My 25 December lunch comprised 3 pints and an (out-of-date) packet of crisps, so the second post from Innerleithen may not be my best.
But this Monday evening was; from the welcome from Pam (who I keep calling Pat) at the Old Town Hall to the mint with the curry.
It’s just a shame the Tweedside was closed so I couldn’t test the Tennents for Tandleman.
But I did get a shot of the green tiling next door that looks awfully familiar;
and the St Ronan’s Hotel turned out to be one of the unexpected highlights of ScotTick21 or whatever I call this.
I mean, it looks VERY basic, doesn’t it ? The sort of place that made the Guide in Gillingham in 2003 with Master Brew on gravity and then the Landlord died in a motorboat accident off Sheerness.
But it was quite, quite wonderful, particularly with the hidden handpump. All the best pubs have a hidden handpump, as if they’re ashamed to serve cask.
I feared the worst, with a row of Stella drinkers at the bar, but for once the Born in the Borders came up trumps (not HIM), the Amber a fruity 3.5. 3.5, in Scotland ! I was so excited I told Duncan, who just assumed I was pissed.
From my vantage point I could take in the majestic sight and sound of a South African tell the locals that Number 39 is the most picked number in the lottery. I think South Africans in pubs are always a good thing.
In Saffron 20 minutes later, having decided that taking salt and pepper chicken from the Chinese takeaway back to my pristine room wasn’t acceptable, I had the company of local curry fans.
Saffron had a menu printed on what looked like cotton,
and a special offer of onion bhajis, East Benghal chicken and naan for £17.95. Which isn’t Bradford cheap but was Bradford quality.
The local chap asked me if he could play his favourite Christmas tune on his phone, and I agreed with home that Christmas doesn’t start till Greg Lake sings “They said there’ll be snow at Christmas“.
And of course he was right.