Date: 8 July 2008 - Waiting for KOCís return


Sampled by:

PV, FN, RN, TM & ROC

KOC was expected back from The Emerald Isle late evening and to accommodate him we agreed to get back to The Garden Gate shortly after 10.00 pm. This precluded any of our longer mid summer rides and we settled for Wrecclesham. PV and FN let the train take the strain, whilst the rest rode.

PubLocationOS Map RefRoyal Oak Wrecclesham GU10 4QS CommentThe Twesel Group took over the pub in September 2008 and made a number of improvements to the interior since our visit last summer. An additional opening into what was the pool room has extended the main bar and the booth seating replaced by more comfortable tables and chairs. The atmosphere is very pleasant but unfortunately for the Ďmystery shoppersí the beer quality was not as good as our previous sampling. Neither the Greene King IPA or Ruddles County were a patch on the Morland Old Speckled Hen had last year.
Brewerbeer%PriceMarkComment
Greene King IPA 3.7 £2.90 2 Lackluster
Ruddles County 4.3 £3.05 2.5 Good start but poor finish

PubLocationOS Map Ref
Bear and Ragged Staff Wrecclesham GU10 4QR
Comment
A new pub for us. With just a couple of smokers outside and one punter in the pub, our arrival was warmly welcomed by the bar staff; there were three behind the bar! The main bar is long but shallow and there is a small snug, fitted out with sofas, to the right. To the left of the bar is a sports room kitted out with the pool table, darts and large screen TVís. Out of the football season, it was empty and in virtual darkness when we visited. The Courage Best was virtually undrinkable but not wanting to upset the staff, who were overjoyed to sell five pints of the stuff, we just eased the pain with some lemonade.
Brewerbeer%PriceMarkComment
Courage Best 4.0 £2.65 1 The lemonade top scored 2

After last year when we had an excellent pint of Sharpís Cornish Coaster, The Waverley was a disappointment as this time they only had Courage Best. We did not bother to try it. FN checked out The Mulberry and when informed by the bar maid the Old Speckled Hen was not at its best, we did not bother with that either. In search of a decent pint we headed for The Lamb

PubLocationOS Map RefLamb Farnham GU9 7RJ CommentAh, a real ale pub at last. The landlord was having trouble with his guest beer; both the Titanic Iceberg nines had failed to clear completely and retained a slight haze. However, a taster showed there was nothing wrong with the condition and we all tried and enjoyed the beer. The Shepherd Neame seasonal beer, Whitstable Bay was in great nick, as were the two regulars, Kentís Best and Spitfire, but then you would expect nothing less at this pub.
Brewerbeer%PriceMarkComment
Shepherd Neame Kentís Best 4.1 £3.05 3.5 -
Shepherd Neame Spitfire - £3.20 3.5 -
Shepherd Neame Whitstable Bay 4.1 £3.20 3.5 -
Titanic Iceberg 4.1 £3.20 3.5 Sharp with citrus finish

The beer was so good we stayed longer than planned and delayed our departure to Aldershot. In the end RN accompanied PV on the 10.38 train while the rest rode back. Who would arrive at the GG first? Well certainly not KOC who did not get to the pub until 11.30.