|Purdie refuses to play by the rules at the Wombwell Arms|
|Passing Byland Abbey to get to Wass|
|Arriving at the pub on a soggy bank holiday lunchtime.|
848. Wombwell Arms, Wass
Some pub experiences are so bizarre and surreal that when you leave, you wonder if it all really happened. This was one of those occasions. All seemed very stereotypical North Yorkshire at first as a trustworthy looking landlord stood at the main bar, done in that old fashioned farmhouse style with nice but standard beers on by Wensleydale, Wold Top and Helmsley. Foody areas both left and right just about stopped it from feeling like a cosy classic, though had he lit the fire it might have rocketed up to a pub of the year contender. All was quiet until Purdie the cat (a 12 year old female with "jumping up" issues) wandered in, the most vocal pub cat I have ever met but once she did get onto the table, it was us getting in trouble for not be stricter with her (Dad even got bitten for his troubles - by the cat, not the landlord). With Biltong snacks available, we realised there was a South African theme at work here, namely in the form of Mrs Wombwell. The fun had only just begun as a group of posh old duffers came in and irritated us by not knowing basics like the name of the brewery based at South Frodingham. Tsk. The final member of their party was a pure joy. An old man with yellow cords and the politest form of tourette's you could imagine "ooooh, thankyou! yessss, ohhhh thankyou!" With both him and Purdie bleating on in unison, five posh youngsters appeared like something from an Enid Blyton novel and started demanding crisps and juice and I think the landlord was as bewildered as us by what was happening to his pub. Had Aslam the lion arrived with a unicorn, the ghost of David Bowie and a hobgoblin from Wychwood forest, it would not have been uninkeeping with this pub experience. Once I wrestled Purdie off my "BRAPA survival kit", where she'd made a nest, it was with some relief that we were back outside in the 'normal' world!
|Chilling with the Purdz|
|"Where's mi bloody pint?"|
|"Haven't you got anything more hoppy?"|
|Lovely view of the stony bar.|
|Purdie builds a nest.|
Nor was there chance for a 'post-emptive' tick of Dawnay Arms, Shipton-by-Beningbrough style. Also closed. Never mind, I've heard it's quite rubbish. We therefore didn't trust slight detour return visits to Huby's Mended Drum or Newton-on-Ouse's Dawnay either.
It was left to the Fox, on the outskirts of York, to once again prove it is not only currently the best pub in York, but must be a candidate for best pub in the country at present.
March pub ticking isn't finished yet, but let's just say it hasn't been the luckiest BRAPA month ever.