Sunday, 19 February 2017

A Spring in February Walk and Pub Visit

Dear reader, I'm sorry for you that I have been MIA.  I have been updating my boring blog with a few boring bits but as you are a discerning reader I must assume that you do not read that.  You will therefore not know  that I was MIA at a conference. This was followed by MIA in a new department at work which I am temporarily leading, in addition to my own special MIA I do when Mr Him has an idea.  However during my MIA I did sneak in some research for you.  I had an evening in a Wetherspoons.  This particular one was focused around HG Wells and his novels.  There's a rather attractive clock on the ceiling

which runs backwards, being a time machine..

However, this Saturday Mr Him had an idea which I found appealing so I went FIA. Yes, he found me. In fact it was  as soon as I heard 'pinot' that he found me. I didn't wait for the rest of the sentence. I thought it was going to be a mighty fine idea,  and it was.  His idea was that we must do more  'research' for you, after a dog walk around Ardingly Reservoir.

The water looks low this year.  Yes, we have had a dry winter. 

Interesting. Especially as it's our drinking water.

Sailing lessons being enjoyed in the sunshine

Mr Him has Luna under control.  Sheep are nearby.


Grasses blowing in the breeze

I can see the appeal of fishing.  A nice sleep.

Catkins are out.

Now, the pub and the dogs. 

We visited the Ardingly Inn. Being a village pub we were fairly sure that dogs would be allowed but I did pop in and ask first before Mr Him sauntered in with our beasties.   

Being Spring in February the fire was not on.

Ales... not Mr Him's thing. 

A homely atmosphere with arm chairs, sofa and the look of a book case.  It's actually wall paper but effective.

Farming implements of days gone by.

Duck decoy maker sign from that famous London street, The Strand. 

I'd made myself comfortable on the sofa

and worried that staff would make themselves comfortable on me. 

The dogs were not going to make themselves comfortable on the chairs, or me.

Mr Him was comfortable on the sofa.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A Tavern and Dogs that has Been Seen Before

Dear reader, I've been busy. I've been busy on your quest. It's gone so well I don't have pics!  In fact I barely remember.      However, this afternoon we did pop down to the Lockhart Tavern again and did this time take our dogs. (Mr Him has said he doesn't mind frequenting here again and again in the purpose of research.)   I have found that dogs do mean one ends up talking to people, and that's a good thing. I'm sorry that this is not a new bar to you but we rather like it as it caters for our Mutton age group.  There is not loud music, one can talk, one can sit, one can take dogs.  

Mr Him did wear his Washington DC T shirt to take a bit of the States to the bar on my American readers behalf.  (This segues nicely into the news that I am on my way to NYC this month.  Anyone want autographs? )

A year ago, with amazing foresight I did visit another pub and wrote about it here.  I particularly like how 'I' cooked a meal after we got home that day.  

Having read that I made sure that today we had our main meal, which I cooked, before we went out.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

My Tavern Quest on Dogs Continues in Westminster

Dear reader, I hear you.  I you  want me to drink more.  You I need me to visit more bars.  You are requesting that I go on a Tavern quest. Well, I have immediately got onto the case, being the epitome of efficiency, and  went straight to the source of the laws for my next stop.  I went to Westminster. 

I love Westminster underground station. It really is one of my favourites

I headed for what I believe is one of the close pubs to parliament. One apparently frequented by MPs.  Where better to assess the dog situation?
This is a cozy tavern with two small downstairs bars. St Stephens Tavern is opposite Big Ben and Elizabeth Tower  (houses the bell.)  It was rebuilt in 1873 and apparently frequented by Winston Churchill, amongst other notable Prime Ministers.

I was meeting a peer.  No,  not that sort.  By peer I mean that I know her from business and we get along well so we were having a girlie social.
Listening in to a few conversations in this cosy tavern  I gather the clientele to be associated with parliament. On the TV the live parliamentary channel was showing.

 I guess if you can have a drink in comfort,  hear the debate then go back to vote why stay seated in the Commons.  The blub online  tells me that it houses a Division bell which announces 8 minutes to a vote, summoning the MPs back to the chamber.

There is a lovely view of Big Ben tower through the ornate window.

We had a couple of wines and some nibbles and I finished off with a decaff coffee.  The milk came in this pretty  little bottle. 

There were no dogs. 

You can find more information about St Stephens Tavern here

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Trying to Explain Dogs in Bars in a Tavern and Failing

Dear reader,  a few of you were 'confused ' over dogs being allowed in pubs in the UK.  They can be but it's at the discretion of the landlord and must comply with local regulations.  Dogs aren't allowed in areas solely for the purpose of eating such as a restaurant or area of a pub set aside for eating.  Areas set aside primarily for drinking but with bar food can allow dogs.  However, generally town bars and pubs are not so dog friendly. To prove this to you  Mr Him and I decided to explore a new tavern in town.

We left the dogs at home and dressed in Sussex finery to watch the smart set.   The set that dress up and drink casually with friends on a Sunday afternoon, because they can. Because they have the luxury of nothing else pressing to do.  The set that have sunglasses on heads even in the winter.  More on that here on my boring blog.

On arrival, to disprove my point, I found this on the patio.  A darn dog bowl.  Not just a bowl but a dedicated beer  water barrel for dogs!  Well, proving my point was going to go well! 

Inside we settled down for a small glass of wine and a wheat ale for Mr Him. These ales apparently are better with a cordial to sweeten them.  A trick Mr Him learnt in Germany in his youth and passed on to others in the Tavern who screwed up their faces at their first slurp of the wheat Ale.

The Tavern is one belonging to a local brewery,  Dark Star brewery in Partridge Green.

 We liked the decor.

Oh, what's that hiding behind the stools?  Would it be a darn dog?

Well, that disproves my point about towns.  I will have to try harder next Sunday,  if the money lasts. 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Mr Him is Confused

Dear reader,  it's been a quiet week, with me not talking, and Mr Him has mostly behaved.  I say mostly because I did let him sleep Sunday night in the lounge due to his confusion.  He was strangely none the wiser.  It must have been the rums he consumed in the afternoon. 

We had walked the dogs to the pub on the basis that I could walk and drink with braces in. Mr Him did seek assurance that I couldn't speak .  I gave that assurance, anxious to enjoy a drink or two.

The woods were muddy and green,  the dogs muddy and keen, Mr Him dapper and lean  (I wish. ) 

We had a first round  (notice use of first.  It suggests more, delightfully). 

 Some pubs in the UK have free nibbles on the bar on Sundays. 

We partook of sausage rolls,  because I could. Lovely and squidgy.  Mr Him tempted the dogs,  look at those eyes ! Feral in their eagerness.

Mr Him went to the bar for another round.  Seems it was on the basis of one for him  two for us as he snuck a rum tasting in for himself whilst he ordered our round. 

He must have liked the rum as when I said two for us,  I meant it. 

Having finished this round we  joined another couple at their table to help them with their round.  Mr Him was particularly keen when they suggested it but disappointed and confused to find they meant a board game or two rather than beverages.