One of the most iconic photos on my blog, as Dick (pink pen) and Dave (out of shot, MAGA hat) combine effortlessly to tick the Blue Mugge in Leek.
A few months ago I was in the Ship in Shaftesbury with BRAPA, wondering how many other great pubs I’d still to discover for the first time.
In the timeless words of Allo Darlin’
“I’m wondering if I’ve already heard (ticked) all the songs (pubs) that’ll mean something.
And I’m wondering if I’ve already met all the people that’ll mean something”
Where has the Blue Mugge been all my life ?
And how has it taken so long to make the Beer Guide, at least since I started completing Staffs a decade ago.
One new tick was enough to persuade me to join the Southworth twins in lovely Leek, or Leek : Gateway to Alton Towers and, er, Stoke, as the TIC would market it.
I parked Mrs RM’s car neatly opposite Dick and Dave’s motor, the best they could find to negotiate the A523 from Macclesfield.
The Blue Mugge lies in the pretty terraced streets just east of town; it hides its treasures well.
I have literally parked in that spot on previous trips and not even noticed a pub there; Dick and Dave had nearly walked to the Yew Tree in Cauldon Lowe before they saw it.
This was one of those “Wow” moments, and not just because of Dave’s hat (not shown for legal reasons).
The US lads had found the best seat in the house, with perfect views of the circular bar and Vic.
A quick emotional reunion, we hadn’t seen each other since Monday, then a pint.
Oh. And some pub grub.
The corned beef hash had just run out, so beef bourguignon it was, obvs. I’m impressed they’d spelt it correctly; I’ve just failed twice.
“Four pounds thirty !” I squeaked.
“Do you think that’s expensive ?”
Dick and Dave had been on the Hawkshead, naturally waiting for me to turn up to try the Bass. It was cool, crisp and chewy. A 3.5 for the ages. They followed my steer.
Dick did the honours with the pink marker. Play the video to or join my Patronised readers for the Snitch and Scraff version.
Utter magic. And that’s before I get to the toilet humour, which would offend so I’ll leave it to Woke Si.
I entered the Blue Mugge at 13:54 and we were subtly ejected at 15:15. I could have stayed all day.