I’m surprised to get the chance to re-enter the magical world of GBG2020, and with a delayed publication date of 29 October for the 2021 edition I could in theory make some progress with colouring in the Guide.

First ticks for 3 months this week

But I can’t go inside pubs in Scotland and Wales yet, and I’m not convinced they want us with our 600+ positive cases a day, anyway.



So let’s focus on the four nearest counties (and ignore the Isle of Wight cos it scares me).


Note the lack of effort in pinking in Herefordshire.  It’s possible I coloured in the Mappa Mundi by mistake.

3 hours it took me to compile this little list of pubs and their opening hours by looking at their Facebook pages.


Shocking handwriting; it went downhill after Milton Primary School when I’d have been slippered for that. Compare and contrast with Duncan;

Very neat Duncan

A mixed picture on my handwritten list. 11 of the 20 are either not open yet or sticking to take-outs.  Some of the others have much restricted opening.  But they all seem to be coming back,which is a great effort.

Will Rishi’s largesse (15% cut in VAT, half price pub meals Monday to Wednesday) see some change in opening hour patterns ?  Could I finally get a pint on Monday in Yorkshire.

No idea. And nor have the poor CAMRA volunteers, so GBG 21 won’t have opening times at all, I read today.  Just as well, the printed Guide is not something to rely on in the best of years.

So lots of fun planning the next few months to maximise the use of the campervan, and that small window of opportunity for drinkers to enter pub, and of course get proper value from the CAMRA discount vouchers.

Hopefully the GBG Tickers Council will look kindly upon me as I claim a tick for the Triple fff brewery tap today.  The bar was closed, buts surely a milk bottle full of Monnshine from the barrel is OK ?

Proof I visited
Beer.  Spent too long in my campervan fridge


Deal with it, tickers.

Coming next -Pompey.

30 thoughts on “THE BEST LAID PLANS

  1. Wish you all the best on your journey. I wish I am able to do the same. Maybe soon. Herefordshire has some great places if you haven’t already ventured there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Surely the ticking rules can be adjusted during this pandemic. If it were up to me I’d count even just getting to the front door of the place, but I don’t think Simon and Duncan would approve of that.

    Speaking of Duncan, wow, he keeps a very tidy record of things, doesn’t he! If that were my notebook there’d be at least five words scribbled out and numerous incomprehensible notes in the margins. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “If it were up to me I’d count even just getting to the front door of the place” – that’s the basis of the Red Lioness !

      Actually that GBG entry does state “also known as the Triple fff brewery” so 2 pints from the brewery should be fine.

      Duncan is immaculate.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re right. Why put hours in the guide at all? It doesn’t really make sense. You can find equally inaccurate hours written up online.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ideally you compare hours in the Guide, Facebook, a competitors blog and the handwritten sign on the door and take the average, then turn up at 4am on Thursday and find it shut.


  4. So do the Welsh want us visiting their country, or not? As for the Scots, best ask Nicola!

    I’ve switched off completely from all the statistics being bandied about, but comparison figures of positive cases, need to reflect the relative differences in population size between the Home Nations, to mean anything.

    It’s all very confusing, at the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for an excellent stats site Martin. I am currently trying to work out the significance of 2nd July in Portsmouth and Kingston upon Hull.

        Good to see you back out and about. Still not been in a pub. I suspect it will be next week, things haven’t quite added up this week.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. On stats, Kingston upon Hull was recording several dozen infections a day up until but May but that’s dropped to a handful lately. The spike last week was when Government added in all those Pillar 2 cases (drive in tests etc) in one go.


      3. Thanks for the link Martin, but as we all know you can prove or disprove anything with statistics. You also need to look at the stats in the right context, and consider what it is that the figures are attempting to show you. Or what is the agenda of the author/compiler?

        It’s a nice job compiling these sorts of tables and graphs, if that’s what floats your boat, but quite frankly we have enough of this sort of thing at work (KPI’s and other assorted statistical gems!)

        With those thoughts in mind, I’ll continue with my own approach, which is based on assessing and managing risk as I see fit, depending on the prevailing situation at the time. My assessments are based partially on science, but also on my own instinctive, gut feelings. – in other words, good, old-fashioned common sense!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Your approach is spot on, Paul. I’d like more evidence to help me make risk assessments before I spend much time inside pubs and restaurants.

        Specifically I’d like to, for example, see a democratic profile of the 600 odd daily cases and get some analysis of where folk are still catching it.

        Those are Government stats. I’m not sure who else to trust, as I don’t trust the BBC. Look at their coverage of Germany’s r rate blip the other week for misreporting.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thanks for the gen on the pillar 2 cases Martin. For what period do they cover? If they were added in on a daily basis, even retrospectively if the data takes longer to collate, it would give the data a different look and would certainly be more accurate than the misleading spike.

        I agree, Paul has the right approach and it is similar to mine, just take one small step at a time.

        I will report back on my first pub visits Martin as you are interested. As chance has it, I am likely to visit the same pub twice, once at a traditionally quiet time, once at a traditionally busier time. The former I anticipate no difference, it is after all the same building, the same landlord and the same couple of customers. The latter I am a little more concerned about. I suspect that there will be less punters than usual, otherwise I do not see how the social distancing will be achieved, even with the lesser used back room. We shall see and if it comes to it there will be other options, or the small garden.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Yes, I’m very interested, Tom. Simon’s report from two unassuming York pubs was fascinating.
        The historic Pillar 2 (community) positive tests were added to the Pillar 1 (hospital) cumulative total on 2 July, when Hull’s figure jumps from 804 to1,530. Only 8 cases in both pillars in the week since the 2nd.


  5. Sadly the immaculate days are long past in more ways than one. Apparently the half price meals don’t apply to pubs. Very few pubs open outdoors here- indoors is permitted from 15th. I am letting the famously tolerant blogging and ticking communities down by not getting back into the swing yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It would be hard to distinguish between pubs and restaurants, I’d have thought. I assumed the 50% only applied to food, not drinks, bit like those interminable pizza offers. I guess the test is – do they apply to Wetherspoons.

      Take your time coming back, they’ll be some beer left.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “Milton Primary School when I’d have been slippered for that” – might have been better if you’d been caned like Etu..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was the enlivening sting of the mistress’s palm, Paul, not the dreary humiliation of some dodgy ex-major’s cane.


  7. Definitely deserves a tick…as I was saying to BB recently the brewery fresh beer could be better than pub pulled pints, though, as your photo shows, the venue lacks some of the ‘pub atmosphere’.

    Looks a good beer in the photo (i’d guess ‘fresh and chewy’ is about right) and look forward to hearing what NBSS you’ve given it…and you’ve even got a proper label on the takeout bottle 🙂

    Moonshine – now there’s a thought – has there been a renaissance during lockdown – especially in the potato lands of the east – or has it never really been away…?

    Now you’re in Hampshire – I’m just clearing out the Furze Dale Brewery tap this morning in case it’s in the GBG and a visit is imminent… (#Open All Hours) 🙂


      1. Interesting reviews. It’s taken a while to get into the Guide; I’ve been doing the Portsmouth entries for a decade or more.

        Not an obvious Guide entry with Pedi and Sharps beer and quite suburban food in style; it’s no Phoenix or Hole in the Wall !. Hard to judge places at the moment and I sense beer quality as high as it’ll be for a while with fresh barrels.


      2. Well it has a front room a back room and (I think) an upstairs room so should be OK if they choose to reopen.


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