Archive for the ‘Gloucestershire’ Tag

Golden Fleece, Stroud, Gloucestershire   Leave a comment

Golden Fleece Stroud sign

The Golden Fleece was hidden off the direct path back to the train station but I had time at the end of the run and sought out what was rumoured to be a truly spectacular jazz bar.  Stripped down and inelegant (as a live music venue is wont to be), it lived up to all I could have expected for an early afternoon beer stop — no telly, good selection of beer, and a challenging selection of jazz from across the entire spectrum playing over the canned music system.

Golden Fleece Stroud bar

There were only a few other punters in the house when I arrived and all already engaged in whatever-it-was they were thus engaged, so I took up residence in a small room by the window and fire.  Stripping off my wet clothes and quickly replacing them with dry kit, I settled in to reading the schedule of acts for the next month: something live every night of the week!  Exciting for our next overnight visit to town (and would have been a nice place to wind down after the most recent one, had it been open then).

Golden Fleece Stroud room

Oh, the old sign across the front is the original from Stroud Brewery at the turn of the last century:

Golden Fleece Stroud

 

and I found this one on their Facebook page (which I think would be a better pub sign than the one they’ve got, now):

 

Golden Fleece logo

 

Find it here.

 

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Posted November 15, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Woolpack, Slad, Gloucestershire   1 comment

Woolpack Slad sign

In the interest of disclosure, I have neither read nor seen a dramatic adaptation of Cider With Rosie  (nor, indeed, anything by Laurie Lee).  However, since our first trip to Stroud every visit prompts some native or another to ask if I was out to do the Laurie Lee trail or to indulge in a little CWR related tourism.  Today was the day to meet the requisite minimum effort by stopping off for a drink at Mr. Lee’s local, the Woolpack in Slad.

 

Woolpack Slad house cider

Cold and wet, I opted for something dry and treated myself to the house cider — an astringent and fragrant brew named for the most famous of the LL books.  “I hope it isn’t to much of a tourist cliché to order this,” I offered the bartender but soon found myself parked next to a shitpot load of real-or-imagined memorabilia.

 

Woolpack Slad Laurie Lee

 

Great house, this one.  Sixteenth-century building and full of character and characters.  Two tables were reserved for a lunch crowd and the drinking contingent were forced to double up with strangers.  I heard one fellow in the other room ask if he could share a table and was answered with, “of course, don’t be silly, as long as you don’t mind the spitting or foul language or odours,” in an almost cartoonish West-country accent.

I’d catch snippets of their double act over my own surreal conversation with a Cheltenham cyclist out to escape the horse racing crowds in his town, and only on leaving (train to catch miles away, y’know) could have kicked myself for not turning on the digital recorder.  Such is life.

Worth finding (it’s here).

Woolpack Slad

 

Posted November 15, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Royal Oak, Painswick, Gloucestershire   1 comment

Royal Oak Painswick sign

A stop for a couple of photos outside allowed the landlord of the Royal Oak time to prop open the outside door ahead of our meeting on opposite sides of the bar in the Doris Lounge.  I got one of the rugby themed ales and was going to retire to warm my rain-soaked corpus by the roaring fire but he seemed eager to chat so I stayed by the taps, instead.

He’s an interesting fellow originally from Bristol and working the last 50 odd years as a chef more-or-less all over the place.  Disinterested in the internet (as proven in the run write-up for today), he is unlikely to see this but I hope anyone of you that subsequently visits this fine LOCALS’ pub (to differentiate it from the Falcon across the churchyard which is a fine TOURISTS’ gastropub) will pass along my thanks for the sparkling conversation and warm welcome.

Pub map here.

