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The Valentine’s Day Walk (8) Saturday 14th February 2009, from the Mount Inn, Stanton

North Cotswold Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale

 

 

  Nine members and friends of North Cotswold Branch of CAMRA met up at the Mount Inn, at Stanton for the eighth walk, the second of 2009, dubbed appropriately by Peter White the Valentine Day’s Walk and indeed we did have 4 ladies present. Martyn Herbert and four other non walkers awaited at the half way stop at the Stanway Brewery at Stanway House.

 

  It was a very good turnout after the recent heavy snow still lying untouched by the winter sun in many places. The Mount Inn is surely located in the finest position of any of the 15 Donnington Pubs, now in the very capable hands of Pippa and Carl Baston. We headed steeply downhill from the pub car park through the attractive village of Stanton with many thatched houses and the location for several film sets in recent years. After half a mile we turned South onto the Cotswold Way. Care was required here to pick our way across very heavily rutted muddy tracks made by the farmer’s construction works. This was followed by an even muddier gateway and subsequent climb up another muddy slope before emerging to the drier parkland with wonderful vistas to the West. (Photo 1) A viaduct on the yet to be re-opened section of the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway was an interesting feature and will be even more so when the trains cross it again on route to Broadway and return.

 

  The park around 16th Century Stanway House is truly superb with herds of prize livestock and avenues of trees planted in a more graceful age. The footpath allows you to experience this magnificent estate which is still in private ongoing ownership by Lord Neidpath. At 11:00hrs the pace quickened to ensure arrival at Stanway House at 11:15hrs (Photo 2) and more importantly the Brew house where Stanway Brewery is located.

 

  The Brewery resurrected by Alec (Alexander Pennycook) since 1990 is a 5 barrel plant using one of only two wood fuelled coppers remaining in the country and the only one used full time (Photo 3). Alec is a graduate in Brewing from Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh and subsequently Vaux Brewery, Sunderland, kindly agreed to open up on Saturday for this walk providing a talk on the brewery and a sample of his excellent Stanway Stanney Bitter 4.5%. Martyn Herbert demonstrated his beer preference with a tea shirt appropriate for the occasion (Photo 4). Two other seasonal beers available at the Crown &Trumpet Broadway at times are Cotteswold Gold and Lords a Leaping. Alec brews almost as an enjoyable hobby distributing personally to around eight selected pubs that he trusts to keep it properly

 

  Please note that Alec is not able to offer Brewery Tours normally. All is explained on the Brewery web site. Please select “links” above to access the Brewery site. We all thank Alec for making an exception on this occasion.

 

  Reluctantly we moved on after 50 minutes and retraced our steps back to Stanton via the quiet country lane to avoid the muddy bits of the Cotswold Way. This provided a different view of the Estate including some recently born lambs that seemed to be thriving in this environment.

 

  Returning through Stanton is always a pleasure (Photo 5) before climbing the steep slope to the Mount Inn for the obligatory group photograph (Photo 6) before removing our boots and entering this homely hostelry.

 

  It is advisable to book a table if you wish to eat in this very popular pub and Pippa (Back of Photo 7) had reserved the best one for us with outstanding views towards the Malvern Hills. The food was excellent as usual and the Donnington BB and SB were served in pristine condition.

 

  Many Thanks to Alec, Pippa and Carl.

 

  Our next Walk is on Saturday 21st March when we start from North Cotswold Brewery Ditchford Farm at 10:30 hrs and walk to the Farrier’s Arms at Todenham returning after lunch to the Brewery for a visit and tasting. Non walkers can go direct to the Farrier’s for 12:00pm or the brewery at 14:15hrs. Please advise the undersigned beforehand if you are coming.

 

 

Report and Photos by Roger Price

 

Tel 01451 810305

Mob 07850 429630

 

 

 

  Pictures taken on the walk:

 

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Photo 1

 

Photo 2

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Photo 3

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Photo 5

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Photo 7