Good Beer and Good Pub guides highlight Thames inns

The latest Good Beer Guide edited by Roger Protz includes several essential pubs along the Thames.

As well as beer and food details there are useful pieces of history dropped into reports. The White Cross at Richmond takes its name from the convent on the riverside site. The Watermans Arms at Eton was briefly a mortuary.

The Dog & Bell on the Thames Path at Deptford is unique being an independent house.

Not far away is The Pelton Arms in Greenwich which is temporarily on the route whilst a very long term diversion is in place around Lovell’s Wharf. The friendly pub has doubled as The Nag’s Head in Only Fools and Horses.

Near the far end beds are available at The Crown Inn at Lechlade which serves its own Ha’penny Ale.

Also just published is the equally vital Good Pub Guide edited by Alisdair Aird and Fiona Stapley.

One of its 38 Dining Pubs of the Year is The Trout at Tadpole where Gareth and Helen Pugh are now serving afternoon tea at weekends.

If you are having tea at Tadpole you might have had lunch at The Rose Revived at Newbridge which rightly gets a mention.

It’s interesting to see that both books recommend Cricklade’s Red Lion.

The Watermans Arms, built by the towpath on Oxford’s Osney Island in 1871, has changed its name to Punter. This seemed a pity to me but the relaunch has seen the place become maybe more friendly. There are different recycled chairs and tables and the Good Pub Guide reminds us that it has £5 lunch dishes.

I hope next year we shall see The Nag’s Head on Abingdon Bridge listed in at least one the guides. It reopens next month.

Rose Revived at Newbridge in Oxfordshire

The Rose Revived at Newbridge in Oxfordshire

It was a delightful moment when we followed the towpath directly on to the lawn of The Rose Revived at Newbridge.

It was around 5.30pm but we were able to have cup of tea at once sitting on a sofa just inside the door.

Our room for the night was on the first floor almost above the entrance so we only just had a glimpse of the river upstream. But it was comfortable with a shower and basin. The lavatory was across the corridor.

Food is not expensive. I had broccoli soup (£3.79) and ‘award-winning’ hand-battered haddock and chips with peas (£8.49) which was all very filling after a day’s walk.

Breakfast was at one end of the building where all guests turned out to be either walkers or boaters. On offer was cranberry juice or orange juice. I followed this by choosing museli with yoghurt and scrambled agg with smoked salmon.

One night cost just £62.50 for a double room and breakfast. This pub continues to give good value for the walker.

I was delighted to see the original sign painted by Royal Academician Alfred Parsons.

But sorry to find that The Maybush on the far side of the 13th-century Thames bridge has now been closed for some months.

Strand-on-the-Green: Zachary House

The residence usually highlighted at delightful Strand-on-the-Green is Zoffany House where the artist John Zoffany lived. Less well-known but now on the market is Zachary House which also has  a white frontage.

It has a recording studio and lots of pop music associations. The present owner is former New Musical Express editor Alan Smith.

The house is upstream of Oliver’s Island and today’s Sunday Telegraph has pictures.


Alex Polizzi on African Queen for Thames trip

African Queen approaching Gatehampton

Three years ago Alex Polizzi featured the African Queen floating hotel in her Channel 5 programme Hotel Inspector.

This Thursday 6 September (9pm) Alex goes aboard again to see if owners Andy and Bonny Cowley have built on her makeover suggestions.

The Dutch barge’s home mooring is Mapledurham. Last weekend it was seen sailing downstream from Goring although it can only just get under Whitchurch Bridge.