Black Bear is in the former category.

Wool
Note how map colour changes at the cask/keg border

The toilets at Christchurch station are closed, but at least there’s plenty of intriguing reading material.

I honestly have no idea if that first message about paying is a passive/aggressive warning about using small coinage.

 

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Christchurch tourist map

The map that greets you at Wool isn’t a lot more helpful unless you need to know where the sheep are.

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Art

I bet you think you know what Wool  will look like;

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Uninviting public footpath
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Streams
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Thatch

Streams, fords, thatch, pashminas.  All ticked off on the Wool bingo card (it doesn’t really exist, but no doubt Simon will create one).

You’ll be surprised by the Black Bear though.

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Left for thatch, right for bungalows

A much more pubby affair than you’d guess, with a straggle of smokers in the hut and 4x4s in the car park.  Good to see a pub not following the flock and going full-out gastro.

OK, it’s not a Salford Holt pub,

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Always like fresh flowers

but the meat raffle, amphibians behind the bar and clear majority of drinkers over diners made this feel closer to Portland than Dorchester.

Sadly the Yokohama Pride was off (that’s BRAPA’s joke), so I had the Swing Low, which is the stupidest decision I made all week (apart from nicking Matthew’s hair gel).

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Nice head, dull beer

Grief, it was a dull beer, although the pub had done its best to get some life into it.

Decent lacings, and the two biscuits (cost: about 5p) with the black coffee won me over, although an insistent beeping from behind the bar was mildly irritating.  That beeping was competing with “With Or Without You” and just for once I preferred Bono.

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Afternoon tea for a pubman

When the smokers re-entered, one kindly chap assumed the role of Mum (everyday sexism alert), popping over to straighten the cushions and dashing to shut the door whenever anyone came in.

I became absorbed in the excellent local CAMRA magazine, which provided the definitive definition of a micro pub.

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“Discerning”

The key word there is “like-minded“.  I want to go to pubs where people have completely different minds to me.

Wool was a real oddity.  Posho thatched houses up Church Lane,

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BRAPA admonished the barmaid still chalking up beers at opening time

bungalows and bad puns back round to the station.

Just as it should be.

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Man stares at pavement for no reason

Anyway, too much excitement.  Back towards Wareham, where nothing bad ever happens.

 

 

26 thoughts on “WOOL, BUT NO SHEEP

      1. Unless we get a decent pair of openers and a proper No 3 in pretty quick order I’d say the Ashes could be anybody’s game this year.
        Or at any rate the least worst of the two teams.
        But I’m looking even further ahead and scoping out Greek villas for the 2020 Euros.There’s nothing better than sitting outside a taverna with supporters from across Europe all willing Germany to lose.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Who mentioned the war ?
        The Germans are a great bunch of people who I lived among for a few years – they just have an annoying habit of producing good football teams that take some beating.
        Hence other Europeans willing them to lose.
        But nice try.

        Like

    1. Yet I thought the Westgate Brewery’s Bo66y marking the 50th anniversary of England’s 1966 World Cup victory a to be a very nice session beer.
      So maybe rugby themed and cricket themed beers are bad but football themed beers are good.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes, I like going to pubs where people have completely different minds to me too.

    You have to use your discretion as to whether to allow them to find that out however, unless you don’t mind making a run for it on occasions, usually in Yorkshire.

    I like it that the pound Sterling has become a unit of time rather than money in some places too. “When did you hear that?” “Oh, ten quid ago”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My favourite thing about Wool is it’s proximity to Monkey World -we have only ever passed thorough it -although as I enjoy streams & thatch & very occasionally sport a Pashmina/scarf I think I would fit right in

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Been there too very recently -not a bad way to spend a rainy few hours -sadly no tank display when we were there but we did see a couple belting round the ranges

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “Wool’s Black Bear is in the former category.”

    And why does the Black Bear have a carving of a brown bear?

    “The toilets at Christchurch station are closed, but at least there’s plenty of intriguing reading material.”

    To replace the use of leaves if you have to go whilst walking? 😉

    “I honestly have no idea if that first message about paying is a passive/aggressive warning about using small coinage.”

    The grammar is certainly passive/aggressive. 🙂

    “Christchurch tourist map”

    By a special monk?
    (someone who’s sworn off of writing instead of speaking for a holy period of repentance)

    “Uninviting public footpath”

    Agreed. How are you supposed to walk that without having a canoe handy?

    “Streams”

    Love the folding chair and table.

    “Left for thatch, right for bungalows”

    Also known as ‘the other side of the tracks’.

    “Nice head, dull beer”

    You hardly ever go wrong with a BBB (i.e. the Maiden Voyage).

    “Afternoon tea for a pubman”

    Can’t say as I’ve ever mixed coffee and beer. 🙂

    ““Discerning””

    Also known as snob. 🙂

    “I want to go to pubs where people have completely different minds to me.”

    I can so with confidence you shouldn’t have any problem wherever you go then. 😉

    “BRAPA admonished the barmaid still chalking up beers at opening time”

    Or asking which way to the loo.

    “Man stares at pavement for no reason”

    I think he’s looking at what appears to be a massive bird dropping.

    Cheers

    Like

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