Monday, 30 December 2013

Two Sawyers Christmas Party

Every year us drammy folks get together to celebrate a year of (hopefully) theatrical success by drinking and eating ourselves into a stupor.  It helps for developing our stage presence, or at least makes it easier for the audience to see us on stage.  Ahem.    For the last couple of years our venue of choice to desend upon en-masse has been the Two Sawyers.
It is a little off the beaten track, outside of the city walls and not the most obvious location for a party, but it has one very distinct thing going for it.
It serves chips at the buffet.  Hot, steaming, crispy yet fluffy chips.  The type of chips you burn your fingers and tongue on as you are too impatient to let them cool down before you stuff your face.  At a buffet.  For us, this is genius.
This is the main reason we come here for our Christmas shindigs! Of course it is not the only reason.  It is also warm and friendly and when I called to book they remembered us and said that they didn't mind how long we stayed for - the front doors could always be locked as long as we didn't mind the landlord hanging around in his pajamas.  Can't really ask for more than that!
Recently I seem to have stumbled into the role of adhoc social secretary for the Players.  It's a relatively easy role as we don't really need a lot of arm twisting as an excuse to come out and play and just really involves remembering to remind people about our monthly social and organising our Christmas party.
A lot of people thanked me afterwards for sorting out our little get together and I felt like such a fraud for accepting their thanks as it really was the simplest thing in the world!  All it involved was calling the pub, setting a date, getting some cash off people, give the cash to the pub and show up.  Damn, if this is all it takes to be an event organiser I should have switched careers years ago!

We are a pretty chilled out and relaxed brunch normally but at this time of year the Christmas spirit (and the Christmas beer and the Christmas wine and the Christmas gin) was flowing and everyone got a little more sparkly than normal.
I mentioned the chips but the Two Sawyers does a mean hot buffet for groups.  There is a mountain of food and it just keeps coming; from duck and hoisin spring rolls to prawn wonton's, beetroot and goats cheese mini pies to jacket potatoes complete with cheesy beans.  It is a glutton's paradise.
Desserts are even better and there may have been a couple of platters that (not so discretely) disappeared onto individual tables!
It is the last chance for us to gather before the Christmas season gets into full swing so everyone is taking advantage to dish out cards and well wishes and stock up on the gossip for the next couple of weeks.
The Two Sawyers is a lovely little pub for this type of occasion.  It is warm and intimate with a brilliant selection of wine, cider and ale behind the bar (a selection that a few people were determined to work their way through).
It is another oldie but goldie; there is mention of a Two Sawyers in Ivy Lane in 1784 and you can trace publicans back to the 1800's.  It had a facelift in 2012 (when they got rid of the jukebox - something I was devastated about as many an evening had been spent in here, pouring money into it and singing at the top of our lungs.  Come to think of it, we may have been the reason that they got rid of it).
It appeals to locals and is a popular haunt for the college kids down the road.  Sawyer is an archaic term for someone who cuts wood to length and if you look closely around the pub there are subtle tributes to the pub's nomenclature.
There is a nice little beer garden to while away the summer days in but in my mind this will always be a winter pub.
It just seems to work well with twinkling lights and board games by the fireplace.  It has its own resident dog as well that will happily wander around and beg for bar treats.
I suppose it is only inevitable when a group of us get together but talk soon turned to our up and coming productions.  For some of us (Steve, RV, Sinead, Ben, Stella and myself as well as quite a few others) rehearsals for our next play, Hobson's Choice, start in early January so we all chatted about how little line learning we have actually done and the state of our turn-of-the-century northern accents.  We are on in March at the Playhouse in Whitstable so I have 3 months to crack the vowel sounds!
John was keen to promote his musical debut with one of the other companies in Canterbury, the Canterbury Operatics.  They are in the middle of rehearsals for Sweeney Todd at the moment, going on stage at the Marlowe in May and John is playing Anthony.
I'm looking forward to seeing that!

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