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EGON TOASTE's Wassailled Hostelries Guide

2007

2006  Egon Toaste and Arthur Boutfayse; Photos ©2003 - 2007 by GeeJay Grafix - all rights reserved

TOUR (& Rough Location)

SIGN of the HOUSE

Notes *
NB: This is NOT a critical review. See below.
Thursday 13th

£150 In The Hat
- a Jolly Convivial night!

Stortford to The Hallingburys, Takeley & back
Stortford

Jolly Brewers

 

Warm welcome - Landlord sold (that's Timothy Taylor's beer, the landlord isn't up for grabs .... so far as we know ....).
Spellbrook
Coach & Horses
Declined - Manager away & we couldn't wait ... nice pub though
 
Three Horseshoes
Good ambience, rather smart!
Hallingbury

George

Warm & welcoming - very good looking fish n chips
 
Hop Poles
Refused - No music licence
Takeley
Green Man
Interesting old pub .... got a donation even if we didn't sing
 
Four Ashes
Lovely local!
Gt Canfield
Lion & Lamb
Came too late :-(
Hockerill
Nag's Head
An architectural wonder, worth a trip!
 
Red Cow
Jolly friendly
Friday 14th
£177 in the hat (+/-) & Owch !!
Sheering, Hatfield Heath, HBO
  Don't often grumble, but this has to be the most disastrous evening out since we lost the tyre near Henham. Paul had the front end of his motor crunched by an unknown third party whilst parked in Hatfield Heath, Simon retired hurt with a bad cold & two pubs were empty, whilst the Railway in Sawbo was so full you couldn't get a fag paper between the karioke. No chance! Given that we had a really strong chorus, what with Mr & Mrs Sullivan being present, a somewhat disappointing night.
The good bits were the pubs that were firing on all cylinders, viz:
Sheering

Crown - Landlord's valediction!


Great Adnams - very friendly
 

Cock

Enthusiastic diners, lovely atmosphere & a roaring fire.
Hatfield Broad Oak

Cock

Refurbed! a Must for a "wet". Food looks good too.
Hatfield Heath

Stag

not so full but very appreciative ...
 

White Horse

Gently heaving. good patron's chorus
 

Thatchers -The New Landlord's Valediction!

Classic pub - utterly friendly, great ale.
Saturday 15th

A much better evening! A small and perfectly formed chorus. Great to see Karen, all the ladies sang with wonderful vigour and the addition of Tone to the old established Brain & Suggers duo made for an awesome noise. If we could just find a way to tune Suggers, life would be perfick!

£247.80 In The Hat plus 46p stuck at the bottom of the Brain-Hinge MkIV count-o-matic (with integral perambulatory power supply). Includes Euros.

Clavering / Old A11
Clavering
Fox & Hounds (Landlord's Valediction)
Small but friendly company. Great Adnams.
 
Cricketers

What more can we say? Has to be a venue of choice! Convivial, very convivial ..

Rickling Green

Cricketers

As above - great ambience, terrifyingly efficient staff!
Ugley
The Beautiful Ugley Chequers
... another dining-spot greatly recommended, warm welcome. Didn't get to intimidate the 41 club, who were busy at their speeches ..
Birchanger
Three Willows
Seek it out, folks - less showy than some but a great company of diners & locals.
Manuden
Yew Tree
Ta muchly to the DJ who stopped his machine so's we could do While Shepherds. Good nights out were evident thoughout..
 
.... and apologies to all those we didn't get round to this year ..... so many pubs, so little time !
Thursday 20th

A varied & interesting trip out ... got better as we went along ... lovely finish at Amwell

£183.87 In The Hat

Gilston to Stanstead Abbotts & Amwell
High Wych
Rising Sun
Beer good as ever - impressive make-over too, in keeping with the traditions of the House
Gilston
Dusty Miller
Quiet but friendly. Suggers owes a small debt of kindness for when his bus broke down outside last summer!
 
Moorhen
Rather nice. Better than your average Beefeater!.
Eastwick

Lion

Lovely local ...
Widford

Crown

.. as is this one. Resident African Grey & great local company.
Stanstead Abbotts

Red Lion

Lovely old pub - great craic
 
Lord Louis
Very Merry Company
 
Jolly Fisherman
Pleasant - at least one real jazz fan
Gt Amwell
George IV
Friendly - good ale & a nice place to stop
 
Friday 21st
A great night! £300 in the Hat
Kudos to the reveller who kept pulling Suggers' tatters during "Landlord" and crying "Ding Dong!" .. he's having an otherwise quiet weekend, I fear (darkend room, ice, that sorta thing)
Ash Vale
Wareside
White Horse
Good company!

Chequers

Landlords Valediction

Excellent ale
Much Hadham
Crown
Under new ownership and still a really friendly local
 
Bull
Still good - real wood floors (excellent for Powder & Shot) Nice suppers too
Hadham Ford

Nags Head

A good family atmosphere - smiles all round
Wellpond Green

Kick & Dicky

Landlords Valediction

Landlord was exceeding kind - to the point of trusting Suggers & co with his impressive new crystal glasses! Great dining in evidence
Albury
Catherine Wheel

In Memoriam - up to date snap of the snazzy new place follows
Splendid new barn following a disastrous fire which razed the old pub -
 
Saturday 22nd

£276.73 In The Hat

No refusals - a good night

Sawbridgeworth "Walking Tour"
 
Bull
All the pubs in Sawbo are good - the Bull is no exception.

 

 

Three Horseshoes
Sawbo's "country pub" - a great welcome.
 

Hand & Crown

Landlord's valediction

Full of Jolly Diners. Excellent Ale
 
Old Bell
Jolly Good company - hosts to the Monday Jams, (every other week) recommended for a good pint and a bit of acoustic craic!
 
King William
Live indie band, but we squeezed one in anyway
 
Market House
Very friendly - good cooking too
 
Queens Head

.. as is this one - personally recommended for Saturday lunch
 
George IV
Great little local. Stopped for a wet
 
Good Intent
Enthusiastic revellers
 
Gate
Renowned - and justly so - for real ales
EXTRAS
Wassails sung as part of another event ...
Sawbridgeworth
Rivers Orchard (a REAL wassail)
5th January - 6pm onwards
 

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* Notes

All our comments are good -. If you want a crit, go see CAMRA or the Good Food Guide. If people are good enough to let us in to sing & collect, that says something about them already. All the pubs have an individual character and it's up to you, the hopeful traveller, to go and see if you like their style. All we offer is a hint or two.

Those who refuse because they don't like the look of us are noted for this year only and will not generally ever be asked again. We're not offended. It's the licencee's right to control visitors and assess the annoyance we might cause to their patrons. We do not go where we're not wanted! From experience, specialist restaurants and big drinking-halls with club-type dance sound are not set up for a wassail and if it doesn't look like a pub, we don't try.

Those who refuse because the lkandlord's absent or there's a live gig or an important match in progress will often be re-visited. When in a pub, we will very happily shut up if customers ask us to (as we did when the gents on the Sheering Tour told Suggers to turn it down because they were trying to have a serious conversation at the bar) - you just have to ask.