In fact, he highpoint of my Great Southern Tickathon, a night at a the Westy Beer Festival. Me at a beer festival ? With more than one beer ?
Well, the West End Centre, host of the Westy, was in GBG21, so I guess it counts as a post-emptive/pre-emptive.
Here’s a picture of pub legends Pubmeister and Maltmeister reading the minutes of the GBG Tickers Convention to determine whether a half at a beer festival can truly count as a tick for a venue.
Don’t smoke in bed, kids.
Duncs and Malt had bagged the Spoons Hotel (Spotel ?) in the town centre; I’d played the discount game and got a Premier Inn under £40 half a mile out as prices tumbled in Stay-At-Home Britain.
If I’d signed up as a Premier Inn VIP a month ago, rather than booking as a guest, I’d have earnt a free night in Maidenhead by now. Win some, lose some.
There’s drizzle in the air, it is Hampshire, and I’m grateful for the respite offered by the underpass whose art reminds me Aldershot is a military town.
It’s also smaller than you think, with very few central pubs, but at least they’re Proper Pubs.
It’s a town in transition, closer in feel to Wigan than Wokingham,
with loads of cranes dotting the north end of town, and a lovely exhibition documenting the Gurkha contribution to town life.
Which included this place I earmarked for post-festival curry.
Though as Johney Ghurka was threatening 22:00 closure (due to Covid as it comes out at 10pm) I had a back-up option.
Right, it’s raining, let’s so a beer festival.
One chap wasn’t happy;
Let’s not pretend I enjoyed it. Plastic glasses, half pints only, variable beers, but the conversation was good, mostly about Wet Leg and jellied eels.
There weren’t any jellied eels with Uncle Bill’s pies, but they looked good enough, so how we resisted I’ll never know.
After 8 halves each the conversation had reached a peak;
“Mark Twain was Shania’s grandad“. Uncle, actually.
At 21:45 I phoned Johney and asked if we could get a curry.
“I’m sorry. we’re too quiet, we’re closing soon“.
Within 5 minutes we were seated and scoffing poppadoms.
Nepalese cuisine is varied (try momos), so the clue is to pick the dishes you can’t pronounce. ALWAYS.
It was gorgeous. Dry, feisty and tasty. Just like me.
Malt over-ordered, so I had a whole cheese naan and Gurkhali Chicken for breakfast, and Duncan made a fuss about an out-of-date After Dinner mint.
It wasn’t really out-of-date, just over-refrigerated. You can’t take some people anywhere.