For the second year running, the Horseshoe Inn at Ebbesbourne Wake was voted Country Pub of the Year. With no scheduled trips to the Chalke Valley, a dozen, or so, branch members caught the number 29 (Shaftsbury) bus to present Pat & Tony Bath with a certificate and  enjoy the trip!

It’s worth noting that the bus service to Shaftsbury is excellent and worked perfectly for us… catching the 11:50 from Blue Boar Row got us to Ebbesbourne Wake at 12:40. Return buses pass to pub at 13:49 and 15:34 allowing time for a quick or leasurely lunch. The pub closes at 3.00 but if you wanted to walk around the village and beyond, there are two later buses back to Salisbury. The service is also great for visiting the White Hart at Bishopstone, Queen’s Head at Broadchalke and Crown at Alvediston.

Lunch at the Horseshoe was excellent with a menu to suit all tastes and appetites. Those trying the vegetarian options were very suitably impressed; the Game Pie, a special that day, was amazing.

Ales that day were the three permanent stock of:

Otter Bitter: always a favourite, this 3.6% ABV session ale represents the ultimate in taste/ABV. A good brewer is gauged by his ability to brew low gravity beers; Otter have it absolutely nailed with this.

Bowman Swift One: another session bitter, this 3.8% ABV ale has a little more bitterness and lovely refreshing taste.

Gritches English Lore: at 4.0% ABV this copper-coloured ale is a little more malty offering a perfect complement to the other two ales.

Yeovil Ales Star Gazer: the guest ale, 4.0% ABV copper-coloured ale.

Wessex Dry Cider finishes the line up.

What could possibly go wrong… well, sitting on the framed certificate wasn’t on the list of events that day but… Thankfully photos were taken, everyone had a great day out and ‘someone’ had to return the fillowing week to present the award in an new frame!