YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY BASS MIRRORS

 

img_20190503_1441005330423525335316413.jpg

Two backstreet boozers to start, both with a decent smattering of custom by 2019 standards, then onto the “Lunch Stop” aka “Anywhere But Spoons“.

Rugby2

The rest of our group doubted my navigational skills as I wove them past dustbins and through Balti kitchens and graveyards on the way to the Merchant’s.

img_20190503_1345183504457144035369103.jpg
Unpromising exterior

If I’d been asked to give these Rugby GBG pubs a mark before our trip they’d have all been in the 7-7.5 range, where 10 is Staggs and 1 is the Maidenhead Conservative Club.

I reckon they all went up a notch on our crawl, the Merchant’s Inn a real beneficiary of the return visit.  I remember this opening as the first real specialist ale house in the early 2000s, but I’d forgotten the “tat“, as Mrs RM would have it.

img_20190503_1346225847508468612283838.jpg
Love your hat Mr Coldwell

As always, see Mudgie and BeerLeeds for the truth; I was enjoying the banter about Bielsa and Bedworth so much I hardly took any notes.  But the Merchant’s is incredibly photogenic.

I got my half of NBSS 3.5 Oakham (as ubiquitous as Doom Bar these days), ordered a rugby-themed burger, and left the Famous Five (Mudgies, Coldwell and Pete) who seemed to want to actually read the menu before deciding on lunch.

img_20190503_1350501606107775583969832.jpg
Oooh, Plum Porter again
img_20190503_1440288274810985164875349.jpg
Famous Five

Despite my love of Bass I’m not quite as obsessed with breweriana as you might think, but the Merchants is right up there with the Cambridge Blue.

A stunning display across a rambling pub neatly divided into four or five different drinking areas.

img_20190503_1447342492566024148719288.jpg
That would look nice in…
img_20190503_1441005330423525335316413.jpg
Love those Watney signs
img_20190503_1347355226205229393141671.jpg
Ooh, there’s a mirror
img_20190503_1346562034694935162347482.jpg
Proper bench seating beer mats

 

I know, if this was a micro I’d be calling “cliché”.  There you go.

The Merchant’s had been quite busy with local lunch trade, but by 2pm was thinning out a bit. Still enough drinking trade to keep it honest, all jollied along by the ’96 soundtrack (“Common People”, “Wonderwall”) that defines Rugby.

All quite classy, I thought, with particularly cheery service and one of the best pub lunches I’d had since Toad in the Hole on Tuesday.

img_20190503_1408128634192623171664435.jpg
A balanced meal

Pub upgraded from a 7 to an 8, a result confirmed by the jokes in the Gents.

Mrs Beer Leeds refused to tell us what was on the Ladies wall.

img_20190503_1443349068615375856883172.jpg

 

 

19 thoughts on “YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY BASS MIRRORS

  1. A proper modern public house providing a little of something for everyone (or in terms of cask selection quite a lot), all underlined with the recurring theme of Quality. If I had a pub I would like it to be something like this, bearing in mind the point of having a pub is to make money and not to run some sort of museum or shrine to what has gone before.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, the point of having a pub is to make money and the Merchants rightly does so by NOT doing things ‘on the cheap’ or cutting corners.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love all that stuff on the walls -lots to look at -reminds me of pub in Stamford whos name escapes me at the moment (part of a small chain in the area -i’m sure you will know ! )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t usually read the comments so apologies if this has already been discussed:
    Many of the photos in your blog have taken on a rather unnatural HDR look, with over-saturated colours. Any accounting for this? The photos are otherwise very good but this is a distraction.

    Like

    1. Hi David. Thanks for reading.

      Before I upload the photos I try a filter, often Palma, to see if they aid definition. I’m no photographer though. I thought the extra definition helped a bit, but I’ll take feedback from all.

      Tempted to do a comparison of Natural/Auto/Palma and see what you make of the difference in an upcoming post.

      NB other people’s comments are often the best bit!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s