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27 June 2007

An English Pub

My bread machine failed this morning, or rather the mixture I out in it did. The yeast must have been off because when it bleeped to tell me it had done it's job all I found inside was a shrivelled, dark brown blob. Dam, no bread for lunch and I had not planned on doing any shopping as I had other calls on my time.
by midday my most pressing jobs were done and I look out the window to see the sun was trying it's best but there were clearly rain clouds gathering in the distance. Best take brac for his walk now and maybe I won't get wet. I give mum a ring to see if she wants to join me. she is having to do more exercise on doctor's orders so joining me on dog walks is ideal. "give me 10 minutes and I'll meet you in the normal place". I hang up and wander into the kitchen to pick up my car keys. I remember I don't have nay bread for lunch. Back on the phone to mum, "shall we get a pub lunch?" "Great, that would be nice."
There is a 14th century pub, called 'The chequers' about a mile and a half away with a reasonable area for walking next to it by the river. The pub is quite rustic, nothing fancy, plain but good food, beams, open fire in winter, tables that don't have little brass numbers set into them, friendly atmosphere and happy to accept dogs. Basically the quintessential English pub. I collect mum and we head for it. the rain clouds are building so we decide to walk first and eat after.
The walk does wonders for my appetite and we are quite looking forward to getting back to the pub. We walk in and purchase some drinks, puruse the menu and order some food. We sat down at a table opposite the bar and Brac lies down at my side. I was vaguely aware that the girl serving was new but thought little of it.
The people at the next table start making a fuss of Brac who is all too happy for the attention. He often gets a fuss made of him here, even the chef would come out and give him a hug as he liked Border collies. but things have changed. we are about half way through our meal when an older lady comes over to us to ask which of us owned the dog. "I do" I said. "We don't allow dogs in here when people are eating" she replies as if it has always been so and I should know.
"Since when? I've been coming here for years and there has never been a problem?"
"It's the law".
"Only if you class yourself as a restaurant. It's no illegal in a pub." I respond.
"Well it our rules."
"Brac was always made a fuss of by your staff before"
"That was the previous owners, we've only been here 3 month. You can take him outside in the garden next time." but I had already decided there wasn't going to be a 'Next time'.
We finished our meal and left. No coffee or desert and no intention of returning. Dogs make pubs, they are part of the fixtures and fittings in my book. As traditional as an open fire.
Before we left the people at the next table made a big show of fussing Brac some more. I knew they felt the same as me.
Now back to that bread machine.


Mim said...

That sucks. I hate it when places get new ownership and rules that have always worked get changed.

On another note...I'm totally going to come out to visit...even if we have never met! I'm sure Ozzy would love some walks in the country side with Brac...and I'd love a pub! :)

Sally T said...

Excellent. Drop me an e-mail when you decide to sort something out. E-mail is sallysblog[at]

Mim said...

In all honesty it could be years before I cross the atlantic. But I'm sure when i do finally decide to even get myself a passport we'll still be blogging and still in touch.
We do have friends who may be moving to the UK, so I may decide to jump on a plane sooner then my mind expects.

Anonymous said...

What dog-haters!
That is an outrage. I actually used to have a collie myself. A blue meral collie, and she was the best dog in the world.
You should give Brac alot of water and then have him pee on the pub.

Sally T said...

Ummm, not too sure that would improve matters, but I know what you mean. The problem is that most publicans are not locals, they are employees of the brewery who go where they are sent. They have no idea how the pub ran before they came and as they were probably brought up in London simply think that dogs are kept shut up at home all day apart from a quick walk in a local designated dog walking park. Hey ho!

A Margarita said...

How vexing! You shall have to find a new pub to frequent, one who will alow Brac. Making my own bread sounds intriguing.

Sally T said...

Well, it's the bread machine that does the making. I just drop the ingredients in, press a few buttons and let it get on with it. Usually it works fine, but I think the yeast was off.

Linda said...

It is part of the charm of France to have dogs here and there in restaurants, cafes and bars. I wasn't so charmed, once, when on a TGV the lady next to me had a gigantic german shepherd. She was by the window and had the dog squeezed in next to her on the floor. Eventually, I ended up by the window and the dog was in the aisle the whole time blocking the progress of passengers but no one ever said a thing, not even the conductor.