Firstly, an apology. In welcoming Pubs Galore readers to the blog I referred to them as fellow “weirdy tickers“. There is, of course, nothing weird at all about visiting lots of pubs and writing about them on a website.
Perhaps someone familiar with pubs in Watford will let me know what I’ve missed in town on my 3 recent visits, the highlights of which I’ve lovingly collated here. If you want the truth, take a look at Alec Latham’s blog.
Luton Hatter probably has the Hornets as his local “big” team*, just as I support Citeh from little Cambridge.
Bing Maps won’t let me print an OS extract without peppering it with those blue bed symbols signifying Spoons.
“Watford, a place I can’t love, but whose brightly-shirted team of unpronounceable players kindly let my beloved City trample all over them at regular intervals these days. And then leaves their calling cards in pub toilets.”
“All of England has merits, some well hidden“, I set off from Watford High Street station (scary) to Watford Junction station (scary, but with a Beer Guide pub).
Ask Beer Twitter for a recommendation for Watford and 89.2% of responses will say “West Herts Sports and Social Club“, which is a bit pointless.
This is the 3rd image that comes up for WHSSC;
Luckily, the most recent new Guide entry is a Paul Mudge approved “Proper Pub” in the Watford Junction style, complete with pouffes, Spoons-style carpets and improbably long opening hours.
The Wellington takes on the “trad boozer in the Guide” mantle from the Estcourt Arms, Tetley Bitter stronghold of yore.
Grief, getting quite sentimental now. Let’s damp that down with a trip to the cavernous Flag (nee Firkin), home to 2 visits 20 years apart.
“Frankly, nothing much had changed since 1998, which can sometimes be a bonus, but here it just felt like an unloved Hungry Horse with foreign students instead of OAPs.”
In Scotland, a tired Doom Bar pump will get you in the Guide. Here, Side Pocket for a Toad fulfills the same function.
“Like Hendon, Watford feels a bit underpubbed. No GBG entry in the centre for years, though the venerable Moon Under Water (practically the Spoons Tap ?) has one of the more impressive beer ranges I’ve seen, including some verifiable craft keg alongside the Shipyard.”
One gem, the One Bell, and that’s long lost as a pub. The rest is chain dreadfulness.
My third brush with Watford, wisely anonymised at the time, gave me this classic exchange;
“Excuse me, this doesn’t taste right, can you replace it please ?”
“It’s fine, it’s not the end of the barrel“. Walks away.
“Sorry, it doesn’t taste right“.
Draws a bit off, looks at it. Didn’t accept my invitation to taste it.
“Looks fine to me. Not had anyone else complain about it”
*Don’t hit me.