The last post from Scotland for, ooh, two weeks, when I’m back up to Glasgow, finally doing that elusive Coatbridge Spoons.
I’ve left the best from this trip ’till last though, as well as a few reasons apart from great pubs to visit Musselburgh.
Here’s some highlights, reflecting the sunset, architecture, street art, S.Luca’s ice cream parlour, Ghurka curry, the famed “Honest Miss Musselburgh 2017” contest, and a vain attempt to mirror Glasgow’s iconic “Traffic cone on horse” artwork.
On the downside, hipster chic has bitten hard, even if it hasn’t reached the pubs.
So, a big thumbs-up for the Scottish Herne Bay then.
Ultimately, though, that other pubby highlight is a basic gem, named after the suburb a mile east of town.
With Simon’s permission, I’m thinking of starting a new category of “BRAPA pubs”, proper friendly locals with more happening than you can cope with. The Leavenhall Arms would be a “BRAPA pub” *
A little bit of Freemantle in Scotland, but even better, and with high quality Ossian (£3.20 a pint) and Borders beer on air pressure. Excitingly, it was served in a Tennents glass on a Sam Smiths beer mat.
The Sam Smiths connection ran deep,
but there was clearly just enough real stuff passing through the tap to make it viable.
My notes are a week old now, but include the following observations;
- The barmaid was (seemingly) reading a gent’s fortune.
- The gent then began arguing with the one-armed bandit (see also:Royston).
- A small girl knocked over a table of dominoes.
- Everyone chatting to everyone else, often at the same time, and largely about changing tyres (possibly a Scottish euphemism).
- When we left the barmaid said “Bubbye lads” and the bandit arguer said “Cheerio Son“, though to Charles rather than me.
- Will Young’s “Leave Right Now” brought a tear to my eye.
We should have left after a pint, but it was utterly compulsive stuff, and we stayed for more beer and crisps that entirely sensible.
A pub that gives you hope for the future of the corner boozer.
NB The programme (top) from Scotland’s consolation victory in the Euro 1968 Qualifying was the highlight of a great collection, including our only sighting of 80/
I never actually saw the Belhaven commemorative beer in Scotland (they don’t like to talk about that game up there), so here’s a picture from Wootton in the New Forest. Complete with sample bottle.
* I appreciate there’s dozens of pubs like this in Eccles, but they’re not in the GBG.