Great excitement in Slip End, home of my last GBG tick for Bedfordshire, a county whose seething resentment at its absence from my Top 10 was evident on my visit.
Yes, a new grass cutting contract for this small village known locally as “that place just off the M1 you can’t actually get to“.
A first GBG entry for me, though the B4540 on the way to Whipsnade contains a number of gems, as BRAPA will attest.
Slip End is only known for the Frog & Rhubarb, a bit of a destination for louche Lutonians (?) in the ’90s, and still offering frogs legs and deep fried Mars bar on its cosmopolitan menu (honest !).
Elsewhere the village appears to be where you park before flying off from Luton Airport (oo-ee-oo) to nowhere in particular if you don’t trust a guy called Dave in Breachwood Green to mind your car.
And I THINK this is where you buy your virginal dress for your big day out (max.15 inc. vicar) getting hitched to Dave.
I never knew there was a second pub, but it looks spritely and shiny in a community all-rounder way.
Appropriately, I slip over on the assault course that is the entrance to the Rising Sun, whose bewildering array of arrows and “No Exit” signs soon has me marked down as a foreigner. Oi, my mum was born just down the road in Eaton Bray, mate.
What’s the form in pubs now ? Do you wander over to the NHS Tracey App by the fire and sign in, or stand perfectly still and wait to be instructed like a lemon ?
The Spanish (I think) landlady is lovely and I don’t get in trouble, being rewarded for my obedience with a nice table near the bar and a gorgeous looking pint of local Farr Brew, who own a few good pubs round here.
Citra would like the beer, I thought it was “challengingly fruity“, which is probably something I read on a pump clip.
In fact, I now see they run the micro-like Reading Rooms in Wheathampstead that impressed Duncan and I with its family-friendliness.
The Rising Sun is a bit more trad; “Brass In Pocket” and “Mandy” say “This is Luton, keep your ’90s R’n’B to yourself, mate”.
Amongst a bewildering array of comings and goings, mostly me trying to find the loo, we had folk popping to collect a birthday card for Hayleigh, which is something you can probably do in Tier 1 but not Tier 1 Extra, so a good job she got her birthday in quick.
And that’s your lot, Bedfordshire. The landlady was discussing Spanish hop collectives when I left, the most un-Luton discussion ever.
NB If Simon leaves his visit a few weeks he’ll be able to ask Santa for some new green pens. Or he could nick Santa’s sleigh and attempt that Essex airfield tick.