- [x] In the CAMRA Good Beer Guide
- [x] a choice of real ales
- [x] local beers (LocAle)
- [x] good food
- [x] cheap food
- [x] allow overnight stays in their car park
All will be revealed later (Oh, you little tease Brian) but first:
The road less travelled
or, to be more precise, the bit of the road without roadworks on.
The day started well enough, despite being totally unprepared and the van unpacked, we still left well before noon. Early enough for an unscheduled early stop to say "Hello" to our 9 month old grand-daughter who is destined to become a commando, if her stomach crawling skills are anything to go by.
However we'd left at that mid-meal time, too early for lunch but far enough off breakfast for tummy rumbles not too far into the journey. OK first stop Towcester to grab a late lunch.
Problem is Towcester is closed. Or more precisely, access to it is, particularly if you are coming from the M40. A quick change of destination, Wellingborough. Now, a couple of months ago we bought a bargain Garmin satnav which reckons it has live traffic. Today we find out, and it's good. A little pop-up tells us that there's a long delay ahead (i.e. access to the Towcester area) but for a mere 8 miles extra it can save us hours. Go for it! Although, with our destination north-east of us, heading south out of Northamptonshire into Oxfordshire and then Bucks didn't inspire confidence.
Wellingborough reached, lunch eaten, an uninspiring mooch around the shops. Let's face it, any town that still had an old Woolworths building that had yet to be taken up by another business can't have a lot going from it.
This pub, the Wheel And Compass at Weston-on-Welland is an easy run from Wellingborough up the A6. Now of you are going to close huge lengths of the A6 then telling the satnav providers would be good! Falling that the occasional diversion sign might be helpful. We couldn't care less where we were diverted to, as long as it lead to a road which lead to a road which lead somewhere in the direction of Market Harborough. Still we dead reckoned (i.e. took a random road) and after several miles of single track road normally visited by tractors and the occasional Land Rover we found we were actually on a road which would have featured in any sensible diversion route, should someone bothered to set one up.
Thursday night is pie night
All right, not proper pies where tender meat is covered on all sides by short-crust pastry but these dish casseroles with the puffiest pastry lids I've seen were the next best thing. Potatoes (the healthy boiled option for Liz and chips for me) and fresh veg completed one of the best value meals we've eaten, at a mere fiver each. Of, and did I mention there was a choice of half-a-dozen different pies?
Beer choices were a little unispirational, mainly the big boys: Fullers, Greene King and Sharpes with one locale pump for Oakham JHB. Still, 6 pumps is a good choice and all the ones we tried (i.e. more than two) were in fantastic condition.
One box we couldn't check before the visit
- [x] friendly staff
Now if the night's sleep is good this place definitely goes in my highly recommended list!
Update The car park was very quiet during the night and despite a cold van we got excellent sleep. Our activity trackers confirmed this, Liz well over 3 hours deep sleep and me nearly 4. Far more than we get at home! Downside of or being so quiet was the odd vehicle this morning did seem noisy but it was nearly 9 when we finally woke.
The Wheel and Compass is definitely on our "will stay again" list.