I am in London, briefly. I came down for a social meeting with Eileen's colleagues and a trip to see "As You Like It" at the Globe Theatre. Despite reservations, I thoroughly enjoyed that, aided and abetted by the fact it was a lovely night, which helps in an open air theatre. Being at the front in the top gallery, some of the best seats, helped too.
At the interval which was short - they ought to get Shakespeare to sort that out - he certainly knows how to drag things out - I noticed with horror that the only beer on sale is canned Fosters. WTF? I stuck to water.
We walked home through Southwark and popped into a quiet Rake. Quiet in number terms, though not in noise, provided by a very drunk young American, whose political views would have earned him a smack in the mouth in some places I know, and to be fair, a round of applause in others. I watched the two women behind the bar. They served me civilly, but with no customer interaction other than telling me the price. They seemed a little cheerier a few minutes later at 10.40, when, without any call of "Time", the fridge lights were turned off, the lights on the fonts the same and they emerged for a sit down. Now I have never found the Rake staff anything other than just indifferent. Not good, not bad, just apathetic, though others have written about worse experiences. With the beer range (and prices) they have, wouldn't it be nice if they were full of enthusiasm and cheer? It'd make the experience a lot better for both sides of the bar.
So what did I have? Dark Star Sussex Extra Stout which was decent, with roast malt dominating, though there was little by way of hop bitterness. Needs some work I'd say. It was in average condition. Like the service, not good, not bad.
An interesting pumpclip.
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