Here’s the Spoons I promised you earlier. You haven’t been able to sleep with excitement, have you ?
St. Ives. Not THAT one. The Cornwall one is out of bounds to Tier 2 scum like me, and as you know anyone leaving their Tier for a lower one for a pint will be turned back at the border with a flea in their ear.
I was last at the Hunts version in May, when it looked gorgeous, if deserted.
This week it looked gorgeous, and even more deserted.
5.30pm, not a soul by the river, or in the “non-essential” shops, or leaving the pubs.
St. Ives is famed for the river, and the overfed ducks, though it’s not a place I ever thought would attract many tourists apart from GBG tickers.
NB I just asked Mrs RM if swans quacked. “Mmm” she said, and I gave her the Belgian chocolate from the train advent calendar.
Actually, the little streets between the ducks and the Cromwell statue looked charming. What do you think Cromwell would have made of the pub named for him. More of an Oliver Reed of a pub.
Anyway, I was headed for the Spoons, for the first time since opening night in 2016.
Would it be heaving ?, now we’ve worked out we can’t LEGALLY be forced to eat that baked potato we have to order with our pint.
Free from the clutches of the greeter, I headed for the table nearest the bar. My heart leapt with joy at the sight of Ossian and two other homebrews on the bar, then leapt further still at the news it was just Doom Bar, Ruddles and Abbot.
The seat by the bar was a let down, there was nothing happening, hardly a beer pulled the 30 minutes I was there.
I couldn’t even hear the witty banter between blokes behind the perspex. How will BRAPA cope when he can’t HEAR anything.
It was a strange experience. One of the lesser Spoons, seemingly built solely for the gentlefolk dining market, but barely a quarter full on a midweek in December.
A few families, a trio of couples, those mates (presumably from the same household), and me.
High tables, dull fittings, a strange fixation with traction engines.
The WiFi was playing up; the App was convinced I was in Huntingdon and I had to bully it to send my food 7 miles down the road.
It took me AGES to make up my mind, before deciding at 18:01 that the Spoons chips are rubbish and a baked potato and Abbot for £5.29 was what was needed to save pubs. I skimmed the magazine, noting NO NEW SPOONS bit some long awaited refurbs in Chester-le-Street, Alty, South Shields and Stafford Paul’s favourite.
At 18:12 nothing had arrived. What do you do ? Put your hand in the air ? Send a tweet to JDW ? I’d have shouted “Excuse me” but my cry would have been drowned out by an irritating continuous beep at the bar which no-one knew how to turn off.
When the Abbot came, it was stunningly rich, dry and cool (NBSS 3.5+).
Of course, no picture of that pint, just a rather unsatisfying mess of baked potato with chilli.
Sorry about that.
In fact, despite more excellent beer, this was heading for a 0-0 draw in the Caribou Cup of a pub visit. Until the Spoons staff told our two drinkers they’d been lingering too long after their meals and needed to leave.
They looked surprised, rather than disappointed, which rather sums up St. Ives.
We need pubs back, you know, not this mess.