One more post, possibly a couple, before the Awards issue; you’ll need to be sitting down with your cocoa to find out which was my favourite pint of Doom Bar in 2022.

7th December 2022.

A highlight of the year, as I make an overdue trip to meet up with Stafford’s Paul Mudge and Pub Curmudgeon (no relation except in their advocacy for BBB), along with 500+ pubs a year man Sheffield Hatter.

A 3 leg, 2 hour journey, fortified by the freshly baked croissant from Sheffield’s sensational Cafe Tucci.

The itinerary for the day had been a matter of lively debate, with Stafford GBG pubs (and the better looking ones) competing for our attention with a host of Craft Unions and hotel bars. Will’s handwriting is really neat, isn’t it ?

Since our last trip almost exact a year ago Stafford has improved its Victorian park across from the station,

and the walk towards town fair lifted the spirit,

particularly with a Spoons at the end of the stroll.

Remarkably, I edged out Paul in the race to the Picture House (Peter had some travel issues and Will has issues with Spoons),

Edged out of the GBG in recent years, it’s still one of my favourite Spoons,

even if the prices have edged up this last year.

It’s never a good idea to start a long day with a whole pint, so obviously I had a pint of Plum Pudding. A lovely lady enthusiastically explained her guest beer list to Paul, and I realised what a joy that little conversation at the bar is and how table service is the devil’s work.

It was great to catch up with Paul, what took me so long ? The Old Codger pub crawls (not allowed to call them that of course) have rather ground to a halt post-Covid but there’s little better in life than fighting over the best table in a pub and arguing over whether the Lees was a 3 or a 3.5 (a 3+, I thought).

One down, quite a few to go. Let’s meet our fellow well-dressed casketeers off the train.


  1. Paul and I actually finished up in the Picture House after you and Will had left us. Agreed it’s one of Spoons’ nicest interiors – and it is one of the minority that has toilets (almost) on the level.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Will’s handwriting is really neat, isn’t it ?” Yes and the “different pubbing objectives for the day” shown in red were a good idea that wasn’t quite followed.
    The lovely park named after Victoria, as of course were many proper pubs, is actually Edwardian with the white bridge over the River Sow commemorating George V’s coronation.

    Liked by 1 person

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