|With thanks to M.Lawrenson of Preston|
Much of the west of the county had now been complete, though of course since the 2019 edition of the Good Beer Guide had been published, a few gaps had opened up for me to 'green off', but on the whole, I was looking to focus more on the middle and north of this beautiful county.
People on my previous two trips I'd so far found friendly, but not quite in the Lancs or Dorset class, being a bit insular and watchful at times. The beer quality I can't say I've found amongst the best in the UK. The old adage (which I invented) goes something like "if it is a building in Cornwall with a tap which has brown water coming out of it, it is likely to get in the GBG at some stage". Catchy eh? It might sound cruel, but it'd be interesting to see how 'year three' compares to the last two.
And despite the lack of micro pubs, kitchens, cafes etc popping up as in some counties, the turnover (churn) of Cornish pubs seems quite high from year to year. Again, I might be being unfair but what gets into the GBG feels a bit of a lottery.
I was amazed that the pub in Towan Cross where I had two pints of vinegar, the Mousehole one where I drank a pint of snot, and the Trevaunance Cove pub where I had really lame homebrew (great pub all the same) all remained in from 2018 when others I preferred (Gweek/Angarrack) have fallen/not got in! Still, who am I, a one time visitor, to judge?
I flew down from L**ds-Bradford to Newquay (MUCH quicker AND cheaper than the train, even factoring in boarding time and shuttle buses/taxis etc) feeling in pretty good spirits.
|Like Bono's Hat before it, my GBG gets its own seat on the plane|
Quintrell Downs would be my home for the next seven days. I chose it because it has a railway station on the Newquay-Par branch line, a cracking Spar shop (said no one ever til now), a few bus services, quite close to the airport, and most importantly, a nice impersonal Premier Inn where I could come and go without interrogation over breakfast, 'your TV was loud last night', cold showers and all the other 'joys' you get with some B&B's.
Anyway, with the scene (long boring intro), set, time to get on with pubs and my friendly taxi driver from Pudsey dropped me off at Quintrell Downs just after 12 noon. Too early to check in, but what with a GBG pub round the corner, it didn't matter .......
|Is that a pitchfork? Are they ready for me?|
|I didn't even have to duck .... demoralising!|
Two Clomes (1644 / 2613) looked a lovely almost triangular shaped building from the outside, almost Peveril of the Peak-esque but that is where the similarities ended sadly, as it was quite a bland food-led interior, had obviously been 'tidied up' in recent years. The two clomes are two old ovens which used to sit round the fireplace, but I couldn't see them today, just random piles of logs doing nothing instead. Could it be that they were deemed too old and characterful for the look the pub is going for now? Mine host was a cracking chap, surprised and pleased to see a drinker so early, and the first ale I selected had gone off, so he gave me an Sharp's Atlantic and it was a good drop too. The pub sounded like Niagara Falls as taps were running throughout making me need a wee even more than usual. He told me there'd been some overnight muddy water contamination in Quintrell, and he was having to 'FLUSH IT OUT' , welcome to rural Cornwall! A couple came in for lunch and waxed lyrical on the food just at time I was returning my glass to say what a good pint it was, so it looked like I was just competing with them! I walked through the wrong door on the way. "Not that way unless you want to be eaten by my dog!" says the landlord. I didn't, not at this early stage.
|Oi, Quintrell, leave those Clomes alone!|
|Yup, this was about it|
|Toilet decor distracted me into nearly turning the tap off by mistake|
The nice train guard sold me a Ride Cornwall ticket for the new extortionate price of £18 and she got v.excited when I asked for the request stop of Luxulyan. I nearly did this pub in my first year down here, but kept missing it, and it got binned from the GBG in 2018........
Yet the King's Arms (1645 / 2614) felt like everything you'd want in a proper old pub, it had a friendly air and a basic yet cosy no nonsense feel with the obligatory pool table you see in loads of pubs down here but hardly ever in York unless you are purposefully going in somewhere 'rough' with shit beer. Despite being Tuesday afternoon, it still had a liveliness about it. Everyone looked fairly old to me, but they were bemoaning being ID'd ("it's only when I go and buy fags!" moaned one lady who definitely looked over 40). The owners then blamed a barmaid for leaving the till on overnight. "I always get blamed for everything!" she whined, before adding as an aferthought when everyone had left the room ".....actually, yeah, it probably was me". A group came in looking for food, one lady had a Wolves bobble hat on which no one needs to see in Luxulyan in June. I was ready to laugh at them because it was gone 2pm, when the pub stopped doing food, I'd seen that on WhatPub. But they served them anyway! My ale was excellent, one I'd not seen before from St Austell called Hicks but was strong and top quality. And good job, cos I had a long walk coming up.
|Mr Potato Head likes the church|
|Hungry as Wolves|
Because of that long boring scene setting intro, I'll stop here but I'll be back to tell you what else happened on my first day tomorrow. Betcha cannae wait!
Have a good 'un.