Market Plaice, Devizes, Wiltshire, Chippy Challenge #123   Leave a comment

Market Plaice Devizes cod

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

Fish: cod
Sides: none
Evaluation: Unbelievably delicious and I would have gone back for seconds, some chips, and mushy peas if a) I hadn’t promised to do a proper green curry from scratch when Jackie got home and b) the bus, which only runs hourly, wasn’t due.  The Pelican, two doors down and which allows you to bring in outside food, was a real temptation at this point; my resolve was later rewarded (great meal, good wine, lovely company) but I shall ever be nagged by what might have been.
Days since last: 1 (Leo Fish and Chips, Wootton, Oxfordshire)

Market Plaice Devizes
Map link.

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

The Bell Inn, Great Cheverell, Wiltshire   Leave a comment

Bell Inn Great Cheverell

I left the Green Dragon and took a bit of a trundle into the next village on the off-chance the Churchill Arms was opening early (nope), and continued via Little Cheverell to the Owl which, on asking directions from an old guy, I found to be not only closed but converted to a private residence (doh!).  Still, it wasn’t yet noon and I had a mile or more to go before reaching the Bell Inn in Great Cheverell and despite the heavier than expected traffic on the roads I had a pleasant little jog up to the hostelry.

As I reached the Bell and the old guy in the photo (above), the church bells pealed.  “They must have known you were coming,” he said; “it was a logistical nightmare to arrange it, too,” I replied.  He’d been out for a walk, as well, and we talked about my route and the unusual weather and, of course, if the pub was open yet.  A woman appeared from the graveyard with a sack full of windfallen greenery; “first the bells, and now they’ve arranged a garland for you,” he suggested.  “As it should be, sir, as it should be,” I left them with.

Inside, the publican and his assistant were nutty and nice each in their own way and I decided to sip the Doom Bar slowly and enjoy the show.  A few lunchers arrived then a fellow came up to the bar and ordered a glass of wine.  “A bottle, surely,” suggested the landlord. “Your hard sell belies flawless logic…go on, then,” returned the punter.  I liked this place and its regulars immediately from that point.

I liked it even more after Mr. Noon-Bottle bought me another pint (a “Wiltshire half” was how he put it) and we continued the what-the-fuck-brought-you-to-Swindon conversation for a half hour longer.  Very funny fellow, too.  I owe him a beer now, but with so many other pubs to hit around here I hope I can make good on that, soon.  Maybe a jog that starts later in the day should be scheduled.

Oh, the pub is great and I here the ribs are absolutely sinful.

The Green Dragon, Market Lavington, Wiltshire   1 comment

Green Dragon Market Lavington sign

It has been years since I worked in a busy restaurant or bar but when I see it done poorly it tears at my soul.

I watched with grief as the landlord of this fine establishment proved incapable of even the most rudimentary multitasking.  I entered and stepped up to get a beer when he walked away for 5 minutes and eventually returned with some cream for the folks having coffee nearby.

Two cyclists came in and tried to order a cappuccino and a tea but he couldn’t hear them above the rush of blood through his brain as he concentrated on pulling my pint.  He came around and gathered up the pub dog (whose ears I was scratching) and then disappeared into the depths of the pub; on his return he asked the cyclists, “what can I get you gentlemen?”

Amused, they repeated their order and from my vantage I could see through an access window to where he went to fix the cups, methodically and very slowly prepping the cappuccino then bringing it out then sauntering back to put the kettle on, pour the hot water on the teabag then stand there for two minutes before bringing the cuppa out, then doubling back to get some milk for the cuppa.  Flabbergasting.

He’s a nice enough fellow and he had employees trickling in that might well be competent.  Maybe he’s a financial genius or a better hotelier than publican…the house really is nicely kept and absolutely charming.

 

Green Dragon Market Lavington

Posted 2014/12/21 by 1pumplane in pubs

Tagged with , ,

DT #354, 20 December 2014 (Pecker Wrecker)   2 comments

Pecker Wrecker

“Is this for Christmas?”
“No, Love, this is the Solstice.
“Its something for REAL.”

