(with apologies to Bono).
My extensive spreadsheets show the Garibaldi was my sixth Guide tick in ravishing Redhill.
Which is odd, as I can only remember stopping there once. In 1998, on the way to Gatwick for a work assignment in Zimbabwe memorable for jacaranda trees and bayonets rather than Harare pubs.
Actually, I jumped off the train at the suburb of Earlswood, because I can, and because then I can note the Joshua Tree pub there and maintain my tenuous U2 thread.
It’s hard to make notes as you’re walking at 5mph up a hill, but I reckoned Redhill looked mighty fine if you ignored the A23.
The Garibaldi is a community-owned pub, which always sends a shiver down my spine.
It can mean locals blocking the door and the bar, treating the pub as their personal property (which I guess it is), resentful of the visitors a GBG entry brings in their millions.
There was just me. Use it or lose it, folks. Even on a Monday afternoon.
Unpretentious,pubby and plain, just as I like it. The 2007 GBG, from the last year before you-know-what killed many pubs like this, is a nice touch.
Three beers, all local enough to be great or rubbish. Being a pilgrim, of sorts, I went for the Pilgrim Longhorn.
It looked and tasted superb, easily a 3.5. Think how good it would be with two dozen drinkers to keep the pumps flowing.
After the initial pleasantries “Afternoon”, “How’s it going ?”, “Oooh, is that local” etc the Guvnor went back to reading his paper. As Si will know, being the only visitor to a pub has its social challenges.
Decent views from the back of the Surrey countryside.
But I needed urban sprawl, where the streets have no names (yet).
Nothing has changed since 1998, it seems.
Making a mental note to revisit the Spoons, I took the train to Dorking, accompanied by 376 schoolchildren, none of whom would be joining me in my next pub.