EGON TOASTE's Wassailled Hostelries Guide
Our Heartfelt Thanks to the publicans & landladies who let us come in and the punters who delved into their purses for coin.
|TOUR (& Rough Location)||
SIGN of the HOUSE
NB: This is NOT a critical review. See below.
|Harlow North||Friday 11th December 2009||£378 in the hat, by the Desperate Dozen.|
|High Wych|| Rising Sun
||Really nicely refurbed since our snap was taken (just after Sid passed on) - ale still of legendary quality!|
Temp pic. not Geejay
|Greene King formula steakhouse - very good place for a family feast. Thanks to the DJ for a fantastic intro!|
||Lovely trad boozer - natives very friendly. Best pint of AK I've ever tasted.|
||Sometime home turf of the String Band & well worth a trip out - Arborbridge used to frequent it at the time Spencer was barmaid there, which is proof itself that it's a venerable old house.|
Very very convivial, so we stopped for a wet and a bit of a squeeze ....
|Stanstead Abbotts||Red Lion
||Scene of the New Year Sing. From Noon-ish. Really rocking when we went in.|
||Lively local - good craic, excellent local with plenty of spirit|
||Great for meals out - civilised & smart.|
|Gt Amwell||George IV
||The logical last stop, Adnams sold. Food done. Superb locality.|
The Ash Vale
|Saturday December 12th 2009||
£ 296 ish In The Hat by the intrepid Ash Valers
||Fantastic acoustics - a bit of a detour but rather well worth a visit.|
|Wellpond Gren||Kick n' Dickey
||Friendly and kind - Christmas parties in full swing. Adnams Ale in rather fine condition.|
|Lt Hadham||Nags Head
||A tad cosy. Half the populace assembled for dinners, all very jolly. Hardly room to swing a squeezebox but great fun.|
||Lovely supper crowd, charming bar people.|
||Unusually peaceful so we stopped off for a wet. Local ales & Woodfordes as well. Could have stayed all night ..|
||The Joint was Rockin' .... :-)|
||Spendidly convivial - All Hail to the piano player (its a bit disconcerting to meet a real musician ... )|
||A fine finish, in the company of friendly faces- Timothy Taylors Landlord went down an absolute treat.|
|Manuden Mystery Tour||Thursday December 17th 2009||£ 117 in the hat by the Arctic Explorers division.|
|Spendidly warm - roaring logs & Splendid Cheer|
Fox & Hounds
|Cosy - could happily have stayed in|
|Inhabited by the 41 club - splendid chaps!|
|Oak and Heath||Friday December 18th 2008||£ £326.42 in the hat|
|Landlords Vaeldiction - a great and friendly start|
|Party well in progress, welcomed in in fine style|
|Landlords Vaeldiction - another party place, Suggers' choice for a nice meal out|
|Live band - packed & rockin' but we still sang ....|
|Another live combo - who stopped & let us strut our stuff. Bass player was excellent in support.|
|Very commendable pub grub, new regime - well worth a trip out|
|Greeted as long-lost friends ... a warm welcome for the final stop on a chilly night|
|Sawbridgeworth||Saturday December 19th 2009||
£223 in the hat by a determined last night squad. Ms Hinge acquitted herself with honours "Getting In" in Hil's absence. One big surprise - a refusal from a pub we've done for the last 20 years, who now only support their nominated charity. We'll miss the real ale (sigh) ....
Second big surprise is that Suggers remained sober. Must be his age.
|A halting start as Theo had to Return to Go for documentation. So we had an early Spitfire (excellent).|
|Warm welcome - a nice friendly local|
Hand & Crown
|Landlord's Valediction and great craic.|
|Great atmosphere - Jams every other Monday, too|
|Good crowd - diners in party mood. Check out the snow / starry night effect in the bar!|
|Live band (rather good indie) but we went in and rattled a tin nonetheless.|
|Party animals in evidence. Brain distinguished himself by striving manfully to correct the Roads are Very Dirty against insurmountable odds. I think he finally found the lost chord as we went in.|
|A couple of familiar old faces :) and a much-needed wet.|
|Very lively. Interesting conversation with some young folks about squeezeboxes.|
|Welcoming - has changed a little over the past year or two, less electric music so quiet enough to sing in. Open Mike every other Sunday night.|
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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 may be
noted for this year only and will not generally 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 landlord'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 - you just have to ask.