I drafted a post entitled “My Strategy To Complete the Good Beer Guide in 2022” but I haven’t been able to finish it, which may be a metaphor for the GBG conquest itself.
But a key part of the strategy is one big trip each week to bag a dozen outliers, now I’ve exhaused all the low-hanging fruit (lapsing into NHS Management speak here).
As luck would have it, we had to take the campervan back to Horsham for a safety recall the same week as the Saints v City match; ideal for some Surrey/Sussex/Southampton treble.
One quick stop on the way to Horsham, in one of the poshest villages in England (Scotland has Carluke).
Just south of Guildford you get the Surrey Hills,
the “cradle of cricket” at Hambledon and 88% of the UK’s learner horse riders.
Tiny Hascombe doesn’t detain Wiki long, but we do learn it’s home to Bruce Foxton, Billie Piper, and Anthea Turner, who you’ll collective know better as “The Jam ’22”, touring Godalming pubs this month.
Anthea had better take her boots off before she comes in the White Horse; they don’t make exceptions for celebrity here.
Oh, she has.
The public bar looks cosy compared to the two thirds of the pub set for dining, which no doubt is why Mrs RM somehow overlooks it,
and leaves me to choose a couple of halves.
Havey’s and Shere Drop pick themselves, don’t they ? The uniformed barperson holds out the contactless card reader expectantly to receive my £4.40. FOUR times it fails to read.
Mrs RM hears the commotion, mutters “typical man” and presents her card. Which fails FIVE times before the WiFi returns and we’re rescued from having to scrape Burnt Basque cheesecake off plates in the kitchen in lieu of payment.
Not my sort of place, you’ll assume, but there was laughter, and life, and lashings (well, two halves) of tasty local beer. A 3.5 for the Shere Drop, better with every meeting.
And as we left the place was still filling up, on a damp Wednesday in January. Pubs aren’t dying without a fight.
ADDENDUM : Lorenzo just reminded me of the White Horse’s place in pandemic history;