Archive for the ‘Marlborough’ Tag

Yeung’s House Fish and Chips, Marlborough, Wiltshire, Chippy Challenge #67   1 comment

Yeung's House Fish and Chips Marlborough cod

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

Fish: cod
Sides: chips
Evaluation: Dreadful.  Too much batter but even that wouldn’t be so bad if the batter was good.  Fish tasted a little ‘off’ as well.
Days since last: 2 (Dolphin Fish Bar, Highworth)
Map link.

Yeung's House Fish and Chips Marlborough

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February
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April
May

Kebab and Pizza House, Marlborough, Wiltshire (kpw* for week 51)   1 comment

[*kpw = kebab per week for 2013, as noted in an earlier post and the 55th entry for the 2013 Challenge]

kebab and pizza house malborough small

At the end of a winter loop run along ridges above the River Kennet, I was cold and hungry and lucky to find a kebab stand open (the Kebab and Pizza House which I last visited a few years ago).  Well, I SAY lucky but two hours later I a still chugging iced tea and water trying to lower the salinity of my blood.  But, it was tasty, if not especially good for the blood pressure: the pungent flavours of mutton and, I’m guessing, rotting beef at least indicated meat was a major component and the sauce and veg were good.  Not really worth rushing out to Marlborough for unless you are suffering from hyponatremia.

kebab and pizza house malborough

The Queen’s Head, Marlborough, Wiltshire   Leave a comment

queen's head marlborough sign

When the youths from the Marlborough College are packed on the bus and you are trying pass through the aisle with a flimsy shopping sack full of wine, vodka, and tonic you might have a sudden epiphany about the origin of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies whilst popping one of these privileged shits in the chest with an off-balance and accidental (we’ll go with that) elbow and dragging the bottle filled bag at skull level past three others until the rest duck-and-cover.  Earlier, on my way to the Queen’s Head, I passed Golding’s former digs next to the Church, so maybe that’s what brought on these literary thoughts….

william golding lived here

The contrast between the gaggle of students and the friendly–if a bit surreal–patrons of the Queen’s Head was striking.  As a stranger negotiating the several small rooms to reach the back side of the public bar took a moment; it is a fairly old house but I am reckoning Edwardian or late Victorian despite the sturdy and ancient looking beams.; I’m sure the landlord will correct me as he seems as much an authority on any topic as he is authoritative and benignly autocratic…or the guy I’m assuming was the gov may have just been another punter.

I gave the pump clips a squint and decided on a Directors which made the three younger men at the bar burst into laughter as if they had been sitting on this merriment for minutes and could no longer hold it in.  “What’s that then?” the one next to Maybe-The-Gaffer asked.  “Courage,” he answered. “It’s a good strong ale.” They all laughed again.  “Courage? What’s that?”  “It’s a brewery.” “There is a Courage Brewery down near my house. But, what’s that?” Another ejaculation of laughter…I concluded these boys were tripping and sat back for what turned into an Abbott and Costello (or maybe more like Abbott and the Three Stooges) bit.

Horse racing features in the room to the left with some great photos of jockeys being dismounted mid jump, and boxing is highlighted to the right but the room seems more a shrine to the career of Muhammed Ali.

This is my new favourite pub in Marlborough (although the Bear and the Dragon are a little easier to get to on a tourist trip).

queen's head marlborough

The Crown, Marlborough, Wiltshire   Leave a comment

crown marlborough sign

Another friendly bar in Marlborough, the Crown was bustling with customers and hustling food and yet still felt intimate despite the cavernous dining area just off the small front bar.  The family running the shop were friendly to this stranger despite everyone else that arrived appearing to have long running warm relationships with one or more of them.

crown marlborough bar

Unable to linger as I needed to get the Christmas groceries in, I hurried on after my Carling (they have ale but I’m bolstering my 100/100 totals as the year ends).  The food looks like above standard pub fare — pies and roasts but artistically displayed and rich aromas — and this will be on the short list for a winter lunch on the next visit (note that everyone that came in had booked ahead and most still had a short wait).

crown marlborough

The Lamb Inn, Marlborough, Wiltshire   Leave a comment

lamb inn marlborough sign

Off the High Street running next to the fantastic Bear Hotel is a little street called the Parade which holds a couple of nice pubs which allowed escape from the Christmas Market.  First up was the Lamb, an ideal choice with its attentive staff (and the bartender I had displayed some great tits, erm…tatts…oh, screw it, either is correct).

lamb inn marlborough bar lamb inn marlborough fire

Dark when you move from the windows it is a cozy house with the obligatory real fire (only the best pubs will have one!).

