Monday 31 May 2021


Unless somebody knocks on my door between now and about 10pm and says "fancy letting me drive you out to that obscure GBG pub you've been wanting to do?" I think I can safely declare on 55 (FIFTY FIVE) new GBG pubs for the month of May.

My liver is crying, I'm sunburnt to a crisp, and actually relishing 4-5 days off the booze completely, that ain't normal right?   Oh, and my cauliflower is in the washing machine on a gentle cycle.  Too many grimy southern pub tables and benches has left Col a bit dishevelled. 

Col's last hurrah, yesterday in Writtle

55 is my third highest ever monthly tally, we have to go all the way back to September 2018's record breaking 59 to find the last time I did more.  

Considering I'd only done 4 of these by 15th May, 51 pubs in 15 days is possibly the most intense pub ticking period ever.  Pint in each,, two in a couple of cases, 25 minutes minimum remember, there's been no half measures!  

The BRAPA Highlight of the Month (as sponsored by Stabilo but not really) has to be the highlighting of Surrey after being frustrated in 2020:

My 'uprising' through Essex continues apace after a glorious weekend down Chelmsford way (even though I still have two Chelmsford pubs I missed out on!)  Also, the Essex GBG 'churn' is notoriously low so tackling this county feels especially valuable.

I made a little bit more progress around the south west of London, and Hampshire got a nice boost as well when I had a 'treat' day spending a fortune on taxis to ferry me around those rural bits to the east.

South Yorkshire is the county I've been looking at oop north, but I'm not really in any rush with it, but I'd LOVE to get back up to County Durham (only 8 left but very spread out) and crack it once and for all as I was getting so close before the last lockdown!  Easy to get carried away now I've got the ticking bug back.

So many blogs to catch up on, which I can do this week whilst sipping a fruity tea with aftersun on my nose and cucumber slices on my eyes.  I won't take a photo unless you demand it.

Indoor pub reopening on the 17th was SUCH a relief, but as the weather finally picked up, with the current rules in place, some pubs (I'm looking at you Maldon area!) were actually more pleasant outdoors than in.   Which shocked me.  Roll on 21st June or whenever things can be relaxed a little bit more.   The best pubs though, you'd barely notice the restrictions once you are sat down with pint.

How to pick a top 3 from 55?  Impossible.  I'll try and choose 5 though, in no particular order:

1. Cricketers, Dorking
2. Prince of Wales, Stow Maries
3. Admiral Hawke, Sunbury (for best pub atmosphere)
4. Hawkley Inn, Hawkley (for best kept beer)
5. Black Dog, Brentford

I'm sure pubs like the Bricklayers in Hersham and the Harrow in Steep would've pushed the top 5 had I been allowed to sit in.  As ever, lots depends on the circumstances you visit in!  Woolpack in Chelmsford for example, had I been as pissed as everyone else and not stone cold sober, it could've been an utter classic.  

Woolpack, Chelmsford

So what will June bring?  Well, quite a steady first 25 days with only minimal ticks cracking off!   Daddy BRAPA makes his long awaited return, he's been in storage for too long but is now like a caged tiger, ready to pounce.  We have a BRAPA debutant on 12th to excite all you Twitter followers.    

Daddy BRAPA, ready to get back in the pub!

The month will finish with a flourish at least, as I'm on holiday that last week so expect to see a spate of intense activity in that south eastern corner.  Imagine if I cracked Durham and Essex before the 2022 GBG hits in whatever month it is hitting my doormat this year.  You never know.

If so, say a prayer for all the Gloucestershironians (or whatever they are called) as that might become my new pet project by the end of the year, not that I'm ruling out a return to Cumbria, Cornwall, Devon or Dorset,  They're just, you know, difficult!  

Anyway, I'm getting carried away again, but it is great to be back.  Happy pubbing and bye for now,



  1. A magnificent effort! Top work and looking forward to more escapades next month...mine look relatively feeble by comparison to you and Martin!

    1. Thank you! Even writing about my pubs at the moment is making my liver groan, am sure you’ll catch up, June will be steady (til the last week)

  2. I meant 55. I forgot you're saving the London Stone in Staines for a special occasion.

    1. Haha first rule of BRAPA, we don’t talk about London Stone Staines.

      Second rule, London Stone Staines doesn’t exist! Did you do 56? I forgot to thank you in dispatches our lovely WY afternoon!