The Ups and Downs of the Village Pub (Part 3)
There was a distinct chill in the air when I set off this morning. A complete contrast to yesterday and for the first few minutes I was wondering if I should have put on some arm warmers and a gillet. But as it's early August I absolutely refuse to don autumnal plumage!
Anyway, back to the subject at hand - the village pub. Today's quest took me to The Metcalfe Arms at Hawstead just south of Bury St Edmunds. Or perhaps I should say the pub formerly known as The Metcalfe Arms since about twelve months ago it became the Maglia Rosso - a rather splendid café and bike shop selling some pretty good gear. Well, in the world of diversification this certainly gets my vote. I enjoyed a lovely cappuccino (the bike had a tasty looking flapjack) and I drooled over some rather nice bike frames.
So it seems from my recent surveys that there are endless possibilities for the village pub to evolve and meet the challenges of changing demand.
Reassuringly, there still seems to be a place for the traditional village pub - but perhaps rather in more of a niche market than previously? The Crown at Hartest seems to be just such a place. Situated in a splendid location their "aim is simple - to serve good food and drink at sensible prices in a relaxed, friendly and clean environment." Spot on; I couldn't have said it better than that.
As I head north next week I'll be looking with interest at the pubs en route to see how they stack up against my little survey. And who knows, I might just do a little hands-on market research..........
One other notable achievement to report today - my riding log shows that I have now ridden 14,000.8 miles since 1st January. (Eagle eyed readers will no doubt note that this is more than my Strava total which doesn't include everything - turbo riding and some mileage on my winter bike).