Archive for the ‘Buckinghamshire’ Tag
Now the Three Cups is what I long for in a drinking establishment. Packed on a Sunday afternoon with a bunch of mouthy folks taking the piss out of each other whilst cheering opposite sides in a sporting event. A big guy at the bar directed some comments toward me as I came in but I didn’t catch a word and opted instead to just order up my beer and enjoy the amibiance.
The guy to my left had three pints of lager next to him with varying levels, but I think he was tending them for someone. I spied another room through doorway in the ovate bar and noticed that the guy drinking over there perked up when the guy to my right dumped 80 pounds in coins in a pile there; he had just emptied the fruit machine, but my compatriot must have thought Mister Coinage was buying a round because he was over on our side of the bar like a shot.
There was a little dog running around that became enamoured of my shoes. “What’s ‘e licking, there?” a woman near one of the windows asked me as I shot a photo of the little guy; “sheep shit…I’ve been running through the meadows.” She smiled and nodded and left him to carry on cleaning up my footwear.
I believe it was the Milton Keynes football club playing, but whoever it was a bunch of these guys seemed to know one of the trainers who got into a post-goal celebratory scene. The bar cheered when the goal happened, but louder when the trainer came into shot, then again on every replay (but only as the trainer came into view).
Supposed to be the sign, but a nice view of Bridge Street
The Buckingham Arms is a nice pub on some fairly large grounds in Maids Moreton (just outside Buckingham). The food smelled great, but I was cooking as soon as I got home so I settled for a beer, a Bill Sutton’s Best by Slater’s Ales…sublime.
It was a bit quiet and the chef came out for a while, and a couple with a little girl tried to teach her how to throw darts badly, which she accomplished. Friendly staff, nice enough group of punters, what more could you ask?
I spotted this outside just after asking how far it is to Buckingham
The run had gone well, and from Chackmore I had planned an hour to cover some ground and hit Akeley Wood and some fields and hills before sliding into Akeley to find a pub after about an hour. I found the Bull and Butcher in about 55 minutes and was quite pleased with my orienteering skills.
The place was packed with an affable crowd. One guy made extra room for me at the bar and asked if I was just there for the facilities or if I was drinking; “drinking, of course…there’s miles of toilet out there,” I noted. He laughed, “yes, and not nearly enough beer!”
The barkeep loaded my glass but in the warm room I was suddenly sweating profusely so I headed out to the garden. There, I harvested a couple of apples and watched as the clouds rolled slowly by. This is the life! There are far too few weekends this gorgeous!
The first new (to me) pub I visited after 2 weeks overseas was the Queen’s Head in Chackmore. The place was mildly busy which is a bit surprising unless the others got a more friendly reception than I did. Perhaps the young woman at the taps had something troubling her…I’d hate to think she was just an asshole.
I got my Black Sheep and vacated the premises, taking up with a couple resting after taking their terriers for an adventure up to the arch at Stowe Gardens. A bit nippy out, but the company was so much more pleasant.
I hear the food is good, though. As a caveat, I also heard that this was a fantastic pub. The beer was alright, I must say.
It is so good to be back in the civilised world!
Sunday I took a run through a bit of Buckinghamshire I’ve never traveled before, starting in the town of Buckingham then up Stowe Avenue toward the Stowe House and Gardens. The day was a bit cool, but sunny and the breezes were mild. I was able to find pubs in Chackmore, Akeley, Maids Moreton and Buckingham and the scenery, alone, was worth the effort. After getting lost in Buckingham trying to find the car I had a total of just over 12 miles. Fantastic. Here are some photos:
The approach from Buckingham leads to the Corinthian Arch
The gardens have lakes, creeks, a moat around the House, and hundreds of acres to explore
...and pavement so you only get muddy if you really want to
Note: due to a drunken miscount, it turns out that this was pub #500, not the much nicer one originally reported).
I usually like Wetherspoons pubs but I usually go to the ones that are housed in salvaged buildings with some architectural and/or historical distinction. This time I just dropped in to the only open pub I spotted at the end of 25 miles of training run to tank up before catching the bus home. It, too, is a Wetherspoons but the house is ugly and prefabricated and, to be perfectly fair, precisely in keeping with the overall look of Milton Keynes. I had something called a Slewfoot or Stinkfoot for £1.99 and continued on my merry way. Yuk.
A half hour trot down the road from Cranfield I was quite peckish and decided to stop in the next dining establishment that presented itself. This turned out to be the Carrington Arms in Moulsoe, quite too nice for the likes of me but as I was only in for a quick bite before continuing on to Milton Keynes I decided to risk offending the tables filled with businessmen enjoying their lunch meetings.
I had a pint of First Flight, a reddish amber treat with a hint of cocoa and ordered up a lamb sandwich on ciabata. This came out a tender slices of pink lamb cooked in mint and garnished with a rocket salad and some remarkably fresh tomatos. The chips were steaming and cut from fresh potatos and the entire meal came in at a reasonable cost. The staff were mostly just waiters and hotel staff, but I don’t reckon this is treated too much as a pub. That’s a shame, as the beer selection is pretty cool, the bar is well stocked, and the house is pretty interesting. But, the business plan is for a restaurant and inn and they are doing that job flawlessly.