10th January 2023.
More mini-posts; go to BRAPA for your long reads. His Scottish diary is great stuff.
Good luck to Simon when he reached Oxfordshire; the rural Oxon pubs take some effort, though more in the getting there as the pubs themselves are pretty good.
The George in Sutton Courtenay requires a swim across the Thames, and a determination to pull yourself away from the tourist honeypots of Abingdon market place with its cheap Cher CDs and Didcot Railway Centre. I reckon Didcot may be my least visited English town; probably with good reason.
Looking at Wiki now I see references to papal dispensations, “epitodised tuff”, Lord Asquith and George Orwell, which makes it sound more interesting than it looked, but the centre is certainly prime Olde England.
The George has lost its “and Dragon“, and probably when Oak Taverns bought it from Greene King, so you get a wettish pub with a couple of local beers from Loose Cannon (both 3+) being enjoyed by the locals,
and a deli counter selling pies, scotch eggs and cheese. Innovative, efficient, high quality.
As is the pub, though only being open till 2pm (I had to dash to the door at 1.40, annoying Mrs RM) the fire wasn’t on and I felt it a bit cold.
The soundtrack was “How to save a life“, and this set-up seemed an example of how to save a pub without going down the gastro route, keeping the sense of a village local with outside loos overlooked by the village church.
AND it was open on a midweek lunchtime. In 2023, be grateful for that.