HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I thought I’d celebrate the New Year in style and welcome in 2018 in the best possible style. That’s right…with a pint of Bass!
However, before I embarked on drinking a pint of Britain’s finest amber nectar I visited a cracking little cinema with Mrs BB and the kids.
The Red Carpet cinema has been open just over three years at the Barton Marina, which in turn opened for business in 2001 containing 300 narrowboats, a plethora of shops, independent cafes, housing and, in 2013, a cinema.
Mrs BB had been before but it was a new one on me and whilst Paddington 2 was amusing and mainstream it offers lots of left field productions such as opera, ballet and theatre and an intimate little place it is as well.
So, having watched Hugh Grant recall the demise of his actual acting career whilst playing the role of an actor at rock bottom in Paddington 2, it was time to welcome in the New Year (albeit at 3pm) at a boozer in nearby Barton-Under-Needwood.
124 – The Shoulder Of Mutton DE13 8AA is a proper local pub in the centre of a village that appears to have a thriving pub trade. There are still five surviving and thriving and whilst this didn’t win Mrs BB’s instant approval, it was a decent local boozer that caters for all ages and tastes (see the bombs!)
In their defence, they were clearly setting up for tonight and a party with Jake Scrimshaw…
…which was the talk of the locals both young and old in the restaurant/bar area where we were sitting. There was also a further bar with a jukebox, pool table and dartboard that was full of youngsters, which is a good sign, and a more secluded restaurant/eating area that was full of families.
A three-room boozer is good as it means you know what you are getting but the jukebox was pounding out the dance tunes so wherever you were sitting, you were getting the jukebox!
It didn’t have quite enough gin or a good enough selection of wine for Mrs BB, but there plenty of room in the settee area where we eventually pitched up for our kids to rampage and be loud without anyone batting an eyelid.
I don’t know a huge amount about Barton-Under-Needwood as a village but this is a 17th century former coaching inn and it is bar to the right and restaurant/lounge to the left when you enter.
The barman was relatively harassed when we arrived but not unpleasant and the Bass was decent enough.
However, another sign that The Shoulder of Mutton is embedded in the local community was by viewing the Christmas Tree on display outside the front of this boozer.
It had an array of mini Christmas Trees from pupils of the local Thomas Russell junior school with heart-warming (I’m feeling festive) messages from the pupils regarding the meaning of Christmas.
So, in a nutshell, a solid local boozer that sells Bass, clearly serves the local community, appears to be popular for food (pie night sounds good…) but needs to turn the jukebox down slightly!
Roll out the red carpet for 2018!