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ALE Summer 2004 No. 314 : Next section

ALE Summer 2004 No. 314

[ A Potted History - Day 1 - Day 2 - References & Notes - Other pubs not visited - Articles - About Stamford - Other links - More Pictures ]

Day 1

Southwards up High Street St Martins
[Multimap] [Streetmap]
Making use of a bargain accommodation offer at the superb George Hotel, with its famous signboard arching across the Great North Road, I arrived on a Thursday lunchtime and began exploring.

Picture: Southwards up High Street St Martins ->

[Multimap] [Streetmap]
Southwards up the hill from the hotel is the Bull and Swan (Punch Taverns). It's probably much-modified but the real fire, lowish ceilings and exposed beams gave the feel of an ancient inn. Adnams Bitter & Broadside (2.40), Greene King Abbot Ale, Fullers IPA and Jennings Cumberland Bitter were the beers on handpump. The area to the right of the bar was no-smoking. Very relaxing : the piped music was varied & unobtrusive. There's a garden at the rear.

[Multimap] [Streetmap]
Returning downhill to the stone bridge over the River Welland, I turned east along Wharf Road, which curves to meet St Leonards Street. At that junction was the Daniel Lambert (Punch Taverns), featuring Tim Taylor Landlord (2.30), Adnams Bitter, Courage Directors, Tetleys Bitter and Jennings Cumberland Bitter. This was a more 20th-century-looking place inside than the Bull & Swan and also had a rear garden. I particularly liked the large fireguard, with padded sections along the top for sitting.


Stamford Museum The next stop was to be the Stamford Museum (on Broad Street), for instance to pick up walking tour leaflets, but it was closed all week for refurbishment.


Otter's Pocket
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Instead I made my way across town (about 10 minutes - the historic part of Stamford is about 20 minutes wide) to All Saints Street and the Otter's Pocket. This seemed to be a youth-oriented real ale pub, a Free House and previously known as St Jaques, with wood & stone floors, very simple decor, loud pop music, somewhat dark, and the inevitable sports TV screen.

There was an interesting selection of beers on, including two of Peterborough's "30 Beers for 30 Years" beers. I tried Iceni's The Wright Stuff, which seemed to me (perhaps due to the gloom) to be coloured green rather than the supposed blue. Others on included Oakham Harlequin Ale, London Pride, Hop Back Summer Lightning, Otter's Pocket Session Ale (3.5%) and Leadmill's A Street Bar To Be Desired (5.5%). [A Google search for "otters pocket slang" is revealing!]


Golden Fleece
[Multimap] [Streetmap]
Just south of All Saints Street is Sheep Market and the Golden Fleece (Everard): beers on included Everard's Tiger and Old Original plus Adnams Bitter. This is another fairly modern-looking pub inside, with plenty of tables and chairs/benches, and quiz, karaoke & band nights. It was already rather smoky with only half a dozen customers.

All the pubs I'd visited so far had been practically empty and there were few people walking around town, in contrast to the continuous motor traffic on all the main roads.

East of the Golden Fleece, St John's Street leads uphill to Red Lion Square and on the opposite side diagonally are the Periwig and a little further on the Crown Hotel. I decided to defer visting them as they seemed busy.

It was surprising so many pubs seemed to be open 11-11, when there were few people to be seen until around 6pm. As Friday is Market Day, perhaps that would be busier?

Next page: Day 2


[ A Potted History - Day 1 - Day 2 - References & Notes - Other pubs not visited - Articles - About Stamford - Other links - More Pictures ]


ALE Summer 2004 No. 314 : Next section
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