Marlborough is an odd town and has a quirky bar scene considering how posh the populace is (of at least how posh the reputation of the populace is).  The Lamb, like the Bear and the Green Dragon, seems to attract a better element.

lamb inn marlborough

The Royal Oak, Marlborough, Wiltshire   Leave a comment

royal oak marlborough sign

Just a few doors from the Castle and Ball sits the Royal Oak, as it has for centuries as well as every time I have visited town and yet this is the first time I ever noticed it.  “If it was a snake it would have bitten you,” old guys back home would say and so I went in for the requisite snake bite medication and retired to the garden to escape the bar crowded with diners.

royal oak marlborough decking

The kitchen doors were open to the deck area and I listened to the busy banter for a while.  The chef, a Scotsman, was in high spirit and he joined his sous enjoying a smoke near me; my presence imposed the weather conversation but that’s all I got…nothing about the old house with its interconnected and multilevel rooms encircling the bar.  Maybe next time.

royal oak marlborough

The Wellington Arms, Marlborough, Wiltshire   Leave a comment

The end of the run came twenty minutes before the bus was due so I scanned the High Street for a pub I haven’t previously visited.  Finding two (good lord, how did I miss either of these?), I chose the warm looking Wellington Arms and having shitty luck with beer today (at the Outside Chance and the White Hart), I opted for the Black Rat Cider (which is always sublime).

The landlady seems indifferent here, even unfriendly.  She looked dismissively my way as I entered (fair enough), then turned and glared at some empty point in space miles away.  Eventually, the chirpy bartender returned from serving someone their Sunday roasts and took my drink order and I watched the behaviour continue.  The landlady is definitely much friendlier to folks dressed like the landed aristocracy or parents visiting a child at the College (i.e., she spoke to them).  Nice house, otherwise.

Castle and Ball, Marlborough, Wiltshire   1 comment

The Castle and Ball is a departure from the previous stops here (see the Bear and the Green Dragon).  A bit older crowd, a bit posher and quite a bit less warm and welcoming–possibly because it is cleaner and better lit but more likely because it serves the upper middle-class commuter populace and tourists.  It’s not bad, just not very ‘pubby.’

Looking around, there were pensioners having a light tea and a couple ran into a guy that might have been their banker or their gardener and joined him for a pint.  Near the window sat an attractive and anxious looking middle-aged woman, maybe a year or two younger than me, who it turned out was waiting for blind date who showed up and ordered their drinks and they seemed to hit it off brilliantly.

I had a house named bitter but as everything else was Greene King stock I suspected that this was probably Old Speckled Hen relabeled.  It didn’t matter, I came around to it the way the house brought me around to its own charms.

house bitter, but everything was Greene King so I suspect this was just Old Speckled Hen

Posted 2012/04/20 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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The Green Dragon, Marlborough, Wiltshire   7 comments

Still smiling about the silliness at the Bear as I rushed to catch the bus, I spotted the Green Dragon (where the guy they were heckling on-line was suspected to be) and couldn’t resist.  Just inside the door I said to the guy with the mobile in his hand, “Dude, they’re mocking your ass down the Bear.”  One..two..three… and once everyone had looked at each other, then at me they all started laughing and he started explaining his plight.  “Listen, man, they’re all down there, 50 meters away why don’t you go have a word?”

“They?”

“Yeah, it’s a team effort although I don’t think she has put the suggested, ‘dickhead,’ in at the end of any of her transmissions.  Yet.”

The bar tariffs are a bit high here but it is a wonderful place, from the Amy Winehouse coiffed barkeeper and 70’s Soul on the jukebox (amongst other stuff I caught something from the Superfly soundtrack and Pusherman by Curtis Mayfield), to the friendly and screwy and not-at-all-posh-for-Marlborough denizens of the place.  And, it is right across from the bus stop.

