Obviously, the Crown had opened when I rejoined the (non-existent) queue at 11:45. Grrr.

All the booths will either have been taken or reserved (boooo !) by now.

No ! I grab the last one, dashing the hopes and dreams of Martha from Michigan and Helmut from Hanover. And they really did look angry as I attempted to spread out my possessions (thermometer, pashmina, spare socks) over seating for at least four.

Gorgeous, isn’t it ? And with a great view of the bar.

I call Mrs RM to come quickly.

Booth at the end

Where, I can’t see you !

I stand up and wave over the top of the booths.

We’re reunited, I have secured the prize.

“Where’s my beer ?” she says.

Far too many beers, that’s Nicholson’s for you. The Whitewater and the Landlord, I think.

They’re OK, perhaps I should have waited an hour till a few had been sold, but then we’d be standing at the bar and what idiot does that ?

The local beer is a 2.5, the Tim Taylor a 3.5, so that’s OK. It tastes like beer, and the Crown feels like a pub, alive with the hum of noise (and not ’80s pop, either).

I send Mrs RM off to the bar to buy more beer. She comes back 10 minutes later muttering “****ing sexists” as she’s somehow been ignored in favour of Americans at the bar, but the Dark Star American (ironically) Pale Ale is cool and decent. I suspect the Yanks are buying it on name.

Matt and Emma are an hour away, so we order some mussels and Irish stew.

It’s not the prices that should alarm you, as much as the calorie count.


Matt and Emma arrive, Mrs RM locks the door to stop folk peering in aggressively, I take photos.

There’s probably more on my Instagram account if you’re desperate.

The youngsters looked moderately impressed, I was entranced. Just bring back the Draught Bass, heh ?.


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