A small confession. I’ve skimmed over a few pub visits in North Yorkshire to bring the conclusion of this significant chapter in the Guide.
That’s not a criticism of Yorkshire or its often almost tolerable residents. In fact, York’s Pub of the Year, the Mended Drum in Huby produced the best (and murkiest) beer of the month, and looked a splendid place.
And in the Beeswing in East Cowton a quite wonderful barperson greeted me with “How are you my darling ?”
But it’s hard dragging that out to a whole 400 words to describe a plain dining pub in pleasant countryside, without resorting to the usual Old Boy whining about high tables, children and dogs under your feet, and competently kept beer.
My last two ticks, in the valley below Aysgarth, were worth recording for posterity. You may even get a public holiday to commemorate my first clearance of North Yorkshire.
660 people in Bishopdale, plus 5,000 on the campsite next to the Street Head Inn.
You need a better photographer than me to capture the remote beauty of this lovely part of our country.
Fairly plain exterior, straightforward interior again in Newbiggin.
The dining trade was over at Street Head, a few campers were playing darts (it does happen !) and I wished BRAPA was there so something would happen.
I almost wished this was my last post for the chapter when I saw the John Smiths Cask.
But when in North Yorks I stick to the craft, so Theakston it was.
And in honesty, it was the right choice. Cool, creamy, bursting out of that duff vase.
15 minutes later I was in Thoralby,
pausing only to cross the motorway,
and note the long-awaited result of the 50/50 club.
I was astonished to see that the Pinfold hasn’t yet been converted into a micropub or emergency BRAPA loo.
The George looked awfully quiet, too.
Those times are completely different to WhatPub, of course.*
I checked the time. Just as I’m sure you will now.
6.59pm. The door was open. Would I beg the Landlord to serve me ? Or just finish the dregs of the Fosters on the table outside. Or make it up like I normally do.
“Am I too late for a pint of Her-me-o-ny ?”
“No. Which one ?”
“Her-me-o-ne” Points to Rudgate.
It was a functional transaction with a gent with an Old School jumper and a penchant for ’60s music and Blackpool ephemera, both fine with me.
“Lazy Sunday Afternoon”, “Chewy Chewy” and “Stop Stop Stop” in a row.
The Rudgate was pretty perfect, cool, clear and floral.
“Good Evening, Sir” said our Landlord. I still have no idea when the George closed, and no longer care.
*Yes, as Scott informed me, that second row are also opening times. There are no closing times.