28th January 2023.

I’m spending most of my weekends with my parents at the moment. Not sure I’m any use, but I do collect the Chinese takeaway from Chung Hwa.

So, not a lot of new GBG ticks, but the Blackstone Bar at Denver Windmill is an unexpected gem half an hour up the rail line at Downham Market.

New Guide pubs in west Norfolk are a rarity. There’s no micro pubs now the little bar at the station has closed, and Norwich seems to have hogged the county’s GBG allocation for itself (31 Guide entries in GBG23).

There’s more horses than cask drinkers at Denver.

My Mum remembers trips to Denver, so there must be a garden centre or decent cafe here,

though all I see is a womens clothes boutique and Violet’s tearoom to bring in the hordes from Fakenham.

The Blackstone bar is hidden behind a thick curtain to deter GBG tickers. It might just work.

There’s only a couple of other customers on Sunday lunchtime, and I fear the worst as I see the homebrew.

But the young barman is enthusiastic and specific when I ask him to recommend a beer (“the Happy Hopper is fresh on”),

the seating is comfortable, the windmill tat bewildering,

the beer cool, crisp and with a bit of bite. Yes, it’s homebrew, but professionally made and served (NBSS 4).

The couple tell the barman the average age in Downham is 75, which seems an underestimate, and there’s a run through of the quiz questions.

What does IPA stand for ?” is the only question I can answer.

It stands for, oh, I forget.


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