Saturday, 8 March 2008
This was the scene in the Royal Albert pub on the New Cross/Deptford border last night, at about 9.30pm. Some of the great and the good of the Lewisham blogging scene met to drink, chat, swap anecdotes, and (of course) knit.
Thanks to Andrew and Robert for organising it again and for nagging us all to remember. The venue was chosen with the idea of giving us more space to spread out - but although the Royal Albert is a larger pub than the Jolly Farmers, it is just as popular! The first hour or so was rather cosy, until we managed to annexe another table, but we managed to scrape through without anyone having to stand!
and Steve, who's not strictly speaking a blogger, he's a forum hoster, but we didn't let that get in the way of things!
The Lewisham Bloggers Knitting Subgroup was officially launched by myself and Clare; she had brought along a knitting kit that was given to her at Christmas, so I cast on for her and then set her on her way with the knitting. I kept her company by working on my latest sock, and our creativity was noted by one of the bar staff who was a novice knitter. Hopefully she will come along to join one of our meetings at Deptford Properly!
At this point I'd just like to digress somewhat to recount a rather disturbing experience at the bar, and I will precede this by saying that I have always found visits to the Royal Albert to be very pleasant. The beer is well-kept, although I'm not keen on the large tankards they insist on using (they aggravate my RSI-inflicted wrists as they are rather heavy), the food is good, the ambience is always relaxing and quite traditional in feel. In short, a valuable part of my local pub scene.
But in 25-odd years of drinking real ale by the pint, I have NEVER had my request for a top-up refused in such a rude and ignorant manner! Sure, sometimes I've had to gently explain to bar staff who are obviously lager drinkers, that I prefer less head on my pint, but they have always been happy to oblige. This particular pint of London Pride, served in a straight glass with no pint mark on it, had a good inch of head on it. My request to the chap behind the bar for a top-up resulted in a point-blank 'no, it's fine'. I was fair gobsmacked! I had to insist, and even then he had the gall to try and argue that the Pride was 'a bit more fizzy' than the others! Yes, knob-head, that's why you let it settle before you top it up!
I didn't let a fine evening be marred by the incident, and luckily I wasn't served by him again, but mark my words, the Dame will be Keeping Her Eye on this particular establishment over the next few months.
Thanks to all who came, for a very entertaining and pleasant evening, thanks to Andrew and Robert for your organisational and nagging skills, and hope to see you all again soon!