Friday, 19 April 2013

Happy Birthday Matt!

Matt turned 26 last week.

He didn't seem too happy about it!
To celebrate we went to a pub in Bridge, a small village just outside of Canterbury.

Bridge is tiny, but there are three thriving pubs all located on the high street within 100 yards of each other.

Matt is friends with the landlord and lady who run this one so it is a regular haunt for him.
The Plough and Harrow is a traditional Kentish village pub and a Grade II listed building, complete with hops hanging from the ceiling, bar billiards, darts and a weekly Cribs club.
 Just look at the tiled floor.
There are many small tables dotted around the pub.  Every Friday I was told groups of men come in to sit, drink, talk and play Cribs together.  It reminded me of Italy where men in the early evening during an aperitif would sit and talk and argue together over cigarettes and liqueur, putting the world to rights.
The landlady bought out baskets of hot grilled sausages halfway through the night with toothpicks to eat them with.

Major brownie points.  
Matt even has his own tankard kept for him behind the bar.  
Dog lovers are welcome; the pups can run around freely.  Just don't feed them bar snacks!

The landlord and lady are friendly and take pride in their establishment.  One round in and when I returned to the bar the landlord remembered exactly what I had ordered previously.  As a non-regular this was unexpected but welcomed.  This type of personal touch is becoming rarer in British pubs and it is valued. 
I also love the exposed beams and brickwork in the little beer garden.
Close to Howlett's Wild Animal Park, pop in for a leisurely drink and after a stroll through the rolling Kentish Down's.

Both Matt and his girlfriend Asya had nasty bouts of tonsillitis and were on antibiotics so this was a quite a chilled out evening.

I met people I hadn't met before who knew people I knew.  Canterbury is a bit like that.  It is very hard to get 7 degrees of separation from anyone.  It is normally two or three at the most. 

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