Monday, 19 October 2009

The Old Poets' Corner

In 1946, George Orwell described a hypothetical favourite pub that he called The Moon Under Water. Read it here. I am about to do the same, less eloquently but you'll get the message. For arguments sake, let's call the pub The Old Poets' Corner.

What am I looking for in a great pub ?

I want 9 or 10 handpumps

I want local beers from local micro-breweries

I want beer from breweries I have never heard of

I want to see support for CAMRA's Locale scheme

I want the most local beer to be brewed in a garage at the back of the pub

I want national beers such as London Pride or Greene King Abbott

I want a dark beer, I want a strong beer, I want a golden beer, I want a mild

I want the beer to be as cheap as £2.20 a pint and no more expensive than £2.85

I want the beer to be so clear that it literally sparkles in the light

I want regular beer festivals

I want Belgian bottled beers

I want four ciders served directly from the cellar

I want two perries

I want the pub open all day

I want efficient staff and a friendly welcome

I want home cooked food

I want a carvery on Sunday

I want Sunday night to be curry night

I want a range of local sausages

I want food served throughout the day

I want locally sourced meat and vegetables

I want live music

I want quiz night

I want the local CAMRA newsletter

I want a friendly pub

I want people to make space for me to sit if the pub is busy

I want to engage in conversation with strangers

I want a dog friendly pub

I want a pub where the locals feel comfortable bringing in their harrier hawks on their arms after a day's falconry

I want a real fire in Winter

I want somewhere to sit outside in Summer with views of the surrounding countryside

I want reasonably priced bed and breakfast with a discount for CAMRA members

I want black pudding

I want to interrupt my beer drinking with walks in the local countryside

I want those walks to be downloadable from the web-site

I want the pub to win CAMRA awards

I want the president of SIBA to be sitting in the corner

I want the clientele to include a member of CAMRA's National Executive and the GBBF beer orderer

(I cannot guarantee these customers on every visit but hilarious to bump into them when I thought I was on a quiet break with my wife)

Unlike Orwell's, Moon Under Water, The Old Poets' Corner does exist. It is situated in the village of Ashover, Derbyshire on the edge of the Peak District.

I cannot praise this pub highly enough. A real find and an absolute credit to Kim and Jackie Beresford, the owners who work their socks off to make sure the customer is satisfied. Seek them out if you are in the area.


The Beer Nut said...

With my Sunday carvery lunch followed five hours later by curry, I may have difficulty squeezing in the local sausages and black pudding as well, but I'll give it a shot.

Personally, my number one Moon Under Water criterion is somewhere I can get to without needing a car.

Anonymous said...

"I want reasonably priced bed and breakfast with a discount for CAMRA members"

Taking the fucking piss.

MicMac said...

(I'm not sure why your piece drew such vemom from Anon, anyway . . .)

I read it still thinking this was your ideal wish list (unfulfilled) but I did think, God, what an awful name, I'd choose something else, if I'm making this up! Then you explained it was a real pub, no offence to the pub, mind, if it's got all that going for it, it'll probably survive despite my not liking its name!

Place sounds great, must check it out - a friend from Canada (orig from here) took me on a pilgrimage to another Derbyshire delight the other week - Three Stags Heads, Wardlow Mires, one of those amazing quirky unspoilt pubs, of which there are fewer & fewer.

haddonsman said...

Playing at Moon Under Water is great - tried it earlier in the year (

And the Old Poets is dreamy - last went there en route to a wedding and my wife had to drag me away.

PS - you may want to investigate comment moderation ;-)