More local pubbing.
Well, Hitchin is only an area away, next door to where I drop James off for his driving lessons. Covid-19 has just cancelled his driving test, AGAIN; perhaps they’ll give him a licence anyway if it happens a 3rd time and he can drive me to a pub.
We lived here for 7 years, dreadful place, but useful for our Hertfordshire workplaces. The only good thing about Hitchin is top PubMan John, who seems to escape for the Sussex coast as often as he can.
I walked from Letchworth to the northern suburbs of Hitch, admiring the half-hearted McMullens signage at the Millstream,
the ghost of the Nightingale (my favourite pub while it lasted),
and the rather dull looking Irish pub opposite McDonalds.
I headed for the Victoria, one of only two GBG entries and, like Leeds United, returning to the big league after a couple of decades away.
When I told Mrs RM I’d been to the Vic she said “The grotty old man’s pub !” and to be fair those would have been my exact words too. She also said something about local CAMRA Guide selection criteria that is probably actionable so I’ll save that for the Patronised Podcast.
Back in the ’90s it was wheezing, standing at the bar, and IPA and Abbot.
Now it’s ladies in pashminas, babies in cots, scatter cushions and craft. Well, three of those.
It was also very good, for a neighbourhood food pub.
“Can I have a burger please ?” I mumbled through the muffling mask, noting the house specialty.
“I beg your pardon !” said our equally muffled barmaid, before clicking and showing me to a lovely table underneath the Canaries memorabilia.
A “Beer” person would have had something called “Hopfest” by Mad Squirrel, but I’m not a “Beer” person and had the IPA. If you can’t get a decent GK IPA in one of their Guide pubs there’s no hope, is there ?
It was pretty good, too, almost persuading me to award a rare 3.5 before getting back in its NBSS 3 box.
A cheery place, full of youth and experience in equal measure, and (now I reflect) about 75% female.
The music ranged from what I’ll call “Ambient Casual” to polite covers of Sabbath and Whitesnake hits.
The lady opposite, silently chastising his beau for a second Guinness, described her burger as “Marvellous, the best burger ever“.
It wasn’t quite that good, but I couldn’t fault the value or the carbs or the heat of the Sriracha fries.
The Ladies who lunch were on fine form as the bottle was emptied, recalling a local squash player who seemed to have been awarded a game despite being carted off to the local Treatment Centre.
“Simon had a diabetic incident…. And he STILL beat us ! Ha Ha Ha Ha”
It was great theatre, and pretty good Pub, although I could have done without the theatre of the loo door slamming in my face when I opened it with the Footull (top).
*Life Lesson No. 1,344 – Wash your hands BEFORE going to the Gents if you eat the Sriracha fries.