Aah sorry I kept you waiting, I’ve been busy doing stuff. Now, back to the Herbie award for Most Enjoyable Canal Event. Well of course we enjoyed them all. Oakie cleverly spotted that I didn’t say the beer was good at Banbury. That’s because there wasn’t any at the actual event, so that didn’t do much for Banbury’s chance of winning the award. After some debate Kath and I agreed that our winner ought to be the one that surprised and delighted us the most, and that was the somewhat low key but very friendly
Historic Narrow Boat Club gathering at Foxton.
Well done HNBC
your beer was lovely!
and your quiz night was tough but good
and the auction was fun
and as for the buskers – we were alright I suppose
Now we have to move on to our next Award. How about a pubby one? Let’s try Best Pub for a Special Evening Out. This has of course to be within walking distance of the canal, and in this case somewhere where you might feel you had a bit of a treat. There are loads of good pubs by the canals (and we’re working hard at exploring as many of them as we can ), but now and again you find one that perhaps you might go to for a birthday treat. I can think of three we visited this year, all very different. Let’s take them in chronological order of our visit – click the names to see their websites.
Just across the road from the canal, this pub gets rather too crowded really, but it’s easy to see why. The beer is very good indeed- we drank Windsor and Eton Knight of the Garter which is a cracker of a pint if you like modern style beers. You need to book a table to eat and don’t go there for a long quiet meal, but the food which is a bit bistro like is good. Even a simple burger is worth having. the pub being where it is, the grub is not very cheap but you can have a nice main course for eleven or twelve quid. What makes it special there though is that after you’ve had a very nice pint and a bite to eat, you can go upstairs (taking another pint) and enjoy the excellent little Canal Cafe Theatre. We’ve been to a few nights there and it’s always good fun and extremely well done. They have comedy news revues every week as well as other plays. So you can eat, drink and be entertained. What’s not to like?
A very short walk from the canal brings you here where you can eat and drink good stuff and at weekends listen to super live bands - Not yer local lads who’ve just got together as a band, but proper professional bands of a high quality. In fact this is a bit of a musicians pub, in fact I suspect it might be a bit of a musicians village. On week nights they have recorded music paying in the bar and it always seems to be an eclectic mix of interesting stuff. You might get Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and John Martin in a twenty minute period. Once again you could do worse than have a burger here. They’re hand made and come in a ciabatta bun with particularly nice trimmings. The beer is Hook Norton. A really good place if you are into music of their type.
Unlike the other two pubs, this one does not have entertainment, but we’ve included it because eating and drinking there can be a real treat. It’s just over the bridge from the towpath visitor moorings. You could just have a nosh and a pint in the bar, which we did with Maffi (and Molly) and Oakie and a few others one night, or you could eat in the cosy restauranty bit where you will get very friendly and attentive service and some extremely nice food. It’s probably 40 or 50% more expensive than a cheapo pub grub place but you get what you pay for. The chef Rene knows his stuff and the bar and waiting staff are welcoming and professional. We’ve eaten there a few times and it has always been a treat. Hook Norton beer, well kept and well served. If you went there for your birthday meal, you would not be disappointed.
Who will win? As I write, I’m not sure, but I’ll consult Kath and we’ll have an answer next time. Now I have to go and cook dinner. It won’t be as good as these pubs provide.