The Ups and Downs of the Village Pub (Part 2)
Not as much sun as yesterday but still very pleasant if rather humid. I was on the road by 8:00am with a couple of ideas in my mind about developing my village pub musings.
First stop was the Shoulder of Mutton in Old Newton as I vaguely recalled something odd about it from a previous ride. And sure enough, it's now a Chinese takeaway! It's location means that it doesn't have the appearance of a country pub - in the pretty sense. In fact it has a distinctly urban feel to it. But clearly the demand for Chinese food is high in Old Newton. Interestingly, as you can see from the photo, it still retains the pub signs so maybe there's something of an identity crisis.
Leaving Old Newton I headed over to Debenham and thence to Earl Soham - home of a good micro brewery and also a butchers shop with a pavement café that I must investigate another time. Then I rode on to Thorndon, near Eye where I remembered that there was another pub which had responded to changing needs in an interesting way.
The Black Horse is a thriving establishment. As well as the usual pub offerings it has a restaurant open daily with a lunchtime carvery and an evening takeaway service (fish and chips, curries etc.). But not only is it a pub it is also a community shop, owned and run by people from the village. And as I discovered this morning this really is a one-stop site as there's also a mobile post office. So this seems to be a really imaginative way to stay at the top of the game.
A nice meander through the lanes brought me back home in time for lunch with another 70 miles in my legs. And for tomorrow, the final chapter in my pub musings - maybe ........