Tuesday morning (hey, a week ago, need to catch up) saw us head off down south for some ticking family duties.

Lunch in Banbury, I think.

We parked up right by the eponymous cross, named after a ticker who was disgruntled at incorrect opening hours at the micro in 1859.

I must have stopped in Banbury a dozen times this century, but I STILL get confused by the layout, and always end up in Grimsbury, or the Spiceball car park, instead of by the cross.

Of course, I navigate by pubs, or in extremis the pizza restaurant so beloved by Pub Curmudgeon in 2017.

Our target was a mere 6 minutes away, showing what a great and intuitive parker I am,

and we’d have made it in 6 minutes if I hadn’t stopped to admire the Oxon stone.

Banbury was very quiet, never a good sign when you’re visiting a pub Tuesday lunchtime, but as I was driving and Mrs RM was on drinking duties that was no concern of mine.

The Coach & Horses has everything you look for in a town pub tucked down an ancient row,

Defibrillator on the wall, pale blue windows, pale orange A boards, high tables near the bar,

1980s pop (Erasure’s “A Little Respect“, Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams“) giant brown sofas in the music room,

and FIVE (5) Hook Norton beers (+ cider) on the bar.

What could POSSIBLY go wrong ?

I had a sip of Mrs RM’s pint of Old Hooky, for reasons that will later become obvious, and guessed her reaction.

Ugh” she stormed off to the bar.

I think this beer is off, and I know my beer“. The second bit completely unnecessary in a GBG pub, you’d think, but Mrs RM does like to play up her CAMRA life membership credentials, blissfully unaware that she’s a £14 a year drain on CAMRA’s essential campaigning to slag off Doom Bar.

And here’s the thing. The Landlady (I guess) could not have handled it better. “Sorry, end of barrel, which one would you like ?, sorry“.

A replacement Hooky Gold was rich and smooth, perhaps a 3.5, and the Chicken Schnitzel arrived rapidly and in generous portions.

It was, all of a sudden, a lovely town pub. Gentlefolk and their daughters arrived, sharing a pot of tea, an Old Boy or two came for a pint, and best of all a lady nipped in and asked to use the loo.

I always look up when someone asks if they can use the loo without a purchase. “Cause you can, over there“. Top marks for humanity, top marks for an exemplar of how to react when a customer complains about a pint, top marks for ruining our diet.


  1. Ah yes, that’s the brutally modernised Hook Norton pub, as opposed to Ye Olde Reine Deer. I went there immediately after the pizza disaster, so it wasn’t a good night overall, although I ended up at the White Horse which was pretty good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was on 16th June 1974 in the Coach and Horses, then of course a proper pub, that I first drank Hook Norton beer.
      Just over four years ago it had been brutally modernised and renamed Four.
      Now it looks to have just been renamed again.
      At the end of that long Sunday lunchtime in February 2018 I concluded that rather than getting round several Banbury pubs I would have done better just staying in thee Olde Reine Deere.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Just this afternoon, I witnessed two ladies asking to use the restroom. Having just walked from Gomshall to Westhumble I thought they were tired, like me.

    I think they wanted to “powder their noses,” mix up the Euphemisms, but no attempt to buy a drink afterwards – unlike me! I’d ordered my pint of 6X first, and whilst it was being pulled, I made a quick sortie to the Gents

    I’m guessing the landlady was used to such behaviour, as she didn’t bat an eyelid, but my pleasure was the greater, combining as it did, an excellent glass of 6X, and a much needed pee!

    ps. No end of platform experiences for me, I’m happy to say. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. T’other Paul,
      “Just this afternoon, I witnessed two ladies asking to use the restroom” – not from these parts then ? .


  3. End of barrel? I was in the Blake Hotel recently (well, when am I not?) and had a pint of Daleside Monkey Wrench 5.3%, which was so good I went back for another. Or so I thought. “Sorry, end of barrel”. It was 3/4 of a pint. “You can have that as a half if you want”. It was perfect. I had a half of something else as well. Just because it’s the end of the barrel, doesn’t mean it has to be bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think “This beer may be the end of the barrel” just sounds less confrontational than “Hey mate, this is vinegar” or “Oi, you haven’t pulled any through since last night, have you” as it suggests a problem without blaming the pub directly !

      Liked by 1 person

    2. SH,
      That’s how it is when a cask only lasts a couple of days.
      And how it was when some Midlands and Northern pubs sold three hogsheads of a beer in a week.
      it’s turnover, and cellarmanship, not any deterioration in the brewery that’s the issue.

      Liked by 1 person

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