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OK – we are moving house. And one of the many hard things to say goodbye to, from our home in Marlow, was to our local (actually, we pass three pubs to get to it!). The Crooked Billet in Sheepridge Lane, between Little Marlow and Flackwell Heath.
Our last Saturday evening was one of those special nights at the pub. They serve food 7 days a week at Lunchtime – evenings is for drinking. But they do have occasional food nights – special occasions, like Queens Jubilee, Valentines Day, Bank Holidays and the like. And, after a day at Ascot Races, the weary (and some squiffy!) coach riders arrive back for an evening of song entertainment and food.
Anita and Bill Green have run the Billet for 30 years now. A 400 year old building, (Bill isn’t that old, but there are rumours…), one room pub, with an amazing award winning garden. Will that sort of landlord longevity ever happen in future? Will this sort of pub survive? Will we find an equivalent in Gloucestershire?
I hope the answer is no, yes, yes, but suspect the last will be ‘no’. It’s just such a special place, from Bills jokes (and he can tell them many times, to a new audience every ten minutes…) to Anita’s super home cooking, solidly pub grub – from Chilli, to excellent Lasagne (this is an in joke), to Ham Egg and Chips to Turkey with Chips and Salad – one of my favourites. We had the English Curry with papadoms on the night – mild, and gorgeous.
“When are you off – not yet, we hope” said Billy as we left on the Saturday. “We are still packing boxes, but we leave on Monday”, said myself. “Too soon – are you coming in tomorrow?”
So we got up very early (5;30) raced through the final packing, and arrived at 2 pm, just after the last Sunday dinners were coming out (great value too – and really excellent beef and yorkshire puds, and all the usual roasties…).
We were totally taken aback. The regulars had all signed a leaving card, and Bill had a framed photo of the pub for us to take away.
It was quite emotional. And the memory will be cherished. And we will be visiting back often!