Red Lion, Marston, Oxfordshire, Chippy Challenge #114   1 comment

Red Lion Marston fish and chips

 

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: chips and peas

Evaluation:  A light but still very tasty batter: I think there was plenty of baking powder in it or in the flour it was rolled in pre- or post-battering.  There was also a nicely sulfurous whiff to the aftertaste but not in the batter or fish itself (I reckon that is from the beer used for the batter.  The chips were spectacular as well and the tartar sauce ALMOST tempted me to ignore my aversion to mayonnaise as it was almost solid with fresh herbs.  Truly the Red Lion has one of the better pub fish and chips and could easily make the top ten if the peas were better (or mushy); this was my first lunch run here, but not my last.

Days since last: 4 (Robinson’s Traditional F&C, Bowerhill)
Map link.

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DT #330, 26 November 2014 (Fireside Ale)   1 comment

Fireside Ale

Pieced back together
Machines on the Razor’s Edge
For the holiday.

Name: Fireside Ale
Type: bitter
Venue: Red Lion, Marston

Review/notes: A misty morning and nippy noon combined for a languorous Lion lunch lope.

Alliteration aside, it is the day before my Thanksgiving break (the holiday will be the last thing I squeeze out of my American pustule) and I dashed around to put critically ill instruments into induced comas while making mildly sick ones usable for a couple of days.

The Fireside was quite nice…chestnut in colour and walnut in flavour (bitter, astringent, and a bit varnish-y like I like).

2014-11-26 red lion out and back

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #329, 25 November 2014 (Sorso Pinot Grigio)   Leave a comment

Sorso Pinot Grigio

 

Broke fucking toe on
Giant teak Chinese sex chair,
Middle Monday night.

2014-11-24 toeName: Sorso Pinot Grigio
Type: white wine
Recipe: as required
Venue: house

Review/notes: Theme of this post: Fulfilment

Friday, Jackie moved furniture around in a redecorating frenzy.  Looks nice, and I was surprised she didn’t wait for help to move the low, heavy and oddly (I think ‘specifically’) designed Chinese chair.  “I’m going to crash into that in the night,” I predicted correctly and around 2 o’clock Monday morning fulfilled that prediction on my way to the toilet and then, a few steps away, smashed the same toe into her dining room chair which was left in the middle of the path to the loo.  Oww…the photo from about 18 hours after the event does not do the injury justice.

Today’s route — with the toe taped to the one adjacent — was a lazy 3.8 miles to fulfil my holiday run streak pledge just as today’s wine really doesn’t merit much in the way of description other than it fulfils the minimum Daily Tipple requirements (329 down, 36 to go).

2014-11-25 oxford lunch run

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #328, 24 November 2014 (Tuborg)   Leave a comment

Tuborg

Read Buffett liners,
“And get drunk on Tuborg beer.”
Oxford, Come Monday.

Name: Tuborg
Type: lager
Venue: Four Candles, Oxford

Review/notes: Two Mondays in a row meeting Jackie at the Fork Handles and I really fancied a lager before the ride home.  She had been to the libraries and then did a bit of used record shopping coming up with a copy of A White Sportcoat And a Pink Crustacean, so a Tuborg it had to be.

Oh, right…the holiday running streak continued with 3.2 miles after a sub-group meeting with the boss (despite my broken toe suffered overnight…more on that tomorrow).  Did a trot through the University Park then out toward Summertown before looping back to the labs.  Nippy out.

2014-11-24 oxford 3.2miles

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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DT #327, 23 November 2014 (Arkell’s Centennial)   Leave a comment

Arkell's United States Centennial Hops Collection

The theme for today:
A Remembrance of Things Past…
Lager madeleine.

Name: Arkell’s Centennial
Type: bitter
Venue: Clifton Inn, Swindon

Review/notes: As mentioned before, the holiday season demands exertion and I have picked up the gauntlet with a 3+ mile-per-day pledge.  Today, I reckoned I should try out the Runner (formerly the Running Horse before a refurbishment but not different enough to count as a ‘new pub’ for the blog’s purposes).

runner swindon

Looking down the taps I felt that the only one I had not previously included in the Daily Tipple would be the 1843 Craft Lager.  I knew I had tried this a few times in the past, but convinced myself it had not yet been a DT.  That is, until the first scent and sip…doh!  I had this after my surprise surgery a few months ago…a reasonable memory to blot out or the first signs of dementia?  Okay…maybe not the first.

runner swindon 1843 craft lager

 

I watched a guy hustle a kid (literally, a ten-year-old) at the billiards table then chatted with him for a minute about it before heading out.

runner swindon caroussel horse

I only had £2 on me so if I was going to put the DT SNAFU right I would have to pick up something at an off-license or settle for a half pint somewhere.  While sorting my thoughts by the carousel horse on the wall of the Runner, I realised the Clifton was on my way. Result!

