Friday, 6 July 2012

English Pub

For a moment you might think of the front of an old galleon, rigging done away with, landlocked and laid up until the anchor of time drags it into the depths; or maybe there’s a more metaphysical effect on the senses, the Jaffa orange light that washes on the top window and its surround of brick and flint conjuring up the vision of a shelter from the storms that toss and turn us through our everyday lives, a haven, a den, a cave, an inn. The leaf-free branches of the neighbouring trees are traced across the sky, nature’s idea of a child’s squiggle (and what are the graffiti artist’s epileptic daubs but a child’s squiggle in adult clothes?), reach out to the redbrick chimney — late Victorian, early Edwardian perhaps? — that lifts itself in the style of a perpendicular beacon up to the heavens (an ironic gesture on the behalf of the builder given the closeness of the city cathedral?), and behind the curved fa├žade, beyond the shipwrecked benches, is the pub to which I am drawn to on this winter late afternoon, when that season’s mockery of a sun wipes itself out beyond the bland, mole-blind cloud cover that drapes itself across the sky with the finality of a shroud. Inside, through the door that has seen thousands stride in search of that indefinable something that only the pub can provide: a glass of beer, a tot of rum, a snifter of red, a plate of bread and cheese, ham and eggs, fish and chips, the prospect of conversation, compatibility with one’s fellow man or woman, the consolation of silence in a corner with a book, a journal, an iPad, the passing of time, the passage of time, the ease of time that the pub provides. And in this pub I know as soon as I pass through the door that I will choose a glass of Adnams Southwold Bitter, a break-dance of a bitter, flexible, complex, simple seeming, the crisp biscuit-like, grainy body mixing it with the deep voluminous orange notes from the English hops that gave themselves to this drink of mine. And in the Adam & Eve I finish my glass and turn the page of my book and tune in and out of the voices of those who come in here day after day and decide that I will have another one. In this pub and that pub and every pub there is always time for another glass of beer. 


  1. A great read - it's always nice to see people from outside of Norwich talking about one of our fine pubs.

    The Adam and Eve is one of my favourite pubs and it helps that it's only about 3 minutes away from work. It's an incredible building full of atmosphere and ale. I usually go for Wolf Golden Jackal as that's usually on the pumps.

  2. Norwich is a great beer city and it helps that it looks rather nice in places especially around the cathedra — I love the Plough and the King’s Head as well.

  3. The plough certainly has the best beer garden in Norwich, hands down. A pint of Grain Blonde Ash on a hot summer's day? Don't mind if I do!

    I'm so thankful to live in such a beer filled city!

  4. I spent a goodly amount of time in the Plough recently studying Grain’s IPA, it is a marvel