Royal Oak Painswick

Posted November 15, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Cider With Rosie Run, Gloucestershire   4 comments

It was rainy & cold, the start of the steeple chase horse racing season at Cheltenham meant the trains were packed like Tokyo’s at rush hour, and I had a bad case of Not-Giving-A-Fuck-itis, but somehow the run became a reality.  In fact, it was one of the better short runs of the year, so far, due in large part to three fantastic pubs on the route:

Cider With Rosie Run

 

I started planning the run with a search for pubs on Google Maps and found the Royal Oak in Painswick convenient for a wee loop.  But, I’ve been screwed by Google’s wrong opening times before so thought I should double-check with the pub website:

 

Royal Oak Painswick Google map hours

 

However, the pub’s website has returned this error on every PC I’ve tried it on for the last 3 days (not an especially good sign):

 

Royal Oak Painswick website

A bit more like the website for the Royal Pain in Oakswick

 

An unofficial FaceBook page (the landlord seemed pissed off that one even exists is how unofficial it is), https://www.facebook.com/pages/Royal-Oak-Pub/152964881393454, shows 12:00 as the opening time as does the Food and Drink Guide entry (a bit late for my loop, pub stops, and train schedule); CAMRA’s WhatPub site can be a source of good information if the local branch responsible for the entries bothers to update the site (I’ve been burnt by them more than once), but since this one show’s yet another opening time I just couldn’t be certain:

 

Royal Oak Painswick 'WhatPub' hours

The other sites say it is closed on Sunday, so trust this one when it says ‘no food on Sunday.’

 

So, I took a chance.  The plan was to arrive in Stroud at 10:45, change to running kit and head up to the Royal Oak, 3½ miles up the road.  I’d be there a few minutes before the 11:30 opening time and might even be the first customer for the 11:00 opening time.  [As it turned out, BTW, I got away from the station at 11 and pulled into Painswick, one of my favourite Cotswold villages, almost dead-on 11:30 and found the bar open and the affable Chef/Landlord ready to pour and chat…more in the pub write-up, later.]

Regardless, a quick pint and a look around preceded another couple of miles down-and-up the valley to the Woolpack in Slad (which opened at noon) and then a 2¼ mile dash downhill to the Golden Fleece in Stroud.  The rain wasn’t awful and the landscape was, as always, stunning…which may have been what caused this driver to lose concentration on the road sometime a few days ago:

2015-11-14 car not quite on the A46 Stroud to Painswick

 

 

Running Week in Review, 9 August 2015   4 comments

Last week here, and

Next week here.

2015-08-09 run chart

 

With the mileage falling off a bit this week I indulged the inner artist, confronted my phobia of midgets, and splattered my second 2222nd hash trail of the year.  Things are going quite well in the wind down to the end of the August.

The “See Dick Run” on Tuesday was better as an idea than an execution and I initially thought I should at least perfect the cock picture before moving on to the more Georgia O’Keefe-esque renderings I had in mind lest I get accused of misogyny for drawing deformed looking cooters (see Thursday).  I used the same canvas as the likewise unsuccessful ‘Bunny’ signature, but with even less success.

2015-08-04 University Parks dick pic

 

Wednesday found me racing (unsuccessfully) the rain and Sainsbury’s closing time on a 6 mile planned run from the Wiltshire Constabulary bus stop.  Thursday saw me explore some tracks and trails south of Botley Road before heading back over to the University Parks to have a go at drawing some GPS lady bits:

2015-08-06cooter run

 

I think the resolution of the GPS failed me at the southeast goal line (on the Google Earth rendering, but not currently on the field).  I was being fairly careful about the outline of the ‘little man in a boat’ or, as I guess we should rename it here, ‘the goaltender.’  I’ll try again, next week, just doing a grid using the trees to see if the resolution is too little and thus a larger canvas might be necessary.  Still, this Rorschach rendering of the front bottom is what it is.