Name: Pecker Wrecker
Type: bitter
Venue: Green Dragon, Market Lavington

Review/notes: I got on the bus to Devizes and sat near the front hoping one of the large-window seats would become free in a few stops only to immediately recognize the couple in the left-most seat were trapped in a moronic conversation with the Tardette to their right. The bus pulled up to the very next stop and a middle-aged dude in biking leathers toting a very large backpack and reeking of campfire smoke (he must have kipped the night on the rail trail below) found his way upstairs.  We met as I was moving back a row or two for leg room and he seemed to be thinking the same thing as me: “who let this old freak on the bus?”

The old couple escaped at Wroughton and Mr Natural pounced on the seat only to face the Tardette’s interrogation, which he suffered with great humour (the haiku is made from direct quotes of their conversation). He was heading to Avebury for the celebrations along with countless old hippies and New Age tossers you could see milling about with their billowy garments and self-satisfied countenances.

I like the Solstice well enough but I don’t get any sort of spiritual kick from it.  I hadn’t even clocked that it was tonight until this moment on the bus, but during the run through muddy trails to Market Lavington with the Sun blinding me, hung as low as it gets all year this time of day, I kept thinking about how nice it is that the days will now extend a little every day for 6 months.  Well, that and the fact that I could get a beer soon.

Pecker Wrecker pump clip

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

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

Holiday Running Streak Day 29   2 comments

 

There have been days when meeting the 3 mile minimum for the Holiday Run Streak have been daunting (hangovers, bone idleness, actual injuries).  Today was a joy, though.

I caught the 9 o’clock to Devizes and headed south into the slimy mud, down one steep ridge and up another and emerging, eventually, in Market Lavington.  The timing was actually rubbish, though, as the only pub open before noon is the Green Dragon (no complaints, mind; it was a self-inflicted wound I would have avoided by taking the 10 o’clock bus instead).

2014-12-20 Devizes - Market Lavington - Great Cheverell

9.4 miles out, with a beer break in Market Lavington

2014-12-20 Great Cheverell to Devizes flat out no GPS

5.8 miles back after beer break in Great Cheverell

 

I thought I could kill a little time by inspecting the pubs on offer for another day and the Churchill in Littleton Panell looked worthy.  The Owl in Little Cheverell was turned into a private residence a year or so ago to the dismay of the old fellow I spoke with there and the Bridge downhill from the Churchill got a recommendation from a kind gentleman I met at the Bell in Great Cheverell which I wandered up to just as it opened.

To be honest, the 9.4 miles run up to then had been like forced labour but the longer than planned (and greater fluid volume than planned) stop at the Bell recharged me.  Although I thought I had restarted the GPS I arrived back in Devizes with no additional miles.  This was easy enough to manually map (5.8 miles) and the voice recorder — which I failed to turn off, as well, upon leaving — showed this last leg to be 40 minutes long.  There was a bit of sunshine and mostly good surfaces to run and I made the most of the opportunity…plus, I was afraid the chippy in Devizes would close at 2 and I really hankered for a bit of cod.

Good run, pleasant company, fine ales, and a treat at the end.  Not a bad way to start the longest night of the year.

DT #353, 19 December 2014 (Hooky Mild)   Leave a comment

Hooky Mild

Friday pre-Christmas:
The best early escape day.
Back at it Monday.

Name: Hooky Mild
Type: mild
Venue: Greyhound, Besselsleigh

Hooky Mild pump

Review/notes: With work all day last Sunday in my pocket, I took off at lunchtime for a run to get some fish and chips then head on home to Swindon.  The route was cold but I was soon drenched in sweat from the muddy hill climb and by the time I rolled into the Greyhound I just wanted my beverage and then to duck outdoors to strip down and put on my dry kit.  With steam pouring off me in the sunny garden I should have been the most appreciative taster on the planet but, unusually for Hook Norton and milds in general, this was thin and reedy.  Better runs planned for tomorrow, but this is today.

2014-12-19 early Friday to Besselsleigh

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

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

Leo Fish and Chips, Wootton, Oxfordshire, Chippy Challenge #122   2 comments

Leo Fish and Chips Wootton Oxon cod

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

Fish: cod
Sides: none
Evaluation: Too much batter but otherwise flawless.  This assessment may be due to running 6½ miles in the cold on an empty stomach just beforehand.
Days since last: 1 (Bell and Compass, Oxford)
Map link.

Leo Fish and Chips Wootton Oxon

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 180 other followers

%d bloggers like this: