So much for a week off The Tick and 25 posts a day to catch up.

This report from mid June comes courtesy of the WiFi in the smart Tesco cafe in Fforest-fach. The Welsh love their surplus f’s.

Unbelievably, that’s the Shakshuka eggs in Tesco, whose rebranding of their cafés is a thing of beauty.

Also rebranded is the 1905 in Kelso, a pub we didn’t go in 4 years ago in favour of a micro with adverts for treplanning. The 1905 continues the Edwardian advert decor but sticks to hats rather than craniums.

It’s a dreich day, despite my presence, but the barperson lights it up (and her fag) with a welcome for the ages.

“Carling, Terry ?”

She doesn’t guess MY order, but serves me first, a lovely crisp Stewart 80/ (3+).

The jolly atmosphere is enlivened by a classic 70s soundtrack (“Go your own way”, “Reeling in the years”) and a discussion at the bar about impending price increases.

The scratchings, pork I hope, have gone up by 10%.

It truly is a portent of Doom, I feel. Spell check has capitalised that d, not me.

Terry tells his mate to join him at the Red Lion.

“It’s the 1905, not the Red Lion !”.

“It’ll always be the Red Lion to me” says Terry.


  1. I’ve always said that renaming a pub, whether to lose a bad reputation, aim at a new market or just on a whim, is doomed to failure. The regulars will never follow.

    By the way, I’ve now tried Cains Bitter and Cains FA in Dr Duncan’s and they were remarkably close to the previous incarnations, the FA was wonderful. They also had Cains Lager.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m generally with you on that, Phil, but there are exceptions.

      The Stormbird in Camberwell used to be called the Funky Munky, and before that the Artichoke, for instance.

      It’s usually pretty crowded these days.


  2. Lovely looking building.

    “The Welsh love their surplus f’s.”
    Okay, I’ll bite. The letter ff makes the English ‘f’ sound, while the singular f makes the English ‘v’ sound. So, Fforest-fach is Forest-vach. But I bet you knew that! ‘Bach‘ means small, but because a coedwig (forest*) is, obviously, a singular feminine noun, the following adjective will take a soft mutation.
    *why we ever started calling a forest fforest in Welsh I don’t know.

    I’m off to Aberteifi next week, staying practically opposite the Grosvenor, so I might be lucky and try some of that exotic sounding Doom Bar. Failing that I’ll have to make do with beer from Mantle Brewery.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I was in Fforest-fach, a month before the start of the pandemic – the occasion being my aunt’s funeral. No cask, or indeed anything worth drinking for the wake, at the local British Legion club, so I toasted my aunt with a few cups of tea!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought it rang a bell. The only cask in the area is at the Marston’s dining pub; if it wasn’t for Marston/Greene King/Spoons etc there would be a dearth of cask, not that the locals would be that bothered, I sense.


  4. What is wrong with the name Red Lion? The one in Godalming had just been rebranded as Fox & Finch, a gastropub. Meaningless nonsense. Well, it’ll always be the Red Lion to me, and all other Godhelmians (incidentally, probably the first ever use of Godhelmians on this blog). I give it a year before it’s quietly unrebranded…

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s