Before we move on from the Half Moon in Hitchin, here’s another (less controversial) photo of that party. The inflatable unicorn doesn’t look any happier I’m taking a photo of her, does she ?
We’d enjoyed a lovely hour or so with Hitchin John, reminiscing about back alleys and forgotten boozers, but we were struggling to decide on a second pub.
The place Mrs RM always gravitated to in the ’90s was a small half-beamed place called Assizes which served loads of real ale (often badly), then went through various incarnations as the Sunrunner before setting on life as a wine bar called the brickyard (note small caps).
I can only assume that folk come here at 21:37 as it was deathly quiet at 18:37 on Saturday, or perhaps it’s the lack of cask that scares people off.
But not John and Mrs RM and I, who settled for the “Youngs Stout” and Punk IPA from a spartan range enjoyed on a high table.
Two highlights, apart from John. Lovely staff, and some great Hitchin memorabilia in the Gents. Stick Draught Bass on handpump and I’ll call back in 2029.
John left us then to prepare mentally to meet BRAPA in a week’s time, and we contemplated an early tea.
Only one option while we were in nostalgic mood.
Back in the ’90s, before BRAPA was legally allowed to terrorise pubs, we divided our weekly curry custom between at least five Indian restaurants, but the plain looking Raj Douth was the name that stuck in my head.
It hadn’t changed, and an only slightly worse-for-wear (after another bottle of Malbec) Mrs RM delightedly told the waiter our memories of life in a Hertfordshire town, which sounds like a Dream Academy outtake.
The menu is unchanged since 1993, with “specialities” competing with “timeless classics” and “old favourites” for attention.
This was our first Proper Curry in a restaurant since last year, and a reminder of what made Britain great. It was a bit quiet, mostly takeaway trade, till a group of lads came in and ordered pints of Cobra.
Lamb Shaslik and something represented by the letters Raj LM on the bill, all made with quality meat and not too soupy to use the Curryheute vernacular.
You can tell an authentic curry from the After Eight Mints.
And so the sun set on the Sunrunner and the Shaslik and we looked forward to meeting the in-laws the next day.
No, really I did.