One for our happy American readers now.
Althorp, family home of Diana, burial place of Lawrence Washington, and part of a map where you’ll find Chinkwell Clumps and Nobottle Woods.
Technically Daventry, though I’m sure that’s still being contested with Northampton.
A second GBG pub in Little Brington joins its Greater neighbour this year under menacing skies.
Northants didn’t QUITE make my Top 10 (guess where it places and win nothing) but the golden stone never disappoints.
It’s a pub where you sense you’re going to hear “Layla” (the unplugged version) and “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and it doesn’t disappoint.
Only 500 residents, most of them in the Covid vulnerable age range; you never know what you’re going to get in Northants villages.
FOUR BEERS !
And one of those has a rugby shaped pump clip. Oh grief.
At least there’s one of those certifications to say that Emma and Matt (also the names of my youngest lad and his girlfriend so must be OK) serve a decent Landlord, which makes an easy choice.
No diners yet, but a few casually-dressed retirees in for a lunchtime pint underneath the antlers.
“What you having Dave ?”
“The Stoney one. Stoney Ford ? Stoney Row ? Stoney Pond ?”
I think he’s still guessing. That’s the problem when you can’t see the bar.
His mate. a landscaper who “should have been in Roade” already had the Landlord waiting to accompany his tales of roadworks on the (old) A45.
A decent choice, foamy and just cool enough for a 3. The lacings (top) tell the tale.
Frankly, apart from 30 seconds of slipping the mask on and off and phone check-in apart, you wouldn’t know the Saracen’s Head was any different from those pre-Covid days.
As I left by the back door (these one way systems tire, don’t they ?), you get the three definitive signs of gastro;
- Public school photo and
- Random non-working red phone box and
3. (Very) soft porn bought in bulk from Bass mirror factory near Wrexham.
And with that, Northants was conquered.