GOOD TO BE BACK – EVEN WITHOUT DOOM BAR

This morning I promised I’d be back at the Cuckoo in Alwalton to bring you HOT news from Tier 2.

And a few hours later, I was.

Oh, wrong entrance.

Sheffield Hatter asked about the flaking edifice along the wall. As you can see from the close-up, it’s actually the detail of the micro chip you’re injected with when you take the Pfizer vaccine (not to scale, obvs).

I hadn’t booked, I NEVER book, but 2pm on a wet Wednesday when the workers have headed back to Minerva Business Park (AB Agri, Data Interchange, GBG Ticking Supplies PLC) at a pub offering all day food seemed a safe bet.

Vintage Inns are the missing link between Chef & Brewer and Brunning & Price. I’ve only been to half a dozen ever, none in the Guide, though the (London) Colney Fox did a decent Bass before the Wicking Man made Bass fashionable again.

Back on July 4 I felt a frisson of excitement queueing for that Spoons in Blyth.

I can’t claim the Cuckoo was quite such a spiritual experience, but I felt glad to be there putting a tenner in the Mitchells & Butlers coffers. #SavePubCos.

There appeared to be two other tables occupied; an old couple lingering over fudge brownie and a surprise young couple complaining about the cold as they warmed up by the big fire (probably illegally). It was a bit cold, to be fair.

I was tucked out of the way of better-dressed diners, and brought a pint within two minutes.

THAT’S not Doom Bar, you promised us Doom Bar” I hear you scream.

Britain’s favourite, so I was left with Purity Goose or IPA. Only on the way out did I discover it was Franciscan Well Chieftain IPA.

But I made the right choice, possibly the best Purity I’ve ever had. Cool, crisp 3.5+. Is this a second wave of “Great beer in the week Lockdown is lifted” ?

Certainly, a reminder that when foody venues stick to one or two beers and get a few retirees to drink it the results are better than you’d think. Get the Cuckoo in the GBG.

The service was cheery but “relaxed”; it took ages to get someone to come and take my compulsory order for some food I didn’t really want (I’d be eating later).

They didn’t have Scotch eggs on the menu either. A stodgy, carb-heavy fish finger sandwich was the cheapest thing on the lunch menu.

But I was happy.

The staff joked with each other in loveable Fen accents, gentlefolk made complex Christmas bookings, the Wi-Fi worked, and Fleet Foxes gave way to Courtney and Kurt and other kitsch indie aimed at Peterborough’s OAPs.

I did a bit more exploring down by the Nene.

but the most thrilling discovery was this abandoned Wotsits packet.

Could he ? Could Simon have passed this way on his epic Castor trip ?

Nah, probably not.

22 thoughts on “GOOD TO BE BACK – EVEN WITHOUT DOOM BAR

  1. Most, if not all of that bread would be heading back to the kitchen for my money, way too much tum-tum room for comfortable drinking. Could this be the time for foodie pubs to resurrect the war-time tradition of raising a pig on the inevitable scraps and leftovers!

    “Was everything alright sir?”
    “Yes, absolutely delicious my dear!”
    [hefts full plate of sausage egg chips & beans minus one sausage back to the food waste bin, along with 5 empty froth-speckled pint glasses…]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, if feeding the pigs with scraps was so simple. It’s been illegal since 2001, even if you feed a pet pig with your home waste. Even brewers disposing of spent grain and hops have to comply with legislation to ensure food chain safety. It would certainly help the conscience with all those unwanted substantial meals being chucked out though!

      Like

  2. Seeing as it took so long for someone to come and take your food order, could you not have necked down your beer and then, when the staff member eventually turned up, tell him/her that you weren’t hungry any more.

    Not much they could do, as force-feeding must be illegal, even in Stalag-Britain!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I could, Paul. I doubt anything would have happened except a bill for the beer. To be honest, I would have been cheating myself of the full horrific “experience” and the opportunity to feel ill 3 hours later…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. So I gather the new rules require you to order food with your pint? It’s almost as if the authorities had a look at the blogs of pub tickers and said, “Oh, you don’t like when pubs seem more like restaurants, eh? Well, let’s see how you feel when we REQUIRE you to TREAT them as restaurants!!”

    I don’t suppose the new rules call for little pillows to be placed on the fixed seating though. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “And a few hours later, I was.”‘

    Was the gastropub bosom heaving? 😉

    “it’s actually the detail of the micro chip you’re injected with when you take the Pfizer vaccine (not to scale, obvs).”

    That’s why I’m holding out for the Oxford one!
    (which no one from Cambridge will consider I’m guessing) 🙂

    “though the (London) Colney Fox did a decent Bass before the Wicking Man made Bass fashionable again.”

    Looks quite nice in the photo below.

    “but I felt glad to be there putting a tenner in the Mitchells & Butlers coffers. #SavePubCos.”

    Well done you!

    “and a surprise young couple complaining about the cold as they warmed up by the big fire (probably illegally).”

    That depends on just how they were, um, warming up. 😉

    “so I was left with Purity Goose or IPA”

    Decisions, decisions.

    ““Great beer in the week Lockdown in lifted””

    Your 2nd ‘in’… ‘is’… not. 😉

    “A stodgy, carb-heavy fish finger sandwich was the cheapest thing on the lunch menu.”

    Yikes! I can see where that will put the pounds on Si in no time!

    “I did a bit more exploring down by the Nene.”

    Blimey! I take it that means beware of Evil Knievel jumping cars that get frightened so much they fall into the river! And all of this takes place on a footpath. Impressive!

    “Could Simon have passed this way on his epic Castor trip ?”

    He really IS watching all of those Westerns! 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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