Next stop, Devon, with ninety-two (92) Guide pubs to do. Simon is going to push me around the county in a wheelbarrow, just like in the song. He owes me.
First up, a taxi for Matthew.
Here’s Matt and mate taking in one tent and four kg of crisps into 2000 Trees Festival near Cheltenham.
“Don’t forget to walk to the Mill Inn in Withington, a rare Sam Smiths outlet in the Cotswolds” I shouted, to a sneer of contempt.
Four nights away from home for Matt listening to hardcore (without a shower), four nights away for me ticking pubs (with shower and luxury body wash). I win.
First stop Taunton,high on my list of dull county towns.
Looked quite pleasing this Wednesday night though.
Taunton lost the contest not to be the county town and thus have its historic heart ripped out by 1960s developers.
But the streets behind the cricket ground are charming, and therein lies the new GBG entry.
The sun was so bright I couldn’t actually see the sign for The Bank.
For a solid but plain town Taunton has retained a fair few basic boozers in its rotating GBG cohort over the years (Racehorse and Ring of Bells spring to mind).
So The Bank comes as a bit of a surprise, and a mild disappointment.
There’s a trad pub in here somewhere, but it’s been turned into a modern place welcoming to all, free of those nasty beer mats and proper seats.
BUT. Goodness me it was friendly.
“HELLO ! WELCOME. Hot enough for you !”
“Half of Wild Beer. Oh, good choice”
Genuinely cheery, welcoming service. Makes all the difference.
The grapefruit murk (she’d warned me) was very lovely, the benefit of sticking to two beers on cask, and I forgave the Bank for a diet of Ed Sheeran and Rhianna. It is Taunton, after all.
A mixed crowd of locals, shoppers and single female murk drinkers liked it, and so did I. If I ever do visit Taunton for a day of county cricket I’ll pop in again.
“Alexa, tell me the meaning of 42” said a bloke in a suit from Norton Fitzwarren.
Oooh, spooky, time to get to Devon.