Tuesday, 22 August 2023
Which meant that even in the darkest depth of afternoon closing, you could buy a can of something crap in the buffet car. For the younger amongst, buffet cars were like little tuck shops. Buit for adults. In addition to low-quality, mass-market canned beer, you could also get BR sandwiches (long the butt of lazy comedians’ jokes) and spirit miniatures. And crisps, obviously. We are talking the UK here.
Quite a few stations had licensed refreshment rooms. Ranging from the dire to the wonderful. The one in Doncaster had the atmosphere of a multi-storey car park and a range of products almost identical to those in a train buffet car.
Then you had the station buffet at Stalybridge. Which sold cask and regularly featured in the Good Beer Guide. Once, coming back from Manchester, I deliberately chose a train stopping at Stalybridge just so I could have a couple of pints in the buffet. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
It was worth it. A lovely little space with a cola fire. Like really cosy little pub. Deserving its inclusion in the Good Beer Guide.
The buffet in Doncaster had cask last time I was there. Unlike in the good old days. What is the UK coming to?