On Wednesday I took James out for a walk on the heath.
None of my readers live in London (they are, indeed, blessed), or they would assume I meant Hampstead.
This is Therfield Heath in Royston. I’ve marked the Pig & Abbot, scene of an incident with BRAPA that he kindly omitted from his blog but which may appear in the film.
Therfield Heath marks the end of Cambridgeshire’s flat plains and the beginning of some decent walking territory, denoted by the traditional child’s shoe.
The highlight is Fox Covert, a wood with steep hills and a retreat where fans of BBB can come with cans of Bass to escape the impending craft apocalypse.
The town itself has escaped craft, and by and large the attentions of the Beer Guide, for several decades.
The Jolly Postie offer McMullen’s finest and home delivery (possibly not as far as Stafford, Paul) in a beautiful post van.
Royston is about Cheadle size, with a similar range of pubs and architecture. Like Stockport’s ugly cousin, it’s a bit blighted by traffic from all sides, though the Old Courthouse escapes the smoke.
In the ’90s Mrs RM and I would visit the Royal Bengal with its Curry Club awards from the ’70s and press cuttings that said things like “A tasty bird for a pretty bird” as Miss Royston, sash and all, tucked into Chicken Tikka Masala. Woke changed all that, thank heavens.
The giant misshapen medieval donut is another survivor.
It was quieter when Mrs RM and I returned in 2017, though the high stools raised the ire of Christine.
This is Simon in the Manor House in 2017 regretting his fifth pint in 3 hours while I go for a fifth flat white.
James is better behaved than BRAPA, but then he’s virtually teetotal. As was I at 21.
But he’s learnt to be observant, and highly rated the more relaxed atmosphere now they’ve banned standing at the bar. I had to visit the bar to get the price of my pint of Doom Bar down to £1.29, of course.
The screens make that quintessential British activity of eavesdropping harder, mind.
I’ve been here four times now, and this was the quietest. But the beer was lovely.
Top creamy head on your NBSS 3.5 Doom Bar.
Perfectly matched by your favourite beer sommelier with a small portion of the salted caramel fudge brownie, this was a “feast for the King of the East(ern pub blogging)“