What I really need is a device that only allows you to see the rest of the post (yeah, like you care) if you can answer that question correctly.

If anyone said Wetherspoons, Hungry Horse of Magic Rock Tap House you’re in detention later.

Anyway, we’re now in Kurious Kent, staying at my in-laws, who you’ll feel you know by now. Mrs RM, who really ought to resurrect her blog, has discovered the joys of working from other people’s premises.

First, a Young’s pub in Shaftesbury, currently, a Spoons in Darlington, and the other week she was stealing Wi-Fi from her own parents. I was charged with making sure they didn’t disturb her day arguing with the French (no, not THAT argument) so I took them out to a pub. Rather than create my own, here’s the map from the porch inside the Haycutter.

Yes, it’s Oxted (where ?), just over the border into Surrey, and a half hour trip via A21/M25 from Southborough. Technically Broadham Green per the GBG, but who believes the GBG ?

Readers, I took them to a Brunning & Price. And I made a booking. If we hadn’t turned up at 13:00 they’d have charged me a tenner. Why don’t all overpriced pubs restaurants so that ?

Thrillingly, it was a place I could take octogenarians. AND it was a tick. As HuishHugh just observed, most B&Ps make the Guide, because they offer a painfully long range of cask and the CAMRAs aren’t scared of the clientele.

Note the “Beer for Doggies” barrel at the bottom.

And note the prices.

But, and you won’t believe this, I reckon B & P are dumbing down. I reckon I paid £15 for a main course 6 years ago, when the menu felt much more interesting and less corporate. Are B & P going the way the Chef & Brewer went 20 years ago, moving from individualism to standardisation ?

Well, who cares ? My mother-in-law, who needs the sun, opted to sit outside in 27 degrees heat next to a noisy extractor fan and I regretted not putting sun tan lotion on.

Two pints of Harvey’s and a mineral water were ordered.

Two pints of Harvey’s were brought by a young man. The three of us studied him intently as he judged where to place the pints.

Rather than say “Whose are the pints then ?“, he plonked them in front of Michael and myself.

WRONG !!!!” shouted Margaret, triumphantly. You can see where Mrs RM gets it.

As you can probably judge from the state of the glass, it was an OK but undistinguished pint (I had a taste), as Harvey’s Best so often is in dining pubs, and the burgers weren’t much better than you’d get in a Marston’s 2-for-1.

But the staff were quite brilliant, as they always are at Brunning & Price, listening intently as father-in-law explained the entire details of family relationships to a charming lady who knew she’d be getting a decent tip.

Inside, we saw what we could have had (all of it also NBSS 2.5),

and realised that our party of 3 (total age 220) had actually reduced the average age.

As you’ll see, doing great business, and good luck to their identikit monstrosities.

It’s been great taking the in-laws out to the pub; I feel like I’m doing something useful with my retirement. I can even keep old folks brains active by asking them questions like “What are those plants called ?”.

They didn’t know.

18 thoughts on “GUESS THE PUB CHAIN

    1. That’s true.

      It’s the flowers and ancient adverts (always for bile beans) that give away Brunning & Price.

      Actually, I’m sure the founders sold the brand on a few years ago, which is when things go downhill.


  1. Shame the Harvey’s Bitter was sub par …generally a wonderful pint imo…I have heard that it ” doesn’t travel well ” but Surrey ain’t far from Sussex ..😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think beer travels, but often doesn’t sell. Having Harvey’s or Landlord pumps on the bar of a dining pub is more a symbol of tradition than something they care much about.

      Had excellent Harvey’s in Borough at the King’s Atms.


      1. I’ve had several poor quality Harveys in Sussex – East Sussex at that. It’s not the travelling so much as the keeping and the selling. The best I can recall was at their pub in Borough SE1, the Royal Oak .

        By the way, I spotted it was a Brunning & Price but I can’t prove it, so that long-since-opened bottle of Doom Bar that you offer as prizes (and I mean “prizes”, not just “a prize”) can be put back in the fridge for another occasion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think when you and I express disappointment about Harvey’s (or similarly well regarded beer) some people assume it’s off, but it’s more likely just uninspiring. However, the casual drinker probably wouldn’t be as willing to give it a second chance as we would.


      3. We will soon find out whether age improves Doom Bar. Seeing as I also identified the pub as Bunning & Price, but am not willing to let RM hide behind lack of proof, my intention is to keep said bottle unopened, until in 50 years time I go on the Antiques Roadshow and Fiona Bruce gives me £80 – £120 for it.

        Martin, the majority of drinkers enjoying less than impressive Harveys probably do the majority of their drinking in the one pub, where the quality is equally mediocre all the time, so they don’t complain because they don’t realise anything is wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I dont think Ive ever been in a Brunning & Price pub, so Im excused from the quiz, though the prices look fairly similar to what would be equiv Suffolk gastronomy pubs, even if I think Id have been a touch disappointed to have paid £14 for a burger like that, the idea of the stick is to keep the massive tower of bun,burger and extras from toppling over…er quite.

    Anyway the problem with the beer which I think weve touched on before on these pages isnt that they are bad beers, but Landlord certainly needs abit of tlc to keep it at its best, and I suspect Harveys Sussex isnt too dissimilar given how it always seems to suffer the same, and when you are in a pub thats selling food first, beer second,even one that offers a selection like that, its probably going to suffer alot, even before you stick 5 nearly identical looking beers alongside it.


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