And so, after a night at my regular Durham bolthole in Le Street, on to my final tick in that wonderful county.
I’m obliged to tell you that the best beer is to be found in the Station House in Durham, but frankly I don’t recall any cask calamities this year.
And the Baa bar was the best of the newbies.
The best of my readers will remember that a year ago Mrs RM and I stopped in Edmundbyers for gastro burgers (fewer calories) at the very lovely Punch Bowl, which lasted about 6 months in the GBG after our visit.
Back then I noticed the Baa in the former YHA, and could have done it there and then and saved myself this return trip.
But Mrs RM would have had the benefit of the pint, and as I noted last year she was already “tipsy” and encouraging me to take photos of zebras by then.
Well,well. What a corker. Ignore the bouncers.
I expected the sort of hipster hostel place you get in the Lakes, full of beardies and Brass Castle.
This had old walls, Old Boys and old favourites.
“That’s what I like to see, one beer on” I said, a little too conspicuously.
“We normally have another one on” said a quite brilliant but wary Landlord.
Cullercoats Polly Donkin, my research tells me. Wonderful, I say. Perfect temperature, rich, thick, complex. Beer of the month (NBSS 4).
No-one else was drinking it, of course.
The lads at the bar were engaged in a range of unfathomable conversations;
“Bob’s sister married Colm’s brother” . “Aye”
“There were cameras everywhere, but I were just borrowing them” .”Oh”
“He managed the fertiliser land docks in Dar Es Salaam” . “Eh ?”
Rather different to the bants in the Punch Bowl, to be frank.
Wonderful, though I felt a little left out perched in the corner.
“He’ll **** us up that Boris Becker”
“You mean Boris Johnson !”
I saw my chance.
“I’ll take Becker over Johnson as PM any day”
I didn’t hang around to gauge the response.