I could have lumped The Castle in with the Besom on the previous post but I find writing more than 500 words tiring as I reach extreme old age. Even BRAPA is cutting back on those “Moby Dick” length posts these days.
Onto the Castle Hotel.
Looking at the Google extract now, it’s evident there’s more “things” than people (1,813) in and around Coldstream, It’s so dark, we can’t see anything anyway, including the sign for the (New)castle Arms which we then walk into by mistake.
No handpumps, and no harm done.
But over the road we’re accosted by an enthusiastic lady staring intently into the charity shop, helpfully marked as “Charity Shop” on Google Maps.
” Scuse me, scuse me. Can you see a 3rd heart dangling from the tree” No.
“Press yer head against the glass and look behind the “Live Well” sign” Still no.
“I think I can see a reflection. Look closer” We could see nothing.
Mrs RM loves a mystery. The mystery here, equal to anything on “Lost”, was that a third dangly heart reserved by the lady appeared to be missing from the window display. Had it been sold ? Would the police be involved ?
We would never find out, but advised her to sleep outside the entrance so she’d be first in the queue at 10am with her £1.50 when the shop re-opened.
Real life in the Castle too, but rather less dramatic. Again, hard to pick it out in the dark, unless you had carrot soup for lunch.
A homely, but modernised little village pub had a large group of locals round one big table, so we headed for the benches. A very cheery barmaid was eating her tea at the side of the bar. Unlike some traditionalists, that bothers me not a jot.
The scatter cushions bothered me rather more so. Mrs RM instead noticed the Sooty on a boat feature.
Keeping up the theme of invisible Coldstream, we could see no real ale in the Castle, an unmarked hand pump suggesting “seasonal availability“. Always a moral dilemma for the proper pub ticker – can you consider it ticked with a glass of keg ? (yes).
“No real ale, then ?”
“Oh yes” Points to pump “this is Jarl“.
Result. It was nectar, too (NBSS 4). Even in a Joh Smiths Smooth glass. Three hearts for branded glassware.
In the interests of research, I made Mrs RM sample the rarely seen (for good reason) McEwans 80/, something of a comedown after the Jarl.
The best way to sum up the banter would be “unacceptable in a Sam Smiths” and drawing heavily on the traditions of Billy Connolly. They all said “Bye” when we left, which is all you can ask for in Scotland.
Bit arty on the way to the loos, this picture clearly from the Charity Shop. Hope they didn’t buy that 3rd heart too.
Next stop, Kelso.