After Aberdeen I took a week off from pubs (“DryEarlyMarch”, anyone ?). I felt no better for it, mind.
And I certainly wasn’t prepared for another lengthy bus trip to Masham.
I can’t even blame Beeching for the lack of a railway station in Masham.
I’d allowed myself an insane amount of time to rediscover the town, having somehow imagined it to be a thriving metropolis, rather than little more than a village of 1,205.
First time here since Mrs RM and I spent a drunken night in the White Bear, the only other GBG entry back in 1996. Old Peculier to blame, I think, though that seems almost a session beer these days.
Just like trains, or is it buses, you wait 23 years for a new GBG entry and two come along in the same new Guide. Mind you, with six pubs (and a golf club) in town there was always that risk. And of course, by law every town over 1,000 people is guaranteed a micropub by 2025.
The Bruce, as its friend calls it, reminds me of one of those pubs you get in honeypots like Malham or Grassington ?
Is Masham a honeypot these days ?
I wrote about good pubs being not always serving great beer recently, and that applies to both these places.
“Ooh, you’ve been blown in like Mary Poppins !” said the frankly astonishing Landlady (I must see BRAPA’s report). Genuinely welcoming, unfussy, and running a delightfully airy if twee pub. Which sounds like something my Mum would say.
I felt a bit guilty that I didn’t eat, as they’d made so much effort with the menu, but they seemed delighted to serve me a half of Theakston Best.
The Best was a bit sherberty (Good) but also a bit sharp (Bad), but improved sufficiently to hit NBSS 2.75 and ensure the plants didn’t get a watering.
Elton John’s “Sacrifice” on a tinny HiFi was the musical highlight, which may indicate there were lowlights as well.
Oddly, though, I thought it was a great little pub, only needing a couple of dozen other customers to lift the beer turnover midweek.
The same could be said about the Bay Horse, with just a few diners and a dog that had probably not put much in the till.
Another six handpumps to give that all important choice to the real ale fan.
And another cool foamy half of Theakston, topped up automatically by an efficient lady who had to deal with queries about J20 and the reason the risotto wasn’t on the menu, which she handled with aplomb.
Good pub, average beer. As B*Witched were singing as I left “C’est la vie“.