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

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. 

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. 

Week one of the Braces

Dear reader,  contrary to my current general ambition I have cluttered my mouth (no pics). Yes,  my mouth is full of metal clutter in the form of braces.  I now can't chew which may help on the dieting front.  Someone told me they lost 10kg in the first month of having braces. 

What have I eaten on the 'braces' diet ?  Mashed potatoes,  mashed banana, more mashed potato,  soup, scrambled egg mashed with tuna,  Quorn lasagna,  more mashed potato, avacado, more soup.  I've introduced chocolate to the microwave for the purpose of melting. I'm displaying horrendous manners by dunking biscuits, and worse,  meringues.  I'm sore.

I've found the braces introduction quite an eye opener.  I wasn't warned about the initial discomfort nor the need to eat slush.  Lisping is a bit embarrassing and I'm explaining it with every phone call I am on.   I'm cleaning my teeth in the restroom at work to remove the inevitable porridge stuck in the braces.  As if that wasn't enough I find that I am being treated as a dental consultant.  Suddenly people (men) are opening their mouths before me for comment,  cooing or inspection.   This is quite disconcerting when it's your colleagues,  Joe over the other side of the aisle who I've never spoken to before now has a sudden need to show me his molars,   George in accounting smiles broadly to show me he wants braces,  Duncan in HR wants me to see his unaligned front teeth and Freddie in reporting  opens wide to show me his teeth are twisted.  The common 'denta'nominator is they are all male.  Women,  have no such need to show me their dental failings.  They do however have advice. Even conference calls with our banks in the US has a 10 minute pre-business discussion on benefits of and advise on how to manage metal braces, along with soothing noises of it will get better in a couple of weeks.

Lunch Date with CEO

Dear reader, there is a little known, but in my world proven, positive correlation between eating a sandwich lunch with our CEO and the prior day having dental work.  Luckily I'm not invited to lunch frequently otherwise I'd be in a permanent state of mouth discomfort,  which may be their aim when I think on it. It has the affect of shutting me up I must admit. How did I discover this correlation?  Through much painful and expensive experimentation.

A couple of years ago I had a tooth out.  The next day our CEO invited me and 7 others to a sandwich lunch in his office.  This was all fine except I left my crusts.  I endeavoured to explain that I wasn't a fussy eater.  Two years later and I have an invitation for a sandwich lunch with our CEO today.  Yesterday,  I had braces fitted and now can't chew properly.  I can imagine a chorus of 'don't believe her, she said that last time, ' when I tell our new CEO I'm not a fussy eater.

Oh the lunch is cancelled!  To be rearranged.  Urgh, I feel a root canal coming along.

Clayton Mills and Views

Dear reader, I am taking you on another pictorial delight.  To do this I had to bundle 6 living entities into my car on Sunday, myself, Mr Him (necessary for the lostness), Miss 22, the Automotive Engineer and 2 dogs.

We went to walk a little of the South Downs Way.  I say a little, we only had an hour as it gets dark early now and we went after lunch.  The South Downs Way runs along the top of the South Downs from Winchester to Eastbourne.  You will recollect Miss 22 had an adventure in Winchester recently here. It is apparently the first capital of England.  

Last Sunday we started at the Clayton Mills.  About the mills here .  We parked near the working mill, Jill.  It is possible to tour this working mill and buy milled flour from here, complete with millstone grit.


Jack is looking sadly forsaken

Jack is not dapper anymore. Lost his sails and sweeps
View from Jack to the north.  
Joining the South Downs Way

 view to the South

There's always one!

The South Downs are chalky, think white cliffs of Dover and Beachy Head.  Beachy Head is at the Eastbourne end of the South Downs Way. 

The path is chalky.  

Mr Him and dogs checking they aren't in Lostness.  Luna is on a lead because of sheep here.

trees are stunted and misshapen as they are exposed on the top of the downs.

back to Jill

view from the carpark

Leopard Print and Grammar

So dear reader,  (yes, the grammar police will be after me but it's necessary to break the mould now and then) I have been styling America this week.  More on my boring blog. However, I must tell you an anecdote.

I was on the platform with my faithful Nat Nav. 

Not the platform but a pic from my cutting room floor

She was wondering whether any UK people were following the style prompt which that day was burgundy,  leopard print and black.  She asked if hair counted!!!

I looked around and saw a lady with burgundy long hair (grammar police, beware, this is not the correct order.  Revel in how wrong burgundy long hair sounds instead of long, burgundy hair)  

 'Oh I thought you meant leopard print, ' I said.

We contemplated the leopard print hair concept for a bit then moved on.  We caught our train,  got off at the next stop and put on our hats.

'You're the one with leopard print hair, ' she pointed out.

Now for the grammar police and linguists here's a little something Petra sent me.

 Can any one tell the difference between 'Completed' and 'Finished'?  No dictionary has ever been able to define the difference between 'Complete' and 'Finished.'  However, in a linguistic conference, held in London England, Sun Sherman an Indian American, was the clever winner.   His final challenge was this. His response was: When you marry the right woman, you are 'Complete.' If you marry the wrong woman, you are 'Finished.' And , when the right woman catches you with the wrong woman, you are 'Completely Finished.'  His answer  received a five minute standing ovation._*

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