It’s only take 5 months, but we finally went somewhere authentically touristy last Thursday.
Bakewell, famous for the eponymous sausage that Mrs RM dropped on the A619 in 1995.
Bakewell, the Stow-on-the-Wold of the Dales, home to 37 tea shops and 15 outdoor clothing shops to help protect you on your walk between those 37 tea shops.
Bakewell, scarcely tickling the GBG over the 26 years since our traumatic debut, and since avoided like the Eyam plague by me due to the heroic parking charges that forced us to park a mile out of town and admire the Wye on the walk in.
We avoided the crowds and climbed the castle mound (micropub hours) which gives you the best view of visiting pashminas and pudding carriers, and the plaintive “Baaaas” from sheep entering the Agricultural Centre that dominates the town. Baa Baa Toure would have loved it.
Look at those contours !
I always expect more from Bakewell than it delivers, which is a bit unfair as with 3,949 souls it’s comfortably smaller than Waterbeach. Some of those souls were out in support of fringe political party “The Conservatives” on Thursday lunchtime promoting their manifesto for the local council election (“Let them eat pudding“).
We stopped to acknowledge the competing claims of “Ye Olde Original Pudding Shoppe” and “NO, we were first !”,
then headed for the new micropub entry in the Guide.
I always worry about getting a tick in micros, particularly in tourist areas and even more so when the only tables are outside and subject to closure due to rain at any moment.
Once you’ve booked for 12:15 you have to make sure you don’t turn up late and get added to a Twitter rage about no-shows, so we turned up fashionably early and received only mild rebuke.
I’d seen 2 handpumps on the bar when I stood in the doorway logging in, receiving mild rebuke for blocking the doorway.
So when the nice lady came to the table I confidently said “One pint of each of your cask ales please !” and then received mild rebuke* as it turned out there were four beers on and I hadn’t read the menu and the sticky labels fully.
“Can’t take him anywhere !” said Mrs RM to the nice lady, who then delivered two superb pints of beers from Sheffield and Chesterfield as the lacings reveal. Only one other table taken, by a couple and their baby from Buxton, where apparently there was snow.
It kept threatening to rain though never quite did, but Mrs RM decided she wasn’t risking a soaking and we ought to find some lunch and head home.
What could be more traditional in Bakewell than an Austrian sausage ?
But that looked TOO exciting, so we headed for the cunningly named “Fish & Chips”, which I think is where Mrs RM purchased that famous battered sausage, the last food item on offer in Bakewell at a quarter to ten on a Friday evening in 1995. Mrs RM dropped it almost immediately, but applying the 10 second rule we retrieved and scoffed it gratefully. And lived to tell the tale.
Commemorating that night, I HAD to have the battered sausage again.
Could have done with a bit more salt and vinegar; hopefully from next Monday we’ll be able to add our own accompaniments to our takeaways again.
We sat by the river, and waited to be attacked by the ducks, but they slept on.
*I only note the mild rebuke to show what a minefield visiting pubs is at the moment for customers and staff alike, walking on egg shells and guessing how things work. Roll on the 17th/21st/whenever.