Some bloggers extol the virtue of staying at home all year in your underpants, sipping cans of Peanut Butter Sour (8.2%). Others will tell you there is no need to ever leave their home town of Chipping Sodbury, so great is the selection of BBB (3.8-4.5%) in the Horseshoe.
But my only purpose in life is to make Mrs RM coffee and drive her to mystical places where others fear to dread, and write about them.
We parked the campervan on the coast path in Maryport (pop. 11,260)
They call it “Scaryport” in Workington, which reeks a bit of pot/kettle/black.
I warmed to it immediately, particularly the fairy path provided by local schoolchildren to guide me up the hill into town.
Mrs RM opted to sit this one out, so I left Baa Baa Toure as guard.
Yes, we were the ONLY campervans in that car park. And to be honest we enjoyed a quiet night free of dogs and doggers and joggers, three groups that should surely be combined into one.
I don’t know anyone who has spent a night in Maryport. long deprived of the mining and docking trade and feeling a bit like those towns on the gorgeous Durham coast waiting for the tourist trade.
I loved it, of course.
All pub tickers need to build in recuperation schedules, and I’d earmarked this as a beer free day, but I KNEW I’d regret not visiting one pre-emptive possibility.
The Lifeboat seemed the only cask outlet. I discounted that immediately, and tagged along behind another couple who popped their head in a series of places with the word “SHOTS” on the outside before exiting, disconsolately. Whether it was because of the lack of real ale, or scampi, or a welcome for their dog, I never found out.
Eventually I gave in and popped in the Lifeboat, which was heaving with diners and a girls night out. I’m a sucker for pubs which advertise their beers, particularly if they say say “Bass” or “Doom Bar“.
They had a certificate up saying “CAMRA Pub of the Year Runner-Up 2011”. Love that.
Most of the banter involved the words “Gammon” and “Scampi“, and I feared the worst but the Loweswater and Landlord taps were both dripping when I peered over the bar. And the glass was cool to the touch. I wrote “Not perfect but 3+”. And then “No. 3.5.” Get it in the Guide.
Bill the fisherman came in for his late pint, the girls night out were laughing at a boy called Mark who I felt sorry for, and it felt like a happy pub.
And in 2021, a happy pub is all we can wish for.