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 and Duncan have posted their progress reports, which I marked as B+ and A- respectively.

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.

Duncan daring do

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,

Paul in the Lion

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.

The only thing that will get young people back in pubs

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.

Future Brewhouse & Kitchen

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.

Bye !

The King’s Arms in Yarmouth would have been my 52nd new Guide pub of the month, putting me level with BRAPA.Β  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;

Work still to do

If you’re wondering how I managed to complete the Scottish Borders, the new entry in Peebles has already closed.Β  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.

Image result for julia jacklin LP

As Si would say, join me tomorrow for more cheese.







18 thoughts on “FEBRUARY ’19 STOCKTAKE

  1. You’ve got a Transpennine version of the Caprivi Strip there on your map πŸ˜‰

    Surely Surrey is eminently doable, even if it’s all micros and overpriced gastric nightmares.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tis a strange thing this GBG geography. Locally I seem to be going through a patch where I’m knocking back a pint thinking this is top quality. Of course in Derbyshire that doesn’t mean GBG. Yesterday’s line up in the Cock and Pullet in Sheldon near Bakewell was a case in point. Landlord, Monk’s Gold from Howard Town and Doom Bar might not be exciting for some but the quality of the first two was superb as I suspect the DB was.


    1. I believe you. Both that there’s plenty of good beer outside the GBG and that the Doom Bar might have been very good.

      Travel 30 miles west into Cheshire or 30 miles west into Lincolnshire and see if you think qualify is as good in their Guide entries.


  3. Good progress. The map is developing well. I am not going to appeal my grading – seemed a little generous. if anything. Haven’t been to what I still regard as Grampian yet so look forward to monitoring your achievements. Considerate of Christine to take some work there- plenty of fun to be had in that area.


    1. The grading is more a reflection on the quality of shading than actual progress, of course.

      Have you asked the CAMRA National Executive candidates their views on the renaming of Scottish chapters to “mainly Mars bars”, “mainly venison”, “mainly Irn Bru”, etc etc

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I dread to think what the price of Buckie would be in Spoons Coatbridge. I do remember hearing years ago about a bar somewhere to the west of Glasgow that used to open up early in the morning with a load of glasses of Buckie poured and ready on the bar counter for the regulars.

        Liked by 1 person

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