All your favourite places coming up next;

Not sure if I’ve ever written about the delights of “woke” Wokingham, as exemplified by their charismastic MP, and I shan’t start now as the Oakingham Belle sits right on the very edge of town on a new housing estate (while the GBG App mischievously directs you to “Curio, A Collection by Hilton“).

I certainly caught it at the right moment.

Oooh, very smart. Hunting print pouffes and all.

The GBG makes it sound like an upmarket diner, so imagine my surprise (and delight) to find a Marston’s chain diner.

Two customers, two staff who look anxiously at me as I order that weird real ale stuff. One of them leaves it to the other to attempt the hand pull. “Good effort” I whisper, and then head for an empty table before being being shooed away from the (invisible) diners to the drinking area, such that it is.

Yes, it’s like that Marston new build I did with Will the other month, and the result is the same.

A lovely drop of Pedigree, cool and rich (3.5), against all the odds.

I resist the call of the sausage roll for a fiver, despite the free HP sauce,

and enjoy the Motown soundtrack.

And then leave, wondering how on earth pubs will survive with more customers and staff.


  1. I was in the following day at lunchtime and it was doing well. The lad behind the bar was proud of his cellarmanship and my Razorback was excellent. That huge new housing development around it should ensure it’s future prosperity. Much better than I expected.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That looks distinctly upmarket compared to the Winter Green that we went to. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have had Halloumi fries and Kefalonian olives in Rotherham. But as you say, same result: well kept real ales. Who’d a thought it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. People can say what they like about chain dining pubs but the beer quality is often superb. Mrs B and I occasionally used a Toby Carvery in Bristol which served a lovely pint of Butcombe. Never had a bad pint there.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, that quite often happens.

        It’s a nice change to have the choice of Brains and something else though.


  4. Our local Marstons is a family diner which we avoid , Drinkers must not fraternise with the diners -on the face of it,it looks ok but reviews are terrible.There is a hint that it is having a re brand so perhaps the dreadful rotisserie will depart but we still are un likely to darken it’s doorstep. The Cellars is town has improved greatly recently so that is our venue of choice at the moment

    Liked by 2 people

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