A confession. I left my house for a second time last night, to stand in the drive and admire the moon.

Not very pink

I’ll ask for it be considered along with my other lockdown offences, such as adding a bar of non-essential Cadbury Dairy Milk to the shopping.

Back to the composite highlights posts, and the centre of the lucrative German owned UK yoghurt industry.

Market Drayton

Essential supplies

4 years ago my parents had seen more of Market Drayton than I had, but a burst of pubby activity by those Joules folk have MD firmly on the beer and curry circuit.

MD pubs
The circuit

Apart from booze, Balti and (gingerbread) biscuits, there’s not a ton of stuff to occupy you for more than a night. But, hey, Stafford isn’t far.

Drayton sleeps

A gentle Olde Worlde calm prevails, a bit like Sudbury without the Stour but with the Star Wars.

A New Hope filmed in the local Spoons, apparently

Seven (7) pubs have graced the Guide in short order, starting with the rather immaculate Sandbrook Vaults.


A classy place with luscious lacings and the best Pale I’ve had.

Next door the Clive & Coffyne (aka Tudor Bar) looked on its last legs in 2016, but who can deny the fighting qualities of a pub with handwritten pump clips?

Note late addition of the “i”

Next stop for Curry Charles and I was the Red Lion, the Joules Tap.

Stylish but overdone?
Northern head

A classy place, with middle class drinkers to the fore, but I can see why Stafford Paul doesn’t warm to Joules as much as I do.

He’d love the Salopian Star, the scruffy jewel amongst the Joules.

Black and white world

4 years ago I wrote,
Three people were engaged in unintelligible debate to the accompaniment of “American Pie“. A lone beer was fine, but this is proof that you don’t need real ales to make a fantastic pub.

I tried to think of a similar place, and could only think of a few places in Presteigne and Knighton; it’s a pub on the border.”

Glitter ball always a good sign

A year later I was back for another scruffy gem in the Kings Arms.

Unspoilt by unnecessary cleaning
Your bench seating
Anti Welsh humour clearly A BAD THING

“Some very high quality debate about “lunch” (“a light snack“), tea and brunch ( “wtf is that ?”).

And then at 3.30pm in came the Carling drinkers, sparking (pun intended) some very high quality/immature banter from the tradesmen of the town.”

A bit of a gap till the next newbie in GBG20, and then the William Chester gives us bay windows, Bass mirror, bench seating AND BBB. A potent combination.


And as if all that and a top dhansak in the Oruna isn’t enough, there’s a Spoons but NO micropub.

Add it to your list, Dick and Dave. And if you see the cat, let us know.

Oh, here’s dissenting views from one bloke.


  1. MD is an interesting one. We are split on Joules pubs. I like them; Dick finds them cold feeling. Every time I have MD on an itinerary he unceremoniously insists on Tamworth instead. There truly is no accounting for taste. The Joules pub in Leek split our opinion a lot. Me in; him out.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When push comes to shove, a Joules pub certainly works for me. When I have the wonderful choices England offers, I prefer others. A Joules pub at my corner would get my constant business, when I was able to leave my house.


  2. “I can see why Stafford Paul doesn’t warm to Joules as much as I do”.
    I’ve nothing against their beer and really enjoyed their Old No 6 not long after they took on a Stafford pub.
    I don’t mind their Red Lion here as a ‘no expense spared’ new build Brewery Tap but what I strongly object to is them wrecking heritage interiors such as the New Inn at Newport, seriously damaging them such as the listed Royal Oak in Eccleshall and otherwise inappropriately refurbishing them such as the Coopers Tavern with its garish yellow and red paint – and all to install a tacky ‘one size fits all’ fake history that to me is as bad as those plastic ‘oak’ beams of the 1970s.


    1. I was meaning your reservations on the pub interiors, Paul.

      It’s the “in your face” branding I don’t warm to, but I’d still enjoy a pint in any of their pubs. I think you’re a bit spoilt for choice for trad pubs up your way, Paul. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d love to have heard the conversation that preceded the addition of that “I.”

    “There’s supposed to be an ‘I’ in Thwaites.”
    “No there isn’t.”
    “Ten pounds says there is.”
    “You’re on!”

    The interior of the William Chester looks lovely indeed. But you know me, I like when a place looks as if Thomas Hardy might come in at any moment looking for a place to put his top hat. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember the Clive & Coffyne well, Mark. No custom, looked closed, one young lady doing everything, probably brewed the Thwates, I mean Twaites.

      It looked on its last legs in 2016 but won local Pub of the Year 2020, so well done them.

      I know exactly what you mean about Thomas Hardy walking in 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. There are a lot of teatime openers in Market Drayton – beyond the Joules brewery tap and the Spoons there’s not much choice on a weekday lunchtime.

    I once went in the Spoons with the intention of eating, marched up to the bar to place my order, only to find that the kitchen was closed, despite there still being menus out on the tables.


      1. I’ve known the same at breakfasttime in Tim’s Aberystwyth venue and it was more than “some problem or other”.


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