Did I mention I made a flying visit to Britain at the weekend? 22 hours in Folkestone. What fun.
It was mostly just a shopping trip. Not that we actually had to go into a shop. We ordered everything online and had it delivered to our hotel. Groovetastic. More time for drinking. But . . . .
Things started out well. With an English breakfast for lunch. We were headed to the British Lion, when we noticed that the Pullman had reopened. Seeing how many handpulls were on the bar, it seemed churlish to just walk past.
Inside was heavy with the smell of paint. A sure sign they hadn't been reopened long. "Last week", the barman said. A couple of my favourites were on the bar. Harvey's Sussex Bitter and Taylor's Landlord. Decisions, decisions. I went for the former as, bizarrely, Landlord is more common in the South. Rather nice, it was. Mikey, as usual. Was on the cider. Addlestones's cloudy.
While Mikey went off to buy shoes, I got myself a Landlord. To pass the time, I flicked through "More Tales from the Taproom." A book that was lying around on a table. It documents all the pubs past and present in the Folkestone area. Much to my surprise, I learned that the Pullman had only been a pub since the 1960's. I would never have guessed that.
We had another couple of pints affter Mikey returned with his 16 quid shoes. Then made our way back to our hotel for our shopping delivery. "How strong's that cider? I feel a bit tipsy" "No idea. But I had one in Glasgow that was 7%." "That must be why I'm feeling it."
The delivery window was from 17:00 to 19:00. It turned up at 18:50. By which time we'd had a couple more pints and a couple of shots. The latter some weird concoctions assembled by the barman. The first was a funny brown colour. The second black with some pink stuff floating on the top. Looked a bit girly to me.
Mikey was pretty cheerful by the time the van pulled up with goodies. Positively merry, in fact. I dumped my stuff in the coolbox in my room and ambled back down to the bar. No sign of Mikey. I ordered myself a London Pride and waited a while. Still no sign of Mikey. That's odd, I thought. When my pint was done, I went upstairs and banged on his door. No response. Oh well. Best get back to the bar. I tried his door again one London Pride later. Still nothing.
What could I do? You must know the answer to that one. Hit a few more pubs on my own then buy a pie at the chippie.
There was a knock on my door at 09:15. It was Mikey. "What did we do last night? I can't remember anything. Did I behave myself?" At this point I should have made up a scary tale of lewdness and debauchery, where a night in the cells was avoided by a hair's breadth. But I hadn't been up long. So I told him the truth: "You went to bed at 19:30."
Ah, the dangers of cider.
From the cellar: Castle Eden Special Ale - Trophy Special, as brewed in Castle Eden. ABV: 5.5% Origin: Castle Eden, Durham, England Website: www.cameronsbrewery.com Date: 7 September 2000 Another...
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