I shall not be disheartened. I shall press on.
The Chequers was the nearest new GBG pub, 40 minutes north via the interminable roadworks at Waterbeach waste management centre (opened by Kim Wilde).
The 30 miles between Ely and King’s Lynn is a bit of a wasteland for Guide tickers, though the newish Spoons in Downham has just made GBG21, bringing joy to the parsnip pickers of ultra-green West Norfolk.
But you rarely get a plain village pub debuting in the Guide, so let joy be unconfined in Wimbotsham (pop. 664). It’s a bit like when a little town like Harrogate reaches the Football League and you get to hear the name read out on the results service each week.
I guess Autumn is the ideal time to visit.
The parsnips have fallen off the parsnip trees, Doctor Who has arrived to resolve a mystery about Beer Guide allocations,
and the Chequers has installed an ambitious covered beer garden to welcome the flood of GBG tickers you get in the first week of Guide inclusion, before the sods close you down again.
One bar, three areas to drink and eat, one great Landlord in a waistcoat and visor who doesn’t stand on ceremony and waves us in the general direction of a table by the window with the locals.
On a Wednesday lunchtime there’s a dozen or more in for the half-price lunches that might seem a tad overprice normally but now is not the time to be picky.
There’s not a lot of banter, per se, but we’re next to the notice board and can therefore entertain ourselves by reading about logs.
Mrs RM orders a pint of Oakham Inferno.
A minute later, the landlord returns and asks “Was that a PINT ?“
You should have seen Mrs RM’s face. #everydaysexism
“There you are, young lady“, says our landlord, redeeming himself.
The Oakham was the perfect temperature, but my half of a rich Abbot edged it (3.5), and anyone who complains about the quality of GBG entries doesn’t get out enough to places like this.
We both had homemade ham, egg and chips, and the whole thing came to about fifteen quid.
We left the dropped parsnip for the next GBG ticker and moved east.