Mac Rutherford, David, yours truly, Toby Joseph, Mike O'Loughlan, and Julian managed to hit the Blue Ball Inn first of all, probably to make sure we had a good bench mark for what was to follow. We kicked it off with a couple of delectable pints of Adnams Bitter, and the boys agreed there is none served better. Mac decided he would try to ring the bull. For those of you who know Mac, this is not one of his alternative practices from the 60s concerning the opposite sex, but a game where you try and put a brass ring over a hook from two yards on a piece of string. He managed it after 500 attempts - Birthday Boy did it in 3!

So on to the Red Lion. Mr Brown was full of woe at the possibility of having to put money in the Greene King coffers, but was really impressed by this barn of a pub that has set the standard of looking after families and putting on good value meals. A great management team, welcoming and warm, and the pub has a lovely feel to it, 10 out of 10. Guinness all round except for David who really enjoyed his half of I.P.A.

The next venue was not far - even Brownie could have feebly hit a wedge shot the distance needed to be in the Green Man. This pub has never been the same since the 70s and the golden age of Noel Gibney, but was found to be surprisingly good. The beer was fantastic. Mac enjoyed the Spitfire, whilst Jules and Toby loved the Black Sheep, but for David and I the Theakstons Best was great.

A short skip and a jump and we were in the Rupert Brooke. This pub manages to combine a fabulous atmosphere with great beer, food and wine. London Pride, Harvey's Best Bitter and Woodforde's Wherry were in order. We all had two pints covering the range and all felt the beers were fantastic. We elected to have lunch here and were not disappointed. Everything on the menu was good and my steak was to the tooth.

So back to the jewel in the crown, the Blue Ball Inn to end the day. This is where Rupert Brooke, if he had been born a 100 years later, would probably have written, "See the clock stands at 10 to 3, time for a quick one in the Blue Ball Inn for me"

We walked in to a pub bursting with good like minded buddies. It truly was a terrific atmosphere. Rambo, Moff, Clive, Treegod , B.B.Dave, Ben, Maurice Picasso and Monet were all there with "skipper John" at the helm. A wonderfully convivial afternoon, nay - unforgettable, ended a few pints later and a vow to return soon. It is staggering that you can look at villages that have been raped of their pubs and heritage but then you have "Grantchester, Oh Grantchester" .....

Jerry Brown
jerrybrown77@hotmail.com