So, was it worth it ?” says Clive, of my 4 hour trek up the A1 and restless night in a campervan surrounded by dogs and doggers in Cramlington.

Four hours to stand in the rain and queue for the Wetherspoons to open.

I wasn’t even first in line at 7.45, 3 lads buzzing about their Big Breakfast.

Lots of “Welcome back !”, “Can I sit anywhere?”, “No booze till 9 😭” and “Do you take CAMRA vouchers“.

It’s a lovely Spoons, designed for social distancing.

The chap reading his paper on the next table was probably in Durham rather than Northumbria.

Finally, 9am. Not a huge dash for the Smooth.

Not a huge cask selection (hurrah) so no guilt picking the £1.39 with voucher Doom Bar.


A proper Northern head. Should I have taken it back?

Don’t be soft.

Anyway, marvellous, NBSS 3.5 stuff. Gone in 6 minutes.

Now, where’s my pink pen ?


    1. Etu,
      And whatever happened to Holts’s palindromic Regal Lager ?
      Must have gone the same way as Robinsons’s Einhorn Lager.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, but it’s rumoured to be a translation of “one horn” and it might be no coincidence that it’s from the Unicorn Brewery


  1. Did you pay at the bar or use the app?

    On a normal day, I’d have taken that pint back but this isn’t a normal day, like you I’d have supped it in sheer gratitude.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nice looking place – love the art deco. but the carpet made my eyes hurt…,

    Great to see you back on the road and what an epic journey to get the ticking started again. That Doombar looks exceptional with a head reminiscent of the 70s. Perhaps maturing in the cask since March has done it the world of good?

    So did they give you the glass when your meal arrived and then you had to go back to the bar to get it filled? Which doesn’t seem to accord with their order via the app table service? Or is that just a glass doubling as a cutlery and napkin holder?*

    Hoping to claim my point for the Weatherspoons guess… Must be getting tantalisingly close to the free pint of Doom Bar now 🙂


    1. Had it been in the cask since March? Or 1978 ?

      I’ll do a post on the new Spoons “experience”, surprising (the app didn’t work(.

      When are you heading to the Spoons ? I’ll send you a Doom Bar to the table.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “with a head reminiscent of the 70s” but in the 1970s it was from a metered electric pump into a 24 ounce glass not from a handpump into a brim 20 ounce glass.
      Early this morning I commented that “I wouldn’t mind ….. table service – as long as it wasn’t an excuse for short measure” and it’s happening already.

      Quite a few of us now have “a head reminiscent of the 70s” but with hair greying and thinning.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Total dedication to the cause. Even though it will all lead to a spike. Presume the Dog and Dogger micropub was still closed. Ours open outdoors only Monday. Some people have got used to much cheaper drinking at home so will be interesting to see who is willing to pay upwards of £3.50 in house.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Check Israel’s figures after reopening post-lockdown. Different strategies either side of border (or one has a strategy, one doesn’t, if you prefer) but will be cross-border impact in D&G, as there was re Carlisle hospital spike this week. Pubs won’t open indoors here till 15th. Where’s your next tick?


  4. Did my heart good seeing you back in a pub, and with a full English in front of you, no less. Had you planned in advance that Doom Bar would herald your return to the in-pub experience? Or was it a spur of the moment decision?

    Very glad to hear they obliged and provided you with an NBSS 3.5 one to mark the occasion. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a computer program called “MaxTrigger” which determined a combination of my going back to the pub early on the 4th, choosing the hated Spoons, eating a full English, and drinking Doom Bar would upset most people on Twitter.

      It was right. But then it’s a computer program.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m sure it was worth the wait for you lads in England. Good news came out of Wales (I live in Cardiff) though as outdoor areas at pubs can open next week. It’s better than nothing and about time. Can’t wait for that

    Liked by 1 person

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