A review of February, and a look ahead to matters of some import.
I thought I might get up-to-date first, but daring Dorset and soaring Sussex trips mean I’m already 20 pubs behind, which means it’ll be April before you get to read about my (latest) Cheshire gastro horrors.
Simon gave us 52 new pubs in February, and will be naming his next Robotic Car “Chaldon Herring“. I was privileged to be Simon’s taxi on the last day of his 30 pub Dorset haul, and to have his owl named after me (or is it the other way round ?). You can see Martin at the top, perusing the 1980 GBG in the Sixpenny Tap in Cranborne, my cheese-sharing pub of the month.
Duncan has rather more green on his GBG map, but it will all be to naught unless he can resolve those little historic “complications” with the Bailiwick of Guernsey and gain permission to enter St Peter Port.
My monthly highlights were many and varied.
Proving that “Pub People Are Good People, Even If Beer People Aren’t” , I had beers with BRAPA, where we saw some big cheese,
Charlotte & Leon (Norwegian folk duo based in Leeds) in Cambridge, Stafford’s Paul Mudge in Liverpool’s classic pubs,
and Tonbridge’s Paul Bailey down on the Sussex Coast.
The views over Rye and the hospitality in the Ypres Castle were wonderful; that Jeff Bell can run a pub, you know.
A Sheffield curry with the boys and Mrs RM, followed by some startling discoveries in the Don Valley, started the month.
A first trip in 20 years to That Paris found it no match for That Preston when it comes to pubs and weirdness, but I did enjoy the Galeries Lafayette, particularly as Mrs RM had left her purse at home. And the cheese in the craft beer bar.
The other big foreign excursion was the day trip to the Isle of Wight, long thought to be an optical illusion caused by too much Gales HSB in Portsmouth Docks.
Here’s me missing the 19:00 back to Lymington, with Yarmouth Castle on the left.
The King’s Arms in Yarmouth would have been my 52nd new Guide pub of the month, putting me level with BRAPA. But it was closed, and even though I touched it and did a pre-emptive next door I’m going to have to concede this one to Si.
Still, 51 new pubs in 28 days isn’t all bad, and left my own Guide looking like this;
If you’re wondering how I managed to complete the Scottish Borders, the new entry in Peebles has already closed. Sad, but also a cause for silent rejoicing.
Beer and pub quality was average, if I’m honest. No returned pints, but none that made you go “Oooh, I will join CAMRA immediately“.
Beer of the Month – if it’s good enough for Dorset’s dogs it’s good enough for me.
A trip to Aberdeen next week will hopefully show the Granite City in all its glory, and equally hopefully I’ll keep Mrs RM out of the of 437 BrewDog bars.
After that I should finish West Midlands, Staffs and Derbyshire in-month, and can then turn my attention to Devon and Cornwall.
Away from beer, March sees the big artists start to arrive from across the ocean for gigs, including Sharon Van Etten and Julia Jacklin, whose wondrous second LP is competing with Matt’s deathcore to annoy the neighbours as we speak.
As Si would say, join me tomorrow for more cheese.