Today’s retiredmartin cover star, who hasn’t quite mastered the bemused look, is Mrs RM, modelling my Real Women Drink Gallons theme in the Vault in Ellesmere.
She nicked my photo and converted it to her Facebook header within minutes, attracting a record 27.5 likes. Failure to like Facebook posts is a criminal offence in Waterbeach.
NB Please DON’T caption the photo, folks.
We arrived along the Mere after dropping Matt and the lovely Emma (the one whose parents have Joy Division oven gloves) off at Stoke station.
Excitingly, the journey takes you into a foreign country as you leave Whitchurch, but only for a few nervy moment before you emerge, breathlessly, in Welshampton.
Which sounds like it should BE in Wales. Anyone ever stopped in a pub there ?
Mrs RM has asked me not to let you know that she thought we were heading for an industrial Cheshire town on the Mersey.
We parked alongside the Mere (FREE ! FREE ! FREE !) and the swans came to say hello.
It was 7.30pm and needed broccoli or similar, but I needed my last Shropshire tick (on the basis no-one knows when Ludlow’s Blood Bay is reopening).
You’d need a better memory than me to recall my last trip to Ellesmere., when I came here in error and enjoyed its “er” charms.
Canal king Pete Allen is probably your Ellesmere Expert.
I’d attempted to tick the Vault on the way to Wrexham this year, but micro hours defeated me. I expected something like the Gravesend place,
but what you get is more akin to a themed Isle of Wight bistro with tat turned up to ten.
Youngsters drinking on tables outside, cocktail mums on high tables below. I loved it.
The real ales seemed inconsequential.
Mrs RM found the table furthest away from the action and with the worst WiFi.
We drank pints of Three Tuns (NBSS 2.5+) and Stonehouse Sunlander (NBSS 3.5+) and looked at our culinary options.
Unbelievably, the Thai place was closed. Well, it was 8pm on a Friday. So Pizza in the Vault it was.
There was so much left we stuck in the campervan fridge and it fed James all of Sunday.
A second Sunlander came in a Brains glass and was even better, so go figure.
My notes, as you’re tired of hearing, are long lost, so you’ll have to guess what music they were playing. Matching the mixed crowd, it went from Deep House to Deap Valley, which is the most obscure musical reference in my blog this month. So far.