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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.

2009  Egon Toaste and Arthur Boutfayse; Photos 2003 - 2008 by GeeJay Grafix except as noted - all rights reserved

TOUR (& Rough Location)


Notes *
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!
Gilston Moorhen

Temp pic. not Geejay
Greene King formula steakhouse - very good place for a family feast. Thanks to the DJ for a fantastic intro!
  Dusty Miller
Lovely trad boozer - natives very friendly. Best pint of AK I've ever tasted.
Eastwick Lion
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.


The Crown, Hunsdon

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.
  Lord Louis
Lively local - good craic, excellent local with plenty of spirit
  Jolly Fishermen
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

Albury Catherine Wheel
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.
Much Hadham Bull
Lovely supper crowd, charming bar people.
Hadham Cross Crown
Unusually peaceful so we stopped off for a wet. Local ales & Woodfordes as well. Could have stayed all night ..
Widford Green Man
The Joint was Rockin' .... :-)
Wareside White Horse
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

The Chequers

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
Hatfield Heath

The Thatchers

Landlords Vaeldiction - another party place, Suggers' choice for a nice meal out

White Hart

Live band - packed & rockin' but we still sang ....
Broad Oak


Another live combo - who stopped & let us strut our stuff. Bass player was excellent in support.

Dukes Head

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).

Three Horseshoes

Warm welcome - a nice friendly local

Hand & Crown

Landlord's Valediction and great craic.

Old Bell

Great atmosphere - Jams every other Monday, too

Market House

Good crowd - diners in party mood. Check out the snow / starry night effect in the bar!

King William

Live band (rather good indie) but we went in and rattled a tin nonetheless.

Queens Head

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.

George IV

A couple of familiar old faces :) and a much-needed wet.

Good Intent

Very lively. Interesting conversation with some young folks about squeezeboxes.

White Lion

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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* 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 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.