John Middleton (John Simm) has hit rock bottom. He’s glugging beer from a bucket, hitting his wife (Maxine Peake) and inadvertently terrifying other young women. And it’s the latter that exposes the deep-seated reason behind his reprehensible behaviour as Caro (the young woman in question), in a rare moment of clarity, reveals that she’s pregnant – a confession which stirs up all sorts of uncomfortable memories for John and his fellow villagers. Young Bert, meanwhile, concocts a lucrative way to exact revenge on the cowardly teacher who continues to bully him.
The deep undertow of sadness persists into tonight’s second episode (although the denouement offers a glimmer of optimism); so too does Peter Moffat’s admirable refusal to foreshadow à la ‘Downton’: there’s a massacre going on in Western Europe, but it feels a long way away from the parochial concerns of this insular community.
Kens Bar & Garden
In the shadow of a stunning nineteenth-century church sits Kens Bar (short for Kensington, not a man named Ken) and its one-acre garden. Covered tables abound, with heaters dotted about, so the garden can be enjoyed all year round. Whether in the grounds or the plushly decorated bar area, visitors can order afternoon tea, stone-baked pizzas, sandwiches, sweets and more. Drinks feature all the usual tipples, plus a wide range of cocktail options, including the odd experimental concoction courtesy of the mixologists behind the bar.
Venue says: “Cocktails of the month £10 each or two for £18. Afternoon tea in the library or garden £22.50. Happy hour 5-7pm. Live music on Fridays.”