I met Matt for breakfast at the Koffee Pot yesterday,

and the conversation covered the usual topics; trade in central Manchester, how lovely it is that Boris has sired another child, and who the most rubbish Spotify Wrapped.

He asks me if I’m up-to-date with the blog. Well, this is last Thursday, so not bad at all.

A second Stamford tick, but this one is a penultimate tick in Lincolnshire (the last one in Pinchbeck has nasty hours. And is in Lincolnshire).

As Old Mudgie will tell you, St Martins over the Welland was historically part of Northamptonshire. Historic counties rate just below genealogy and ornithology on my list of interests (topics No. 1,377-1,379).

Best known for Burghley House where you can stock up on your equestrian supplies when you visit from Corby,

but otherwise a row of girls schools, antique shops, and gentlefolk hotels (including the famous George with the sign crossing the street).

How can I possibly have failed to spot the GBG potential of a small hotel proclaiming “FOOD. PINT. PILLOW” ?

The BS (it’s not really abbreviated to that) is friendly and unfussy, but not full. The highlight is the creaky floorboards which sends polite society into meltdown.

There’s 3 gentle-ladies drinking coffee under the bay window, discussing The Exorcist. I have no idea why.

I take a half of Nene Valley (the posho’s brewery) into the corner, and wait for something to happen.

It never does, of course. And to be honest, the NVA (not to be confused with ’80s Compton rappers) is ordinary, but it’s worth the £2 to soak in the atmosphere.

They’d charge you £3.50 to see this much ephemera in the local history museum.

Odd soundtrack, too, and always a pleasure to hear Mavis Staples in a world of “Felix Navidad”, Ed Sheeran and the Angelic Upstarts (RIP Mensi).

Pubs are great, even when they’re not.


  1. For a very long time the B&S has been the expensive one on the wrong side of town for us, but during the outdoor table service era we came to love it for the garden and keg Big Bang Theory, and the fact it was open when some of our usual haunts were not. I still find the bar a bit meh tbh, and I’m surprised it made it into the GBG, the beer is ok, occasionally quite average. Perhaps it was a straight swap for the Jolly which has now lost its appeal.


    1. I presume it gets in the Guide because it serves Nene Valley, whose beers I love. Should have had that Big Bang Theory. I liked it, and good to get a new entry in the GBG in Stamford for the first time in years.


      1. The tenants that made it such a noted beer/games/great locals pub had been trying to move on or renegotiate a more favourable lease with Admiral Taverns for some time without success. They finally left earlier this year and are now concentrating on running their brewery, Bakers Dozen, in nearby Ketton, with a new team running the Jolly on a more restricted beer tie it seems. We went in a few weeks ago and found it perfectly ok but quite a step-down from its previous incarnation, and it remains to be seen whether the locals will flock back from wherever they’ve decamped and get it thriving again. Meanwhile the Kings Head is probably the ‘beer’ pub in town now, and we use the excellent Railway at Ketton for Oakham & Bakers Dozen beers on the way home in much the same way we used the Jolly. If it isn’t in the GBG yet, it surely will be soon, one of our favourite pubs in the area.


      1. I thought this was a pub, food and travel blog? Beer? I thought that ended with the Bass and Doom Bar pronouncements.


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