I wanted to call it “A laugh, a barf and an OK half near Bath” but whipper-snapper BRAPA has copyrighted that title. And there were no laughs. Or barfs.
Nearly no half either. I’d actually given up on the Inn at Freshford, tucked away in the posh valleys beneath Bath.
You’ll remember this honey-coloured wonder,
where back in February (remember February ?) a cheery group of Ramblers were pondering the mystery of unexpectedly closed pubs.
“Oh yes, I phoned them up before we set off. They SAID they’d be open”.
They should try being a GBG ticker.
Mind you, being any sort of pubgoer is an ordeal at the moment with all the signs.
But at least it was open. Their Facebook page would have been useful if I’d turned up in 2014, and after a few failed phone calls I was about to declare it dead and pink it on the Somerset page.
But a late phone call found a cheery South African voice, that of the lady who seemed pleased to see us, said “I’ve got” rather than “We’ve got“, was precise and yet unfussy, and didn’t tell me off when I went to the Ladies loo via the No Entry door.
I opted for the garden as it looked lovely, and the fresh air probably added 0.5 to the NBSS of an average Original that took me a shorter time to drink than have the rules explained, but I managed a quick peek inside when I went in to pay.
With its room full of Pringle, pashminas and prosciutto, it won’t live long in the memory, bar the professionalism of the Landlady, but Freshford itself is rather idyllic.
And very steep, once you’ve negotiated the multiple warning signs at the edge of the sheep fields.
An effervescent couple of lady walkers asked the way to Avoncliff, and I found myself distraught I couldn’t give them directions to the Cross Guns as I’d reached that pub from Bradford-on-Avon last year.
If James hadn’t been there I’d have mansplained a route via Trowbridge, but James keeps me on the straight and narrow in situations like this. He’ll grow out of it.