Today's route

Today’s route

The Centennial really called me and it’s rich flavours took me back to Colorado, drinking Fat Tire at altitude.  It is a temporary offering from Arkell’s and I’m really glad I managed to get a drop or two of it.

Arkell's United States Centennial Hops Collection pump

[DT =Daily Tipple, explained in DT #000 here]

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Bell Inn, Seend, Wiltshire   Leave a comment

Bell Inn Seend sign

For years, I have seen the Bell as I rode the bus route between Devizes and Trowbridge and have long meant to take some time to tick it off the list.  It turns out to be one of the places I’m most eager to come back to for another visit (perhaps regularly).

 

Bell Inn Seend Corvus Stout

 

I got here quickly in a mad dash from the Brewery Inn to make sure I had time to catch the bus; the pubs were nearer each other than I had estimated so once I topped the hills it was only a couple of minutes total (rather than ten or more).  This was good, though, as it allowed me a relaxed walk around the premises and a visit to the garden to take in the view of the valley while changing into some dry clothing in the light, misty rain.

Bell Inn Seend view

They have a sign outside that they do fish and chips takeaways on Wednesday and Friday evenings, which is attractive to me in the Year of Fish and Chips. Much more so was the lovely kitchen I spied on my snooping around and the note on the sign board about everything being fresh and local.  Moreover, for £2 more, you can turn any main into a 2-course meal by adding a starter or dessert.  I see a spring roadtrip this way for some dry weather hiking and a pub lunch.

Bell Inn Seend kitchen suppliers

It’s a Wadworth house so I had a Corvus stout (always an exceptional choice especially kept as well as it is here).  The only issue I had was the sign of the Bell: Wadworth has their own signage shop at the brewery and mostly makes unique signs for each of their pubs but this one is frightfully similar to the one you pass on your way through Devizes (although close inspection reveals the loving details in that one that this one is missing).  Yes, I am a petty prick.

Bell Inn Seend

 

Brewery Inn, Seend Cleve, Wiltshire   1 comment

Brewery Inn Seend Cleve sign

While the Brewery Inn was relatively empty, the bar itself was rammed largely due to the charming and agreeable landlady running the show but also, to some degree, because everyone at the bar was a friendly sort to begin with.  Unable to push close enough to read without my glasses (too fogged, smeared and dripping with rainwater and mud from the mucky trail I took from Bowerhill to use), I pointed at the last pump handle and asked, “is that a cider, madam?” “It is, indeed,” she answered instinctively louder than the guy sitting in front of the tap who volunteered, “ooo, aye, a fine cider that one, young man.”  I think that’s what he said, as it all came out as a single word.  It turned out to be Cheddar Valley Traditional cider, which Mr NoSpaceBetweenNotes pointed out used to be made by a small brewery but is now part of the Thatcher’s collection but is still the same formula as always and in some ways the quality control is better although ’tis sad to see the small ‘uns sell up [spewed in 3 seconds flat in his otherwise delightful West Country drawl].

Brewery Inn Seend Cleve cider

With my legs caked in mud and cow shit and my shirt soaked in rain from without and sweat from within, I moved to a table to check out my route and cause less offence.  Encroaching on others was not seen as a problem by the parents of the two little boys who kept tossing a cushion around and then crashing into my table with increasing ferocity.  I drank up faster than I had planned (this otherwise would have been a good house in which to linger) and as I was returning my glass heard the erstwhile father character say to one of the boys, “calm down, now, you might hurt yourself.”  Muttering my thanks to the lady of the house I added, “yeah, they’re definitely on the road to injury;” a two count and the guys at the bar started laughing and wishing me well for the day and to return soon.

Brewery Inn Seend Cleve

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