Tuesday 7th November 2023, 2:35pm
Cordwainer, Northampton (2508 / 4666)
The final BRAPA holiday of 2023 started, as so many great holidays do, in a Wetherspoons. Five days in front of me, only six Northants 'ticks' to my name so far. I wanted to be at least past the 66.6% mark by the time I left on the Sunday.
I'd been feeling a bit sketchy by Bletchley, but it was immediately apparent what a #PubTown Northampton was, as I lug my weekly Tesco food shop inside. Friendly barman with stutter recommends me a Figgy Pudding ale, but they don't sell it because it isn't Christmas. Mr One-Tooth hears this and jabs me in the ribs and recommends Abbot Reserve, but they don't sell it here. He breathes smoke over me and chuckles like skeletor. A solitary man (not Neil Diamond) tries to queue. Everyone ignores him. The carpet patterns represents synapses of local's minds. A promising start.
Next to check in at my self catering flat for the week. Clean, good temperature, so crazily close to the centre, you felt like you were part of the ongoing Market Square excavations. I could walk to the bus centre in 50 seconds! On the downside, hot water was a problem.
Time to get out into the 'burbs and get some of Northampton's futher flung ticks done. Bus is full of badly behaved twild-life and parents / teachers / supervising adults who are just as bad. Took ages. Rush hour. I felt like I was on the night bus to Casablanca with Jane Wiedlin ......
Road to Morocco, Northampton (2509 / 4667)
But it is worth the trek. Peculiar set up, and not just because I make a big fuss deliberating over a decision to drink Old Peculiar at 'this early stage of the evening', only to be presented with an ale less dark and less strong, but because the place feels more WMC than pub. A bit estatey 70's, sparse, needs a light turning on, and I'm usually happy drinking in the dark. Barmaid Ayesha makes it, one of life's naturals despite the beer faux pas, and with local token Scottish man (every good pub has one, especially in Northants) propping up the bar with Col, I really feel like Northampton has welcomed me into its pubby bosom in super quick time. Really liked this one.
Young Peculiar but not Old Peculiar!