Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Trotters Inn, Cocklake

(Or as I prefer to call it “The Trotters Inn, just outside of Wedmore …”)

I’ve been wanting to visit this pub ever since I was told that if I liked the Crown at Churchill I would love this place and after a hard day doing housework on Saturday I deserve a treat. So I get to choose the Sunday walking route.

I pour over the Ordnance Survey map looking for inspiration ... and then I remember this pub. Except, normally the pub walk is supposed to involve a walk, some lunch and then a return trip … and I’m pretty certain that I’ve heard that the only food on offer at Trotters is a packet of pork scratchings .

Not to worry, I announce the walk “We’re going to walk to a pub, have a drink and then walk to another pub for lunch”.  “Why can’t we have lunch at the first pub?”. “You’ll see …”

And so the walk begins. Bother. I forgot the hill. I’m useless at hills. Can walk for miles on the flat, but chuck in a hill and I’m puffed.  Still, as a bonus the walk takes us along the edge of a golf course, and pretty soon my handbag is bulging with golf balls. (I hope they don’t do food at The Trotters, because now I will have no where to
put my left overs …)

As we round a bend in the road the ominous view of a pub sign without the actual board appears … hmmmm. Don’t tell me I’m too late and the place has closed down? (It reminds me of my couple of ill-fated trips to the Blue Flame at Nailsea, a pub that has been recommended to me, but which only seems to open when the landlord feels like it – the feeling of disappointment when you travel all that way to find the pub doors resolutely shut is incomparable). But all is not lost – well the sign might be – but the pub IS open!  Through the main door, I’m confronted by a further two doors – “The Lounge” or “The Smoking Room”, I opt for the latter and enter a low-ceiling room with a four foot bar and a smattering of local yokels.  One of whom bursts into a rousing chorus of “With rings on her ankles and bells on toes” when he espies me. Drat. Perhaps I should have worn my walking boots instead of my fancy sandals with the beads around the ankles!  “Don’t worry” the landlord says, “George is our village idiot … or at least he is when he’s had a few.” The landlord can’t see my feet, he doesn’t understand the joke.

I ask what cider is on offer. “Thatchers Gold or Natch” comes the reply. Hmmm. I’ll have the Gold then. The landlord unscrews the cap from a two litre plastic bottle of cider and pours the contents into what must be the dustiest glass I’ve ever seen – and that’s saying something, because I am the proud owner of many a dusty glass myself …

He’s not going to get any points for the cider that’s for sure … nor the tuna baguette. But that’s not everything is it?

I take a seat and marvel at the décor. Despite the fact that it’s very warm outside there is a real fire burning in the hearth. There’s a shove ha’penny board (I’ve never seen one of those before) and every available space on the nicotine-coloured walls is covered with an assortment of paintings, photos, farming paraphernalia, stuffed animals, cider jugs and cups and even some majolica plates. The sort of stuff that, if it were to be auctioned off, would pay to refurbish the pub in a grandiose style. I only hope that the landlord doesn’t realise it!

I sit back and listen to the locals talk, it’s all “baint, taint, tother, thik, thak” and “does ‘er?” It’s like being transported back to my youth … Oh yes. I like this pub. I like this pub an awful lot.

Cider – giggle
Tuna – chuckle
Atmosphere - 5

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