Due to a lack of planning and a laziness to leave the dinner table and head outside to the partially frozen, partially thawing Oxfordshire countryside, our four pub Thames Path pub crawl was somewhat shorter than planned - clearly.
The Trout. As with Ikea, I visit The Trout once every 12-months, leave quickly, and promise to never come back again. The Trout smells like a canteen, it's much prized riverside position is a torrent of brown water tumbling over a weir, and within the space of five minutes we were served not one, but two drinks with dead flies floating amongst the ice.
The Perch. A beautiful pub in beautiful surroundings, and so busy inside on such a cold wet day that we were relegated to the garden - underneath a heater, with blankets on every chair. The Trout, take note. This is how to do a pub, and not a fly in sight.
Brakspear Bitter (3.4%) saw us tackle the last thirty minutes of pitch black towpath with confidence, before we threw open the doors of The Punter. The heat burnt my eyes, but was most welcome. The lack of customers was a surprise though. This is a nice looking pub, with plenty of space, large tables and some good beers on tap. It's a slight walk from the town centre and passing traffic must be near nil on a winter's evening.
So concluded our walk. We finished the evening with a beer in The Grapes - a pint of Bath Ales Gem (4.8%), which was slightly soapy - and a visit to The King's Arms for Winter Pimm's, pork crackling as thick as your arm, and a couple of quid lost in the fruit machine.