I thought I should try and keep some semblance of order with the blog, now I’ve finished the 2022 posts.

So here, belatedly, are the highlights from the most important month of the year, the one that contains Retired Martin Day.

Google kindly records (most of) my travel,

but has an unusual idea of how many hours I spent “shopping“.

Do visits to micropubs count as “shopping” ?

An unusually quiet month, after the “whirlwind, heat and flash“*, but with some Proper Days Out with good company in unsung places like Stafford and Hull and Chesterfield, so I can’t complain.


I made 64 pub visits in December, which seems a bit paltry, but apparently they were all different ones, possibly a first.

Only 21 of those were Good Beer Guide entries (ticks), which must be the lowest (bar Covid) in many years, and suggests I’m more focused on exploration than a second completion of the Guide but who knows.


The sun shone as James and I did a bit of pre-Christmas Peak perambulation and pubbing in Marble and Whitehough.

Bradford looked even more splendid than usual, the North Parade serving up some Krafty Kraft almost as good as the Kashmir Kurry (stop !).

It was a pleasure to meet up with Stafford Paul and Stockport Peter for the first time in a year in the company of Will, and Stafford itself at least proved beer quality outside the GBG could be unexpectedly good.

Just before the greatest World Cup final of all time the snow fell, almost scuppering our London trip. Bow, in particular, looked absolutely gorgeous.

PUB(S) OF THE MONTHThe George, Youlgrave (or Youlgreave if you want to risk a lynching)

The nicest people, a cosy bench-seated gem, proper home-cooking, Bass always arriving “next week”.

And the Station Inn, Hull, an astonishing building with a great atmosphere. Where has it been hiding ?

BEER OF THE MONTH – Lenton Lane and Northern Alchemy in the Partizan Tavern, Nottingham, Both those on the right were NBSS 4.5, a rare occasion when the beer makes me go “Wow” to the publican.

ARTISAN PIZZA OF THE MONTH – Paper Mill, Whitehough

January 2023 Preview.

Well, I’m already half-way through, and I’ve just had a pint of Greene King IPA in rural Mid-Beds, so just how much better can the month get, really ?

But I will be in Cardiff at the end of the month, I’ll tell you that much.

*Obscure 1990 cultural reference of the month there.


  1. Instead of the 2023 Guide, why not try to complete the 1974? There would probably be a lot of pubs no longer around, or moved to different locations, but it could be a fascinating exercise to cover what remains (and obviously, what you haven’t yet visited). Do your ticking rules allow for pubs which have been rebuilt on the other side of the car park?


    1. How about the 1823 Guide ?

      If a pub was rebuilt on the same site (there was one in Walcote in Leicestershire a while back) or the bar moved I’d consider it done, but if a Wetherspoons was converted to a Brewhouse and Kitchen (as in Wilmslow) I’d feel I had to do it again.

      Other tickers would do the exact opposite !


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