Next up on Wednesday night a lovely straightforward downhill walk and a straightforward Proper Pub at the end.
Blistering heat, but that only spurs me on, and now I see I made Appledore in 47 minutes rather than the hour plus suggested by a sluggish Google Maps.
At the top of the hill the village opens out in front of you, and you see two queues.
One for chips, one for the Champ.
Looks a classic, the sort of backstreet boozer run by longstanding landlady you see on every corner in Leek.
I joined the queue, and hoped the dog wouldn’t lick me.
The view into the pub unfolded as I headed toward the bar.
No idea what the beers were. Not Doom Bar, unfortunately (be patient, be patient).
Something called Mariners, my notes say. It was well kept homebrew.
I took the last seat indoors, next to a couple of blokes singing along to “You’re So Vain” .
It was wonderful, homebrew or not. A micro pub for real people.
One London couple came to the door and were told “No space at the Inn, my darlings“, but they were no Mary and Joseph.
“Didn’t like the look of them anyway” said someone, a little too loudly.
A drunk in a Liverpool shirt told us we couldn’t vote for him, which I would have, and slunk off “before I embarrass myself“.
A nice local couple came in and showed off their dog, enjoying “Sultans of Swing” and biscuits.
I stayed for a second pint (Clearwater, named after Bob) , so it must have been good. The Landlady was reluctant to sell it as it hadn’t cleared, but I insisted. She was right.
Dire Straits gave way to the Doobies. I left before I, like a fool, believed I’d have a 3rd pint.