Monday, 23 January 2012

My favourite pubs - The Angel Inn, Grosmont

Cycling from Land's End to John o'Groats a couple of years ago, my companion and I had wearly dragged our bikes up the hill to the little village of Grosmont in the Welsh Marches. (We were taking the scenic route.) I will confess that there was a modicum of bad language spilling forth as we had been unable to get into the campsite at the bottom of the hill.

But at the top of the hill we miruculously found The Angel Inn. And what a find it was.

Like The Old Crown at Hesket Newmarket, The Angel is a community owned pub. When the pub was faced with closure in 2005, half-a-dozen regulars at the pub formed a consortium and bought the pub between them. It now forms part of what appears to be a thriving little village community. We were welcomed into the pub and bought pints of beer to wish us on our way. It was a most convivial evening.

The pub became The Daffodil for the 2007 film The Baker, a brilliant comedy filmed in Grosmont starring Damian Lewis as a hit man experiencing a mid-life crisis, hiding out in a small Welsh village.

There was an excellent choice of beers and I tried three delightful ones that I had not tasted before:

Cwrw Haf from Tomos Watkin in Swansea. Being English I couldn't pronounce it of course. Pointing at the pump I said: 'Erm, one of those please.' Apparently it is pronounced 'koo-roo hàrve'. Anyway, it tasted very nice and refreshing.

.410 from Golden Valley Ales in Peterchurch, Herefordshire, a golden coloured, slightly fruity beer. I just asked for four-one-oh, missing out the dot. It's called this because it's 4.1% and is also a reference to the .410 shotgun - as seen on the label.

Finally, Butty Bach (Little Friend) from the Wye Valley Brewery at Stoke Lacy in Herefordshire. I loved this beer. Golden in colour it was not too strong, either in flavour or in ABV, and went down extremely well.

The Three Castles Walk , also here, is a popular 20 mile circular route.I think I may have to make it my business to head down here pretty soon.

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