A week ago I was waking up in Bristol ahead of the first big Proper Pubs Day Out of the year.

A day for the southern contingent of the Old (and younger) Codgers in Bath, five of us travelling from afar, and me with an 11 minute journey from Temple Meads.

I’d put together a modest itinerary, largely a repeat of the famous trip in 2018 where we found the Best Bass in the World. After complaints from Codgers with dodgy joints on previous trips the route would mean less than a mile’s walk in both directions.

I’d arranged EVERYTHING. Except a lunch stop (eatin’s cheatin’) and the weather. Light rain ruined my attempts to capture Bath at its best, but I did admire the floral phone box and the city’s coat of arms,

which in Latin means “Marks & Spencer“.

Only one tick on this Bath trip, but it still needs to be done. The Crystal Palace has one of the best sites in town, tucked away on Abbey Green near the Abbey, the Baths, and Sally Lunn’s Historic Eating House.

Oooh, it’s Sally Lunn’s. Built in 1680 !” says an American tourist to her English guest. Americans are SO impressed by old stuff. And cake.

I decide that black and white shots work best in the drizzle,

then change my mind.

It’s 10:59. I’m the first Pub Man at the door of Fuller’s Crystal Palace. The door is open, I go in.

The Abbey bell strikes the hour.

Can I HELP you ?”

Oh, I was hoping for a drink ?”

We’re not open just yet“.

See. It’s not just micros.

I walk round the block, try again 2 minutes later, and suddenly it’s open. Was it worth the wait ?

Technically, ESB should only be drunk at King’s Cross Station as the 7th pint on a Saturday, but I start the day with a half, setting down a marker.

It’s cool if unexciting (NBSS 3), unlike the menu, which excitingly brings the price of a sandwich close to a tenner.

The highlight is a soul soundtrack from the years of 73-76 when this was an Eldridge Pope house.

We leave just before noon, by which time the bar is filling up nicely with a mixed crowd of tourists, couples and Old Boys, most of them stumping up the £5 a pint.

Bath is bouncing back to life, a pattern we’ll see repeated in successive pubs as we gamely forget to eat.

11 thoughts on “AN EARLY BATH (TICK)

  1. It’s a Yes Minister style brave man who deliberately has a knowingly dodgy curry the evening before a Good Day Out. 5 pints of Bass on gravity and an unfortunate event on The Paragon?


      1. Are you speaking of MY buffet!

        Was that your first visit to the Crystal? If so, I beat you by 11 years! Probably better now, though.

        Liked by 1 person

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