Some more reflections on the frankly manic trip round the Western Isles at the end of August in search of two ticks. Disappointingly for my readers, if not Mrs RM, both the Westford and the Crown were OPEN. Take notes, English micros.

Sadly, our schedule was limited by family dramas and music festivals, so we didn’t get much time to appreciate the charms of Lewis and Harris, the largest island in the British Isles apart from the UK itself and Ireland.

So if you want to read about football on Lewis you’ll have to read Pubmeister.

Duncan has a great map of the Western Isles on his post so I’ll nick it and owe him a Doom Bar (I own him 47 now).

His post reminds me that the cask beers were premium priced in the Crown (£5.75 for the Landlord) but of course that’s what many CAMRA members want if you read Discourse. Two days later in the Trossachs we’d find real ales a full quid cheaper.

We really should have taken a pre-emptive tick in Stornoway’s liveliest pub (Tennents), but it looked a bit full.

Sunday morning found a rather quieter town sleeping off hangovers until the churches opened at 10:30 (phone ahead), and the Lewis Revival promised seemed a bit optimistic.

Not rundown, exactly, as plain drab.

The exception was the breakfast room at the Caladh Inn that we gate-crashed in search of caffeine, where the black coffees were sensationally strong.

We could have hung around on Lewis for a day looking for a pub to watch Shinty on Alba TV, but I found out by chance that my remote tick at Applecross would be shut on Tuesday so we’d better get a move on, and only had time to admire the scenery on a gorgeous drive down to Tarbert.

The nice CalMac man told us he couldn’t guarantee space on the earlier ferry to Skye, but if Baa Baa Toure smiled he was hopeful, so we had time for a leisurely lunch of fish finger ciabattas and a pre-emptive half of Deuchars (NBSS 3) in the exemplary Hotel Hebrides.

Three (3) areas we hogged a table so Mrs RM could use the WiFi, observing a stream of German tourists drinking noon pints of cider eyeing our table and English folk annoyed that Soup of the Day was lentil.

And then Baa Baa Toure smiled at the man and we were off to Uig.

And the race was on…

15 thoughts on “HARRIS OR LEWIS ?

      1. I certainly won’t notice the difference, I won’t be there.

        NB I read on Discourse that the hardback GBG23s have been symbolically thrown in the sea before despatch, enhancing their collector’s value.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mine was fine but as it’s obviously identical to our working copies, there’s nothing to do with it except put it in a bookcase. Wish they would reprint the first one as a hardback.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 1974 was the first properly printed guide that was then pulped for stating Watney’s should be avoided like the plague, then reissued with amended wording. Only one I haven’t got in original form.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I thought the 1972 edition, and there’s nothing “improper” about it as far as I know, only had eighteen pages, nine loose sheets rather than 72.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. No, there’s no Walsall or Wolverhampton Banks’s pubs and only Bathams’s Lamp Tavern for Dudley.
        “North Midlands” i.e. Walsall was about the second CAMRA Branch anywhere but CAMRA was slow starting up in places like Wolverhampton probably because nearly all pubs still had real ale, many selling a hogshead a day of it.
        The seven Banks’s pubs listed look like the Black Boy in Bewdley, the Bell and the Fish in Pensnett, the Royal Oak in Tenbury Wells and three near Worcester, the Kings Head at Sidbury, Masons Arms at Wichenford and Swan at Whittington. The first three are “Mild only” and that was with NO Bitter not keg Bitter.
        Maybe Banks’s isn’t better represented because some early members, like quite a few later ones, didn’t recognise metered electric pumps as Real Ale.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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