Canterbury had done me pretty well on this most difficult of State Funeral ticking days. Three pubs down, one to go. I'd had to hang around until 17:30 opening, which hadn't been ideal, but at least they'd been clear about their intentions on Facebook, which was a helluva lot better than most.
It appeared in the late afternoon sun, twinkling up at me with a cheeky air of menace about it.
|Have you ever seen anything more cheeky menacing?|
I'm one of the first customer's inside the New Inn, Canterbury (2396 / 3960). On first glance, it is very much a basic, locals boozer like the Eight Bells, but it is immediately apparent that it has a lot more depth - and I don't just mean literally. It snakes all the way back to a light conservatory where the loos are, but for the most part, it is pure pub theatre. A barman serves me a hazy but very pleasant Arbor Shangri-La, the kind of thing you see in York Tap. I take it to a seat by the front so I have a good vantage point of any occurrences. The good thing about occurrences is that they have a good chance of occurring. It isn't long before the 'characters' start rolling in, and it is only because this is my 5th pint of the day that my recollections are hazier than the Arbor. Patrick is the first to stamp his personality on proceedings, a sort of richly drawn Harry Enfield posho stuck in a different era. He is upset that the Guinness isn't on. He's recommended a beer I really liked up in Droylsden called 'Stout Detectives'. "Tastes a bit medieval, like me!" he comments, tying in with my assessment of him. A young lady who can't be much older than 25 walks in. She complains about her current working hours , orders a pint of St Austell Tribute and sups it off on a nearby table. I've never seen the like! And craziest of all, this lady who sat on the end. Sadly, I made no notes and had already done my Twitter check in at this point but she was a really impressive, highly intelligent but terrifying individual. Colin had to return to his bag for fear of being seen or we'd never have got away, let us just put it like that, a real rarity. But what a smashing pub.
|Shhh Colin, hide!|
|It could've actually have been the Surrey Hills Collusion but I don't think so|
|Oooh, those bar towels will be collectors items soon|
|"Two more, we only want two more, so go on BRAPA score"|