From Wallingford we waddled down to my last Oxon tick.
Thrillingly, there was campervan site a mile away from Loddon Brewery in Play Hatch. The edge of Reading, if not the Edge of Heaven.
I’d love to tell you more about Loddon Brewery, but it’s a brewery, innit ?
But I can say that the Hullaballoo was crisp, clean and comfortably an NBSS 4. Can’t argue with that.
That’s the ticking, let’s do a pub.
When I phoned the Flowing Spring to ask if we could leave our campervan in his car park overnight he asked if we’d been before. “Oh, yes” I said, “but it was 2003“.
I remembered the entrance via the first floor balcony, at least.
But I’d recorded some fairly dull Fullers beer and a fairly dull pub back then.
18 years on, I didn’t recognise it.
And on. And on.
Every room filled with “stuff”.
I can see some purists having a problem with this, to be honest, but the seating at the bar was more conventional, the beer range sensible, and the Landlord an Old School legend.
He entertained us for half an hour with talk of gammy knees, live music leading the post-pandemic recovery and bees while we got slightly sozzled on local beer and bottles of Tally Ho.
His better half (I hope) made some rather good kebabs and burgers.
Just at the point we wondered what a wonderful pub like this was doing without custom, the whole village poured in, and it became that slightly upmarket boozer that’s a bit of a dying breed.
We had a large glass of Malbec each, which we would regret the next day, and Mrs RM considered buying this;
I’ve no idea why.