Friday, 20 July 2012

The Swan Inn, Milton

Once again our Beer ride was threatened by the prospect of dreary, wet weather. All day I kept an eye on the clouds - mid morning it was looking very doubtful as the heavens opened, it tipped down with the force of a waterfall, swiftly followed by a bout of thunder and lightening - I figured that was it; we wouldn't be riding, another night lost. But as the afternoon arrived things brightened up. The sky cleared, the sun made a welcome appearance and suddenly everything looked good.

I got to Gary's a little later than I had intended, Paul from across the road was riding as well and we duly set off heading for Overseal. No time to make the trip to Burton so we'd have to make our own way to tonights venue - The Swan Inn at Milton, Derbyshire.

As usual we made speedy progress, Gary led the way up Gunby Hill and then down to Overseal, across the crossroads and the steady pull up towards Woodville - this route requires some effort!

We crossed the busy roundabout at Woodville and headed towards Hartshorne, taking the left hand turn  onto the Repton Road, a winding, undulating road scattered with flood debris and plenty of potholes. But this was the best part of the ride; rolling green fields and fresh fragrant pine trees, the sunlight catching the rain particles caught on the leaves so that they shone like diamonds.

We arrived at the pub at around 8.00pm - the contingent travelling from Burton were already there. We added our bikes to the burgeoning pile and made for the bar.

The Swan - Milton
The Swan is the only pub in the village of Milton. It's a pleasant enough building, typically pubby, with a large garden area at the rear. There's a restaurant which doubles up as a cafe in the daytime and we pass through a corridor which leads us to the bar. It's a homely place - and what I mean is, it's like being in someone's home. Someones home from the late 50's/early 60's possibly. It has a vague, lost feeling, it's as if we're in a time warp, its 'Darling Buds of May' meets James Herriot with a touch of Summer Wine... with a landlord who bore a passable resemblance to Amos Brearley from Emmerdale. There's a curry night on Mondays, a few random bits of Railway memorabilia and an upcoming concert in the garden featuring Paul (Wherever I lay my hat) Young, what on earth is he doing playing out here I wonder?

The beers tonight were a choice of Doom Bar, Worthington E, or a Dark, black beer that I can't recall the name of. Also there was draught Cobra, Cider and a couple of Lagers. We started with a couple of Doom Bars - I thought it was okay, Gary didn't like it - too sweet. We had three pints to make sure and then it was time to make a move - Chips!

A mile or two down the road is Repton - and the famous Public School. The school was used for the filming of the original version of 'Goodbye Mr Chips' - so it was fitting that we made a visit to the village chippy - 'Goodbuy Mr Chips' - I found the chips a bit greasy, not up to the usual standard, but nevertheless welcome, more so because I hadn't eaten since lunchtime. We sheltered in the chip shop as another vicious rainstorm passed over. By now it was getting dark, already it is noticeable that the nights are beginning to draw in.

We set off for home leaving the majority to head back towards Burton. We pushed hard again, fuelled by the beer and chips and the ride back seemed easier than the one coming.

Overall it was another good mid-week beer ride - 24 miles or so and home relatively dry.

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