Posted 2012/04/20 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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The Bear, Marlborough, Wiltshire   3 comments

I came into the Bear from the High Street and found myself in a lounge occupied by a single old derelict, or two if you count me.  Just down some stairs, though, sat a small bar ringed by half a dozen folks engaged in some sort of semi-private hilarity.  I got a pint of 3B and settled in to eavesdrop soon finding out that another mate of theirs was trying, via text message, to get the barmaid to buy some concert or festival tickets for him.

“Why can’t he do this his own bloody self?” asked one guy.
“He says he doesn’t have reception at the building site,” she answered.
“Building site my arse, he’s sat down the Dragon.”

“He’s got reception enough to text you,” pointed out a third.
“I just wrote that, see,” she said showing it to a couple of the guys.
“Add, ‘dickhead,’ there at the end,” said the guy leaning on the bar.

The Bear is covered in sport memorabilia and posters for upcoming music and comedy events.  Very little of it is likely to be as entertaining as the little floor show I was treated to, though.  I was considering a second beer but if I missed the next bus I would be stuck for an hour.  Before finishing up, though, I related my favourite text message story:

This Tucson/Phoenix hasher, 3-I-Y (Is It In Yet), had a mobile contract that charged him 15 cents for every text he sent OR received.  For the next couple of months it was de rigueur to send him two or three per day with the words, “That’s fifteen cents, motherfucker.”  Ahh, memories.

Posted 2012/04/20 by Drunken Bunny in pubs

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The Sun Inn, Marlborough, Wiltshire   1 comment

Marlborough is a well-marketed old market town and its wide High Street and the immediate environs are preserved for visitors to drop a few more pounds in the coffers than they might have budgeted.  But, it is hilly here and from my seat at the Sun I can just see the sort of Stalinist architecture that houses the underclasses of the area, not too many concentric circles away to the east.  Forget that Kate Duchess of Cambridge, the future Princess Consort, attended the local school: Marlborough has a lower middle class feel to it on a weekday afternoon.

The chirpy manager at the Sun seemed almost too friendly, as well, but listening to her interact with regulars I came to realise that her almost giddy “the best of Cornwall!” reaction to my order of a pint of Coaster was genuine and (after the initial shock to my system) as warm as the fire in the empty public bar (and there were fires in at least one of the other drinking rooms as well).  The Sun was a very cool first choice in town.

Posted 2012/04/20 by Drunken Bunny in pubs, tourism

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The Roebuck Inn, Marlborough, Wiltshire   1 comment

A few blocks after crossing the River Kennett I spotted the Roebuck Inn, not at all far from the Kebab place but already seeming overdue…the garlic residue and congealed fat really needed tending.  It is a bit out of the town centre and probably suffers for it, but the staff was great, the London Pride did all the things I wanted it to do, and the food there looked and smelled fantastic.  Alas, I couldn’t linger and set off as soon as the glass was empty for the rail trail (National Cycle Trail #482) which crosses the road about a half kilometer away.

Kebab and Pizza House, Marlborough, Wiltshire   3 comments

The neighbours are away so we took advantage of the relative quiet last night and played a bunch of records (at a tolerable volume, mind you) out the back garden.  Record Night has always turned into a session and this was no exception so the next morning Jackie was a bit under the weather.  Me too, but I had promised myself a decent run so I took my leave and caught the bus to Marlborough with the intention of running the rail trail through Chiseldon and back into Swindon.

First, though, I needed some nourishment.  My hangover cure usually involves equal proportions of salt, carbs, meat protein, and fat and nothing really fits the bill like doner meat and chips with chilli sauce.  But, Marlborough is sort of a posh town and although it has its fair share of shitty little restaurants they each give the outward impression that they are too good for you…especially if you are wearing a tee shirt that says, “Now it’s time for my REAL job: Getting Loaded.”  I opted to start my run off the High Street at the Kebab and Pizza House.

The guys there were friendly and the food was no worse than I could have hoped for.  The doner oven was fired up for my order alone so I got a bit more than a normal amount which came back to haunt me 13 or 14 miles into the run but I had to remind myself that this situation was of my own doing.  The only thing remaining was to find a pub to get something to wash this down, somewhere along the way to the Rail Trail.

Posted 2011/07/24 by Drunken Bunny in food

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