Greetings from Southsea where I’ve just discovered two of the best pubs in the world are next to each other. Expect a report in a month or so.
For now we are still in Fife, where I’ve just jumped off the 99 as I need a “comfort break” in lovely Crail, (pop. 1,812).
Never heard of it before, but it’s got more Beer Guide pubs than Wembley, and I stopped here half an hour into the trek to Anstruther.
If I’m honest it was much due to the bumpy bus ride along the coast as my weak bladder. And because I can’t bear to pass an unticked pub as attractive as the Golf Hotel.
I said “Hello” and headed straight for the Gents, nearly breaking my walking leg on the descent.
Normally I’d order my half first before heading to the loo, it’s only polite, but the posh young Sassenach students on a romantic trip out from the Uni were taking sooooo long to decide I couldn’t wait.
Back at the bar the Landlady seemed to serve the locals their Tennents first before turning to me.
I asked Hugo what he was drinking. The following exchange actually happened.
“Scuse me. Is that Bitter and Twisted” (pointing to his beer).
” I don’t know what it is yet. I haven’t tasted it“.
Er, no, I meant…Oh never mind.
“It’s called Guzzler“. Finally. This was a man to whom Guzzler was as exotic as Mikkeller’s Eat Your Own Ears is to you and me.
This thankfully wasn’t the same barrel of Guzzler that Si and I suffered in mid-Wales 3 years ago. It was cool and fruity and rather impressive (NBSS 3.5).
The bar was filling up as Motherwell attempted to keep the Scottish league alive by capitulating to Rangers, just like Spurs do in England.
I had to squeeze into the snug-like corner, unable to watch the (lack of) drama, but just far enough away from the furnace to avoid incineration.
My little corner had a picture of Nicholas with his 1977 award for Tennents drinker of the year, and a tiny table for my beer.
It was wonderful.
I took my glass back, and said thanks. I’m sure the Landlady said “Later !”. What can it mean.
Half an hour to the next bus, enough to do a bit of coastal path and buy a huge bar of Cadbury’s Whole Nut.
There were a few American tourists, bored of walking the same street in St Andrews. Crail felt authentically remote and I liked it a lot.
But an hour was plenty. Anstruther awaits me.