I am now the pub expert on Dereham, or East Dereham if you’re the landlord at the Creaky Floorboard I was chatting to this week. Is there a West ? And why are you asking me ? I don’t know the difference between East and West !
See, here’s a 3 mile pub crawl I did with Curry Charles last Thursday night which veered away from the old favourites.
Not that there’s any CAMRA favourites anyway, ZERO GBG entries in the new Guide while Harrogate gets eleven. It’s not fair.
We started at the backstreet Royal Standard, a pub where we once had Plum Porter, whose charming landlady took a good five minutes to pour a pint of Lacons Poppy beer.
“It’s a Star Trek beer, it klings on to the glass” said one of the half dozen locals seated at the bar.
It was lovely, just as the one Old Boy on the cask said it would be, cool and rich (3.5)
A jolly pub, alternating Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Nothing Rhymed” with a dance classic from Tori;
Or perhaps not. As the only folk sitting away from the bar it was hard to feel part of the pub, which I guess is why there are so many bar flies.
We left to the sound of this slice of 1979;
Charles had never ventured as far south as Hopwood, a suburb under the A47 whose Wiki entry makes you want to go;
The Millwrights Arms looked a corker, with its big Carling sign and promise of “comfortable furnishing”,
Can you guess what the lone cask beer was, hidden behind the charity boxes ?
Here’s a clue, if you multiply it by 7 you get the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, an answer that sadly wasn’t forthcoming here, though a random voice did shout “Cheers guys” as we left after an unconvincing half.
Charles seemed tempted by Big Boi’s artisan burgers, I just wanted my usual Dereham curry.
There was no stopping Charles. After a failed attempt to break into the heavily locked Toftwood Social Club we made for the “famous” Railway Tavern, a fish and chip shop with pub, sandpit and smoking shelter attached.
Oooh, an advert for real ale.
Oddly that £3 a pint beer was unavailable, just another Poppy themed beer from Wolf that cost closer to £4.40. Underneath the pic of Here Majesty you can see a distraught punter telling his mate the Doom Bar is off.
In the Gents you can see the many holes punched in the wall over the years, either because of En-ger-land defeats or the fact the Doom Bar was off.
I’d really had more than enough by now, but Charles was insistent we went in The Cock, the best looking of Dereham’s pubs and a shoe-in for GBG22 I thought last time. That went well.
A decent beer range (though the Plum Porter had just gone), but I fancied something strong and Belgian. Sadly the bar flies stopped me getting a look at the fridge, and the beer list that had impressed Mrs RM last time had gone. There was information about the rolls/baps/cobs than the bottled beers,
so we ended up with very good halves of Oscar Wilde and the house beer.