I did my bit of culture yesterday by visiting the RAF Museum at Hendon. A must for a buff like me, though I have been before. Later I had intended that we follow a pub crawl around the St Paul's area and accordingly I met E in the Bell,down the side of Cannon St station. It is a spartan little boozer, still tricked out as a Courage pub and quite likeable. After work it was full, though I found a seat beside two businessmen and eavesdropped on a long tedious discussion about conservatories. Such is pub life. Harvey's Bitter was my choice, though frankly it did little for me. The choice (all brown) did less for E, who declined a drink.
So off we went to the Nicolsons run Old Watling. This is a good pub and offered two light beers, though the Roosters True Grit went off as I ordered it. Our second choice of Jaipur was, well, just like Jaipur is these days. Below ordinary, but fortunately a new Roosters came on and was decent enough. Next up was the Cockpit and another pub that I liked. Absolutely crowded, but we found a corner to stand in the bottom of the pub. Beside us, a young couple sat on bench seats, spread out so that a space that would have fitted four or five, was theirs alone. Her coat and handbag took up two spaces and he took up the rest. I sipped my Adnams and observed. She read the Evening Standard, he was texting like mad. They didn't speak and their glasses were empty. After a while the girl glanced up and looked at us. She asked if we'd like to squeeze in. He didn't make any move or even look at us, so we declined. About 20 minutes later they left.
Our next and final stop was Shaw's Bookshop. Our friends from the Cockpit were there at a table. Amazingly she said "Hello". I joked back that I hoped they were buying a drink this time. They grinned sheepishly.
A pub is a shared space. Knowing and observing pub etiquette is important to make the system work properly and for the benefit of all.
Thanks to Perryluke for the crawl. Two pubs I'll be back to are the Cockpit and the Old Watling.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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