Two 2 hour runs were on the slate for Saturday and Sunday but we another thing scheduled for Sunday so I pushed these ahead a day.  For Friday, I exploited the Freudian groove (or rut) that had developed the previous few days to explore some of the darker corners of my psyche.  Many if not most people who’ve had excessive drinks or drugs with me — no small list, that — will be aware that midgets give me the willies.  I don’t know where it started and it doesn’t affect me having friendships with little people or anything like that.  But, if I spot a dwarf across a car park or in a bar or somewhere I am not expected to interact with them I find myself involuntarily shuddering.  The last several years on my birthday, a close friend from elementary school sends related comedy clips like the Doug Stanhope “fucking a midget” or “midget-on-midget porn” bits.

So, it was destiny that on the week I spent jogging obscene doodles around the parks of 1200 year old institute of higher education the two pub names that jumped out at me were the Spread Eagle and the Midget, both in Abingdon and both approachable, in that order, from Oxford via a beautiful riverside trail (and only a few miles away from a bus stop on my route home, although a brief stop at the White Horse convinced me I was already done for the day):

2015-08-07 Spread Eagle Midget run map

Spread Eagle Midget run

 

Saturday’s  course had been on the calendar for ages (ever since the tutu-themed Cheltenham and Cotswold H3 hash trail showed up on the Oxford H3 calendar).  As soon as the dates and location were confirmed, I booked advanced rail tickets for Moreton-In-Marsh (5 quid each way, First Class) and figured out where I could get morning pub service close to where the trail damage would be done.  The G-Had H3 report will give alternative details, but the essence is the trail was due to start at 11 and the Red Lion at Long Compton opens at 10 (bar at 11) a few footpaths away (but a couple miles) from the hash bar. The run itself was hilly and rural and a complete delight in the sun and heat and (for a change) calm winds.

2015-08-08 Tutu 2222 G-Had 2

 

 

Angel Hotel, Coleford, Gloucestershire   Leave a comment

Angel Hotel Coleford

In a dry shirt and clean socks and fed and rehydrated after the 36 mile run I had 30 minutes to kill ahead of the bus back to Gloucester.  There could be worse things — or less expected ones — than popping into the Angel Hotel for a beer.

It is a real hotel, too, but the bar area is more like a Wild West saloon straight out of Whiskey Row or Tombstone with the possible exception that the denizens were almost all middle-aged English/Welsh border dwellers.

The music made me laugh since, prior to acquiring the Cornershop earworms, I had inexplicably had the line “I need TV when I got T Rex” repeating in my head for miles with the music to “Brown Eyed Girl” running behind it; the first song after I sat down with my M & B Mild was Mott the Hoople’s version of “All the Young Dudes” which was followed by Van Morrison doing NOT “Brown Eyed Girl” but “And It Stoned Me” (a fine substitute).

Map linked here.

Posted July 30, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Tram Stop Fish and Chips, Coleford, Gloucestershire   2 comments

Tram Stop Coleford cod

“You look knackered,” the Tram Stop chip girl offered as I finally made my way to the head of the queue that ended at the street.  “Yes, and starved…large cod please.”  “Oooo, I’m sorry, we only have small cod.”  “Hmm…small cod please.”

She offered to let me choose my quarry and I looked through the glass cabinet to see fried fish each larger than my head.  Barely able to think, I asked her to choose for me and she did quite well: delicious, steamed in its packet of crisp batter crust, and only a little too much salt…I wandered out to find a cornershop for something to drink.

Cornershop is also the name of this band from the 90’s that was popular in Britain but mostly unknown in the US, named such because “cornershop” was a derogatory term for the Indian underclass and the members decided to retake possession.  I mention this because I went to ask a guy walking toward me where to find something to drink and, on noticing he was of Indian or Pakistani abstraction stumbled over my words and managed to change “cornershop” to “grocery” thus avoiding the rant “oh, you see the Indian guy and you think my family owns the cornershop…racist.”

He pointed me to a Co-Op and I was saved.  As a bonus, I’ve had Indian Tobacco and Brimful of Asha stuck as earworms for days, now.

Tram Stop Coleford

(Note: this post is a continuation of the 2014 Chippy Challenge, with all related entries linked to this map)

Posted July 30, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in Fish and Chips, Food

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