AWAKE, KIPPEN, A WAKE

Another small west Stirlingshire village, another tick in the tricky (and artificial) Loch Lomond chapter of the Guide,

another weathered information board, this one welcoming me to Kippen (pop. 1,140).

If you can make head or tail of that you win the battered haggis I’ve keeping in a sock in the campervan since early August.

Quite a few visitors by the look of the parked cars; surely not all here to admire the parish church (15 “superb” stained glass windows by Herbert Hendrie),

or the floral displays ?

The local council isn’t exactly welcoming you with open arms either, with its “Spirit of 2020” signage.

But there’s a bustle from the lounge in the Cross Keys, the joy and laughter meaning only one thing;

Another wake, but at least this one isn’t really affecting the operation of the pub, except for the strain on the bar staff.

I’ll wait for the official research on this, but I reckon funeral attendees drink more real ale than any other category of pub visitors except CAMRAs.

At the bar, a 76 year old lady breaks off a conversation about Armageddon* to say “I’ll…TRY the Loch Lomond“, so for the first time in weeks I get to enjoy a beer that’s recently been pulled,

and I find it super cool and crispy, a 3.5 at least.

It’s a characterful, classy place, something confirmed by the presence of Haggis & Scotch Eggs on the menu.

YES ! The same scotch egg. They’re £8 quid though (actually, it just says “8”). I resist.

*this visit was in August when the world looked a bad place but obviously it’s all fine now that Blackpool Jane has left a glowing review of our new en-suite.

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