I always assume I know everywhere in England, based on a ability to say to strangers “Ah, Flitwick. Excellent kebab shop. NBSS 3.5 beer in the Crown. Poor man’s Ampthill” etc. etc.
But shamefully, I’d never been to a pub in Winchcombe before.
Despite it’s legendary status in Bill Bryson’s Notes From A Small Island and the fact that 82% of England’s footpaths pass through here.
Having spent 20 minutes there this week, I can confidently declare it “The Ashburton of the Southern Midlands” and rave about the coronation chicken rolls at North’s Bakery.
Lovely buildings, independent shops, but everyone was headed for Cheltenham I guess.
The Lion is hard to sum up from outside.
But inside it’s 30-somethings in Barbour and pashmina stopping for lunch on the way to the races.
That’s OK. We can’t all be the Stile.
At the bar a couple of chaps have stretched out for the session, leaving coats on chairs and attempting to block my view of the Marston’s Saddle Tank to force me to Buy Local.
They fail, of course.
Staff are friendly, the beer a little tired, which at £4 a pint is a shame.
I get my phone out to find out what “Privies” are, and find it’s French for “Place to tip an NBSS 2.5 beer that’s not bad enough to take back but you can’t stomach“.
The outside loo is the highlight, and I enjoy washing my hands with the Dufftown Distilleries handwash while singing Happy Birthday* for 20 seconds.
*The Altered Imges version, not Stevie