Some thoughts on three midweek visits to GBG listings in South Shropshire follow, after a couple of trips over the last two Tuesdays.
The first is not really a pub, but it does display one of the key characteristics for recent Guide entries, namely that of odd opening hours.
The Railway Shed is home to Ludlow Brewing Company, next to the station (unsurprisingly) and a particularly splendid Aldi.
It’s an impressive operation, combining its role as showcase for the brewery’s six cask beer with that of a brewery shop (bottles, polypins and “branded leisurewear “) , centre for brewery tours and local pub.
I took the opportunity to take this dubious photo on a particularly warm day; there were a couple of dozen drinkers outside enjoying the early Spring sunshine, as well as a few inside.
The layout is an interesting split level one, with a mezzanine level for customers enabling
During my half hour stay I saw half a dozen middle aged couples buying gift packs or clothing to take away .
My pint of Ludlow Blonde (4%) was unsurprisingly excellent and a bargain at £2.80.
What were surprising were the opening hours, 10-5 ( 10-6 Fridays only), plus a few hours on Sunday which have only just been introduced.
Given the apparent success of the business I find it very odd that they don’t open longer, especially given the proximity to the station and two supermarkets. They must be entirely happy with their income over the 35 weekly hours they are open.
Resisting the opportunity to procure a beanie hat, I headed out of town on the A49, stopping to take this picture for fans of non league football.
Lovers of the Etihad and KC Stadium eat your hearts out.
Next up, just after passing a massive purpose built “artisan food” hall which dwarfed the Railway Shed, I saw a sign saying “Leintwardine 6 miles”. My razor sharp (one track?) ( OCD??) mind remembered that the village was home to a legendary “parlour pub”, the Sun, or “Flossie’s” after the late lamented landlady.
Note for pedants; I know Leintwardine is technically in Herefordshire, but it didn’t make for a good title.
I swerved onto the surprisingly good A4113 and, after one or two false turns, came across this classic.
It looked emphatically closed at 3 PM, despite the GBG entry, but having come this far I tried the front door and gingerly pushed it open.
Fortunately the pub was open; the old snug rooms on left and right, holding potentially only a handful of people each, looked exactly as these historic photos suggested.
A narrow corridor leads to the small bar area, where there was one (very) old customer savouring his Robinsons cider.
Following Flossie’s death in 2009 a local consortium (which I think includes the owner of Hobson’s brewery in Cleobury Mortimer) bought the pub and made some necessary changes, which included a large but mostly sympathetic extension to the old bar at the back of the building. Some steps lead up to the extension, making it clear where the old pub stopped.
There were three cask beers on when I visited; Hobson’s Best, Ludlow Blonde and Swan Gold. The latter was a new one to me; it turns out to be a highly eco friendly brewery based in Leominster.
I tried the Ludlow in order to compare it with the same beer drunk earlier at the brewery, which unfortunately was a mistake as it was past its best.
It was difficult to form a view on how the pub is performing based on a Tuesday afternoon visit, although there was plenty of activity promoted on the blackboards; live music, regular quizzes and a more extensive lunchtime menu of pub staples than I would have expected.
Worth another visit one evening, I think.
My third midweek pub will be the subject of the next post; this one has gone on long enough, I’m sure you’ll agree, dear reader.