Along with Bedfordshire, Northants is a bit of a doddle to do each year.
In 2021 that town is Wellingborough.
Pub ticking teaches you many things;
when to stop drinking, the importance of going for the last beer pulled, and urban geography.
But I had NO idea that Welly (as no-one calls it) had grown so big, so fast.
Less than an hour from London on the train, it’s 50,000 + residents are now grace with a SECOND micropub. A reminder; Carluke doesn’t have any.
Quite why it took so long for the Little R’ale House (I see what you did there) to make the Guide is anyone’s guess, but the CAMRA Woke Investigations Committee chaired by BRAPA may have had some issues with this;
There’s two main challenges to the pub ticker this year (apart from the lack of station loos);
Will pubs be open ?
If they’re open, will they have space for you ?
The Little R’ale House at the station was full with all of six drinkers, but opportunely a chap was just leaving as I dawdled at the hand wash.
I sat down, quickly. Great view. And pretty terrific pint from Severn Brewing. Not that I could see the pumps (Grrrr).
You’ll know my views on micros. You can feel like a leper, ignored by the drinking club. To join the conversation you have to make your move early to join the club, acknowledging a witty remark, providing a weather forecast, or asking a question about micropubs. I did all three.
The conversation turned, inexplicably, to moussaka and how it differs from lasagne. Burnt aubergine, apparently. At least they weren’t talking about hops.
The couple running it were lovely, and I guess when commuter traffic eventually returns it’ll be quite busy by 6pm, so go now.
Luckily, my next GBG pub was a decent walk into town, through Wellingborough’s green suburbia towards the a dull shopping centre with JUST enough green and timber to spark the interest. Ye Golden Lion looked a bit forlorn.
but the Spoons was still mopping up the mobility scooter trade.
Believe it or not, the next pub wasn’t a micro, Ember Inn OR gastro. How rare will that be in GBG21 ?