Tuesday, 19 April 2011

P is for.......Pubs

"Land of Liberty, Peace & Plenty", Chorley Wood, Hertfordshire

Being married to someone who works for CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) one quickly learns that frequent visits to public houses may become a necessity! (all in the interests of research, you understand!)

"The Harp", Covent Garden, London. CAMRA National Pub of the Year, 2010

British pubs are so varied that the CAMRA 'Pub of the Year' awards often produce quite an eclectic short-listing! Quaint, thatched-roofed 'country' pubs jostle with inner city hostelries and Victorian 'watering holes'! However, the 'ambience' is only one criteria on which the contesting pubs are marked - after all, it is the ale in question that is supremely important. Quality and variety of product has to be of the highest standard, along with with the manner of service and a welcoming attitude.

"Half Moon", Belchamp St Paul, Essex

Along with visits to pubs my OH travels to many of the regional CAMRA Beer Exhibtions (you could say he gets paid to go to beer festivals!) - and though it's an onerous task I sometimes have to accompany him. It is, indeed, a hard life! ;-p

Aside from encouraging pubs great and small aound the UK, CAMRA is priviledged to run what has been termed the 'biggest bar in the world' when it holds its annual Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court, London, with over 700 ales from the UK and some from abroad!

Our latest beer festival trip was yesterday - our favourite 'local', The Merchants Inn, is running a themed event called 'On The Farm'. Not only have they decorated the whole of the pub floor with real grass (yup, turf freshly laid yesterday morning! see pic)

but they painted the exterior like a Freisian cow!

And the beer names have an 'agicultural' tone - including 'Reservoir Hogs', 'Ploughmans Bitter' and 'Pig in a Bottle'. Totally mad - but fun!


  1. that's one thing i enjoy with my british and australian friends. it's okay to stop at at pub after church and have a glass of ale. here, some get so uptight about it. like they've never heard about grace.

  2. btw...i like the fresian cow pub and the real turf. i'd be barefoot in a minute.

  3. Oh I love the Half Moon. It looks beautiful, almost like a cake hehe.

  4. We had a friend who would join our group making their annual London visit whose only purpose was to visit as many pubs as possible. Period. That was the point of his trip! The girlfriends didn't always share his enthusiasm but they did get to London. I think your pubs are great and our favorite was Mabel's near London University. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh I lovely proper pubs - proper cosy corners, proper ale, proper pork scratchings, proper pub dog! Pubs with history, pubs with magic. I like the sound of your OH's job!

  6. Had an opportunity to visit some pubs while in the UK 2 summers ago. Wonderful experience. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. England has fabulous pubs! I would love to live there.

  8. I didnt' realise the Merchant's had grass down!?! Brilliant! ;) xx

  9. Greetings, Sue! Followed you here from your comment on Paper Swamp's blog, and loved your blog name, so you've got another follower here. :-) Writing in Flow

    Pubs, and somebody else posted about pints and quarts. I really WILL have to go home and have a drink tonight!

  10. What wonderful looking establishments! What fun it would be to do a pub tour of the UK.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  11. I would love to go and see some of these pubs someday.

  12. I used to buy either a pint of half pint glass from when I went to the Cambridge Beer Festival, back in the days when I still lived there. It's only a small collection, you understand. :-P