We left Colchester this lunchtime under stygian gloom with heavy rain, and found the Edwardstone White Horse just a few miles away under lovely blue skies. It was the third of the four days of their beer and music festival, the sixth one they’ve run.
The pub is in lovely countryside outside of Boxford, south east of Sudbury, and there were plenty of campers and caravans on site, and a pretty full car park. OK, so it wasn’t Reading, or Leeds, or the V Festival, but do any of them provide 60-odd real ales? I think not!
The range of beers was excellent, with a good mix of local and further flung beers. A fair number were as local as you could get, having travelled about 20 yards from the Mill Green Brewery at the back of the pub to the beer tent. As the majority of the beers on offer were geared towards summer drinking, the two dark beers I kept to were both Mill Green ones. Their Hedgerow Porter at 5.4%abv was a cracking pint, fortified this brew with 6kg of local hedgerow fruit. I’d vote for 12kg next time round! As it was an afternoon, continuing with a 5.4%abv drink wasn’t an option, but their Mawkin Mild comes in at only 2.9%abv, but doesn’t taste like it at all – a full flavoured mild that you can quaff quite happily.
There is music on pretty much continuously, with a main stage and a smaller stage enabling bands to set up/set down quickly. We got there to see the singer/guitarist duo ‘Georgette and the Distraction’ running through their set (for the first of three times at different locations I believe).
Next up was Tom Robinson. What? Tom Robinson of ‘2-4-6-8 Motorway’ fame? No, another Tom Robinson. Interestingly, one of his covers was the Jungle Book ‘I Wanna Be Like You’, which was also covered by the duo singing at the Xmas Fayre at Jimmy’s Farm last year. Now, if I’d been on the 5.4%abv beer, I’d probably have regaled the audience with my interpretation of that Louis Primo classic!
After a bit of a tune-up came ‘The Sound of Pop Art’, a band of the same generation as me, who looked and sounded like they could have played in the halcyon days of my gig-going in Leeds in the late 70s/early 80s. More information about them here.
So, a great Sunday afternoon out. Resolved to plan around next year’s festival a bit more – looking at this year’s schedule I’d have fancied seeing the Ghost Train Porters on Friday night.