Friday, February 13, 2009

Of Pubs and Fires and Old Dogs and Contemplative Silence.

A bunch of snow hijacked England just before my trip there last week. I had fears of canceled trains and dragging my suitcase through white stuff. Instead, on Thursday at least, it just rained. So I dragged my luggage through gray slush instead. Getting into Chelmsford too early to check in to my hotel, I dragged it all the way to a nice warm pub.

I picked a good one. The Queen's Head is a bit of a showcase for the excellent and local Crouch Vale brewery. I enjoyed a Brewer's Gold and warmed my feet. The fireplace was fake but the place was authentic. An old mutt came over to collect his dues – I paid my respects with a few head scratches – then he moved on. It was incredibly, mercifully quiet. The biggest racket was when the only other patron rustled his newspaper. Keep it down over there!

I suspect the only reason it was nearly empty is the festival. More about that later. The Brewer's Gold hit my sweet spot, by the way. Refreshing, with nice citrus fruits in there. And it's very pretty, don't you think?

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