They shoot ailing foxes, don’t they?

The Walton Fox
The Walton Fox
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One bad pint does not a bad pub make, but grub helps out

Don’t ask how I came to find myself in The Walton Fox over the weekend – suffice to say blame lies squarely on the usual conspiracy of circumstance and self-imposed knavery.

And strolling well miffed out of this Bamber Bridge Vintage Inn last Sunday evening, it occurred to me I had only myself to blame. After all, had I not passed this way before, many moons ago, and on that occasion sworn it would be a once in a lifetime experience?

Has changed a bit since then –the decor is fresh and the effect is cosy – but all fixtures and fittings remain straight out of the PubCo country boozer playbook.

In any case, let’s start with the positives. My second pint, a Wainwrights, was okay, if far from the award-winning golden pale ale I have enjoyed on numerous occasions before. Put this glass before a judging panel and, at best, you’ll get a must try harder.

Now on to the negatives.

My previous pint, the famous Cornish ale Doom Bar, could be offered up as Exhibit One in any criminal case brought against CAMRA for the encouragement of duff ale consumption.

Never been the biggest fan of Doom Bar – it has always struck me as a touch bitter-by-numbers – but of the three casks on offer, it was among the two preferred. A decision rued right up until food arrived to take away the taste.

Or should that be lack of taste? Not blatantly ‘bad’ enough to send back to the bar without coming across like a trainspotter, I grimly siphoned of an imperial measure of wishy-washy brown liquid which could have been confected from the syrup used to flavour Top Deck Bitter Shandy instead.

And returning, in conclusion, to the subject of food, this was sufficiently grim to temporarily abandon this column’s focus on fluid quality and express some grave dismay over solids.

To part with £7.50 for one dreadful meal – a ‘whale of a fish in today’s beer batter’ which turned out to be a wee grey frozen fillet in a rock hard greasy sleeve – might be considered a mistake; to dispose of a further £8.50 for a ‘hand carved’ roast so obviously microwaved – and badly, the spuds being not cooked through – can only be branded an outrage.

Complained. Nowt happened. Will never return. If you choose to drop in may your God go with you.

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