It’s been a great week for pub bloggers.

Life After Football celebrated 3 years of Midlands magic with a dull Pedi in a place you’ve never heard of, BRAPA completed the whole of Stockbroker Surrey before all the pubs are locked down again, and Citra actually found an open micropub.

But Pubmeister isn’t called Pubmeister for nothing, as he surged towards the prize in a turquoise frenzy.


I’m not sure how Duncan did it, as Scots aren’t allowed to visit the plaguelands of the frozen North, but I still met him in Chester-le-Street on Wednesday night. We didn’t even touch elbows.

Chester le Street

One of us stayed in a posh hotel with “Worm” in the title,


the other slept in a customised van in a country park 2.2 miles out.

Loads happening here

How the other half live, eh ?

View from my window

Waldridge Fell Country Park is gorgeous, far enough out of town to avoid boy racers and doggers, and most importantly free.

Some of you have enquired what the campervan interior is like.

Privacy curtains

It’s bijou, like an £800k apartment in Knightsbridge with slightly superior toilet arrangements.

Don’t ask

Mrs RM has been warned that the bottle labelled “Moondance” isn’t beer, whatever it may taste like (that worked for Nehru).

According to Esther, I was on a “Staycation”, taking a holiday in my own country rather than heading abroad for a “proper” vacation like real people do. This will give you nightmares;

The evening stroll into town from Waldridge passes a Stonegate pub (CAMRA discount !)

Never walk past an open pub, as Alan Winfield probably said

I really should have joined the young people enjoying Greene King IPA Estrella in the sun; they were laughing (Laughing ! In 2020 !).

It’s pretty much the only cask you pass till you get to the new tick at the Masonic Centre.


But instead I walked north a bit and joined Duncan on his pilgrimage south and we chatted opening time disasters for a bit.

Then we stepped nervously into the throng;

Well-behaved Old Boys

All very polite, everyone seated bar us as we dithered over some local brews that Duncan will remember since I deleted my notes last night.

We were reminded, three times, to fill in our names and numbers on the class register, and made idle banter with the barmaid behind the perspex about hops.

The barmaid behind the perspex is the strapline for my upcoming July review.

Duncan was very socially distanced

An immaculate club with no apparent entry restrictions, some beautiful local art, and a cool crisp of something that Duncan will remember (Help Duncan !).

NBSS 3.5

The night was still young, the bright lights of Chester-le-Street awaited.  Just a shame the Spoons was still closed for “refurbishment”.







  1. I really hate the word “staycation ” as if it is something unusual -most of our holidays over last 40 odd years have been on this sceptered isle -I love British holidays -so much so that we are venturing into Norfolk for a caravan holiday soon (bit annoying -over last 5 years we had been venturing abroad & enjoying it -oh well it was good while it lasted )


  2. Good to meet up. I didn’t actually write down what we had but two were from Darwin brewery, including the excellent Evolution (4% pale) and Galapagos (6% chocolate stout). No doubt you asked for Doom Bar.

    Liked by 1 person

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