You left me reeling after Birmingham City’s Caraboa Cup dream bit the dust for another year and John Bond was on the end of an onslaught from a punter in Oakham.
However, the beauty of this blog is that you’re never stuck in one town for long and the lure of Old Dalby was calling for a Tap House/Brewery/Restaurant/Shop all in one.
If you’re thinking that you’ve never heard of Old Dalby you’d be right as it’s tucked away between the A6006 and the A606.
Our transatlantic readers will be wondering if that’s a misprint but here is map to prove the point.
Of course, as Mark noted in the comments section, it is much closer to Melton Mowbray, which has better beer credentials, as backed up by pub ticker extraordinaire Martin, so it is in fertile territory.
Although, as this map shows, Old Dalby is hardly a sprawling metropolis and the 454 – The Belvoir Alehouse LE14 3NQ is a decent walk away from the village centre.
So, in a nutshell, you have a brewery tap on an industrial estate nearby to a fish plantation, four farms and an air shaft (steady on Russ).
Not in a prime position for passing trade you’d think but Belvoir Brewery seem to be ticking over nicely and have been in the same spot for the best part of 25 years.
I can’t say I’ve seen their beers too often outside of Old Dalby so it’s clearly a smart move to open a tap house and flog your beer. Only Greene King appear to open pubs and sell everyone else’s beers…
I know my readership is touching the average age of Uttoxeter pubgoers (Neil and Paul excepted) so I am moving into dangerous territory here by confirming I plumped for the Wheat Beer brewed with natural orange zest and coriander.
I mean why wouldn’t you? It was a gorgeous day and BBB is a drink for cooler days…the only concern would have been the thoroughfare as, apart from me, there were five other punters at around 2.30pm on a Friday.
Two blokes, who were probably from one of the units on the industrial estate were eating a meal in absolute silence.
I mean silence so they were either really pleased with their food or had declared this pub a banter free zone.
Mind you, they would struggle to get a word in as three likely lads from Stamford were settling the bill and telling all and sundry there here to ‘meet some girls.’
One of them had a Burberry cap so small for his head it was just perched on top (apparently it’s all the rage in Stamford) and the oldest one of the three was waxing lyrical about the boozer.
(Burberry cap lad had gone for a fag)
The barmaid was arguably the nicest barmaid of 2019 as she smiled patiently and couldn’t do enough for you.
It feel as though you are sitting in a slightly upmarket farm café as it is mainly set up for diners but there is a terrific amount of breweriana adorning the walls and the welcome was friendly.
I can’t say the White Dolphin (Belvoir) would get in my top ten pints of this year but it was certainly different and as Mrs BB will confirm, I am excitement personified.
It’s been the local CAMRA pub of the year in 2011 so keeps a decent pint and with a view of a working brewery from inside the boozer, then it is a little different from the norm.
Worth a visit and Brewery tours are a possibility too.