ST NEOTS, SINGLETS & THE SECRET DOOM BAR PUMP

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So, you are no so much a “Beer Blogger”, but a “Pub Blogger” 

So wrote a venerable CAMRA branch chairman (not THAT one) this week as we amiably discussed good pubs down south. “Pub Blogger” was written in the way you might write “Hull fan” or “Moth botherer”, I thought.

It’s Life After Football’s fault.

25 years of trendy beers in “CAMRA” pubs and I suddenly find I prefer slumming it in scruffy market town boozers selling Doom Bar after seeing the joy in LAF’s posts.

A family trip to St Neots, a town now endowed with one Lidl for every 0.8 residents, meant I can bring you more boozers.

St Neots

A fair few GBG entries over the years, but the Hyde Park was never going to join the pantheon of Guide greats, most of which seemed to have “Pig” in the title.

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Proper Pub

I must have walked past this one 40 times when I gave the my octogenarian friend a lift from St Neots to the Home League at the Sally Army every Thursday afternoon.

I always thought “Must go in there sometime, looks awful“.  I never did, my octogenarian friend died in 2018, my chance was gone.

And now I’m back.  Grief, it’s quite cosy once you get past the hand wash.

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Fire in the middle of the pub
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Follow the tape

What appealed particularly about the Hyde Park, apart from the Rangers support and proximity to the auction with its promise of “characters”, was a WhatPub entry promising John Smiths Cask.

No such luck.

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One beer is plenty

I scribbled my name on the list, the only one with a phone number.  “Everyone else is a regular” said the chatty young barman who looked like Jimmy Barnes sporting a natty Springsteen T-shirt. “Love your shirt, mate” I said.

My hidden Doom Bar was the first pulled at 2pm, but at least I knew that as he thoroughly pulled it through.

One beer is plenty, but is it more than enough ?

Nope, this was lovely, far from the “served far too soon” £1.79 pints in the Spoons next door.  With that slight straw twang beloved of Fenland pints, it might have been a 3.5.  Equally, it could have been 2.5.  Come and find out for yourself.

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Clock collection

No music, just the chatter of blokes in their 60s on subjects as diverse as Hiroshima, the battleship Bismarck, and whether the Pope was a Catholic. The usual stuff that blokes in singlets talk about.

No-one showed any interest in their rare beer tourist*, which isn’t surprising.  But in a similar pub in Franconia the locals might have made an attempt to engage me in broken English.

I was warmly thanked for returning my glass, even though you’re not supposed to, and headed off to look at the wall of Wellington boots.  I know how to live.

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*The first since Alan.

 

16 thoughts on “ST NEOTS, SINGLETS & THE SECRET DOOM BAR PUMP

  1. Love the look of that place… undoubtedly and forever more local boozers with lip service to cask are way more fun than beer emporiums…
    One is more than enough if it’s kept well and sometimes none are enough if it’s a good place.
    More so than ever I am appreciating the low key locals or ‘unloved’ pubs.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “In a similar pub in Franconia the locals would have made an attempt to engage me in broken English.” Matthew still hasn’t forgotten our first evening in the pretty little town of Forchheim, seven years ago.

    After a meal elsewhere, we’d called in for a couple of final drinks at Brauerei Neder; a real locals pub, but one where we were really made to feel welcome. Our visit was a day or so after the birth of prince George, and as soon as the regulars discovered we were English, they insisted on drinking a toast with us, to the new prince.

    One of them started singing, but his drunken state and the unintelligible Franconian dialect, meant we couldn’t understand a word of what he was singing.

    The other thing was their cynicism when they learned we were in town for Annafest. “Why go up there” they said and pay over the odds for the Festbier. Stay in town and enjoy cheaper beer and better company. They had a point!!

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      1. I had to look up Munchberg on the map Martin, and noticed that it’s quite near Bayreuth and Kulmbach, and also not that far from the Czech border.

        Several years ago, I toyed with a visit to that area, but it never happened and with so many other places to visit, once this pandemic is over, I’m not sure I’ll get there. Forchheim is definitely worth another visit though.

        Thanks for the link, and good to see local guide Erlangernick putting you right about the beer!

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  3. A delightful read as always, to say nothing of the lovely photos. A bit ironic that you felt slightly ignored in that place, given the prominent “A Warm Welcome Awaits You” sign out front. Perhaps they should add the words “If You’re a Local Who’s Been Coming Here Regularly for Years.” 😉

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    1. I guess it wasn’t that I was ignored, Mark, and to be honest I was sitting a couple of tables apart when one chap left. It was more a reflection that despite being the only non-local no-one asked “What you doing then ?” as some pubs would !

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, that always gets me when it happens. It suggests that they don’t know who their regulars are and don’t want to make a fuss of you in case you came in five times last week.

        Alternatively, they just don’t care. The fact that I’m usually wearing cycling shorts when this happens, and none of the regualrs are similarly garbed, suggests the latter.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. T’other Mudgie,
        Except perhaps in late 1990s Uttoxeter being confronted by a ‘local’ with “D’you come from round here?” and “Which side of the river are you from?”.

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      3. No, the Dove was the only river older Uttoxeter folk had heard of then.
        Very suspicious of anyone from Derbyshire they were.

        Liked by 1 person

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