No, not that Freemantle;
No, even that BRAPA visit to Melbourne in 2016 can’t get Australia in the GBG yet.
But it was Simon’s visit to Southampton a year later that made me change plans and visit another non-GBG last Friday, perhaps in sympathy with BRAPA’s unproductive but wonderful trip to Rugby the week before.
This is the bit I remembered about the Wellington Arms from BRAPA;
One lady seemed almost totally convinced by Dad’s green fingered brain, but still went to check the name and came back calling it a ‘snowball tree’. Dad responded, “I think you’ll find it is a Viburnum Opulus, I only know plants by the Latin names”, before effortlessly shimmying out of a secret back gate.
Now, if that doesn’t win the Booker prize I don’t know why he bothers.
I’d actually been in the night before Simon closed the place down, and I was keen to see if it was as good as we both remembered, a bustling, irreverent classic.
Almost as good.
I entered to laughter from both rooms, and the promise of hippies covering the Eurythmics in a fortnight’s time. How happy is that ?
Not as packed at the bar as on closing day 2017, but if this doesn’t pull them in, what will.
“Plum Porter please” I said, alliteratively.
“Pint ?” I nod. “Gotta be, hasn’t it !” he says.
I get a nice view of the action, away from the row of bench seats, and used “What’s That Song Called” to identify the Imagine Dragons who I remember from The Clangers in the 70s.
A frothy pint, and froth at the bar, none of it aboout politics.
“May I be the first person to wish you a happy.”
That’s the spirit. Not CAMRA pub, if it ever was, but a Proper Pub of the first order. The sort we found a lot of in Rugby in May. Can you get there from Stockport or Stafford in less than a day ?