A year to the day after our old buddy Bernie O'Brien left us we embarked on a
pilgrimage. Walsingham way was in order for the boys. David Munro, Julian
Dunn, Richard Stonebridge and I set off for the Near East.
An army marches on its stomach so the first stop was for a very good full
English breakfast at Brandon before setting our compass and heading off for
the Chequers at Binham. This typical Norfolk pub brews its own beer and we
had a pint of Binham Cheer at 3.9% and very tasty too. They have a variety of
home made beers plus two guests on each Thursday in summer until the
barrels run out. A skip, hop, and a jump and we were in the Horseshoes,
Warham, former Stewart & Patterson pub now a freehouse selling great
Woodforde's Wherry straight from the barrel. A pint all round here in this
wonderful old pub with well weathered stone floors and old rustic but
spotlessly clean furniture in 3 small bars. The Lord Nelson at Burnham
Thorpe was next on the list. This was Nelson's local; they sell amazingly
good Wherry and a locally brewed beer called Nelson's Blood, dark and
flavoured with rum and at 5% a really smashing beer. There is plenty of
Nelson memorabilia here and a fantastic painting of the battle of Waterloo.
There was time for a visit to the Jolly Sailors at Brancaster Staithe before
more food was needed. This lovely old pub on the coast road is yet another
home brew pub and the Brancaster Brewers I.P.A at 3.7% was exquisite for
Julian and me. Richard and David particularly liked the Old Les at 5% and a
couple of guest beers like Woodforde's Nog were also available.
On to our destination for the night, Wells Next the Sea. Fish and chips
washed down with a bottle of Chablis sitting on the quay led us on to the
Edinborough for a marvellous drop of Bass and more good and cheap
Wherry. The evening performance started with a pint in the Globe. This
former Greene King pub has been liberated as a freehouse and sells 4 real
ales - Adnams Bitter and Broadside and Woodforde's Wherry and Nelson's
Revenge. A really nice modern family pub, with a great atmosphere, and
serving good food. So on to the Crown Hotel, a place where I have stayed
many times with all my wives and various wifelets. It has improved over the
years astonishingly well and whilst not being cheap is a high quality
establishment. The beers on offer included Hop Back Summer Lightning
which went down really well with Julian and Richard, whilst I enjoyed the
Adnams bitter and David had yet another Wherry.
We had our dinner here and the boys all had a brilliantly cooked duck whilst I
had a fabulous rib eye steak.
A final pint in the Edinborough, then back to the cottage and the land of nod.
The next morning it was a full English in Wells before returning to the Queens
Head Newton at lunchtime to remember our old mate Bernie.
I have to say that compared with the early 1970s Norfolk is a transformed
place for beer. The pubs are all great, by and large, though the food seems a
little pricey. It is good to see that Adnams and Woodfordes are the major
A good trip thoroughly enjoyed by us all.