So which pubs fed us well on our cruises this year? A bit of a problem this one because I can't always remember what I had to eat, but I can remember the places that rose above the sometimes mediocre average.
Here is our shortlist of nominees for the award.
1. River Mill Tavern _Eaton Socon on the river Ouse just south of St Neots. A real surprise this one because the beer is so so and the decor tends towards the drab, although the location is pretty. Our friend David treated us to a meal there after crewing for us from Bedford. More in hope than expectation we ordered our grub and it was really deelish. Kath had a burger that was fragrantly herby and clearly hand made and I think it had a nice sauce with it. I can't remember what we chaps had but I recall it was good.
2. The Globe at Old Linslade - a superb place to stop in any case. You can moor right outside the door. It used to be quite a posh gastropub, but the menu although still good, is now somewhat cheaper. For the life of me I can't remember what I ate, duck probably. All I remember is that it was extremely tasty, well presented, and the service was very good. On our second visit, returning "downhill" we ate there again and were tempted into the Golden Years Special (don't laugh) which was three courses for about six quid. Suffice it to say it was worth the money, but not a lot more!
3. The Wharf at Bugbrooke - a newish dining pub with moorings at the end of the garden. About £12 for a main course. This is really lovely food with rich flavours and good presentation. The restaurant lacks atmosphere though. I had pork belly in a stunning sauce. Puds were tasty too, and they did a nice pint of St Austell Tribute.
Honourable mentions too for the Thai food at The Magpie and Crown in Brentford, all the food at the Fox in Hanwell and the Black Horse at Greenford, and the wonderful Paper Mill at Apsley where the food is cooked before your eyes and looks and tastes great.