|Beer: ||Occasionally,very occasionally, the fact that the ale is above the £4 ceiling a pint doesn't detract. With 5 beers on tap, very well kept and including Windsor & Eton's quaffing Conqueror Black IPA and Hardy & Hanson's yummy Olde Trip, this was one of those rare times. Rob did, wowever go a whiter shade of pale at paying £5 for his cider loopy juice. [Matt] “It’s all about the quality….’innit?!” 5 bitters, 5 lagers, 5 ciders - there was a pleasing symmetry around the bar…a bit like one of those old haunted houses where the eyes in the picture follow you around the room, except in this case, wherever you turned, there was a pump staring right back at you shouting ‘Drink me, Drink me!’ Keeping in tune with my surroundings I stuck with ‘ye Olde Trip’, which was served in ‘ye old tankard with a handle’, thus inducing a feeling of much merriment and toasting of foaming flagons across the wide-beamed table…”Hurrrah!”|
|Not beer: ||The bar staff stated that cola was £1.60 for a 16oz. glass. Quite what the relationship between weight and volume is who knows but it seemed quite reasonable at the time. L & S at 80p a half - ergo £1.60 a pint pot also decent. Choccy Aud, back from the Sarf West, put away a dinky cup of brown tipple in record time. Through the beer haze, it retailed at about £2.70. [Matt] One of the funniest sights of the year….Mick leaning over the bar and asking, sotto voce, as to the soft drinks: “It’s not for me you know…we just like to keep track of the drinks prices….I’d never touch the stuff….honestly, even if I was ill…..just keep your voice down when you answer….please?!”|
|Food ||Being the super touristy R.S of E., the grub ain't exactly cheap and, with Alan & Sandra presumably not wanting to take out a second mortgage, the bowls of tasty taters were predictably a bit on the small side. Glad not to have been on Mr. Potato Head's table! [Matt] Since Mr Potato Head’s wife took exception to the aforementioned moniker, Mike shall henceforth be known as that much-loved teacher, immortalised in literature and film, ‘Mr Chips’ (did you see what I did there…did you???)|
|Hashmosphere ||With beams a plenty, wonky windows, paintings of a doubtful origin, gargoyles a go go, the R.S. of E is a quirky but welcoming hostelry blighted only by the trek to the portacabin p shop but still very atmospheric and hence well enjoyed [Matt] Apparently, it had been 7 years since we last visited RSE, which makes it sound like a religious studies course….and in a sense it is - this place should be a mecca for the hash, a place of worship. Loads of ales, big wide sociable oak tables (perfect for talking b*llocks around), flagstone floor, hops decorating the bar area, half a wall made out of beer butts....this place has atmosphere coming out of its eaves. Plus in the evening, we more or less had the place to ourselves.....or maybe that was because we drove everybody else off? Still, I guarantee it will not be 7 years before we come again (assuming they'll have us back?!)|
The R.S of England is one of droves of pubs declaring itself to be "the oldest pub/freehouse etc in England and it certainly dates back a looong way. With history going back to ancient brick & tile manufacturing explaining why it is in the middle of absolutely nowhere, it's past encompasses an association with Harold (not Steptoe),who later was duffed up at Hastings, Charlie I, who supposedly hid from the Roundheads here, and Charlie II who supposedly met some of his fleet of mistresses here. As a man with at least 17 bastards to his name, this is entirely possible.With character in spades, it is the sort of place that has tourists, particularly from the U.S of A. drooling into what is proper beer, unlike the crap they serve over the pond.
Overheard on the hash (28th Mar)
“So Ant, we need to think of a decent hash name for Sarah….something school-teacherly maybe?” [Matt running along with Ant down a hill] “Excuse me! Exactly what hash name were you thinking of?” [Sarah suddenly appears up ahead from behind a group of runners] “Jodrell Bank would be appropriate given that hearing!” [Andy mutters an aside and runs off….very quickly!]
“We’ve got so many hash names from all around the world….it’s hard to know which one to choose?” [Judy muses at a check] “Oh, give me some examples….?” enquires Matt “OK, so there’s Punch & Judy…..and for some reason, Condom and Femidom” “Hang on Judy! What’s the story behind that one…?” “Oh, sorry, I’ve got to go short!”
“So Jo, if you’re Chicken Licken, what does that make Glenn then?” enquires Matt “Well Chicken Licken’s best friend was Ducky Lucky….” replies Jo “Oh, he’s gonna love that on the back of his hash t-shirt!”
“Abracapubra!” Mick’s favorite word of the evening! It turns out that he was in the Royal Standard on the previous day (Monday) for an extended session, and did have to be turned out of the pub on that occasion!