An unexpected opportunity to “clear Hertfordshire” on the Friday, taken gratefully.

As usual, a flying visit followed by messages such as “you should have done the micro” or “why didn’t you call me I’d have met you in the Steam Punk pub“.


No Steam Punk community in Hemel, but no Sam Smiths pubs either in one of the UK’s GBG deserts.

Note gate to keep riff-raff out of Hemel Old Town

The only GBG entry I can see in 25 years old in Central Hemel is the Full House, the roughest Spoons in England (don’t @ me).

Which is a bit surprising, as Old Hemel is rather Dickensian with its handsome supply of coaching inns.

With a decent camera you can make Old Hemel look almost as attractive as Hatfield, which is quite a skill.

But I won’t be advising Dick and Dave to divert from Bridgnorth to visit a lone street of barbers, bridal couture and light entertainment.

Jaki Graham your highlight

Even on Friday lunchtime, there’s very few takers for bargain Thai and curry lunches.

So what’s got the Old King’s Head into the Guide after 349 years?

I have simply no idea.

Clearly not the local beers.

I stood at the bar, two pound coins in hand, and waited. And waited.

Finally one of the gaggle of customers discussing their Christmas party booking intervened on my behalf.

“Tracy there’s a customer, did you know?”

Tracy was folding napkins and clearly didn’t expect customers, but was very polite when called into action.

I admired the historic interior, as you’re supposed to,

and looked for the earliest opportunity to dump a dire half of straw flavoured Youngs.

And that was that.

Five minutes away, there’s a micropub bringing “much needed choice“.

Stuff choice. Give me great beer.

And great street names.


    1. Oddly, that’s right, it’s only an hour away.

      South Hertfordshire never felt like Wells country when I worked there, though I wouldn’t say it felt like McMullens country, either.

      Are the Wells and Youngs beers made with pride in Wolves these days or do I just assume that about everything?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I wonder if the pump worked?

    In this case, the vandals had not taken the handles at least.

    Why Henry VIII – if it were him – I also wonder?


  2. Old Hemel can be quite, erm, pretty but Hemel is never a place I would have chosen to go to for a decent pint of ale, until Monks Inn opened. The Pope’s Yard Brewery is close, in Apsley, and they have (had) occasional pop-up-bar, open weekends.
    The subject of local beers is a sticking point, in the locality there are numerous small breweries:
    • Chiltern
    • Haresfoot
    • Mad Squirrel
    • Malt
    • Paradigm
    • Pope’s Yard
    • Rebellion
    • Tring
    Can you get a pint of any of these good peoples’ wares in local pubs? Can you heck-as-like.
    Bee in bonnet – currently writing a piece on this subject.

    Liked by 1 person

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