Well that’s seen the back of an at times an eventful year for me, so here are some of the better bits, my favorite pubs visited month by month.
The Surrey Oaks – Newdigate
It can often be a bleak month but for me it was somewhat brightened by a chance visit to The Surrey Oaks. A typical rambling country pub in appearance, known locally as The Soaks, possibly looking a bit bedraggled viewing it from the roadside , inside is a joy with several interconnected rooms held together with a forest of Oak beams, the decor in keeping with collections of old beer bottles perched on shelves and ledges, tankards hanging from the beams and the walls have prints of various country side animals scattered around. Its also a mecca for the beer enthusiast with some 10 or so beers to choose from, some local and some from further away and covering the spectrum of styles. It was a good start to the year.
The Alfred Free House
I didn’t get out and about too much during the month of February so I kept it fairly local, although I live in Hampshire and The Alfred is in Surrey, I am near the border and the pub is just eight miles distant, I have already written about it here, so in summary its a lovely locals pub tucked away down a small side street, family run ,they all know there stuff, the beer is very well kept always and it’s beers are ones that are usually uncommon in the area, It’s nice to have something different now and again.
The Crickets Arms
March saw the first of several forays around Southampton, a city with some very nice pubs but a lot of walking between the best of them. On this particular trip The Cricketers Arms left a positive impression on me. A back street boozer , the single hockey stick shaped room is traditionally layed out with some basic wooden tables and chairs, bar stools and a little touch of elegance with some smart buttoned red leather armchairs casually spread around the room. A nice traditional pub is all very well but for me it has to have some beer interest to move up my league table, none of your two handpumps with a choice of Doom Bar or Doom Bar, here I was in luck with offerings from Hop Back, Red Cat and Milk Street, for those with normal tastes (don’t you just love sarcasm) there was also beer from Wychwood and Well’s. It was a really nice pub with some decent beer and the Sunday roast was pretty damn good as well.
So that’s the first quarter of 2018 sorted, maybe the second part later when I get back from the pub.