Some time this week, the 2023 GBG will “drop” (ugh) on the doorstep of the Privilege Club members and for tickers this will signify a period of mourning as they realise their 98%/52% completion is now 89%/49% (sorry Si).

Will I care ?

Ask me when the good book arrives, and I see new names on the page.

It’s the names that make ticking so worthwhile. South Zeal, Haverfordwest, Rousay.

I was entranced by Winkleigh (pop. 1,305), next on the list in late July.

Winkleigh seems to have two claims to cultural fame, though having Ted Hughes as a resident in later life probably isn’t something the village cherishes as much as being the birthplace of this craft product*.

8.4 % ! Boys bitter these days.

These days, with Inch’s cider long gone, the place is quieter, as it waits for a micropub to take over the running of the village lock-up.

Waiting for the King’s Arms to open, I enjoyed a gorgeous coffee and cake in Bissett’s Garage,

and then saved a toddler from strangulation as a grandmother with one hand on pushchair, one hand holding mobile phone to ear, and no interest in their dog winding its lead round their grandchild’s neck was narrowly saved from admonishment in the Winkleigh Weekly.

And she never ever said thankyou.

Loads of thatch,

and one of those animal action scenes that Americans love.

Americans would love the King’s Arms, a CAMRA award winner that was filling up within 5 minutes of opening.

Rustic but not chintzy,

beers you’ve never heard of,

and bench seating unencumbered by scatter cushions.

A pub professionally run, the Landlady tasted the beer before serving me a fresh Teignworthy Gundog (3+) and in a frankly under par week for Devonian beer this was a highlight.

If only they’d kept the White Lightning on as a guest cider.

*Photo : CanMusuem


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