The Stuart Broad trail rather conveniently stretches from Oakham back towards Derby via Wymeswold on the way (all will be revealed), which happened to be my return journey after coaching the other great national sport of ours . Most Aussie supporters will be looking to goad the England quickie at every opportunity this winter after his infamous 2013 ‘not out’ incident at Trent Bridge. However, the good folk at Oakham School like to concentrate on the more positive aspects of his career such as his amazing 8-15 against aforementioned Aussies as we wrapped up another series win and his 300+ test wickets for England.
The point of this post (I’ll get there in a minute) is that whilst I couldn’t have posted anything regarding England’s success against Australia in the nineties, it is good to see an international sports star backing the pub trade.
More of that in a minute though as Oakham, where Broad spent his teenage years at the very dapper fee paying school, has a top notch Brewery tap next to the station 6 – The Grainstore – LE15 6RA.
With three pals in tow, this place is just a class act and the brewery smell hits you as we landed outside the pub. The atmosphere is very relaxed with SKY TV, beermats, hops hanging from the ceiling, and the obligatory barrels for tables. We needed a bit of serious conversation and the television, bar billiards table and presence of a good Thursday lunchtime crowd all blended into the background, with people of all ages and sartorial elegance of suits, caps and jeans were all in evidence
Gold and Rutland Osprey (Grainstore) were top notch and this is a bar I am sure Broad would drink in! However, the Broad trail wasn’t at a close as we headed on to Wymeswold…the home of Glastonbudget!
Arguably the best festival in the Midlands for cover bands and it was a change not to be knee deep in mud avoiding imitation Johnny Rotten’s and Roger Daltrey’s.
Talking of Rog and The Who; their best song IMHO, My Generation, was coincidentally the brewery that produced a top notch Pale Ale I enjoyed at 7 – The Three Crowns – LE12 6TZ (see how I linked that in…!) The only pub in the village is primarily food based but still got all the essentials needed for a village boozer.
Good beer – check, my football coaching pal had a Wainwright (Thwaites) whilst my aforementioned Pale Ale was spot on. Beermats – check. Clean and welcoming – check and I can vouch for the food as the chef, so it turned out, is a chap I know who ran a fantastic restaurant in Melbourne and his son plays for the same Sunday team as mine!
For a Thursday afternoon there was a decent mix of people and enough beermats and salt cellars to talk tactics on our table! Coincidentally, it’s owned by Stuart Broad (there’s the link and the Broad trail!) and Harry Gurney of Nottinghamshire CC fame and fair play to their Cat & Wickets Pub Company as its keeping a village pub in good shape….