Yes, these little blighters.


60p a packet, and I’ve kept Jakemans of Boston in business these last few weeks. You’ll be pleased to know a morning in Edinburgh New Town with Stafford Paul finally cured my itchy throat (that I don’t like to talk about).

I tell you this in advance, so you will understand why I’m reserving judgement on Alestones in Tardebigge.


Yes, that Tardebigge, betwixt Bromsgrove and Redditch. A better walk from the former, in my expert opinion.

Not many GBG pubs round here to start with, and of course hard to reach micros have a 101.7% chance of getting in the Guide, research has proved.

Alestones has the advantage of being in one of those little craft courtyards you see popping up around the UK in places like Bisphams Green and Broughty Ferry, offering “Classical Bedrooms” and “Kev’s Stripping” along with your pint.

My shadow approaching
Watch out tickers !

It also means you’ve a 18.3% chance of being run over by a Worcestershire Range Rover if you approach on foot.

So to be honest I was already on edge when I approached the bar.

Local beers alert

Of course, there is no bar. Mein host (sounding like Trip Advisor here) is chatting with locals in the tiny front bar (pop.8).

He gets up, I ask for a half of the one from the brewery up the road.

Hardly worth me getting up for a half, is it ?

I laughed. Mrs RM would have hit him. Should have had one of those rolls with it.

There’s a pubby back room that probably gets quite lively later on.

What’s in the box
Bench seating

But I’m not anti-social enough to sip a half on my own yet.

So I went outside (pop. 4) where the two tables in the sun were taken and perched my glass on one of those beer barrels that now serve for seats/tables/talking points.

Sadly, it was Jakemans 1, Woodcote Manor Pale 0. Virtually undrinkable, whether due to throat sweet or whatever.

And no, I wasn’t rousing the landlord again to debate the difference.

No flower pots, either, so I headed for the communal loos serving the court.

“Number for the loo available from the pub” said the note.

Silently, I screamed.

Anyway, I shall be making a return visit from the Redditch direction and will no doubt find this to be the best pub in Britain next time. It happens (Newton Cap, Bishops Auckland, 2003).


  1. Interesting map extract – on the left are the Tardebigge Locks on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal, with 30 locks in just over 2 miles, perhaps the most daunting canal incline in Britain, and the canal equivalent to the Lickey on the railway. You’ll be gasping fro a pint by the time you get to the top, although presumably not in the Alestones. I’m sure Mr Allen will be able to tell you all about it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Reg,
        And did you know that there is no proper name for a private part of a woman ?
        ( That’s using “proper” in the sense of inoffensive )


    1. It has been a number of years since we took on the challenge of the Tardebigge Locks. At the bottom of the flight there is a pub/restaurant (Queen’s Head)…and then another six locks in quick succession!

      At the top…there used to be the old pumping engine house which was a pub/nightclub but is now flats!

      From the map it looks as though Alestones is a bit further away than the Tardebigge pub (now closed, I believe). Looks like a nice lunchtime stop over, but I’m not sure I’d want to spend a whole evening there!


  2. Hmmm. I went there on a Saturday night when the front was busy and there were a few in the back room. A woman served me a reasonable beer in a friendly manner. There was a bar-wide conversation going on. It wasn’t a bad experience on my visit but I didn’t write it up as it didn’t seem in any way remarkable. No excuse for vinegar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Forgot you’re a pint man.

      He was joking. But it’s the sort of joke some people wouldn’t appreciate. The sense you’re disturbing the owner from their social activities pervades in several micropubs. Worthing springs to mind.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This exchange reminded me of a local butcher’s I went into years ago, asking for a pound of ground pork. “Can’t do just a pound,” he said. “It’s not worth my time.” I walked out and never set foot in the place again. A few years later, unsurprisingly, he’d gone out of business.

        Your guy was just joking, though. That’s a crucial difference!


      2. Good grief. A pound would be a few dollars, wouldn’t it ? Folk in England regularly ask for a pound (£) worth of cheese or olives from the Tesco deli, though they’re being closed now.

        Also, good grief ! You have butchers ?!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s a primary sign of a lack of vision, enterprise, ambition, you name it. As soon as a licensee sees the business as his, and a select band of customers, as their own personal theifdom then there is only one place the business can go. Like it or not, you have to cater and pander to all tastes when running a pub. Nod and smile to those talking bullshit (that’s 90% of people), smile and bite your tongue (frequently) and serve them decent ale.


      4. Richard,
        I know what you mean but neither a micropub nor a family dining pub will “cater and pander to all tastes”, and I don’t think either should.

        Liked by 1 person

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