If you pop in for a pint of Midsomer Ale in the Argyll pub in Henley, you’re guaranteed to pull…a pint of beer, that is. Landlord, Neil Ainsworth, who originally hails from New Zealand, insists that you pull your own pint of Midsomer and toast DCI Barnaby and the 300 plus murders that have been committed in Midsomer over its 17 year run.
Regular readers of this blog might recall that we’ve featured the Argyll before, when they launched their ale. But now there’s the chance to pull your own pint and have your picture taken doing just that, in a real Midsomer filming location.
Landlord Neil said: ‘Midsomer Murders is a global phenomenon and we get people from all over coming in wanting to see where Inspector Barnaby met Pru Plunkett, the tidy clinical psychiatrist. The Argy’s the only pub in world with a red MM location plaque. People stop and come in and have their photo taken. On set! My teeth have cramp from all the smiling.’
He added: ‘There are Midsomer walking and self-drive trails as well as coach tours. It’s bonkers. You can visit 150 locations. The area leads the TV/film tourism drive.’
The Midsomer walking tour takes you through some of the region’s most picturesque locations and some of the top filming spots for the shows – including Sonning, Dorchester, Warborough and Wallingford. You can stop off along the way at a number of pubs that have featured in the show. These include The Swan at Streatley (where you can also enjoy an afternoon tea and overnight stay deal), the Fleur de Lys in Dorchester and, of course, the Argyll itself. On rare occasions you might even bump into Jason Hughes from the show, who pops in for a pint now and then. Now that really would be a complete Midsomer experience.
Neil and the Argyll have really enjoyed the association with Midsomer, although sometimes the fans can make some strange requests. One even asked if he could have the same pint glass that John Nettles used during the show, which Neil had to politely decline.
You can find the Argyll at 15 Market Place, Henley-on-Thames. Pop in, stop for a chat with Neil and have your photo taken pulling your very own pint of Midsomer Ale. It’s one of Southern Oxfordshire’s finest establishments.